PERCEPTION OR REALITY - Romney Lost Because Of 47% Statement

(12/20/2012)

People generally perceive what they want to perceive, or as an old saying explains, perception 90% of reality.

In America, related to national issues, that is largely based on the political spin issued by media.

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, in a secretly recorded speech to wealthy supporters, discounted his efforts toward 47% of the American voters, which has been offered up as a reason for his defeat.

Reality or perception?

It's made a little more clear by David Hedges, publisher of Spencer Newspapers:

The surprising 47 percent

Before the presidential election Mitt Romney was caught on tape talking about the 47 percent of the country interested only in what they can get from the government. Those folks, he said, would never vote for him.

Even after the election, Romney blamed his loss on those who stood to receive “big gifts” from the government. Commentator Bill O’Reilly blamed Romney’s loss on voters who wanted “free stuff.” No doubt these greedy folk make up the aforementioned 47 percent.

It may soothe those still licking their wounds to blame the outcome on someone else’s shortcomings, while basking in the righteousness of the defeated and knowledge that they voted for the right man for all the right reasons. This includes protecting millionaires who have enjoyed a tax cut for over a decade. There was no selfishness in that decision, unless, of course, you happen to be a millionaire, like O’Reilly and Romney.

The problem is, the facts don’t bear out the alleged leanings of the so-called 47 percent. And West Virginia is a perfect example.

Who are these folks who get stuff from the government?

The largest group would be senior citizens who receive Social Security and Medicare benefits. West Virginia battles Florida for the oldest state in the nation, so we have plenty of these freeloaders.

Then there are veterans. West Virginia is known for sending its sons, and daughters, off to war. We are one of 11 states with more than 10.5 percent of our population made up of veterans. And just because they served their country, they apparently think we owe them something in return.

What about the disabled? We have plenty of those, too. In one survey I found, West Virginia and Kentucky had the highest percentage of their population, 4.2 percent, receiving SSI disability payments.

Food stamps is another big program. More than 14 percent of the country was receiving food stamps in February 2011. Mississippi was at the top of the list, at 20.7 percent, followed by Oregon, Tennessee, New Mexico, Michigan, Louisiana, Kentucky and, in eighth place, West Virginia, with 18.7 percent receiving food stamps. Maine and South Carolina rounded out the top 10.

Because West Virginia’s population is so dependent on these programs, President Obama surely carried the state without a problem, right?

Wrong. The president got just over 35 percent of the vote in West Virginia, compared to Romney’s 62 percent. In Kentucky, which had similar numbers to West Virginia, it was the same. In fact, Romney carried a majority of the states on the top 10 list for food stamps.

States are not much different than people. We are now divided into red states, which lean Republican in national elections, and blue states, which favor Democrats.

There are 16 states that pay more in federal income taxes than they receive back from the federal government. Romney’s theory is put to the test by the fact that each of the states, except Texas, is “blue.”

Of the 33 states, including West Virginia, that get back more from the federal government than we pay in, all but six are “red” states. Ohio stands alone as the state that gets back about as much as it puts into the federal treasury.

Another interesting tidbit about the presidential race, this one provided by FOX Business, offered an analysis of the voting patterns and educational level of voters.

The 10 most educated states, based on percentage of residents over 25 with a four-year college degree, was led by Massachusetts at 39.1 percent and included Maryland, Colorado, Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey, Virginia, New Hampshire, New York and Minnesota. All 10 voted for Obama.

West Virginia, at 18.5 percent, topped the least educated states, which also included Mississippi, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Alabama, Nevada, Indiana, Tennessee and Oklahoma. Nine of the 10, with number seven Nevada the exception, voted for Romney.

So while it may sound good to say folks who stood to gain financially voted for Obama, it just didn’t add up that way. In fact, it was the opposite. The poor and uneducated tended to vote for Romney, while those better off and better educated voted to re-elect the president.

But the ultimate twist of fate was the final outcome. Romney ended up with, you guessed it – 47 percent (actually 47.6) of the vote. Apparently he had even that backwards.


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