Malek el Khazen, November 2008 – Let us ask ourselves this first question: How did the Republicans fail? or did the Republicans really fail? Let me rephrase this question to what was different that made the Democrats win? The answer seems easy and yes it is logical, and the same process was applied in France, in Zimbabwe and many other countries during election within these last 2 years. What has made the difference in all of these elections are what we will call in this article the silent citizens but not so silent anymore. They are the new registered voters. There is also another variable that all of these candidates were successful enough in convincing their citizens on the ASSUMPTION of CHANGE, HOPE, TRUST and EXPERIENCE.

Why do I use Assumption? It is important to note that both Democrats and Republicans are well incorporated within the American political system. So whoever is the candidate representing this party is automatically part of the current system and he will have to follow the same procedure to decide and implement laws and lobbying that all of his predecessors has followed. So if these candidates are already part of the system we can ask ourselves how it will be change? from what?? In fact the Executive power in the US is not the only one that is in power, but you still have the Legislative and Judicial powers. And within the Executive power the same structure is set. Which is in other words the Capitalism system and inner circle, ie. Elitism representing 1% of the US population that controls Washington. So they may be change but it would be minimal and we should not expect any kind of change that was mentioned during the campaign.

We have mentioned Elitism representing 1% of the US citizen are the class that drive policies and prioritize issues. In fact, these elite groups control most of the money and the biggest corporations in the US. In result, it is very difficult to fight them. Most importantly these groups are the one that funds presidential campaign. President elect Obama was successful in creating an Assumption that his campaign was funded by people, regular citizens like me and you. But this is not the complete truth. Out of his 426.9 million 50% and more was funded by the same Elite groups and corporation that has funded previous campaign whether Democrats or Republicans. So it is very hard for me to believe that he will start fighting them. It is important to note he had a lot of individual contributions too but the perception that he has created where it seems he had only personal contribution from regular citizen is incorrect. This perception had a lot of positive for his campaign since it has increased in the mind of the US voters that he is an outsider of the system which is not true.But has benefited him and gained support from the new voters.

The Republicans have campaign in a way on "how to defeat the other party". Whereas the Democrats have campaign in a way on HOW can we WIN by keeping their base firm and introducing new voters that has overwhelmingly voted for them.The approach of the democrats by attracting the new voters via the internet, via the work of volunteers, via the media or via communities and basic campaigning has returned great result. Whereas you had the other party busy in thinking on how they can fight back in a way for them NOT TO LOOSE. But yet they have lost because they have forgotten the basic campaigning rules which is what is their stands, not convincing or consistent theme (What was the theme in the Mccain Campaign until now I don’t know? is it CHANGE? Good Judgement? Experience? Trust? whereas the theme in the Obama Campaign was straighforward CHANGE, HOPE, BETTER FUTURE. Even if you are in power for many years you can still portray change and Senator Mccain was successful in doing so in the primary elections and briefly during the general campaign. Let us take a side example Former President Putin and currently Prime minister of Russia has been in power since 1999 as President then Prime Minister and still enjoy an average of 80% approval rating. He is one of the very few politician that is very well incorporated within the system but YET portray himself as a person that BRINGS CHANGE and better FUTURE, therefore he has an overwhelming support from Russians.

Many people will tell you that republicans has lost, and the answer is NO they did not loose. What Did they loose? let us compare between the results of the presidential elections in 2000, 2004 and 2008 campaigns

Total Obama McCain Other/No Answer

White (74%) 43% 55% 2%

African-American (13%) 95% 4% 1%

Latino (9%) 67% 31% 2%

Asian (2%) 62% 35% 3%

Other (3%) 66% 31% 3%



TOTAL 2004 2000 2004 2004

White (77%) 58% +4 41% 0%

African-American (11%) 11% +2 88% 0%

Latino (8%) 44% +9 53% 2%

Asian (2%) 44% +3 56% *

Other (2%) 40% +1 54% 2%


As you Can notice the whites has historically voted the same way for Republicans. By 55% in 2008, 58% in 2004 and 54% in 2000. So the Republicans did not loose so much on the white votes, they have lost compared to 2004 but has win 1% compared to the 2000 presidential elections. And the minorities have also voted overwhelmingly to Democrats same way historically.

The demographics in the US is changing. In 2008 you had 1 million new US citizen, the question we should ask ourselves is why all of these new citizen and voters vote overwhelmingly to Democrats?. After the campaign in 2008 I can understand why new voters would vote Democrats. The Campaign run by the democrats in 2008 was a campaign based on hope on difference and future. Whereas the Mccain campaign was based briefly on change but this has shifted quickly when he started concentrating on his past positions and being into defense and ill equipped on economy policies, And this is what the new voters want NEW. In fact President elect Barak Obama was successful in linking the current Presidency and its failure to Senator Mccain. But it is important to note that the house of representative and senate has been controlled for over 2 years by Democrats Their APPROVAL RATINGS is lower then the APPROVAL RATING OF the presidency!. And it is known that the presidency is not the one that takes decision by itself but rather it is done in corporation with the senate and house of representative. So what Kind of change is he referring to President elect Barack Obama? When more then half of the power is controlled by HIS PARTY. But yet he was very successful in implementing and convincing the voters of change. He was able to link the whole failed system to Mccain. From the other side the republicans has failed in linking the failure to democrats which are as much responsible as Republicans.

Let us review the numbers for new voters:

Total Obama McCain Other/No Answer Yes (11%)

Yes (11%) 69% 30% 1%

No (89%) 50% 48%

In 2008 11% of the votes were first time voters. The base (which is the other 89%) has voted 48% to Senator Mccain and 50% for President elect Obama. So yes the republicans have lost within the base but barely (and I will explain why this has happened in the next paragraph). I can argue also that this is not what made the republicans loose the election or what will make them loose election in the future. The democrats have won because they have turned the cards by attracting these new voters. In fact these new voters formed 12 million new votes in the 2008 campaign. President elect Obama was successful in attracting 8 millions of these votes. And this is how they have WON! These are the new demographics of the country that democrats has adapted with. How can we attract all of these new votes.It is very wrong to think that all of these new voters are liberals or Democratic. I will give you a simple example. In California while voting for the presidency where they have voted in a rate of 60% to the democrats and 40% to Republicans the voters also voted by 65% overturning and banning same sex mariages in the State. So all of these voters are being conservative on social issues but has still has voted democratic for the election even though they may stand on social issues with Republicans.

The base which form all of the votes except the new voters has voted 48% for Senator John Mccain and 50% for President Elect Obama. I can argue that this is NOT what has cost elections to Republicans. It is rather the minorities and new voters that has voted in a rate of 75% for Democrats and 25% for Republicans and also the media that caused this shift within the BASE. In fact, with all of these polls that were introduced before election since September President elect Obama was always and consistently leading the polls by an average of 6 to 7 points. This is what may have affected the base very slightly to vote Democrats rather than Republicans because of the BANDWAGON effect were some voters will vote for the MAN that is PORTRAYED the winner by the MEDIA. This is easy to change for the next election if you have a well organized campaign, with clear THEMES, and tight POLLS, and a good relation with the MEDIA. You cannot be at ODD with the media and expect to win the election then the base could give back advantage to Republicans. The key point is to attract NEW voters. It is the new voters that always have the most energy and being the most excited.

President Elect Obama from the beginning of the election before winning the nomination of his party had a well organized campaign and excellent relation with the media. He was able to outset Senator Clinton. In fact, wherever there was a caucus President Obama has won the CAUCUS because of the great volunteers that he has built in each community, his EMAIL list which is bigger then the email list of both the Democratic party and Republican party email list. And BEING the sweetheart of the MEDIA. Senator Clinton has taken for granted these caucus which in my view has cost her the election. In other words President elect Obama was able to build a momentum from the beginning. All of these make a difference and President elect Obama gave the PERCEPTION of a FUTURISTIC campaign he was able to introduce new concept in his campaign very efficiently and advertize them as being the candidate of the FUTURE and HOPE.

What the republicans need to worry is how can we ADAPT with the NEW DEMOGRAPHICS in the US??? how can we attract these new voters? is our message so traditional?

Here are some suggestions:

1- Let the candidates say what is in their Heart and NOT say what they THINK people want to hear. If they say whatever is in their heart I can guarantee you that this can attract many undecided voters. The simple question why did senator Mccain won the primary because of his great personality, PERCEPTION of straight talk,what you see is what you get etc.

2- Don’t run the campaign in a way NOT TO LOOSE it or HOW TO DEFEAT the other candidate but run the campaign on HOW WE CAN WIN. Introduce new IDEAS! The democrats has used the simple strategy of attracting new voters which has overturned the POLLS from the beginning to their FAVOR and created a slight SHIFT within the BASE in their favor

What the democrats should do to stay on power?

You don’t have to be an outsider for you to campaign for change you can be an insider and campaign for change both Senator Mccain and President Elect Obama were successful in campaigning for change knowing that both of them are not outsiders. But the difference the democrats were able to give HOPE (better Future) TRUST and SECURITY. Voters tend not to vote a lot for issues, but rather for the buzz and never underestimate the POWER of MEDIA and the internet. What the Democrats need to do is MANAGE EXPECTATION for the next 4 years. As a side note President-elect Obama has started with his media relation informing the voters that there is no quick fix for the economy. This is a successful method on how we manage expectation. They need to remember the Putin example!