There Was No "Mandate" For Anyone As A Result of Election 2012!

Even 76% of the votes cast is not "a mandate"!

He won 76% of the vote to continue representing his district in the U. S. House of Representatives,
He won 76% of the vote to continue representing his district in the U. S. House of Representatives, | Source

Until more of the eligible voters in America actually vote, it is not logical for any politician or party to claim "a mandate"!

Being charitable and giving a higher estimated total as 58% of eligible voters actually voting in Election 2012, here is why neither party, nor President Obama, has any claim to “a mandate” coming out of the last election:

42%+ of America’s eligible voters did not vote to give anyone their approval,

President Obama received 50% of the votes cast for the office of president. As only 58% of voters voted, he received the votes of only 29% of America’s eligible voters….hardly “a mandate.”

Obama’s votes were fewer than he received in 2008, and Democrats suffered significant losses in 2010 which they did not recover fully in 2012, maintaining their majority only in the U. S. Senate.

Republicans admit that they lost significantly on November 6, 2012, figures that made it clear that they did not receive a mandate, even by virtue of their continuing majority in the House of Representatives.

The Tea Party supported candidates including many who lost in the 2012 elections, and the Tea Party as a whole still lacks the numbers to give them even a robust role to play within the Republican Party which seems more hospitable to their basic expressed values.

Libertarians, and other minority parties in America have never claimed a popular mandate.

In my own Utah congressional district, Representative Jason Chaffetz won reelection with 76% of the votes cast, but voting in all of Utah was lower than it was in 2008, and even Representative Chaffetz did not receive much more than a simple majority of the votes of the voters who could have voted for him in 2012.

So what? If some politician claims there is a mandate for anything, reply that you rather doubt it!


Copyright 2012 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.

Generally speaking, voting numbers were down across the USA in 2012.

Few states had more voters voting in 2012 than in 2008 or 2004.  Those few which did, had other locally "hot" contests on their ballots.
Few states had more voters voting in 2012 than in 2008 or 2004. Those few which did, had other locally "hot" contests on their ballots. | Source

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Comments 13 comments

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 4 years ago from Rural Arizona

Interesting that perhaps the most important election we have ever had drew less voters than 2008. Shame on those who didn't vote is all I can say.

carol7777 profile image

carol7777 4 years ago from Arizona

Good points here and good research...Thanks for this ..

eHealer profile image

eHealer 4 years ago from Las Vegas

Great and informative hub with many good points, Perspycacious. I agree, as long as the country is divided down the middle and so few vote, there is no mandate to brag about. Although it is clear that Republicans need a better and more modern voice in today's politics. It is difficult for them as a party, since conservatism by nature values tradition and does not change easily. The world is a different place now, though, and the GOP needs to understand that their message isn't being heard very well. Thanks for a very interesting hub!

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Janhorner 4 years ago

What a good informative hub! I think voters are beginning to get tired of politicians in general. You hear so many corrupt stories (especially here in the UK), I admit I no longer vote because I simply have no confidence in any government that sweeps into power. Some people will probably think I should vote, and it's not a case of being too lazy to go and do this; because the voting station is almost next door and I have postal voting facility. My confidence ended totally when the government we have now in the form of Cameron and Clegg, who do not have any idea whatsoever what it is like for the working man and his family, nor come to that the pensioners! There rant over! Voted up,



jandee profile image

jandee 4 years ago from Liverpool.U.K

Who would one vote for ? I mean any Country. Seems to me the candidates are almost all sales reps.. Vac.salesmen, arms salesmen .

Greedy and evil people who don't give a care for anybody . Don't even care for the World...

I doubt if I will ever vote again not after the lies and warmongering of Tony Blair and his gang,we are now left with the dreaded Blair Babes who do exactly as they are told.

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 4 years ago from Rural Arizona

For many years now, it seems like we have had to choose the lesser of the evils in most elections. I always vote even though I am not in love with either of the candidates. To not vote seems like just giving a vote to the candidate you like the least.

Attikos profile image

Attikos 4 years ago from East Cackalacky

But for organized rent seeking special interests, which usually have a short-term focus, the public has concluded federal elections do not change the direction the US government in any important degree. They are tuning out federal politics.

You are right, there is no mandate now. This was a status quo election. The people voted for continuing gridlock in Washington. I think they feel the national state has grown into a monster that is out of control, that presidential elections offer no real chance to put it back into its pen, and that they feel less threatened by it when it is divided and stalemated.

A rising number of them feel that voting at all has become an exercise in futility, but those still sufficiently cognizant of civic duty to bother are choosing to attempt to neuter the federal government. Were the politicians paying attention to the America they in theory collectively serve rather than to the dynamics of the privileged, heady little world they inhabit once in Washington, they would recognize that and act accordingly. Tragically, they do not. All we are seeing even in the wake of this gray election is the usual business of struggle for control of even more power and wealth.

rfmoran profile image

rfmoran 4 years ago from Long Island, New York

Well said Sir. Most politicians would like to claim a mandate by the simple fact of winning an election. The only true mandate is to "govern well."

Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 4 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Author

Perhaps we should look at the tactics and nature of the campaigns in 2012. The choice, as I have written, was characterized as a choice for president between a man the Republicans,and the super PACs supporting them, characterized as "Mr. Failure" and a man the Democrats and their super PACs characterized as "Mr. Flip Flop." As a result, the contest was made a contest between two candidates characterized as both being unworthy of the Office of President.

Worse still, "the way forward" was poorly defined by either candidate, or at least perceived as poorly defined. Each candidate stressed that their opponent's ideas would fail to solve the nation's problems (hardly inspiring.)

A public disgusted by the money, the rhetoric, the negatives, the dividing of the electorate into sub groups of Americans each with their narrow special interests, and the concentrated focus on the six or eight states whose voters seemed the only ones "in play" almost from the beginning of the campaign, marginalized the other voters by each major party taking some for granted and writing off the others.

Several realities played into this marginalized feeling. The Supreme Court's ruling legitimizing the Super PACs let the big money donors take over the election with no limits and the potential small donors feel that they had no real role to play, the "winner-takes-all" system by which states allocate their votes in the Electoral College marginalized the minority voters in states where one party was dominant, the absence of term limits which could over time pump new blood and new ideas into a Congress which has become a predictable cast of contesting political ideologues is also a governing weakness.

We need a system of elections in which every voter is important, no voter feels marginalized, and the real issues of the day are spelled out with concrete proposals for the future.

Until then our system has built-in weaknesses which insure that our system of government is less than "...of the people, by the people, and for the people."

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 4 years ago from Rural Arizona

I have no idea why or when we started the Electoral College for selecting our winning candidates, but to me a popular vote would make much more sense and make our votes count. It is insane that a candidate can actually get the majority in popular votes, and lose the election.

Attikos profile image

Attikos 4 years ago from East Cackalacky

The Electoral College was designed as an anchor on the ability of the states containing large cities, with their high concentrations of voters and their own parochial interests, from dominating the federal government. It has worked out reasonably well for that purpose, though it may now be weakening in the face of advancing urbanization.

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 4 years ago from Rural Arizona

Attikos - Thanks for the education. I have always been confused why we would do it that way.

Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 4 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Author

The Electoral College remains the only protection Americans have against a bogus "October Surprise" for which the candidate swept in primarily by virtue of the misrepresentation had no direct role in creating it.

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