Mitt Romney, 47-percenter

At Dangerous Minds, Richard Metzger celebrates a moment of "God rubbing Mitt Romney's nose in karmic dogshit." New election data expands Obama's portion of the popular vote to 50.8%, and drops Romney's to 47.49%, which "puts his percentage at the magic number of government dependent moochers that he himself estimated, at a secretly taped bigwig fundraiser, would never vote for him."


  1. I wonder how that 47% maps to the 47% he was deriding.  There’s apparently no federal data that links income to voting, but “red” areas tend to be low income.  So there’s significant overlap at least.  It always struck me as strange – Romney must have known he was deriding his own supporters.

    1. Well he was speaking to fellow 1% folks at that fundraiser. So to them the other 99% are probably to be counted among the rabble and fit for derision (at least at private events.) 

      The gaffe was that he was incorrectly conflating several different things. People who pay no federal income tax, people who receive government assistance and people who consistently vote democratic. Of course, anyone who took the time to look would know that the overlap between these groups is very far from 100%. If we are being charitable we could say Romney was confused and guilty of oversimplifying  If not we could just say he was lying.

      1. While he was tailoring his statements to a private event, they weren’t completely out of line with statements made publicly by himself and other Repub politicians.  I suspect that statements like that are, in part, cynical ploys and racist codes.  
        He darn well knows that the elderly (who are more likely to vote Republican) make up a good chunk of that 47%; he also knows that red states are big users of federal assistance programs.  But he was also taking the chance that Repubs on federal assistance aren’t likely to see themselves as lazy welfare moochers.  He could dismiss the group without his base seeing themselves in that group – when he talks about people on welfare, people not paying (federal income) taxes, I think he’s counting on Repub voters interpreting that as “those lazy, unemployed (Democrat-voting) minorities on welfare,” not as Republicans who avail themselves of Medicare, Medical, food stamps and the EITC, etc.

    2. In the UK at least there’s a strong blue collar community that strongly identifies with the right. They see the solution to improving their lot as hard work. It’s the archetypal Alf Garnett/Archie Bunker.

      1. But it does map (which is part of the irony).  Of the people Romney was dismissing, probably more than half were going to vote for him (while not recognizing themselves as being in that group).

        1. It maps fine, he just reversed the sign.  It’s the 47% of government-dependent moochers who DID vote for him.

        2. I guess they are sort of emulating Groucho who famously said “I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member”. That is sort of like “I would not want to vote for any politician who will have my interests in mind”.

    3. There’s apparently no federal data that links income to voting,

      One would certainly hope so; any such data would imply that the principle of the secret ballot was being overtly subverted!

    4. His own supporters don’t think they’re in that 47%.  Some of them know they’re hard-working, or that they worked hard for the entitlements they now receive, so they’re not the moochers, obviously.  But if you work hard but are low income, there’s a good chance that you get a hefty “refund” from the IRS every year, which puts you in that group of “moochers”.

  2. The government moochers were in fact his constituency the whole time. It’s just that we were picturing people in shanties collecting welfare checks. We should have been picturing people in corner offices collecting subsidies and sweetheart no-bid contracts and undeserved tax breaks.

    1. It is especially ironic that the Ayn Rand loving Paul Ryan’s voter base is made up largely of the folks that Rand describes in her books as moochers leeching off the productive members of society.

    2. I picture the republican voting base as farmers collecting subsidies. The captains of industry are of limited numbers at the voting booth, though they do have a big voice thanks to all the money they can throw around.

      BTW I found it odd that no pundit mentioned increasing urbanization as one reason that “Real America” is slipping at the polls. As we all know, cities have a liberal bias.

  3. Based on the 2010 census results (191.2 million adults age 18 to 64), these are the more accurate percentages for the popular vote: 
    Obama: 32.7%
    Romney: 30.9%
    Johnson 0.5%
    Abstentions 35.8%

    1. Did the Barr/Sheehan ticket fare so poorly as that?  Or are we counting them as votes for President Abstentions?

  4. If I’m reading this chart right, Mitt’s reviled 47% are getting by on about 1% of the nation’s wealth.  What does he care what they do with their money?  Every one of those people could sell everything they own, send the money to Red China and drown themselves in the Washington reflecting pool, and 99% of the sweet, sweet moolah would still be roaring around, creating jobs, right?

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