Well okay, I don’t actually know the winner. I know who my state voted on for President and who I voted for but not the nation. And I will be brutally honest here. No matter who wins tonight (or later on) both parties and individual voters will draw vastly different conclusions from the results.
If Democrats hold the White House, winning the popular and electoral college vote, as well as holding the Senate (give or take a seat or two) they will see their message vindicated and perhaps push harder for taxes on the rich and activist government. If the GOP retains control of the House (90% odds they will) the GOP will believe the election was a split decision and that conservatism is alive and well in the country.
There will be blame to go around this election. I can already hear Republicans saying Romney did not hit Obama on Benghazi in the third debate, he was not a forceful enough campaigner or he simply was to out of touch and nerdy. On the other hand with a Obama loss I can see Democrats saying the public was duped by Romney and the public had just signed their death warrant (figuratively of course).
In the Senate the GOP can surely blame their failure to recapture or narrow the Democratic majority on a swath of bad candidates. Todd Akin in MO should have kept his mouth shut on abortion and kept his campaign on the economy. Richard Mourdock in Indiana, while you may believe in life in all cases, do not say it out loud so it can be cut and pasted six ways from Sunday into something it was not (aka war on women). As for House Democrats, well when you have ideologue like Nancy Pelosi leading your caucus what do you expect in a country that has far more diverse ideological, cultural and ethnic values than California?
I am sure some reporters, analysts, and pundits will color their wording and say this election the American public won. But did we? Sure, people took advantage of the opportunity to vote on a host of candidates and issues in every state in the land. We exercised te right to use one of our most sacred duties as citizens of this great nation. But I am still left with the feeling that my vote feels shallow, hollow in some way.
Every action and move of the presidential campaign was followed in some way. Super PAC’s vilified both candidates into worker killing robots or racists. Surrogates came out and laid blame at their opponents feet (or in the case of Obama, Bush’s feet). It has gotten so bad that when a wife of a candidate has MS and rides a horse for therapy (a well accepted practice mind you) she is somehow a rich out of touch aristocrat. It seems the only part of the candidates lives that have not been dissected this campaign our their kids. What you want to bet in the future they will be dragged into the campaign again? Remember Sarah Palin, her down syndrome baby Trig, and her pregnant daughter in 08?
This phenomenon has not just been isolated to the presidential race. Down-ballot races have seen smears galore across the country. In Wisconsin, voters in the Senate race between Tommy Thompson (R) and Tammy Baldwin (D) have been inundated with negative ad after negative ad. At some point you have to wonder how the candidates wills do not break. Politics is by no means clean but this election it has been downright nasty.
So America, I do not know who will be the winner tonight. I certainly have my partisan preferences and I acted on them but I doubt whoever wins will be able to heal the deep divisions in this country. Perhaps we need to become more united in some form to have real campaigns based on the real issues Americans care about. Than again, if voters did not want the kind of crap campaigns spew out politicians would learn quickly to run honest and open campaigns. Course, I do not put a lot of faith in the average voter, left, right or center, for obvious reasons.