In 2008, the Republican candidate received 59.9 million votes as opposed to 58.2 million votes in 2012, a decrease of 3%.
At first glance, one would say that Obama voters stayed home. But we have to take it one step further. 9% of previous Obama voters said they switched to Romney. This fact would have dropped Obama’s vote to 63.2 million voters had all showed up this year and raised Romney’s to 66.2 million, a comfortable slide home to victory, as Republicans had predicted.
However, these figures suggest that in fact 3% of Obama voters from 2008 did stay home and a whopping 12% of Republican voters stayed home in 2012.
Want to know an interesting coincidence? Ron Paul garnered 12% of Republican votes in the Primaries.
Just an interesting tidbit in an election where Paul supporters were snubbed in a Republican convention and Ron Paul when asked the night before the election who he endorsed said “no one”.
The voting numbers are even worse once we see that Obama gained 4 million new minority and young people votes. That means that 12 million white voters 30 years and older that had voted for Obama in 2008, did not vote for him in 2012.
Yet Romney still managed to lose 1.8 million voters from the Republican vote in 2008. What happened to this close to 14 million net votes? And more importantly, should the focus really be on these votes rather than the 4 million net ascendancy votes that he claimed to have been bought by Obama’s policies?
Some will say that it was Romney’s faith that was the culprit yet the drop off was not larger in traditionally more evangelical states. Instead, my conclusion is that while this 14 million voters were disillusioned by the past four year’s economic progress and chose to switch from Obama, if they weren’t disillusioned by the snubbing of Ron Paul, then they were disheartened by Romney’s message of safety net cuts without a viable jobs plan and chose to stay home.