This is a growing problem for all centre-right parties throughout the democratic world. People like the benefits of a larger state but don't want to have to pay for it (leading to moments like the now legendary 'Keep Your Government Hands Off My Medicare' Tea Party placard). You don't need to be an economic genius to understand that if you spend more while making less, you're going to run into debt problems eventually. And it's a problem the Republicans better come up with better answers to in 2016 if they want the White House back.
Investors were clearly thinking along traditional lines last week and wanted Romney, but the Obama victory doesn't have to be such a bad result for them. Chances of reaching a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff have increased a little bit with the outcome of these elections. And the outlook for getting to a more comprehensive agreement on getting back on a healthy fiscal track have improved somewhat with a second-term president and less power for the Tea Party.
One thing is for certain, however. In 2012, super PAC politics proved ineffective when faced with a massive Obama turnout/campaign machine that was able to mobilize the base and push huge numbers of supporters to wait in line and vote for the incumbent. It appears that grassroots efforts and microtargeting, as old school as these electoral methods may appear, trumped the new, emerging brand of super PAC politics. Good.
This week I am attending the World Economic Forum in India with leading politicians, economists, business leaders and community leaders. It is interesting to note that one particular issue has come to the fore at the forum this week after the US election result: a real and more focused conversation about the future of Afghanistan.
My faith in Obama was justified. We won again - and I don't mean just Obama, the Democrats or the people who voted for him. I truly believe that every man, woman and child - no matter what colour their skin, ancestry, faith or sexual orientation - has won something from the re-election of Barack Obama as the President of the United States.
Since starting to watch the election coverage over a range of different news channels on Tuesday evening I've listened to a lot of analysts try to suggest many different things, the most outrageous of all being Obama's second term will be that of a lame duck president. This is highly unlikely although how much social and domestic change takes place in the US over the next four years is open for debate. What is certain is that Obama will continue to pursue the economic policies of the last four years and that's where the continuity comes in.
Republican and Tea Party pundits have talked about the potential for these burgeoning groups to change their voting preferences over time. But the GOP clearly risks long-term demographic suicide if its leaders continue their love-hate relationship with the centre without finding more imaginative ways to meet these voters halfway.