On the left, you can see the deliberate mobilization of several key groups over the last few months:
Women - Remember the birth control debate in the early Spring? Rush Limbaugh calling Sandra Fluke a slut because she supported mandating insurance coverage of birth control? Granted, Republicans walked right into this one. But that's just who they are. They say crazy stuff so frequently, you can take your pick of which outrage to organize against. And sure enough, Democrats used the moment to mobilize support and remind women that Republicans want to dial back gender equality to at least the 1950s. It wasn't long before the polls started to confirm Obama's big advantage over Romney with women voters.
LGBT Community - Obama's endorsement of gay marriage may have been the single biggest thing he could have done to energize LGBT activists before the election. On some level, it had to be a calculated decision by the White House: energize our supporters at the cost of energizing our opponents. The difference was that the ardent opponents of gay marriage were already excited to vote against Obama, whereas many of the supporters were growing disillusioned with the president. This was a big net win for Democrats. Add to that the repeal of DADT, and this election has become a stark choice for LGBT activists.
Latinos - Obama's new policy halting deportation of undocumented young people who were brought to America before they were 16 comes with perfect political timing. He's right when he says it's the right thing to do period, but it's also the right thing to do when you're trying to ride the country's shifting demographics to reelection. Romney and the Republicans have no answer for this. They can't appeal to Latino voters without depressing the racist core of the GOP, the source of much of their grassroots energy.
In a follow-up post, I will talk about why it's more challenging in 2012 than in past elections for the Republicans to fire up their own base. For now, check out this graphic that has been making the rounds in conservative circles on Facebook: