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Election winners and losers

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That’s because Romney won decisively in many “red” states. Mr. Obama won more narrowly in “blue” and swing states but they represented far more electoral votes. Thus Obama won the popular vote by only 50 percent to 48 percent but was an overwhelming 332 to 206 winner in the electoral college.

A third conclusion: Much is already being made of the “soul searching” now evident within the Republican Party. But this is the requisite job of the losing party in any election. Clearly the party needs to broaden its base demographically beyond white voters, a strong majority of whom voted for the GOP. It needs in particular to increase its appeal to the growing number of Hispanic voters. That would suggest taking a more balanced approach to immigration.

The GOP lost the presidential race despite unemployment hovering near 8 percent. Romney did all he could to portray Obama as having failed as a job creator. Yet Romney lost. Did the GOP run the wrong candidate, use the wrong strategy, or fail to build a strong “ground game” to get out the vote? Or does the party need to shift its position on some issues? Republicans must sort out those questions over the coming months.

One improvement is clearly needed: Voters in many places waited far too long, many hours in some cases, to cast their ballots. The states and cities in charge of balloting must resolve to serve their citizens better. Thousands of voters valued their right to vote so highly that they endured long waiting lines. That is heartening. They deserved to treated better.

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