Andrew Coyne looks at the winning vote margin for President Obama and says something to the tune of: "Wow, the GOP basically gave this one away." Coyne:
[Y]ou are unlikely to win an election in today’s United States if you are giving away 75% of the Latino vote, nearly all of the black vote, and substantial margins among women and young people. Neither are you likely to appeal to the moderate and independent voters you need if you have spent much of the previous two years showcasing the shrillest and most intemperate voices in your party.
These are not matters of ideology so much as identity, on the one hand, and temperament on the other. Large numbers of voters outside the GOP’s overwhelmingly white and male base simply could not imagine themselves voting for the party — not so much because of what it stands for as what it is: namely, Not Them. Many other voters might be inclined to vote Republican, were it not so evidently in the grip of a bunch of yahoos.
Obama’s victory, then, was not accidental. It required a Herculean effort on the part of the Republicans. That the GOP came within a couple of percentage points of winning even then suggests it should not be too hard to avoid such defeats in future. All that is required is to a) reach out to voters it has gone to such great lengths to alienate until now, and b) stop behaving like yahoos.