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Obama given clear mandate to continue what he started

Republicans are claiming that President Obama didn’t get a clear mandate from the people on his administration’s policies for the next four years, because the popular vote was so close (a 3 million or so advantage for the president). If it makes them feel better, that’s fine. Unfortunately, they couldn’t be much further from the truth.

Way before the election was held, innumerable maps were used to show what states each candidate was going to win. A state like California was not going to be counted in Mitt Romney’s column, no matter how much campaigning he did. Likewise, Utah would never fall into Obama’s column. What difference does the popular vote make in a state the candidate knows he’s going to win? Is the message or mandate these states are sending to the president any different from his first term? I don’t think so.

The election was going to be decided by the toss-up states – those that could go either way since the polls showed a dead heat in each one. These states, defined by many pundits, were Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin – a total of 11 states, with 146 electoral votes to be won. Of these states, the president won 10. Some of the races were close, but some were blowouts, such as Wisconsin (Paul Ryan’s home state), Michigan (Romney’s birthplace) and Pennsylvania.

Was this election close? No. Was a mandate sent to the president? Yes – to continue what he started.

Larry Karmel

Orchard Park