WASHINGTON WATCH: Obama 2012 Pollster Cornell Belcher Dissects The Numbers That Added Up To An Obama Victory (VIDEO) | Roland Martin Reports

WASHINGTON WATCH: Obama 2012 Pollster Cornell Belcher Dissects The Numbers That Added Up To An Obama Victory (VIDEO)

President Barack Obama won a convincing victory in the Electoral College, getting 332 Electoral College votes to 206 for Mitt Romney. He won the popular vote 50.5 percent to 48 percent for Mitt Romney. He had over 3 million more votes than Romney, and he won nine out of the ten battleground states, losing only North Carolina.

We’re going to spend most of the program digging into the why and the how and what’s next. We’ll also relive those touching moments from Tuesday night with the First Family, but let’s begin with Obama 2012 pollster and “Washington Watch” regular Cornell Belcher. Cornell can take us inside the numbers that added up to victory for the President.

MR. MARTIN:  Hello, and welcome to “Washington Watch.”

History was made this week again.  Americans reelected an African-American as President of the United States.  We’ve become kind of used to having a black family in the White House.  Okay.  Yeah, right.  No one’s gotten used to that, but – trust me – it is a big, big deal.   And just like 2008, African-Americans were a big part of making it happen.

President Barack Obama won a convincing victory in the Electoral College, getting 332 Electoral College votes to 206 for Mitt Romney.   He won the popular vote 50.5 percent to 48 percent for Mitt Romney.  He had over 3 million more votes than Romney, and he won nine out of the ten battleground states, losing only North Carolina.

We’re going to spend most of the program digging into the why and the how and what’s next.  We’ll also relive those touching moments from Tuesday night with the First Family, but let’s begin with Obama 2012 pollster and “Washington Watch” regular Cornell Belcher.  Cornell can take us inside the numbers that added up to victory for the President.

So, Cornell, welcome back and congratulations.

MR. CORNELL BELCHER:  [Chuckles.]

MR. MARTIN:  You[’ve] got a big –

MR. BELCHER:  Thank you.

MR. MARTIN:  — smile on your face.

MR. BELCHER:  Thank you.

MR. MARTIN:  All right.  Le- — let’s – let’s –

MR. BELCHER:  It’s kind of a big deal.  [Chuckles.]

MR. MARTIN:  Just a little bit.  Just a little – it – it’s a – Joe Biden has a different way of explaining it.

MR. BELCHER:  Right.  I pulled back from Joe Biden.

MR. MARTIN:  [Laughs.]

MR. BELCHER:  [Laughs.]

MR. MARTIN:  So, take us inside in terms of how the map was constructed, because that – it really was about looking at that map, looking at western states, looking at – obviously – north – the Northeast as well, looking at the Midwest.  And so how was the map constructed to put this victory together?

MR. BELCHER:  You know, it’s constructed based on – [chuckles] – on science, on – on Census data.  We had this mysterious, secret document that was called the Census – [chuckles] – that – that we looked at and said, you know, “The way this country is changing, we’ve got to” – “we’ve got to pull toge-” — “together that coalition.”  I think on Tuesday night, you saw the President pull together the broadest, most diverse coalition in – in the history of this country on the way to winning over 300 electoral votes.  That’s quite a statement.

But when you look at – get inside the numbers, Republicans made this – made this bet.  They were all in on this bet, which boggles my mind, Roland, that the electorate was actually going to be whiter this time around than it was in 2008.  Now, understand that the electorate has been growing brow- — blacker and browner for over a decade.  I mean no – at no point had the electorate become – become whiter because, as you know, our country is becoming – growing bla- — blacker and browner.

MR. MARTIN:  So, how – they thought African-Americans, Hispanics were going to be disenchanted over the last four years.  Whites were going to be even more angry and turn out.  Thus –

MR. BELCHER:  And they could sca- — and they could scare us away from the polls.  You know, one of the – one of the things I – I love the sort of signs they put up about – about voter fraud and – and all the sort of intimidation tactics – as though black and brown people were going to be afraid to go out and vote.

MR. MARTIN:  I said point blank that they pissed off black folks and brown folks, because –

MR. BELCHER:  [Chuckles.]

MR. MARTIN:  — they –

MR. BELCHER:  They did.

MR. MARTIN:  — I mean look.  You – [I] mean, look.  You and I have talked over the last 18 months, two years.  There was – there was some serious concern in the campaign in terms of the level of enthusiasm, in terms of getting African-Americans out.

MR. BELCHER:  Right.

MR. MARTIN:  And when I was talking to folks, I can sense it.  I can feel it – even on college campuses.  But as the voter suppression stuff got ramped up, I saw black folks getting madder and madder.

MR. BELCHER:  Right.

MR. MARTIN:  And then when you saw the deal in Pennsylvania – “Oh, [you] don’t need your ID, but you can still ask for it.”

MR. BELCHER:  [Chuckles.]

MR. MARTIN:  Then the court in Ohio changes the voting laws.  Black folks said, “Okay.  We gonna show y’all a lil’ sump’n’ sump’n’.”

MR. BELCHER:  No — [chuckles] – no, no that – no, that’s abso- — that’s absolutely right.  Sort of, the intimidation tactics backfired; but also give the campaign some credit because, you know, going in a – a year out, you know, we – we were having meetings and talking about sort of we knew we had to bring that coalition back – that coalition of younger voters, African-Americans, Hispanics, segments of the – of the white electorate – particularly white women and – and particularly sort of college whi- — white women and – and unmarried women.  And if we could hold that ’0- — that ’08 coalition sort of fairly steady, we would see – we – we would see a victory.

But – but – but it goes back down to really what the Re- – what the Republicans doubled down on – this bet that the – that the white electorate would have a larger share and that they could – they could shrink the – the black electorate.  The – the minority electorate was actually two points higher this time around than it was even in – in ’08, Roland.  The – you know, they’re – they’re working against history at – history and African-Americans and Hispanics sort of turning out.

And in Ohio – this is how important it is.  In O- — in Ohio, African-Americans made up actually 4 percent more of the electorate in Ohio this time around than they did in ’08, which is just an amazing, amazing compliment ’cause guess what?  We thought ’08 was the high water mark –

MR. MARTIN:  Right.

MR. BELCHER:  — but we actually made up a – a larger sh- — hunk of the electorate this time around in Ohio than we – than – than we even did then.

So – and the Hispanic electorate – and one of the interesting things is, you know, I was debating people about this.  They say, you know, Cubans were – were out of reach for – for Democrats, but look what – but the – how the Cuban vote broke in – in Florida, although they’re still counting in Florida.  Look how the Cuban vote broke in Florida.  Look, second-generation and younger Cubans –

MR. MARTIN:  Right.

MR. BELCHER:  — aren’t the same as – as first-generation Cubans.  They’re – they’re not.  Democrats are competing for them, and we’re – and we’re winning those – those voters over.

MR. MARTIN:  You also make the point that what happened to the GOP is an example of what happens when you don’t have people of color sitting at the table.

MR. BELCHER:  That’s absolutely right.  Look.  If – and – ’cause I – ’cause me and –

MR. MARTIN:  I figure your –

MR. BELCHER:  — some of my friends –

MR. MARTIN:  — your – black Republican –

MR. BELCHER:  [Chuckles.]

MR. MARTIN:  — pollster friends are going, “Yes, Cornell.  Please make this statement.”

MR. BELCHER:  [Chuckles.]  Right.  Well, there’s not a lot of black Republican voters – pollsters, period.

MR. MARTIN:  [Chuckles.]

MR. BELCHER:  But – but here’s the – here’s the problem.  This is why it circles back around to diversity.  And I beat up my party on diversity, but – but they need to beat up the Republican Party on diversity.  If, in fact, they had black and brown people around the table in the Republican Party – seriously around the table, who had a say in what was happening – there’s no way that the Republican pollsters and the Republican strategists could say that African-Americans and Hispanics were going to make up a smaller segment of the electorate this time around than they had before and that we could put in these intimidation tactics and push down the African-American and Hispanic electorate, because any black person or brown person who knows their communities would say, “Oh, hell, no!  That’s not gonna work; it’s gonna have the opposite effect.”

This is why diversity is important.  They need to have diverse people around those tables that are part of the decision-making process, ’cause when you do, mistakes like this don’t happen.

The other point I want to make here, Roland, is sort of a bigger point – is that I think – I – I don’t know if I’m dancing on the grave of – of the Southern Strategy, but I’m getting awfully close to it, because I think this time around, if the Southern Strategy is not dead, it’s on its deathbed, because for – you see this broad electorate.  You saw what the Republicans tried to do, sort of.  I don’t care what you say.  Sununu, Trump, Gingrich – all those guys were playing –

MR. MARTIN:  Right.

MR. BELCHER:  — dog-whistle politics.

MR. MARTIN:  Yep, yep.

MR. BELCHER:  We all – we all knew it.  They were trying to racialize the electorate in a way that, back in – in the ’70s, even part of the ’80s, but we know in the ’60s absolutely worked.  It didn’t work this time.  That’s not who America is.

So, I’m – I’m thinking, I’m hopefully thankful that I think we’re going to see the end of the Southern Strategy – not because they think it’s morally wrong, but because it is no longer [an] effective strategy for winning in the United States of America.

MR. MARTIN:  All right.  Well, Cornell, certainly congratulations.

MR. BELCHER:  Thank you.

MR. MARTIN:  Now you get to go out on the beach, go to Aruba or Jamaica – something like that –

MR. BELCHER:  [Laughs.]

MR. MARTIN:  — and hang out for a little bit –

MR. BELCHER:  Not – not – not –

MR. MARTIN:  — and enjoy,

MR. BELCHER:  — not quite.  Well, you know, black people – we always gotta lo- — gotta look for our next job.

[LAUGHTER.]

MR. MARTIN:  I understand!  All right.  I appreciate it.

MR. BELCHER:  [Chuckles.]  Thank you –

MR. MARTIN:  Thanks a bunch.

MR. BELCHER:  — Roland.