Nearly one year after the election, we can significantly revise some of the now-conventional narrative threads. The Obama victory was historic, but it was not surprising; Obama shifted, but did not redraw, the electoral map; race and class mattered, but not in the way people assumed they would matter; and partisan loyalty was powerful even as partisan defections like Colin Powell’s garnered headlines. Furthermore, it is simply too soon to tell how and how much campaign tactics mattered, whether this election’s outcome constitutes a realignment in voting behavior, and whether Obama has emerged with a mandate.
This analysis is consistent with Epic Journey. The destination was obvious far in advance: the intriguing part was the journey itself.