The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

How Romney Lost America

Posted on | December 23, 2012 | 17 Comments

AOSHQ co-blogger Drew M on Twitter recommended this Boston Globe retrospective on the Romney campaign as thoroughly depressing:

It was two weeks before Election Day when Mitt Romney’s political ­director signed a memo that all but ridiculed the notion that the Republican presidential nominee, with his “better ground game,” could lose the key state of Ohio or the election. The race is “unmistakably moving in Mitt Romney’s direction,” the memo said.
But the claims proved wildly off the mark, a fact embarrassingly underscored when the high-tech voter turnout system that Romney himself called “state of the art” crashed at the worst moment, on Election Day.
To this day, Romney’s aides wonder how it all went so wrong. . . .

Read the whole thing. I’m sticking with my own Election Night analysis: “Doomed Beyond All Hope of Redemption.”


17 Responses to “How Romney Lost America”

  1. gjoubert
    December 23rd, 2012 @ 4:42 pm

    I say your analysis is on the money, as far as it goes. This is now the era of what Rush Limbaugh calls “the low information voter.” It remains to be seen whether this is something unique to Obama, i.e., Obama’s unique ability to turn out these voters, or if this is a permanent shift among the electorate.

    But there’s another huge factor in Romney’s defeat. Remember back during the primaries all those conservatives who wrote or said, “If Romney is the candidate, I won’t vote”? Well, a lot of them didn’t. Which underscores a major fissure in the support of Republican candidates: tea party conservatives won’t support moderate Republicans, and moderate Republicans won’t support tea party conservatives. You need both to win.

  2. K-Bob
    December 23rd, 2012 @ 5:31 pm

    Why has everyone deemed the vote fraud some sort of third rail? We had reports all freaking day of “record Republican turnout”. Somehow between those reports and the results, the numbers went far below “record turnout.”

    But nobody wants to go there. You might as well be bringing up some tabloid accusation of coke use in the White House. Instead, we keep reading about the stupid ORCA system failing.

    Have any of you ever been called on election day? I sure as hell haven’t and I’ve been around long enough that it would be statistically unlikely, if GOTV efforts were all that these “analysts” claim. I’ve lived in several places, and voted in several places, and I’ve never seen any GOTV “precinct captains”. Only Poll workers and voters, and the people past the 100 foot line asking for your vote.

    I’m willing to believe ORCA may have played a role, but it was not as important as that missing number of “record” voters. The fraud level is being treated like the Sun is treated by man-caused global warming advocates.

    If Breitbart were alive, someone would be on it.

  3. K-Bob
    December 23rd, 2012 @ 5:39 pm

    I think the refuse-to-vote conservative is a myth. Ralph Reed reported record volunteer activism by evangelicals. Door-to-door efforts like we’ve never seen. And Ron Paul stayed out of it, once Romney got the nomination. So the Ronulans weren’t making noise about voting against Romney, and weren’t
    t burning the blogs trying to stop Romney. (We did see a bunch of them right after the convention, then they mostly went silent).

    Many hard-core conservatives got on board to try and save the country from Obama. Many libertarians voted for Romney, even though they wanted their party to gain percentage-wise at the polls.

    Anyone who was awake in any way knew the 2012 election was the most important one since Lincoln.

    So unless conservatives are as stupid as the liberals like to believe, I seriously doubt any stayed home in large enough numbers to affect the outcome.

  4. gjoubert
    December 23rd, 2012 @ 6:58 pm

    The overall margin. It seems the corollary to “If it’s not close they can’t steal it” is “If it’s not close you can’t accuse the other side of stealing it.” Bad form and you look like a sore loser (think Al Gore, but without a sympathetic media).

    None of which is to say massive vote fraud didn’t occur.

  5. K-Bob
    December 23rd, 2012 @ 10:18 pm

    Well, that’s true between and among the parties. They have some sort of rule about it. But vote fraud won’t go away if it’s ignored.

  6. Adjoran
    December 23rd, 2012 @ 10:40 pm

    Heh. First, show me ONE campaign spokesmodel who EVER was anything but optimistic about the candidate’s chances four days before the election, and I will read the rest of the crap. But even if the writer had a thousand points to make, the fact he opens with this nonsense tells me he is either just an idiot or an atrocious writer.

    Life is too short to waste time on the like. The recommendation from DrewM, a Gingrich butt-licker, was a big red flag.

  7. Becca Lower
    December 23rd, 2012 @ 11:53 pm

    Well, I don’t know if it’s depressing… but seeing the full article was something. HuffPo chose to share just the part with Tagg Romney, slicing and dicing in order to press hard on the “Mitt didn’t have the ‘fire in the belly'” angle. Whatever.

  8. Eric Ashley
    December 24th, 2012 @ 1:01 am

    Don’t know. I didn’t vote for Romney.

    And you don’t need the RINOs. Sure their support is nice, but what you HAVE to have is the support of the Conservative Base.

  9. Romney Had No Desire To Run For President | The Tree of Mamre
    December 24th, 2012 @ 1:55 am

    […] How Romney Lost America […]

  10. Andrew Orlovsky
    December 24th, 2012 @ 7:44 am

    I would add that many Conservatives seem to actually believe the liberal stereotype about Conservatives being “poor, uneducated hicks” and assume we had poor rural voters in the bag. Its true that few rural whites voted for Obama, but most of them stayed home election day because the Republicans didn’t have much to offer them either. We have to realize the “religious right” is mostly made up of college educated voters with good jobs and poor whites are actually very non-religious. We just can’t assume they will vote Republican due to social issues.

  11. Fritz Katz
    December 24th, 2012 @ 9:41 am

    I worked for the Romney campaign here in Florida. I spent dozens of hours walking precincts and hundreds of hours on the phone talking to voters.

    It won’t surprise you to learn that in Florida the Romney campaign hired the most feckless advisers possible. It’s almost as though they WANTED TO LOSE. I got the impression they WANTED TO PISS MILLIONS OF DOLLARS down a toilet. If you want to find out the best way to lose a campaign it’s best to hire professional losers: Charlie Crist’s campaign staff.

    Here’s my tin-foil hat conspiracy theory: the campaign staff was in league with the Obama campaign. Perhaps not a far-fetched as it sounds. In August, Charlie Crist endorsed Obama. Could Charlie Crist’s campaign staff share the political leanings of their former employer?

    As thousands of Romney volunteers walked various precincts they often encountered homes where nobody was at home — especially if it was during a weekday when most people were at work. We were instructed NOT to leave a door-hanger with campaign literature. I was very miffed and complained. “Why spend 40 cents (times millions) to send a mailer which ends up in the trash, when you’ve got thousands of volunteers going door-to-door that can deliver it for free?” (Actually ‘miffed’ is probably an understatement — you probably have no idea how hot and muggy it is walking through Florida neighbourhoods in June, July, Aug., Sept… Maybe ‘livid’ is a better word).

    The campaign staff told me there was a method to the madness. “Besides, door-hangers often end up in the trash too”. So why are we walking precincts in the first place?

    We were told that our purpose was to interview the ones at home and put an oval indicating voter preference on our walking logs. The sheets were collected and Fed-Ex’d to Tallahassee where they were scanned into a computer running the “ORCA” program. This computer program was supposed to magically get out the vote on November 6th.

    The ORCA program was not a killer whale, ORCA was a beached whale.

  12. Charles
    December 24th, 2012 @ 10:52 am

    Or maybe the country just wasn’t ready to trust the Republican Party again with the whole show.

  13. K-Bob
    December 24th, 2012 @ 1:59 pm

    That’s for sure. I can attest to the fact that poor rural folks are major food stamp and welfare users (which is also why so very many are meth heads). Obama voters, to a tee.

    But the rural miners and steelworkers were all voting against Obama this time, because he was killing their industries. That made rural whites a tossup.

    But 1) Record Republican Turnout that evaporated in the results; 2) Huge numbers of independents voting Romney; 3) More evangelicals voted Romney than voted for McCain; 4) lower gender gap than with previous two Republican races.

    And yet Romney lost. The numbers don’t add up. Either the reports of record turnout were outrageous lies, or there was massive fraud that moved it from a solid Romney win to a squeaker for Obama.

  14. AngelaTC
    December 24th, 2012 @ 5:05 pm

    I think that the mantra is supposed to be “run like your 25 points behind,” which isn’t what Romney did. I honestly believe he felt it was his turn, and that he would win just for that reason alone.

  15. AngelaTC
    December 24th, 2012 @ 5:07 pm

    I don’t know a single libertarian that voted for Romney.

    And McCain had more votes than Romney, so apparently somebody stayed home.

  16. K-Bob
    December 24th, 2012 @ 6:22 pm

    I do. And you can’t have “record republican turnout” simultaneously with McCain getting more votes. Besides, the later counts showed Romney DID get more votes than McCain. Somehow votes were erased.

  17. Quartermaster
    December 24th, 2012 @ 6:37 pm

    I think there was plenty of evidence of fraud, but the GOP establishment just doesn’t want to face it.