A few thoughts on the end of the campaign — and the beginning of a big challenge

posted at 8:01 am on November 7, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

In the final couple of weeks of the presidential campaign, we had a big debate over the nature of the American electorate, played out through polling criticism on both sides of the political divide. This came down to fundamental assumptions about which election cycle proved to be a realignment, and which turned out to be the anomaly.  Many conservatives — myself among them, to be sure — operated on the assumption that the 2008 election had been the anomaly, driven by the fiscal crisis, and corrected in the 2010 midterm elections.  The Left assumed that the fiscal crisis in 2008 had realigned the electorate toward greater government interventionism, and that the 2010 cycle was the anomaly, driven by a partisan fight over health care and the lack of a presidential contender at the top of the ticket.

Clearly, conservatives lost that argument last night, at least in large part, as John Ziegler wrote in the immediate aftermath.  That was borne out by the final calculation in the exit polling as well as the vote itself.  The partisan split in the electorate was 38/32/29, nearly identical to 2008.  We argued that Barack Obama and Democrats couldn’t win a base turnout election again, but they did, as evidenced by Mitt Romney’s five-point win among independents, 50/45.  Romney even lowered the gender gap from an Obama +14 in 2008 to Obama +4 in 2012, but that clearly wasn’t enough to overcome what now looks to be a significant realignment four years ago towards Democrats and not an anomaly.

This time, Republicans can’t blame the candidate, or at least they shouldn’t.  Mitt Romney ran one of the most well-organized national campaigns in recent memory within the GOP.  He raised prodigious amounts of cash, keeping pace with Obama.  The RNC followed suit, building a massive and impressive GOTV effort that really did produce a big increase in turnout — but not enough to match what Democrats did in this cycle.  Republicans blamed John McCain in 2008 and even George Bush for the bailouts, but those fig leaves are gone, and the realignment is too apparent to ignore.

That reality presents a challenge to the GOP and to conservatives.  We do not need to change our values, but we do need to find ways to communicate them in an engaging and welcoming manner.  We need to think creatively about big issues, philosophy, and how we can relate conservative values to the needs of a wider range of voters.  Conservatism cannot become constrictionism, or the realignment will continue, and it will become ever more difficult to win national elections.

This will require a new set of national leaders for the Republican Party and conservatism.  We need men and women who can think creatively, produce a positive agenda that isn’t defined by an oppositional nature, and who can eloquently communicate that agenda and the values that drive it.  That should be our focus over the next two years before we start thinking about who to nominate as the party’s presidential nominee — and if done properly, that process will naturally produce the right leader for conservatism.  And if that is done properly, too, perhaps we’ll be in position for another realignment four years from now.

Update: Some readers feel I owe them an apology for “misleading” them about polling over the last few months.  I kind of assumed that this post served as a mea culpa for getting it wrong by explaining why it happened.  Very obviously, I misread the shift in the electorate.  I wasn’t the only one who did so, but I did, and I do apologize for getting it wrong.  However, I didn’t set out to mislead anyone.  What I wrote was my honest opinion about how the polls were based on assumptions of the electorate with which I disagreed — and I’ll note that I linked to the source data every time, and that readers were certainly free to draw their own conclusions.

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Ah, Ed leaves Romney off the hook. What’s the surprise? Can’t believe that they are still rehashing the same memes that they tried since 2008 and which well fell flat yesterday. There’s been no realignment. Romney caused half the base to sit home. Simple as that.

promachus on November 7, 2012 at 8:22 AM

Isn’t the real alignment we need to figure out how to fix in the press?????? No matter how many billions we spend in advertising, we can’t compete with the free spin from the NY crowd…

dpeters8 on November 7, 2012 at 8:11 AM

There is the real problem. The media monopoly that allowed the voters to go to the polls without learning about Benghazi.

You can’t get to low information voters without the MSM.

Conan on November 7, 2012 at 8:23 AM

Maybe they’ll abort themselves out of existence .

Lucano on November 7, 2012 at 8:23 AM

This is bad, folks. Very bad. Everything the pollsters were saying about turnout models was right, and everything we said about them was wrong.

KingGold on November 7, 2012 at 8:11 AM

What’s the over/under until the Unskewed Polls site vanishes down the memory hole? Conservative media really has to reassess itself after this, because our own media outlets got the polls and the race utterly wrong.

AngusMc on November 7, 2012 at 8:23 AM

You wanna win again?

Stop the fraud. Early voting, absentee voting, preventing the military from voting, all kinds of goings on in liberal polling areas, no ID required … I have no doubt hundreds of thousands of votes were not legitimate.

darwin on November 7, 2012 at 8:23 AM

This will require a new set of national leaders for the Republican Party and conservatism. We need men and women who can think creatively, produce a positive agenda that isn’t defined by an oppositional nature, and who can eloquently communicate that agenda and the values that drive it. That should be our focus over the next two years before we start thinking about who to nominate as the party’s presidential nominee — and if done properly, that process will naturally produce the right leader for conservatism. And if that is done properly, too, perhaps we’ll be in position for another realignment four years from now.

LOL. And if one comes along again, you’ll be right there to attack him.

Dante on November 7, 2012 at 8:23 AM

It’s all about who counts the votes.

bgibbs1000 on November 7, 2012 at 8:23 AM

Obama going negative and deceptive with the ads while courting the moron vote through the entertainment media was effective. Between the news and entertainment media working for the progressives and the demographic shift toward more selfish morons, the future doesn’t look bright. There’s no time left anyway. We’re going to crash.

forest on November 7, 2012 at 8:23 AM

The map has changed. Blaming the candidate is a distraction.

BadgerHawk on November 7, 2012 at 8:22 AM

A starker contrast would have helped.

CW on November 7, 2012 at 8:23 AM

“There are no easy answers, but there are simple ones ”

Do to them, what they have done to you .

EnglishRogue on November 7, 2012 at 8:23 AM

This morning, maybe we are all Texans.

gordo on November 7, 2012 at 8:21 AM

I too am proud to be a Texan . . . God Bless Texas.

rplat on November 7, 2012 at 8:24 AM

At the end of the day, Romney came off as a provincial self-sufficient Mormon, we saw this during the trip to Britain…

Pest on November 7, 2012 at 8:24 AM

This is bad, folks. Very bad. Everything the pollsters were saying about turnout models was right, and everything we said about them was wrong.

KingGold on November 7, 2012 at 8:11 AM

+1. Think for a minute about how flabbergasted we were that the nation could not see through this in 2008 when Obama was first elected. We were caught off gaurd. It was almost literally unbelievable. Even with the “historic” nature of it, how could that platform win?

Now, with the last four years as a reference and backdrop and we do almost the exact same thing again. The fact that America chose to reelect Barack Obama is much, much worse than the fact that we elected him in 2008. No excuse whatsoever. No mitigating circumstances, no silver lining, nothing to build on, nothing.

“this is bad folks. very bad.”

levi on November 7, 2012 at 8:24 AM

We also need to recognize the role a non-critical media plays. The MSM has actively supported this administration by not highlighting Fast &Furious, The Benghazi scandal, the debt crisis, the true unmployment rates..(and many more.) We’ve all said it before but it remains true, If any of these things would have happened under a Republican administration the cries would be deafening.

DouBLe Two on November 7, 2012 at 8:24 AM

So I can quit my second job?
Oh wait…
Individual Mandate..2014.
Nope.

The war on the middle class continues.

Electrongod on November 7, 2012 at 8:24 AM

Everyone, stop blaming fraud. This was way outside the margin of fraud.

If you keep blaming fraud, I guaran-damn-tee you we’ll lose over and over again.

KingGold on November 7, 2012 at 8:24 AM

DEMOGRAPHY IS DESTINY.

We have to face it.

MITT was an excellent candidate for an election 20 years ago.

We must stop being a party of white guys.(we have some minorities but not many).

to win we have to be fiscal conservatives and SOCIAL LIBERALS.

if we want to continue fighting against abortion and gay marriage we will loosing more elections.Whether we like it or not the parts of the country that determine elections want it.

my opinion is that the republican party is finished. i will continue to vote republican but see no way we will recover.

it’s one thing to primary middle of the road senators but if you do so you better win in the main election.

gerry-mittbot-loser

gerrym51 on November 7, 2012 at 8:24 AM

A majority of Americans just gave my years of Cold War service a big FU. Kruschev is laughing his heiny off. It’s time to go Galt. I won’t live as a slave to anyone – not even a government elected by half the country.

For those of you who have always wondered how an entire country could end up following Hitler or Lenin – you’ve just seen it.

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.”

GWB on November 7, 2012 at 8:24 AM

Well, we will be able or do all that, Ed, against what is most assuredly going to be a backdrop of the total and complete economic disaster that develops between now and 2014-2016.

FerdtheMoonCat on November 7, 2012 at 8:24 AM

Ed — you, AP, Erika, and the rest of the HA gang did a yeoman’s job during this seemingly endless election cycle. Your posts have been intelligent, insightful, informative, and funny. I love the (usually) family-friendliness of the site, as well as its delicious snarkiness. I’m deeply saddened for our country, but I look forward to having HA alongside as we begin four more years of suffering through the reign of the Narcissist Amateur in Chief.

KS Rex on November 7, 2012 at 8:25 AM

This false caricature of conservatives is sadly reinforced in our schools and everywhere in popular culture.

bluegill on November 7, 2012 at 8:11 AM

Youtube and Facebook really hurt conservatives. It wasn’t just Akin, many, many, MANY GOP candidates said *insane* things about women and undocumented immigrants this election cycle. The fact that no one blinked an eye on the right when Romney said “self-deportation” tells a lot of the story.

libfreeordie on November 7, 2012 at 8:25 AM

I too am proud to be a Texan . . . God Bless Texas.

rplat on November 7, 2012 at 8:24 AM

Texas will soon be a liberal bastion when the Hispanic population becomes dominant, a second California, don’t really know what you’re proud of…

Pest on November 7, 2012 at 8:25 AM

The only way a conservative party can win is when the left drives this country into the ground.

How do we compete with interest groups? Blacks, hispanics, women, unions, government workers and those that rely on the government for health care and monthly income all vote for their own special interest.

What do we have? Evangelicals? Nah, can’t vote for a Mormon. Catholics. Nah, 70% are liberal anbd don’t actually follow the Church’s teachings. Heck, even the church doesn’t follow it’s own teachings. Small business, large business, what????

It’s every man for himself so how can we take advantage of the gullible, selfish, people out there?

Vince on November 7, 2012 at 8:25 AM

It’s Bush’s fault.

wi farmgirl on November 7, 2012 at 8:25 AM

I don’t think there’s any way to convince some of these people. I believe all we can do is wait till the now inevitable collapse and be there to offer an alternative when it occurs.

Iran is going to get a nuke.
The Insurance System will collapse.
The debt will continue to explode.
The military will become ineffective and more and more leftist.
Serious Inflation is headed our way.
California and a few other states are headed for total collapse.
Welfare, Medicare, and Social Security are all headed for collapse. What happens when people who are dependent on those programs no longer have them?

There’s a train headed for America and the country just voted to stay on the tracks. I think we’re going to have to be hit by that train before we begin to change.

Kronos on November 7, 2012 at 8:26 AM

Good luck in having something left 4 years from now that is worth fighting for. Sure the talking heads we tell us how long it is before the next election and what we need to do to win. Wake up and realize that in 4 years we will be the leader of the third world. President for life is right around the corner and we are the new Cuba.Prepare for hardship and defend yourself. God Bless.

RickinNH on November 7, 2012 at 8:26 AM

Those who vote with their stomachs and genitalia will not change their minds until the government cheese factory runs out of milk, and the local Planned Parenthood is out of rubbers. We cannot win these people, and they blame us for their problems. We need to give them real problems to worry about instead of chasing phantoms like us.

Sekhmet on November 7, 2012 at 8:26 AM

The Republican party will move further to the left, not the right. This is what they have done for 50 years. Conservatives need another party. People voted for free stuff, free money and Obamaphone yesterday. The American demographic is changing fast, and we are on the road to perdition. Once we make all the illegal aliens here citizens, the GOP will become as relevant as the Whigs. When you have a choice between a Democrat and a Democrat, people are going to vote for the Democrat.

simkeith on November 7, 2012 at 8:26 AM

, you’ll be right there to attack him.

Dante on November 7, 2012 at 8:23 AM

Who is you?

Stop the fraud. Early voting, absentee voting, preventing the military from voting, all kinds of goings on in liberal polling areas, no ID required … I have no doubt hundreds of thousands of votes were not legitimate.

darwin on November 7, 2012 at 8:23 AM

At the early voting location in central Ohio they did not require ID …does anyone know why?

This is the location where van loads of Somali immigrants and others were brought in.

CW on November 7, 2012 at 8:26 AM

We nominated another moderate and we lost. You can’t fight nice because you will always lose. Mitt had every opportunity to beat Barry over the head with any number of things and he passed on it every time. If Republicans can’t win in this environment I don’t know how they ever can.
If a conservative party ever comes to fruition I will be among the first members.

Big Orange on November 7, 2012 at 8:26 AM

There comes a point when you have to face the music. What we have put forth – individual responsibility, respect for life, lower taxes, smaller government, a strong defense, upholding the Constitution — just got kicked in the nuts by a president who is clearly the most incompetent person ever to hold that seat. Why? It’s not that the message isn’t a good one or wasn’t in the main, made well. It’s that the majority of American no longer believe in it or never believed in it in the first place.

The America of our founding fathers has been dying for a long time. It’s officially dead now. You don’t come back from dead.

natasha333 on November 7, 2012 at 8:26 AM

I have to fire 30 people this morning. Merry Christmas!

JohnBrown on November 7, 2012 at 8:26 AM

The Republican Party needs to be more inclusive and welcoming. You can not have issues with minorities, gays and single parents and expect them to vote for you and win elections.

Face planted directly onto counter top.

Mekei on November 7, 2012 at 8:26 AM

mittens is an unrepentant liar with no principles and no conservatism to speak of and the gop deserves this for dissing sarah palin….karma rukes

Pragmatic on November 7, 2012 at 8:26 AM

I can’t wait to get my annual check up at the DMV!

Can’t. Wait!!!!!

/I just hope those large women with the gold teeth are gentle with me

Key West Reader on November 7, 2012 at 8:26 AM

A starker contrast would have helped.

CW on November 7, 2012 at 8:23 AM

No, it wouldn’t have. The contrast was stark enough to make the difference.

This country is changing. And we had better step it up and apply our beliefs to the changing times or we’re going to get destroyed over and over again.

Holding a gerrymandered House is not enough.

KingGold on November 7, 2012 at 8:26 AM

1. Chris Christie is a disgusting RINO who should never be spoken of again.

2. GOTV and early voting matters. A lot.

3. Libertarian Party voters; you’ve now advanced statism more than

almost anyone in the history of this country. Hope you’re happy.

4. The.MSM will say and do anything to elect Dems. And get away with it.

5. Running a clean campaign on the issues does not work if you’re a Republican.

6. The Establishment GOP/Moderates are now 0 for 5 (3 lost.elections; 2 failed progressive presidencies). Enough. Never again.

Norwegian

Agree with everything except 6. Anyone else would have been further out of contention earlier. His biggest mistake may have been to save the money til the end instead of spending it early. Though part of that was the crap rules that said what he raised with the RNC could not be spent til after the nomination (though future RNC’s need to be moved up).

Zaggs on November 7, 2012 at 8:27 AM

karma RULES!

Pragmatic on November 7, 2012 at 8:27 AM

Really Ed? So 2010 was a complete success of GOP values?

The fact of the matter is that the black population voted en masse (they didn’t in 2010 because their guy wasn’t running)

The dems run a white candidate again in 2016 and you’re going to see vastly different numbers.

The real game plan now is to hold the fort for 2014 so the Dems can’t gain control of all 3 houses again.

Sure, we lost for completely stupid reasons last night… but the fact of the matter is that we’re in a much stronger position today than we were in 2008. The brakes towards socialism are still on.

I wanna know what the GOP’s plan B is for that…

Skywise on November 7, 2012 at 8:27 AM

Obama won middle and working class voters. According to exit polls Obama won all the voters who make under 60,000 a year. The Reagan Democrat is no more.

libfreeordie on November 7, 2012 at 8:18 AM

Terrific. Who’s suffered the most under Obama’s 1st term? The middle class. Who’ll continue to suffer over the next 4 years? Those same middle class voters. But hey, at least they’ll get free birth control pills and rubbers(assuming they still have insurance).

Doughboy on November 7, 2012 at 8:28 AM

TO be honest, I didn’t see this coming. I never thought Obama, with his record, snarkiness, and inexperience could pull enough votes to win. Now that he did, he has to figure out how to govern because, “we won” isn’t going to do it this time.

bflat879 on November 7, 2012 at 8:28 AM

The Republican Party needs to be more inclusive and welcoming. You can not have issues with minorities, gays and single parents and expect them to vote for you and win elections. As a single mother never having been married I did vote a straight R ticket yesterday in PA, but I need the GOP to change path to stay an active Republican. I can’t defend comments about rape and abortion being illegal even when it risks the life of the mother. I believe in marriage equality. I don’t expect the party to adopt my beliefs, but I want to feel welcome within the party.

This loss wasn’t about Romney, it was about the Republican brand.

LawnGnomeFanFirst on November 7, 2012 at 8:10 AM

You said you voted in PA, not MO or IN. Not when Mourdock or Akin was your choice. For those who made statements that were in no way adopted by the “brand”. So, you’re simply making it clear that you apply Democratic line of BS. Economic performance doesn’t matter, historically low employment participation doesn’t matter, no what matters is whether or not we can force the Catholic church to pay for free contraception.

See, these are clear distinctions that can and should be made. I’m not part of the GOP, so you’re as free to feel welcome there as you want to be. But, your ability to follow along with opposition chaff make your membership there about as useless there as your vote is to me.

Axeman on November 7, 2012 at 8:28 AM

Texas will soon be a liberal bastion when the Hispanic population becomes dominant, a second California, don’t really know what you’re proud of…

Pest on November 7, 2012 at 8:25 AM

Well it’s not yet and until it is I remain proud. It’s difficult to have pride in anything anymore so I hang onto the few things I still have.

rplat on November 7, 2012 at 8:28 AM

I don’t think there’s any way to convince some of these people. I believe all we can do is wait till the now inevitable collapse and be there to offer an alternative when it occurs.

Iran is going to get a nuke.
The Insurance System will collapse.
The debt will continue to explode.
The military will become ineffective and more and more leftist.
Serious Inflation is headed our way.
California and a few other states are headed for total collapse.
Welfare, Medicare, and Social Security are all headed for collapse. What happens when people who are dependent on those programs no longer have them?

There’s a train headed for America and the country just voted to stay on the tracks. I think we’re going to have to be hit by that train before we begin to change.

Kronos on November 7, 2012 at 8:26 AM

And the Libfreeordies cry : “Victory”.

Pathetic.

CW on November 7, 2012 at 8:28 AM

Bollocks, Ed. Realignments require Big Men leading Great Causes. Obama had none of that.

This wasn’t 1936 at all. Obama’s total cratered from 69 million down to 54 million.

What is distinct, however, is the Romney campaigns LOSS of six million McCain Palin voters. They stayed home.

The Establishment told the rank and file to get in line, and some stayed on the couch.

The GOP is led by men in clown shoes. Time for a blood purge.

victor82 on November 7, 2012 at 8:28 AM

I am going to laugh my azz off at every Obama voter who loses their job and or their home in the next four years. Phukk ‘em.

Sure, I’m going down with them, but at least I didn’t vote for my own economic destruction.

MidniteRambler on November 7, 2012 at 8:28 AM

This election win wasn’t due to one big thing. It was a lot of little things. My fear is the GOP won’t do the major introspective work that you suggest and find the right persons to articulate the conservative agenda going forward, but they will engage in the circular firing squad, move farther to the left and hope they still get invited to all the DC parties.

It is readily apparent to me that the majority of the electorate are, the very low information voters, we have been mocking here on HA the last several weeks. It is also now crystal clear after watching Frank Lunz’s focus groups on FNC, there is no such thing as an undecided voter, they are low information voters, socially liberal and fiscally moderate. Which equals a Democrat.

I have more thoughts but I will hold my tongue until I can temper myself.

Sweaty Deacon on November 7, 2012 at 8:29 AM

KingGold on November 7, 2012 at 8:24 AM

You got the candidate you wanted. So you need to explain why you and your dream candidate lost.

promachus on November 7, 2012 at 8:29 AM

We’re going to crash.

forest on November 7, 2012 at 8:23 AM

In 4 years the people might figure out what they have done to themselves but when you live in a country that the media and democrats can just say it is Bush/Republicans fault you can’t even rely on that to change people’s minds.

I am of the opinion that the country is toast. I will always have hope but I am not going to punish myself with the ignorance of this country. I and my wife deserve better lives than that and at least some peace of mind behind closed doors away from the morons in this country who have no idea what socialism is going to bring everyone. I will be too busy trying to survive in this collapsed economy to try and “educate” the dumbed down masses.

Conan on November 7, 2012 at 8:29 AM

Good bye to THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1776-2012.. RIP. I have already called my grand kids and apologized to them. I am unable to give them as good an opportunity and country as I got from my parents. Welcome to The United Socialist States of America 2012-????. I would like to apologize to the rest of the kids in this country as well. I guess we really were the ME generation NOT THE BABY BOOMERS!

pwb on November 7, 2012 at 8:29 AM

Sweaty Deacon on November 7, 2012 at 8:29 AM

The only low information voters seem to Romney shills and his campaign managers. The fact that you’d still blame this on “low information voters” shows the problem. That is you.

promachus on November 7, 2012 at 8:30 AM

Stop the fraud. Early voting, absentee voting, preventing the military from voting, all kinds of goings on in liberal polling areas, no ID required … I have no doubt hundreds of thousands of votes were not legitimate.

darwin on November 7, 2012 at 8:23 AM

Right on. Add in term limits and a citizen agency of some sort to prosecute criminal politicians.

We’ve just been enslaved by the dumbest people in our society, and they were assisted by a political class who are not accountable.

Bishop on November 7, 2012 at 8:30 AM

There are a lot of things that need fixing and one of them is when we nominate and start to campaign. With early voting trending to the norm Romney just about got his campaign started when people were starting to vote. Obama had a year’s head start!

oldernwiser on November 7, 2012 at 8:31 AM

If, and I said if, the GOP has a chance to retake the White House the country, we need to retake the media and education industry back from the Gramscian Marxists who took over academia and the press decades ago.

Or, as others have said, we can sit back and wait for the economy to implode under the dead weight of Obamanomics…but there may not be anything left to pick up after that happens, and it will happen.

MidniteRambler on November 7, 2012 at 8:31 AM

Youtube and Facebook really hurt conservatives. It wasn’t just Akin, many, many, MANY GOP candidates said *insane* things about women and undocumented illegal immigrants this election cycle.

libfreeordie on November 7, 2012 at 8:25 AM

Fixed it for ya, buddy .

EnglishRogue on November 7, 2012 at 8:31 AM

You wanna win again?

Stop the fraud. Early voting, absentee voting, preventing the military from voting, all kinds of goings on in liberal polling areas, no ID required … I have no doubt hundreds of thousands of votes were not legitimate.

darwin on November 7, 2012 at 8:23 AM

I believe that too. I also think our “prez elect” pulled an Al Fraken on the whole country last night. :(

kcd on November 7, 2012 at 8:31 AM

I think the problem is that people don’t know or care whether they have freedom as long as they have some stuff to keep them busy. They are taught from an early age that conservatives are evil and liberals are cool. They prefer symbolism over substance because it requires much less work.

Until reality happens.

DaydreamBeliever on November 7, 2012 at 8:31 AM

Again I expected that Romney was going to lose. And I didn’t subscribe to the “all polls are bs” theory being pushed as it was eerily reminiscent of 2008 when we are all also playing the “all polls are bs” game. Bottom line is this: The worst Republican candidate in modern history just lost to the worst president in modern history. I hope after the McCain/Romney disaster in subsequent elections the GOP will FINALLY wake the F up and stop nominating the “Next in Line” RINO.

Romney like McCain ran a horrible campaign, let’s face it. Calling Obama a “nice man” while Obama and his cronies are calling you a murderer, felon, crook, sexist, racist, is NOT going to win elections.

Another note: That fat POS RINO Christie cost us at least 3% in the final vote and possibility the election per the exit polls, close to 20% rated Obama’s response to Sandy as “the most important issue.” Never underestimate the stupidity of the American electorate as a whole.

Raquel Pinkbullet on November 7, 2012 at 8:31 AM

The reality is that we have passed the tipping point. The combination of low-information voters, young people who have been fed leftist ideology, and beneficiaries of government outnumbering benefactors has been marshaled to defeat freedom. We now face a decline, and don’t expect to be able to stop it. We are finished.

theosdad on November 7, 2012 at 8:31 AM

If you are a serious conservative who is serious about preserving liberty then you must start working your butt off to elect strong 10th Amendment conservatives to all state level offices so the process of seizing back state powers from the federal government can start.

Do you really want to get rid of Obamacare? Then elect a state government that is willing to refuse to comply with unconstitutional federal legislation.

The states created the federal government but they never agreed to become subservient to it.

Charlemagne on November 7, 2012 at 8:32 AM

Dont despair.

To those who think it is over, I urge you to reconsider.

We have a GOP House that, while imperfect, will be able to block a lot of Obama’s new agenda.

Valley Forge, b-tches. Valley Forge.

blatantblue on November 7, 2012 at 8:32 AM

Ayn Rand was right…

Onus on November 7, 2012 at 8:32 AM

A starker contrast would have helped.

CW on November 7, 2012 at 8:23 AM

No, it wouldn’t have. Romney ran an organized, competent campaign, picked a bold VP with big ideas, and had maybe the best televised debate performance in history.

The contrst was there. Anyone who wasn’t motivated by the last four years will not be motivated in the next four.

BadgerHawk on November 7, 2012 at 8:32 AM

I’m not quite sure why liberals support high unemployment, high food prices, high gas prices, health care rationing, increased welfare and food stamps, higher taxes, a weaker military and a more powerful centralized government.

I don’t get it. Liberals are either immensely stupid or committed socialists. There is no inbetween.

darwin on November 7, 2012 at 8:32 AM

There was a time when I believed that America could fight and defeat any enemy from without. Once Obama is finished with the military, that will no longer be true.

But what we found out yesterday, too, is that we can no longer fight the enemy from within.

natasha333 on November 7, 2012 at 8:32 AM

Does anyone have any extra ketchup for all our cannibalism?

eforhan on November 7, 2012 at 8:32 AM

Romney caused half the base to sit home. Simple as that.

promachus on November 7, 2012 at 8:22 AM

That half deserves all that will follow from their decision. The rest of us don’t.

unclesmrgol on November 7, 2012 at 8:33 AM

Sweaty Deacon on November 7, 2012 at 8:29 AM

You bring up the focus groups and what can we learn? We can learn that if placed in a room and told to listen to both sides the low information voters liked Romney or conservatism.

But that is not how the electorate works and they just go to knee jerk liberalism.

This doesn’t bode well for Ed’s communication idea. We just had a guy get re-elected with a disasterous 4 years of no real accomplishments and just promising more of the same. That spells country is toast to me.

Conan on November 7, 2012 at 8:33 AM

All I kept thinking last night was “Now what?”

Obama has no plan, nor did he pretend to have a plan to change anything to make this better.

Nothing..

I really beleived that this country had a silent majority that realized that you can’t give out free stuff to people and expect to continue to be powerful… I was wrong..

momof2 on November 7, 2012 at 8:33 AM

Raquel Pinkbullet on November 7, 2012 at 8:31 AM

Enough. Worst GOP candidate ever? You just don’t have a grip on reality

blatantblue on November 7, 2012 at 8:33 AM

You got the candidate you wanted. So you need to explain why you and your dream candidate lost.

promachus on November 7, 2012 at 8:29 AM

If you’re going to sit there and tell me that any of the other candidates in that giant clusterbluff of a primary would have outperformed Mitt Romney, I’m going to call you a delusional liar.

I’m not going to lie and say that Romney ran a perfect campaign. He didn’t. But he seriously sliced into Obama’s margins, losing by two million votes while McCain lost by ten. And yet that wasn’t enough.

Our problems are bigger than Romney, bigger than squishy moderates and True Conservatives.

KingGold on November 7, 2012 at 8:33 AM

Obama was re-elected and may have won basically every single battleground state.

The Democrats GAINED seats in the Senate.

The Democrats held there current numbers in the house and may GAIN seats there.

Marijuana is legalized by the voters of 2 States.

Gay marriage is legalized by the voters of 3 states so there goes the whole, “Every time it’s put up to a vote it loses”, line.

All this despite all the raucous ruckus made by conservatives and the republican party all the way through.

Face it, the message is too small. There aren’t enough people in the Republican base to play it just to them.

Fiscal conservatives/social liberals are the future of the republican party. If the Republicans had named someone FARTHER to the right than Mitt Romney, the end results would have been worse, not better folks, worse.

Boomer_Sooner on November 7, 2012 at 8:33 AM

Bottom line: DEM GOTV > GOP intensity.

Red Creek on November 7, 2012 at 8:33 AM

Do to them, what they have done to you .

EnglishRogue on November 7, 2012 at 8:23 AM

This! I am 62. I am going to belly up to the trough and get my social security check while I can and try to figure out a way to take advantage of the gullible voters out there.

Vince on November 7, 2012 at 8:33 AM

Dont despair.

To those who think it is over, I urge you to reconsider.
We have a GOP House that, while imperfect, will be able to block a lot of Obama’s new agenda.
Valley Forge, b-tches. Valley Forge.

blatantblue on November 7, 2012 at 8:32 AM

Thank you for talking sense! I like how you think.

bluegill on November 7, 2012 at 8:33 AM

it’s not just the media bias that is killing us, the progressives universities are do just as much damage.

allen west lost. americans just don’t want to hear the truth.

dbilly76 on November 7, 2012 at 8:34 AM

Umm.. why does everyone like Rubio? What has he done other than being Latino?

Illinidiva on November 7, 2012 at 8:34 AM

I have to fire 30 people this morning. Merry Christmas!

JohnBrown on November 7, 2012 at 8:26 AM

We’ll close shop December too… 8 people

Norwegian on November 7, 2012 at 8:34 AM

I and my wife deserve better lives than that and at least some peace of mind behind closed doors away from the morons in this country who have no idea what socialism is going to bring everyone. I will be too busy trying to survive in this collapsed economy to try and “educate” the dumbed down masses.

Conan on November 7, 2012 at 8:29 AM

Word. People I know well and that I consider friends who I engaged in spirited and polite debate were giddy this morning, one even left a comment on my wife’s FB page to rub it in.

I am thinking the same thing you are, if the rock solid laws of mathematics can’t sway you then my arguments can’t either. So they can deal with this on their own, and if they ever come to me again for assistance, which some have, the door will close.

Bishop on November 7, 2012 at 8:34 AM

We do not need to change our values, but we do need to find ways to communicate them in an engaging and welcoming manner. We need to think creatively about big issues, philosophy, and how we can relate conservative values to the needs of a wider range of voters.

Sorry, Ed, but you can’t do this. That “wider range” believes there is such a thing as a free lunch, or is racist/tribalist. You can’t convince them unless they see the collapse for themselves. And, I doubt many of them will believe it, even then. (Calling Andrew Suttaford, paging Mr Stuttaford…..)

produce a positive agenda that isn’t defined by an oppositional nature

Sorry, again, Ed. The basic fundamental philosophy – the worldview – of that portion of America is totally in opposition to mine. They want me to live as a slave to the government, and to give up my freedoms. No can do. “Oppositional” is the only possible response.

GWB on November 7, 2012 at 8:34 AM

” ..the horror…the HORROR!..”

SMACKRUNNER on November 7, 2012 at 8:34 AM

Ed, I don’t think we just lost the election last night. I think we lost the country.

Mitt Romney had a killer argument on the economy. He may not have been a sincere conservative but he ran on a conservative argument, he chose Paul Ryan — our very best salesman, as Allahpundit put it at the time — and he destroyed Obama in the first debate.

And it wasn’t enough.

I do not see how we recover from this. I hate to be such a pessimist and I hate to fuel the trolls but we have had four years of unmitigated failure and people turned out to re-elect Obama because he cobbled together a winning coalition of people he could essentially buy off.

The takers outnumber the makers now, and woe to us who believed that honest work and refusal to demonize success was still a part of the American zeitgeist.

Caiwyn on November 7, 2012 at 8:35 AM

n 4 years the people might figure out what they have done to themselves but when you live in a country that the media and democrats can just say it is Bush/Republicans fault you can’t even rely on that to change people’s minds.

I am of the opinion that the country is toast. I will always have hope but I am not going to punish myself with the ignorance of this country. I and my wife deserve better lives than that and at least some peace of mind behind closed doors away from the morons in this country who have no idea what socialism is going to bring everyone. I will be too busy trying to survive in this collapsed economy to try and “educate” the dumbed down masses.

Conan on November 7, 2012 at 8:29 AM

I doubt that 4 more years will result in any hange of attitudes within the liberal community. They are of a mind set equivalent to the “Eloi” in H.G. Wells, “The Time Machine.”

rplat on November 7, 2012 at 8:35 AM

TO be honest, I didn’t see this coming. I never thought Obama, with his record, snarkiness, and inexperience could pull enough votes to win. Now that he did, he has to figure out how to govern because, “we won” isn’t going to do it this time.

bflat879 on November 7, 2012 at 8:28 AM

Why does he have to figure how to govern? He didn’t bother doing that in his first term. He outsourced his major legislative proposals to Reid and Pelosi in his first two years and then after the 2010 midterms pretty much started running for reelection and threw the left a few bones through executive orders and flip-flops on issues like gay marriage.

He didn’t meet with his jobs council for nearly a year with an election approaching and the economy still in turmoil. He skipped more than half his security briefings with the Middle East on fire. He shut down the Keystone pipeline even as gas was approaching 4 bucks a gallon at the pump. And he was rewarded for this incompetence with 4 more years. I shudder to think what he’ll do(or not do) now that he’s got his “flexibility”.

Doughboy on November 7, 2012 at 8:35 AM

KingGold on November 7, 2012 at 8:33 AM

yeah, i’ll tell you most of those in the primary couldve out performed mitt. he just isnt likable, he just didnt connect w/ people like he needs to. all th money, organization, etc means nothing if people dont like the candidate.

chasdal on November 7, 2012 at 8:35 AM

Dear Republicans or so-called conservatives,

Shrug off your cognitive dissonance and start getting behind true limited government candidates. You mock libertarians and marginalize candidates such as Ron Paul, and try to argue, “they’re not a viable candidate.” Here’s a news flash for you: you’ve only had one presidential candidate (out of five) in the past 20 years to win an election – and he barely won, thanks to the Supreme Court. You aren’t nominating viable candidates. Start walking the walk.

Dante on November 7, 2012 at 8:35 AM

Is it too early for a Palin/? 2016 thread?

NY Conservative on November 7, 2012 at 8:35 AM

Democracy is more than just voting. It requires certain conditions and institutions as well. Among these are and educated electorate and an independent unbiased media. We don’t have these two things so we don’t have a properly functioning democracy.

Mark1971 on November 7, 2012 at 8:35 AM

All I kept thinking last night was “Now what?”

Obama has no plan, nor did he pretend to have a plan to change anything to make this better.

Nothing..

I really beleived that this country had a silent majority that realized that you can’t give out free stuff to people and expect to continue to be powerful… I was wrong..

momof2 on November 7, 2012 at 8:33 AM

It will be funny to watch democrat pundits trying to fill in where the country is going since they couldn’t even do it in the campaign. The “now what?” question for democrats is going to make us all weep when they have to admit they don’t have any plan but more failed liberalism.

Conan on November 7, 2012 at 8:36 AM

Actually, Ed, I think you are quite short sighted. You can present conservatism in anyway you like but if the one you present it to doesn’t have the mental capacity to comprehend then it’s useless. The first thing we should do is work locally to change the educational system that produces moronic lemmings who project the hate and rage they learn from their teachers. And we need stop the progress of the unions. Secondly the halls of higher learning need to be kicked down and rebuilt. They are producing ignorant radicals who are dangerous. And thirdly, the GOP needs an enema to get rid of the losers that can’t figure out how to fight the barbarians. The GOP has to start going local into the minority areas and build relationships.

Finally, let me suggest that you ain’t seen nothin’ yet with this election. You are fixing to see genocidal action against anyone on the right, especially those who contributed to Romney. Barry told everyone what he intended to do in that Revenge speech. Law doesn’t matter to the lawless One. Romney told everyone to be forewarned. Maher did the same thing. Everyone has been warned of what is coming. Better gird your loins and protect yourselves and your families first because they’re coming with rage and spite. Then deal with system.

buffyvs on November 7, 2012 at 8:36 AM

There is the real problem. The media monopoly that allowed the voters to go to the polls without learning about Benghazi.

You can’t get to low information voters without the MSM.

Conan on November 7, 2012 at 8:23 AM

I talked to my daughter last night. Her husband is in the Navy and is based in Bremerton, WA. They knew our ambassador had been killed but nothing else! Your comment is dead on!

wolverinefan on November 7, 2012 at 8:36 AM

Idiots walk among us. Go back and look at the faces of the people at Obama’s victory party. We are now on the buddy system. Pick someone out of the crowd and write them a check from your personal savings. It’s about as simple as that going forward now.

And when unemployment goes sky-high in about six months, give them the change out of your pocket, because they are the one who will be neediing it to survive. The country is out of cash.

salem on November 7, 2012 at 8:36 AM

Fixed it for ya, buddy .

EnglishRogue on November 7, 2012 at 8:31 AM

And that’s exactly why Mitt Romney only won 29% of latino voters. You can either start re-thinking your approach to immigration or not. But the latino vote has spoken, that kind of rhetoric will not win elections anymore.

libfreeordie on November 7, 2012 at 8:36 AM

We have a GOP House that, while imperfect, will be able to block a lot of Obama’s new agenda.

That’s a joke, right? We have a GOP house that is populated mostly by career politicians who see which way the wind is blowing. The one and only thing we can count on them doing is whatever it takes to keep their jobs. Little by little, you’ll see them giving in to Obama.

And you are also quite conveniently forgetting that Obama doesn’t give a rat’s patootie about process. If he can’t get what he wants from Congress, he will just do it through his unaccountable regulatory bureaucracy. Just wait until you see the avalanche of new regulations coming down the pike. They will make your head spin.

natasha333 on November 7, 2012 at 8:36 AM

The fundamentals haven’t changed. People still vote their pocketbook. Just too many receive a check from the government.

MechanicalBill on November 7, 2012 at 8:36 AM

This time, Republicans can’t blame the candidate, or at least they shouldn’t.  Mitt Romney ran one of the most well-organized national campaigns in recent memory within the GOP.  He raised prodigious amounts of cash, keeping pace with Obama.

What difference does it make if the contender is the lite version. We lost because we didn’t put up a conservative to contrast the progressive. Betrayed once again by the GOPe.

I wasn’t fooled this time nor ever again. Time for the GOP to be replaced.

Gird UK your loins because the Donks are out for revenge and to end the republic.

AH_C on November 7, 2012 at 8:36 AM

blatantblue on November 7, 2012 at 8:32 AM

Right. Because they’ve done such a bang-up job blocking his agenda since 2010! The Constitution means nothing to these people, and the House isn’t even willing to stand up for that!

GWB on November 7, 2012 at 8:37 AM

Dow is down 133

mrscullen on November 7, 2012 at 8:38 AM

Is it too early for a Palin/? 2016 thread?
NY Conservative on November 7, 2012 at 8:35 AM

Yuck. It is hard to think of a politician who is more effective at repelling the very voters we need. We need someone new. No. More. Palin.

bluegill on November 7, 2012 at 8:38 AM

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