Thursday, November 08, 2012
Why Romney Lost
There is no point in writing a post telling you why Romney lost because I've already spent an entire year telling you why Romney would lose. And he lost for the exact reasons I already have posted.
November 18, 2011 - Why Mitt Can't Win
February 19, 2012 - Mitt Romney Can't Win
July 18, 2012 - Dear Mr Romney
September 18, 2012 - NOT BREAKING NEWS: Mitt Romney Can't Win
September 28, 2012 - Why Mitt Romney Must Win and Why Mitt Romney Will Lose
November 1, 2012 - Obama is a Lock for an Eight Year failed Presidency
But there are a couple of new points I can add.
My first point is that President Obama waged a brilliant campaign. Many now say his 2012 campaign will be studied for years to come. He had everything working against him from high unemployment to exploding national debt to a Watergate caliber scandal (Benghazi) that would have easily sunk any other President.
But he ran a text book campaign including the key act of defining the opponent in May and June before the opponent has a chance to define himself. Romney was quickly defined as an elitist, out of touch, business CEO, a multi-millionaire who genuinely had no regard at all for the lower classes.
Meanwhile Romney also ran a textbook campaign: but his was the textbook about how to lose! Romney never responded to a single attack in a timely manner. After playing four quarters of defense, he then tried to run out the clock.
My second point comes from a genuinely great analysis of voter turnout in Real Clear Politics today: The Case of the Missing White Voters by Sean Trende. Trende points out that minority turnout equaled Obama's first election in 2008. It had been expected minority turnout would drop. What did drop and drop dramatically was white middle class turnout. Had Mitt Romney simply got the votes John McCain and Sarah Palin got in 2008, he would have won.
Obama's ground game was superb. He got his vote out. And by successfully turning off the middle class voters with his negative defining of Mitt Romney, potential Romney voters stayed home.
Romney's ground game was, well, pathetic. He counted on "enthusiasm" instead of a real get-out-the-vote effort. The Republican Party is also largely to blame. There are real lessons to be learned here.
But there is also a lesson about enthusiasm. Romney never got people excited. And he failed to use the single most powerful weapon in his (potential) arsenal, Sarah Palin, until it was too late.
Palin should have been the keynote speaker at the convention. Certainly not the traitor Chris Christie, who gave a lackluster speech that was all about Chris Christie. And Palin should have been on the road.
To her credit Sarah Palin was on Romney's side to the very end and, when finally asked, recorded robo-calls for Romney. It was way too little, way too late.
But that's not Romney's style. In fact, Romney has no style. Therein lies the entire problem.