Why Obama Won: The Empathy Factor

When we voted for President Obama, what were we motivated by?


Yet again, this was a function of the Republican Party’s failure to be empathic. They could not imagine why those at the margins — women, people of color, gays and lesbians, young people and immigrants — would not care foremost about taxes or about protecting their own wealth. They could not understand why women would object to outlawing abortion or why anyone would support government programs for children or the poor. They could not believe that despite the long lines, ID requirements and other tactics to impede voting that the most marginalized would make it a priority to cast a ballot.


Tamar Birckhead
Associate professor of law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, criminal defense attorney