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In 2012 Barack Obama was easily reelected over Mitt Romney, who was running on a more extreme right-wing platform than any Republican since the Barry Goldwater debacle of 1964. Democrats strengthened their hold over the Senate and would have gained a majority in the House of Representatives were it not for the ruthless gerrymandering engineered by Republican-controlled states. The Democratic triumph was widely seen as signalling much more than a mere partisan victory. Republicans have been thrown into a tailspin of self-doubt and internal bickering, and a few have even been driven to a crisis of conscience.

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