Remaining 2012 ballots are still being counted at the Riverside County Registrar of Voters office, but final numbers may put some 2014 Republican candidates on notice.
As of Friday, the registrar’s office is reporting that out of the 14 partisan races in which a Democrat was a contender, six of them went to those with a big D after their name.
And while local voters gave the presidential race to GOP nominee Mitt Romney, at press time his lead over Barack Obama amounts to less than 4,000 votes in Riverside County.
Only one partisan race – the 67th State Assembly District – was without a Democrat this year.
By contrast, during the 2010 General Election, there were 21 partisan races on the ballot in Riverside County and only three went to a Democrat: State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, Juan Vargas, State Senator, 40th District, and V. Manuel Perez, State Assembly 80th District, were the victorious Democrats.
During the 2008 presidential election, there were 13 partisan contests to decide in the county. Five of them, including the presidential, went to a Democrat; but of the 13 races, two had no Democrats on the ballot.
Post 2012 election, some are questioning whether Republicans had, on a national level, a disconnect with Latino and African-American voters, young voters, and highly educated voters.
In Riverside County, the Latino demographic in particular has become increasingly important as the number of non-white voters rises. According to the latest census data, 46 percent of Riverside County residents reported being of Hispanic or Latino origin, 39 percent reported being white of non-Hispanic origin, and 7 percent reported being black.
During Friday’s News Roundup on The Diane Rehm Show produced by member-supported WAMU 88.5 in Washington DC, guest commentator Susan Page of USA Today told Rehm she believed Obama’s camp succeeded Tuesday by tapping into the “rising forces” in the U.S. electorate during the campaign.
“It is a coalition that elected him last time, but even more so this time, a coalition of the rising forces in the U.S. electorate: Hispanics, African-Americans, young people and some women, especially -- some whites, especially highly educated women,” she told Rehm.
Guest commentator Naftali Bendavid of The Wall Street Journal agreed with Page.
“I do think that the demographic issue is a big question. There's just no question that when you're alienating a large percentage of the electorate, which seems to have happened with Latino voters, it's a problem,” he said.
Their remarks came on the heels of comments by two vocal conservatives -- radio host Sean Hannity and columnist Charles Krauthammer – who showed a post-election shift in ideals by saying they would advocate an immigration bill that would provide a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who are already in the United States.
But during the Rehm Show, Page noted that some conservative activists held a press conference Thursday at The National Press Club, in which they argued that Romney threw away a landslide win by not being conservative enough.
“I have to say that, even in the GOP, that is not the prevalent view,” Page contended.
Still, she acknowledged that either way – with or without far-right rhetoric – it was a close race.
“The Republicans got, what, 48 or -- 47, 48 percent of the popular vote, so that's a pretty even divide.”