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Four more years of Obama
President Obama won a second term, extending his historic tenure as the nation’s first black president. During his acceptance speech in Chicago, he announced to a crowd of celebrating Democrats that “the best is yet to come” for the United States.
“What happened Tuesday night didn’t surprise me in the least,” said Andrew Hayes, a junior political science major at UAB. “President Obama ran a great campaign, and his platform was simply more inclusive than Governor Romney’s.”
President Obama’s margin of victory declined from the results of the 2008 election when he ran against John McCain, and he also lost two states – North Carolina and Indiana – that he had previously won.
With unemployment levels around eight percent, this was the first time that a president of the United States was successful in his attempt at re-election with such a high unemployment rate since Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, leading many to wonder how he was able to do so.
“[Gov. Romney] had a hard time appealing to women, African-Americans, and Hispanics,” said Hayes.
“I believe that Barack Obama did a better job of understanding that while the economy is bad, each family in America is running their own ‘economy’ as well. He spent more time hitting home with people and Romney did not.”
Governor Romney’s hard-right stance on immigration and idea of “self deportation” may, in fact, be a key reason why he did not appeal to Hispanic voters. Furthermore, President Obama’s recent auto bailout was sure to boost the support received from manufacturing states such as Ohio.
The results of the previous two elections have led some to begin discussions of whether or not the Republican Party needs to re-evaluate some of their political stances in order to be more dynamic.
“The Hispanic community, the African-American community, and the LGBTQ community alike have a tough time trusting the Republican Party,” says Hayes, who went on to suggest that maybe a rebranding of the political party may be necessary to claim the White House in future elections.
The Democratic Party was also victorious in the way that they took control of the Senate, but the Republicans maintained their lead in the number of seats in the House of Representatives.
As far as what the result of the election means in terms of people’s day-to-day lives, only time will tell as far as the ramifications will go. During the campaign, President Obama explained that he plans to increase taxes on the wealthy elite but not the middle class.
Even so, many Republicans may be skeptical to believe that this truly is the case.
His win also ensures that the health reform law, the signature accomplishment of his first term, will move forward.
Throughout the campaign, Gov. Romney vowed to repeal and replace the law if he was elected.
ObamaCare, otherwise known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, guarantees that all Americans have access to health insurance in 2014.
“I think there are parts of ObamaCare that will be great for our country, though I’m not sure how we can keep the quality of our healthcare where it is today if it’s fully implemented,” says Hayes.
“UAB will certainly be affected by the changes, and I feel that the career of medical doctor may not have the same alluring sound 10 years from now.”
Two main features of the law still need funding from Congress to move forward: health insurance exchanges, which are state-run online marketplaces where people can buy health insurance, and an expansion of the Medicaid program.
These changes were designed to provide health insurance to an additional 17 million people nationwide.