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The view from Europe ...

Very perceptive article in today's London "Daily Telegraph": But the paradox of the 2012 US election was that despite the numerical proximity of the vote Mr Obama's open-minded liberal coalition may now have taken a permanent stranglehold on the US political map. And in their inclusive fervour they have left half the country locked outside the door. Study a map of Tuesday's vote plotted geographically – with the two parties coloured red and blue – and it is clear that outside the cities and the coasts of this vast country, America still has a conservative heart. That heart will feel angry and dispirited by this defeat. In victory, Mr Obama tried to sound magnanimous, but even as he waxed lyrical about a new vision for an inclusive polity, he rammed the defeat down the throats of the vanquished. "It doesn't matter whether you're black or white, or Hispanic or Asian, or Native American, or young or old, or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight – you can make it here in America if you're willing to try," he said. Deliberately or not, there was little space, it seemed, in that long list for ordinary, hard-working God-fearing Americans – many white, many living in rural areas – who still make up a vast swathe of the country but are being eclipsed by a new demographic reality. It is a reality born by the facts: Hispanic voters comprised 10 per cent of the electorate. Mr Obama won seven out of 10 of their votes. The president also won 93 per cent of the black vote, and more than 70 per cent of Asian voters. He led by 12 points over Mr Romney among women. Among young voters, he secured two thirds of the preferences of those aged between 18 and 29. They are almost a fifth of the electorate.


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