Friday, November 21, 2014

People’s Forum: Lessons from past election are pretty clear

Posted on Nov. 16, 2012 at 12:00 a.m.

Looking through Wednesday’s headlines I see “Cincinnati Tea Party Writes America’s Obituary” (Huffington Post) and “Tea Party Slams Romney as ‘Weak Moderate Candidate’” (usnews.com). Of course, this was completely predictable. I believe that a look at the statistics, however, paints a different picture.

If my math is correct, a tea party incumbent was at least 20 times as likely to lose a congressional seat than a non-tea party incumbent. I think a good argument could also be made that Mitt Romney lost the general election in large part due to the far-right rhetoric he was forced to espouse in the primary to clinch the nomination.

This movement has no legs.

It is also worth noting that both candidates who came out unequivocally against abortion in cases of rape and/or danger to the life of the mother (Richard Mourdock and Todd Akin) quickly gave up substantial leads and ultimately lost the general election.

I believe we learned three pretty clear lessons in this election. The majority of the electorate does not want across-the-board restrictions on early or midterm abortion and does not want far-right ideologues log-jamming the legislative process. And last but certainly not least, in spite of the kind of resources people like Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers have at their disposal, there is one thing they will never be able to afford: The American electorate!

Fred Nesbitt

Elkhart