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Arithmetic, percentages made all the difference in 2012

Let me finish tonight with this. Here's a Hardball takeaway.

Let me finish tonight with this. Here's a Hardball takeaway.

Think about the role played this past election year by percentages. Remember 1%. That was the battle cry of the Occupy movement. The tents may be gone but that 1%, that focus on the very top of this country's economic pile, had a lot of influence.  Somehow it persuaded a lot of voters that fairness was a matter for debate, a decider of how you should vote.

Here's another one : 8%. If Obama hadn't got the unemployment down below that number—it was down to 7.7% in November—he would have had a far harder time winning last month. I believe I said early in this campaign that if it was under 8, Obama would become the favorite; if not, he would lose. Imagine if that number, which is still headed down, had been spiking in the other direction?

Finally, the most important percentage: 47%.

To his credit, Mitt Romney took total responsibility for his mal-adroit reference to the people he had given up on politically—the people who depended on government help, the people who refused to carry the burden they should.

In the end, too many people felt like they belonged in the 47 % in Romney's eyes and couldn't bring themselves to make that man their leader.