How Romney got out-organized by Obama

posted at 8:14 pm on November 8, 2012 by Allahpundit

I’ve been hoarding links on this subject all day because it’s the other side of the coin of how Romney lost. One side is the demographic challenge, which everyone understands by now. The GOP depends heavily on older voters, white voters, and men, and that’s not a base that’s going to carry you eternally into victory in a changing America. The other side is turning out the voters you do have by running a superior organization. This was supposed to be Romney’s strength, the reason to prefer him to Gingrich, Santorum, etc. Even if he didn’t always seem so “severely conservative,” he could be trusted to hold his own against Team Hopenchange in a battle of the ground games. After all, that’s his brand — he’s a managerial genius. If anyone could build a company capable of capturing the presidency, he could.

But he couldn’t. The one piece I want you to read before any other is John Ekdahl’s account of how badly Romney’s “ORCA” system failed. The idea was to use smart phones to maintain de facto “strike lists,” which would help HQ figure out which precincts across the country were turning out in lower numbers and in need of extra resources. Ekdahl:

While I was home, I took to Twitter and the web to try to find some answers. From what I saw, these problems were widespread. People had been kicked from poll watching for having no certificate. Others never received their pdf packets. Some were sent the wrong packets from a different area. Some received their packet, but their usernames and passwords didn’t work.

Now a note about the technology itself. For starters, this was billed as an “app” when it was actually a mobile-optimized website (or “web app”). For days I saw people on Twitter saying they couldn’t find the app on the Android Market or iTunes and couldn’t download it. Well, that’s because it didn’t exist. It was a website. This created a ton of confusion. Not to mention that they didn’t even “turn it on” until 6AM in the morning, so people couldn’t properly familiarize themselves with how it worked on their personal phone beforehand.

Next, and this part I find mind-boggingly absurd, the web address was located at “https://www.whateveritwas.com/orca”. Notice the “s” after http. This denotes it’s a secure connection, something that’s used for e-commerce and web-based email. So far, so good. The problem is that they didn’t auto-forward the regular “http” to “https” and as a result, many people got a blank page and thought the system was down. Setting up forwarding is the simplest thing in the world and only takes seconds, but they failed to do it. This is compounded by the fact that mobile browsers default to “http” when you just start with “www” (as 95% of the world does).

End result: “30,000+ of the most active and fired-up volunteers were wandering around confused and frustrated when they could have been doing anything else to help.” That’s what was going on in RomneyWorld. Meanwhile, in ObamaWorld, they were using behavioral scientists to build a gigantic database of current and potential voters and to fine tune their message at a granular level not only to win people’s votes but to get them to turn out. Read Sasha Issenberg at Slate for more on that.

“There is not much of a commitment to that type of research on the right,” says Daron Shaw, a University of Texas at Austin political scientist who worked on both of George W. Bush’s presidential campaigns. “There is no real understanding of the experimental stuff.”

If Republicans brought consumer data into politics during Bush’s re-election, Democrats are mastering the techniques that give campaigns the ability to understand what actually moves voters. As a result, Democrats are beginning to engage a wider set of questions about what exactly a campaign is capable of accomplishing in an election year: not just how to modify nonvoters’ behavior to get them to the polls, but what exactly can change someone’s mind outside of the artificial confines of a focus group.

“The asset that Karl Rove and his team built during the Bush era, with consumer data—that was good and valuable, but it’s static data,” says Cyrus Krohn, a former Republican National Committee e-campaign director and founder of the political-tech startup Crowdverb. “The Democrats have figured out how to harness dynamic data on top of static data.”

Issenberg, who’s looked at microtargeting in depth, says Democrats are sufficiently far ahead on this that the GOP won’t close the gap anytime soon. Obama’s team also succeeded by emphasizing personal, one-on-one contact with voters; there was an 11-point gap when voters were asked if they’d been visited at home by a campaign in Pew’s poll taken last week. Even with something as simple as buying airtime for ads, Romney reportedly used an unusual in-house system that made things more expensive than they needed to be. Again: This is precisely the sort of thing that he wasn’t supposed to be outmaneuvered on. His ideological heresies were worrisome, but the comfort in nominating him was that his campaign would be smart and efficient enough to fight Obama to a stalemate. Instead, news is breaking tonight that even though Nate Silver and Drew Linzer and Simon Jackman and various other statistical modelers all had a high degree of confidence in how the election would go by the end, Romney himself was reportedly genuinely shellshocked when he realized he’d lost. (An NYT story on his address to staffers notes that defeat seemed to “genuinely startle him.”) According to a senior advisor, “I don’t think there was one person who saw this coming.” With all the information they’d gathered from months of polling and voter outreach, no one inside the campaign had an inkling that Obama’s model of the election might be right? Even though Romney ended up trailing in the last national poll average before election day too? One Republican operative wondered to Politico whether the campaign’s cheery poll spin was a head fake, aimed at boosting GOP morale, or evidence that they just weren’t that smart. Now we know.

It pains me to say all that because I don’t want to scapegoat Romney. He’s a good man. There were, as I said, powerful demographic forces here that he was up against. Obama may well have run the best campaign organization ever assembled, and it’s hard to knock off an incumbent even in the best of times. I have no doubt that Romney’s ground game was stronger than any other GOP primary candidate’s ground game would have been. But that’s part of what makes this election result terrifying — the best manager in our presidential field got completely outmanaged. It’s hard enough to win when you’re at a disadvantage among registered voters, but when your guys can’t even keep pace organizationally with the opposition, you’re basically throwing elections away. Can’t anyone here play this game? I’ll leave you with this, from Jonathan Last:

There was, to my mind, only one qualitative argument generally made in favor of Romney: that his management experience made him uniquely qualified to be president. He was a “turn-around artist.” A “genius CEO.” Now even the claim that his private-sector ability to master organizations and rescue them was a variation on process. And it always struck me as a little dubious. For one thing, it’s not immediately clear how the skill set of the private-sector executive transfers to the job of managing the executive branch of the U.S. government. CEOs say jump and everyone around them says how high. The president says jump and half of Congress tries to countermand the order while getting him fired and the other branch of government gets to decide whether jumping is even theoretically allowed.

But at least this was a falsifiable claim. And the fact that Romney could not master even his own campaign organization in order to win an incredibly winnable election demonstrates–incontrovertiably–that it wasn’t true. If he was a turn-around artist, he would be president-elect right now.

Most political campaigns aren’t invalidated by a loss. A candidate puts forward an idea or a worldview and it can stand whether or not it’s embraced by voters. It has its own truth. But in the wake of his loss Romney’s campaign now looks ludicrous.


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BISHOP!

(not that fun)

RedNewEnglander on November 8, 2012 at 8:16 PM

Remember how, for months, the only think Ed could talk about was how the Obama campaign was the most inept he had ever seen? He seems to have gotten that one wrong too.

red_herring on November 8, 2012 at 8:19 PM

I thought romney was a great manager

Flapjackmaka on November 8, 2012 at 8:19 PM

No he didn’t we just got bamboozled by right leaning media. We can’t make our concerns heard when our own people are lying to us.

tomas on November 8, 2012 at 8:20 PM

It’s almost as if Romney wanted to lose and lose in such a way that nobody else will win in the near-to-mid future.

Steve Eggleston on November 8, 2012 at 8:20 PM

the best manager in our presidential field got completely outmanaged.

Says it all. Old stale RINO has been campaighn mgrs. and hangers-on who have lost more elections than they have won.

they lie on November 8, 2012 at 8:21 PM

PERRY!
NEWT!

El_Terrible on November 8, 2012 at 8:24 PM

Great Oprah was hacked and that’s why nobody called me!

Momma on November 8, 2012 at 8:24 PM

Rubio’s organization in Florida helped him get noticed real quick and up to speed with Crist. Just saying

Flapjackmaka on November 8, 2012 at 8:24 PM

Conservatives like to eat their own it seems. The problem isn’t with Romney. The majority of the electorate are the takers, and not the makers. The don’t care about his message of fiscal sanity, as long as they get what they want.

stackedeck on November 8, 2012 at 8:25 PM

Remember how, for months, the only think Ed could talk about was how the Obama campaign was the most inept he had ever seen? He seems to have gotten that one wrong too.

red_herring on November 8, 2012 at 8:19 PM

To the normal eye, it looked incompetent, petty, and small… the they Jersey Shore trained eye, it was soooooper.

El_Terrible on November 8, 2012 at 8:25 PM

I think at the end, they saw all the enthusiasm and were told there was more enthusiasm on our side and were in their own little world. Like when he saw all those people at the parking ramp in Pennsylvania, he said it feels like we r winning. Think they got too wrapped up in the emotions of it all. Even though it looked like a blow out victory for Obama, it still was a close election in the swing states.

mrscullen on November 8, 2012 at 8:26 PM

here was an 11-point gap when voters were asked if they’d been visited at home by a campaign in Pew’s poll taken last week.

 
It’s sadly hilarious to think how votes were cancelled out by people who unpaused Judge Judy after they got their free bumper sticker for that Obama Biden guy.

rogerb on November 8, 2012 at 8:26 PM

Nope. it’s Simpler that this. The conserative movement has nothingto offer the 51% who want their free bennies.
You can’t defeat Santa Claus. It’s over until things crash. Gird your loans, Indeed.

RDH on November 8, 2012 at 8:26 PM

What was the core Dem strategy… Total focus on the WH and the Senate… they were the only Races that matter and deserve money… House races other than against conservative minorities (to maintain the narrative) are sacrificed and people brought to the polls are only being asked to vote for Prez/Senator so that its painless enough for them to do it (think about how Reid’s son was swamped in the NV governors race will Papa won pretty easily)…

WHY does this work??? Given the massive hike in baseline spending in 2009 and automatic annual increases, they won’t have to pass a budget for years (and they haven’t). Everything can be done now with EO’s and regulations, and they can ignore the law all they want as the House can never prosecute an impeachment…

phreshone on November 8, 2012 at 8:28 PM

How Romney got out-organized by Obama

Because he bought a bunch of Big Bang Theory stand up comics? All with Goldwater and Nixon comic books in footlockers?

Limerick on November 8, 2012 at 8:28 PM

More attempts at convincing the masses that Romney’s voters didn’t turn out. Got to make sure the masses don’t start to question too much why total votes were down 11% from 4 2008. People might actually start to question whether all votes were counted and we can’t have that.

bgibbs1000 on November 8, 2012 at 8:28 PM

For America to recover..
We need to fall further..
More then Greece..

We’re Americans, dammit!!!
We can get there faster then Europe..

Four more years?
We got to do it in two.

The takers must feel my pain..

Electrongod on November 8, 2012 at 8:29 PM

This is exactly what I was worried about from the beginning. Romney brought along all of these incompetent retreads from the establishment GOP and Boston who had no idea how to run a modern-day political campaign. And then, even when they proved themselves incompetent, Romney–the guy who likes to be able to fire people–refused to fire them. Absolute incompetence and arrogance. Can’t believe I sent money to these rubes. I’m just amazed that we did this to ourselves AGAIN.

WarEagle01 on November 8, 2012 at 8:29 PM

Wow. This makes me sad for him and his family. I know they gave their all. But, also, this can NEVER happen again.The GOP needs to, starting tomorrow work on getting that dynamic consumer data, we need to place more field offices in all the right places, so we are ready for 2014, and rolling strong in 2016.

Minorcan Maven on November 8, 2012 at 8:30 PM

He should’ve pulled a Reagan and spent some money to buy ad-free time on the on-air networks to put forth his own dang message directly to the people.

He should’ve went broke aggressively going after the President and not this pansy-waist “He’s a good guy” a’la McCain routine.

rgrovr on November 8, 2012 at 8:30 PM

BISHOP!

(not that fun)

RedNewEnglander on November 8, 2012 at 8:16 PM

Ok, someone puh-lease finally explain to me this “BISHOP” thing…

Glenn Jericho on November 8, 2012 at 8:30 PM

You know what? I simply don’t care. If we are going to have a “taker” society, then I’m not wasting another single minute trying to make it better. I am going to work on being a better taker than my neighbor. And I’m going to prepare my kids for how best to succeed in the taker society.

It was fun while it lasted. Love ya Hot Air.

darkegop on November 8, 2012 at 8:31 PM

I agree with WarEagle01 that he placed his faith in the wrong people. I thought that a few times earlier, but, obviously that was before all this. I think it was out of affection and loyalty though. Just my opinion.

Minorcan Maven on November 8, 2012 at 8:31 PM

Ok, someone puh-lease finally explain to me this “BISHOP” thing…

Glenn Jericho on November 8, 2012 at 8:30 PM

Bishop is commenter here and a union thug :)

He takes first posters and claims victory..

Electrongod on November 8, 2012 at 8:32 PM

Enough with the ‘Romney was too flawed’ BS.

It’s hard to beat an incumbent. Period. It is the exception, rather than the rule. We need to step out of the echo chamber and realize that Reagan isn’t coming back. Landslides are not possible and we’re going to have get better at organizing and turning out our base. It doesn’t just fall on the candidate. This is something that everyone in the party has to do.

Corporal Tunnel on November 8, 2012 at 8:32 PM

No more retreads like Romney, santorum, gingrich. Rubio can run a modern campaign.

Flapjackmaka on November 8, 2012 at 8:32 PM

Obama was a community organizer. Whipping up people, making them scared and angry, this is his forte

El_Terrible on November 8, 2012 at 8:32 PM

End result: “30,000+ of the most active and fired-up volunteers were wandering around confused and frustrated when they could have been doing anything else to help.” That’s what was going on in RomneyWorld.

Good thing the nominee was a businessman who knows how to run things in the private sector. Competence in action. /this is sarcasm

sharrukin on November 8, 2012 at 8:33 PM

This is a bunch more of the crap that’s everywhere chasing after the truth. The people that should have voted for Romney just didn’t come out – millions of them didn’t vote, and it wasn’t because some hardcore volunteer didn’t come grab them by the hand and drag them to the polls. Republican voters are not the kind of people laying around the house or hanging on the corner waiting for someone to show up and give them a reason to get off the couch. They decided not to vote, period. The choice was clear: the Romney campaign was adult, serious, respectful and competent, and Obama’s was childish, insulting and trivial, offering nothing. The right wing’s voters just blew it. I don’t know why they voted in the numbers even weaker than they did for McCain, but it wasn’t because they didn’t have a date to go to the polls with.

The voters chose poorly, because they didn’t know either candidate with much depth. The media didn’t do it’s job and neither did the voters. Most people I talked to knew nothing about Romney’s life, accomplishments or abilities. The only thing Romney could have done better was play up his resume’, and he should have.

bagoh20 on November 8, 2012 at 8:34 PM

I have to say, ORCA was a complete disaster. I had twitter conversation with John Ekdahl about it the night before the election and in the aftermath. I was a volunteer whose time was completely wasted that day. It pains me that 30,000 of us could have been put to better use.

We have miles to go to catch up with the left on this front. We have lots of high priced people who wring their hands on cue for Politico and yet volunteers are left dangling in the wind. There needs to be a massive reorganization from the GOP. I hope they are reading the writing on the wall.

msmveritas on November 8, 2012 at 8:37 PM

Obama may well have run the best campaign organization ever assembled

Exit question: Does this prove that Obama is too smart for America?

bettycooper on November 8, 2012 at 8:37 PM

More bs from the ABRs. Obama had 4 years to organize the lemmings. Thanks to the lengthy GOP primary aainst opponents who wouldn’t have drawn 40% of the vote Romney had 6 months to herd conservative and GOP cats.

Obama had the unqualified support of the corrupt media. Romney took friendly fire throughout.

17% of the electorate voted for Obama because he cares for people like them.

12% of all voters made up their minds in the last week before the election.

42% of voters said in exit polls that Hurricane Sandy was “important” to their vote.

You can’t fix stupid. Romney was an excellent candidate.

Basilsbest on November 8, 2012 at 8:38 PM

they really fooled themselfs? I think good credit goes to the demcratic operation, its was superb and blew gop predictions all the way to the top.

nathor on November 8, 2012 at 8:39 PM

Sounds like some idiot on Romney’s staff really fucked up. Hopefully we find out the name of this person so they never get hired again.

jaygatz33 on November 8, 2012 at 8:39 PM

We sure dodged a bullet when that dummy from AK announced she wasn’t running.

Romney is smart, non-polarizing, and now he has another Silver medal to add to his collection. Once he figures out how this internet thing works, he’ll be unstoppable.

Mr. Wednesday Night on November 8, 2012 at 8:40 PM

The GOP depends heavily on older voters, white voters, and men, and that’s not a base that’s going to carry you eternally into victory in a changing America.

Good point Allah..Demographics definitely have become a challenge for the GOP..:)

Dire Straits on November 8, 2012 at 8:40 PM

I think that it was a combination of “all of the above”. By themselves no single thing being floated explains it. Not sandy, not demographics, not people staying home, not mismanagement, not fraud. There is no single silver bullet to explain this all away, it is all of it at once.
I think that it is quite possible that after O got his ass handed to him in the first debate his team decided to not take any single vote for granted, put their heads down, and powered on through across the finish line. We on the other hand, became so elated with the mere possibility of defeating O and having it within our grasp took the voters for granted to some degree and lost sight of the goal posts. This is what makes a difference in any thighs contest.

Oh well, hope that we learn from this and correct. Otherwise we are in the wild until we do.

donkichi on November 8, 2012 at 8:40 PM

But that’s part of what makes this election result terrifying — the best manager in our presidential field got completely outmanaged.

Good point AllahP. How about another terrifying fact? A man who has been a failure as president by any objective measure was still able to convince millions of brain dead and voters with cognitive dissonance to vote for hum. I give, uncle, whatever.

arnold ziffel on November 8, 2012 at 8:41 PM

Mitt’s should have brought out all the rinos that said that we couldn’t possibly have newt as our nominee and have them talk bad about obama. The gop should have seen the problem with mitt after SC primary. But everyone focused on mitt’s advantages in the primaries which all disappeared in the general. I grew up un horse farm and in that biz it’s all about past performaces. If mit was a race horse he be a claimer. I mean my god people was his accomplishments in poltics. He beat a horrible candidate by .5% in gov race. Mitt was a horrible pol then,now and always

rik on November 8, 2012 at 8:41 PM

Hey don’t look at me, I supported Rick Perry. Too bad he had multiple strokes during the debates.

Daemonocracy on November 8, 2012 at 8:41 PM

One Republican operative wondered to Politico whether the campaign’s cheery poll spin was a head fake, aimed at boosting GOP morale, or evidence that they just weren’t that smart. Now we know.

Allah, when are you going to answer that question about your cheerleading?  “Romney is releasing internal polls as a sign of strengh”? Comeon. Please tell me that’s spin. 

Ed seems to be taking the “I was rationally stupid” approach, whatever that means. Where do you fall? 

red_herring on November 8, 2012 at 8:41 PM

Basilsbest on November 8, 2012 at 8:38 PM

I’m like El Rushbo The folks that voted for Obie scare me more than Obie..:)

Dire Straits on November 8, 2012 at 8:42 PM

It shouldn’t have taken ORCA to get our people to the polls. Everyone knew there was an election and who was on the ballot. If people can’t get off their butt to vote against the worst president in history, we are doomed.

echosyst on November 8, 2012 at 8:42 PM

John Ekdahl’s account over at Ace’s on the meltdown of Project “Orca” is damning and should eliminate all assertions that the Willard campaign knew what it was doing.

They were clearly clueless fools.

Now who will they blame? Sarah Palin wasn’t on this ticket!

HondaV65 on November 8, 2012 at 8:42 PM

The only thing Romney could have done better was play up his resume’, and he should have.

bagoh20 on November 8, 2012 at 8:34 PM

And respond to the character assassination ads the Dems started running in the summer. Even if he was out of primary funds, he’s supposed to be worth up to $250 million. No limits on spending your own cash.

Even John Kerry took out a $6 million mortgage at one point on “his” Boston home. (OK, Teresa probably bought it and sold it to him for $1 and other consideration.)

Wethal on November 8, 2012 at 8:42 PM

There were plenty of people that didn’t need an intrusive knock at the door, robo call, campaign flyers and a computer full of junk mail

We were crawling over broken glass to vote

Maybe the voter fatigue in the swing states was a factor

I still think there is some major scale voter suppression
The vaporization of votes

audiotom on November 8, 2012 at 8:42 PM

I think Republicans now should just be rubber stamping anything that comes through relating to the economy. Defend the hard line on 1st and 2nd amendment rights, let everything else goes. Hell even fund abortion if a state approves it (for some reason I could see Red States geting more electoral votes in the future…).

They should really just let this car drive itself off the cliff. Start campaigning now on the culture side, remind voters of what’s happening and why.

Obama’s a fool when it comes to governing, but he is from the school of organizing, getting people fired up to protest. This is where we need to improve, the ground game needs to start now for whomever wins the primaries 3 years from now. You know they are….

RizzyG on November 8, 2012 at 8:42 PM

Bishop is commenter here and a union thug :)

He takes first posters and claims victory..

Electrongod on November 8, 2012 at 8:32 PM

Yes, but you can call him for advice if you have a spider infestation.

VegasRick on November 8, 2012 at 8:42 PM

I don’t blame Romney..
I blame timing..

Obama with the help of Bush..
Bailed out the Unions.

Obama gave the unions even more power..
but that wouldn’t be enough…

Hence the War on Women..
War on Gays..
War on Illegals…
etc…
thrown at Conservatives and Republicans..

With 16 trillion deficit.
higher unemployment.

The fake wars won’t cut it..

Real people will be effected..

Electrongod on November 8, 2012 at 8:43 PM

Daemonocracy on November 8, 2012 at 8:41 PM

LoLz..I was with you..:)

Dire Straits on November 8, 2012 at 8:43 PM

BISHOP!

(not that fun)

RedNewEnglander on November 8, 2012 at 8:16 PM

Normally I’d put a contract out on you, but…you know…times are tough and….I’ve had to cut back. I’m sorry, I just can’t. Try back next week.

Bishop on November 8, 2012 at 8:43 PM

Bishop is commenter here and a union thug :)

He takes first posters and claims victory..

Electrongod on November 8, 2012 at 8:32 PM

Thanks!

I’ve seen him before and thought he may have something to do with it, but it was all “chicken or the egg” to me.

Glenn Jericho on November 8, 2012 at 8:43 PM

More than 50% will vote for goodies from now on. This was the last chance. It’s over.

darkegop on November 8, 2012 at 8:44 PM

I think the reason Mitt lost is because there wasn’t enough N’oreastern RINO on this ticket. Clearly, Mike Castle should have been selected as VEEP instead of Ryan!

– KING GOLD

HondaV65 on November 8, 2012 at 8:44 PM

People in charge of s**t don’t like taking counsel from underlings. In other news, the sun rises in the east.

mrsknightley on November 8, 2012 at 8:44 PM

We sure dodged a bullet when that dummy from AK announced she wasn’t running.

Romney is smart, non-polarizing, and now he has another Silver medal to add to his collection. Once he figures out how this internet thing works, he’ll be unstoppable.

Mr. Wednesday Night on November 8, 2012 at 8:40 PM

thanks for the laugh. At least we can suffer together, HA forever—-until it gets shut down for crimes against the state.

arnold ziffel on November 8, 2012 at 8:45 PM


Romney is smart, non-polarizing, and now he has another Silver medal to add to his collection. Once he figures out how this internet thing works, he’ll be unstoppable.

Yes, and may we all stop with the risible Romney is so smart and so competent canard?

Turn-around manager my eye.

casuist on November 8, 2012 at 8:45 PM

Nope. it’s Simpler that this. The conserative movement has nothingto offer the 51% who want their free bennies.
You can’t defeat Santa Claus. It’s over until things crash. Gird your loans, Indeed.

RDH on November 8, 2012 at 8:26 PM

We can offer to educate.

Gird your loans,

Freudian slip?

davidk on November 8, 2012 at 8:45 PM

Real people will be effected..

Electrongod on November 8, 2012 at 8:43 PM

Sadly..yes they will..:(

Dire Straits on November 8, 2012 at 8:46 PM

Bishop is commenter here and a union thug :)

He takes first posters and claims victory..

Electrongod on November 8, 2012 at 8:32 PM

And somehow that comment made my day. The days have been quite dreary as of late, you know…

Glenn Jericho on November 8, 2012 at 8:46 PM

Electrongod on November 8, 2012 at 8:43 PM
So I take it you need another helping of mittmccain in 2016.

rik on November 8, 2012 at 8:46 PM

While I’m sure there were plenty of screw ups by Team Romney in getting out the vote in the micro-sense, the reason he lost is that about 3 million LESS votes turned out for him than turned out for McCain, and not all of that can be attributed to GOTV/wonk failures. He was just too moderate for some of our base.

Also, Team Obama started building it’s 2012 GOTV effort from the first day after the election in 2008, something I hope the RNC is doing right now for our 2014 congressional races and for 2016. This costs millions, but you can’t wait until a year or a few months out to ratchet up the ground game, which is what happened.

With a 3-4 year headstart on ground game, with money to open offices all over the swing states and hire the personnel, which an incumbent naturally enjoys, and you won’t even need computers or smartphones. This is the future, and I hope the RNC takes note.

TXUS on November 8, 2012 at 8:46 PM

I’m like El Rushbo The folks that voted for Obie scare me more than Obie..:)

Dire Straits on November 8, 2012 at 8:42 PM

I held signs at intersections in support of candidates on election day and on the weekend before. People screamed obscenities at me, several times. I am a 110 pound, 60 year old grandmother. Yes, they scare me too. Unbelievable.

esr1951 on November 8, 2012 at 8:46 PM

How Romney got out-organized by Obama

How Romney got out-organized by Obama my ass, more like how did Obama manage to pull off the biggest voter fraud in US History

SWalker on November 8, 2012 at 8:47 PM

Exit question: Does this prove that Obama is too smart for America?

bettycooper on November 8, 2012 at 8:37 PM

Heh.

davidk on November 8, 2012 at 8:47 PM

The only thing Romney could have done better was play up his resume’, and he should have. bagoh20 on November 8, 2012 at 8:34 PM

Your comment is excellent, however I disagree with this. The job of extolling Romney’s accomplishments and qualifications was a job for our pundits. They suck. Big time.

The graph put up by Ace this afternoon shows that Mitt satisfied a majority of the electorate that he shared their values; that he is a strong leader and has a strong vision for the future. He beat Obama in all these categories but lost the election because 17% of the electorate believes Obama cares more for them. This is infantile.

Basilsbest on November 8, 2012 at 8:48 PM

thanks for the laugh. At least we can suffer together, HA forever—-until it gets shut down for crimes against the state.

arnold ziffel on November 8, 2012 at 8:45 PM

I hear you..Don’t forget the Re-Education camps..:)

Dire Straits on November 8, 2012 at 8:48 PM

Hey don’t look at me, I supported Rick Perry. Too bad he had multiple strokes during the debates.

Daemonocracy on November 8, 2012 at 8:41 PM

I supported giving Perry Newt’s brain for the debates : D

El_Terrible on November 8, 2012 at 8:48 PM

Hindsight…20/30 or something…

The point is we need to steal this technology and strategy and go with it. If the Koch bros aren’t wooing conservative behavioral scientists for 2014 then we may really be done.

DeathtotheSwiss on November 8, 2012 at 8:48 PM

It pains me to say all that because I don’t want to scapegoat Romney. He’s a good man.

Yeah… he’s a real nice guy but was in over his head.

JellyToast on November 8, 2012 at 8:48 PM

esr1951 on November 8, 2012 at 8:46 PM

You were/are very brave..:)

Dire Straits on November 8, 2012 at 8:50 PM

All this time I thought O was screwing around, chickening out on the serious issues by showing up on The View, talking to celeb mags, etc. I figured everyone else could see right through it, would certainly know what an unserious president he is. But they didn’t. Turns out his game was genius all along, because his target audience is just as shallow as he is. I think for me that’s one of the most disappointing takeaways here.

mrsknightley on November 8, 2012 at 8:50 PM

Romney was an excellent candidate.

Basilsbest on November 8, 2012 at 8:38 PM

The operation was a great success, but unfortunately the patient died.

sharrukin on November 8, 2012 at 8:50 PM

The GOP could not catch up to the Dems in terms of on-the-ground organization. They had four years and never, ever stopped organizing.

Sorry if I am being ignorant of American politics, but is there a reason Republicans don’t pick a nominee a year ahead of the election to build momentum?

I am thinking of Cdn politics (yes, I know, not the same thing) where it allows the leader of the opposition equal air time and political time between elections.

I do think that if Romney had a few more months, he could have pushed Benghazi more, the bump from Sandy would have receded.

It is crazy that the incumbent campaigns for four years and the GOP is expected to match that structure when given only four months.

Mitsouko on November 8, 2012 at 8:50 PM


The choice was clear: the Romney campaign was adult, serious, respectful and competent …

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha … oh, wait, you’re serious. Now it’s even funnier! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Hey, does anyone remember Romney’s ‘summer of love’ of 2012 when he sunned himself on rock chanting softly to the tune of a lute about how Obama was a likeable fellow while Team Obama saturated the Ohio airwaves for weeks on end with negative advertising? What a genius, this Romney guy.

casuist on November 8, 2012 at 8:51 PM

I can speak directly about Orca as I was one of the volunteers who used it on election day. The phone part was only half of it. The other half was that they had bought a decades worth of consumer data. Thats how they targeted people.
As for the program. Yes it would have been much better had it been an actual app instead of a website. Here are excerpts from the last email (at 3 friggin am on election day):
“Getting Started with the App
=================
* The app runs on a mobile website that you access with your mobile browser.

* Be sure to type the “s” after the http:

https://www.thecheckmatecompany.com/orca

So you can see they gave the right address and even told me to use the https prefix. That being said, I could not access the site for 2 hours on election day. Also it seemed the roll Orca had was not up to date. I could see names on the official roll that did not appear in Orca. Also the connection was not great and I would have to reload the roll if I did something like switch to another tab in my phones browser. Which took a few tries sometimes due to the building I was in.
Credentials. I had a problem with these as well. I’m in Tallahassee FL. I was supposed to have a shift as a poll watcher on saturday during early voting. My credentials did not get to the GOP office in time even though I was sent an email that they had arrived. The number and contact they gave me to call about the credentials did not return my call or email. But the credentials were there maybe the Wednesday after (or 6 days before election day). Strangely enough I was not credentialed through the Romney campaign, but rather the Connie Mack campaign (I’ve never had contact with the Mack campaign).

Zaggs on November 8, 2012 at 8:51 PM

More bs from the ABRs. Obama had 4 years to organize the lemmings. Thanks to the lengthy GOP primary aainst opponents who wouldn’t have drawn 40% of the vote Romney had 6 months to herd conservative and GOP cats.

Obama had the unqualified support of the corrupt media. Romney took friendly fire throughout.

17% of the electorate voted for Obama because he cares for people like them.

12% of all voters made up their minds in the last week before the election.

42% of voters said in exit polls that Hurricane Sandy was “important” to their vote.

You can’t fix stupid. Romney was an excellent candidate.

Basilsbest on November 8, 2012 at 8:38 PM

+100
Somebody on Romney’s staff obviously F’ed up on this ORCA thing, but the fact of the matter is any smart person being honest would’ve said a year ago that it was highly unlikely that we would beat Obama as an incumbent with the media 100% trying to protect him. Romney came close when they spent $400+ million literally trying to paint him as a heartless murderer and who knows what could’ve happened if the distraction of Sandy didn’t happen 7 days before election…

Point being I’m not going to blame him. The Republican party in general lost by more than he did. The problems the GOP has have been around for 20+ years and it’s being tepid and not actively hitting back at the media/Democrats and playing their game. That needs to change or we will keep losing, especially younger voters who are being indoctrinated to think we’re all sexist racists.

jaygatz33 on November 8, 2012 at 8:51 PM

More attempts at convincing the masses that Romney’s voters didn’t turn out. Got to make sure the masses don’t start to question too much why total votes were down 11% from 4 2008. People might actually start to question whether all votes were counted and we can’t have that.

bgibbs1000 on November 8, 2012 at 8:28 PM

http://www.duffelblog.com/2012/11/military-absentee-ballots-delivered-one-day-late-would-have-swung-election-for-romney/#ixzz2BeIchEiM

davidk on November 8, 2012 at 8:52 PM

But at least this was a falsifiable claim. And the fact that Romney could not master even his own campaign organization in order to win an incredibly winnable election demonstrates–incontrovertiably–that it wasn’t true. If he was a turn-around artist, he would be president-elect right now.

Bob Dole, the 2012 model.

PappyD61 on November 8, 2012 at 8:52 PM

Low information voters? Looks more like “no information” voters.

The implications of this are down right scary. /HT to whoever posted it originally on Twitter.

donkichi on November 8, 2012 at 8:52 PM


Yeah… he’s a real nice guy but was in over his head.

Yes, if only he were competent.

casuist on November 8, 2012 at 8:52 PM

So I take it you need another helping of mittmccain in 2016.

rik on November 8, 2012 at 8:46 PM

America will be quite different in 2016..

We have employers today testing out a program where they whack their full time employee in favor of part time employees to get out of paying the ObamaCare fine if the employer doesn’t offer insurance..

We are going to have millions of Americans having to have two jobs living paycheck-to-paycheck…and then struggling to pay for insurance themselves..

Yes..I know this happened in the yesteryears..
But is will escalate now..

This is just one issue that is going to happen..

Electrongod on November 8, 2012 at 8:53 PM

The real question for the gop at the Georgetown cocktail parties this weekend?…….

Who will be Bob Dole in 2016?

PappyD61 on November 8, 2012 at 8:53 PM

It is crazy that the incumbent campaigns for four years and the GOP is expected to match that structure when given only four months.

Mitsouko on November 8, 2012 at 8:50 PM

Good point..One of the reasons why it is hard to beat an incumbent..:)

Dire Straits on November 8, 2012 at 8:53 PM

Silver lining: Romney is gone

Flapjackmaka on November 8, 2012 at 8:54 PM

Guys, I admit that Romneys GOTV and voter contact stuff should have been better. But come on. Why did ANY conservative or GOP voter need to be told to get off the couch and vote? They all knew it was election day and what was at stake. Many just didnt seem to give a crap. Romney was a great candidate, IMO.

Jack_Burton on November 8, 2012 at 8:54 PM

It sounds to me like Romney put together a pretty sophisticated GOTV operation in a short period of time, but it didn’t get fully tested.

We need to take that prototype, along with Priebus’ successful Wisconsin model, and hand them off to a whipsmart crew who can work on developing it over the course of the next four years.

Gordon Winslow on November 8, 2012 at 8:54 PM

Who will be Bob Dole in 2016?

PappyD61 on November 8, 2012 at 8:53 PM

No, this election was 2004. John Kerry was played by Mitt. Hopefully, Rubio can play obama in 2016

Flapjackmaka on November 8, 2012 at 8:55 PM

America will be quite different in 2016..

If the economy hasn’t collapsed by then and the gop nominates Ford/Dole/McCain/Romney again (which is HIGHLY LIKELY), it won’t even be close.

If the gop even breathes that they will pull the piggy away from the Federal Sows teats it will be a 40 state landslide for the Communist-Democrat nominee.

PappyD61 on November 8, 2012 at 8:55 PM

Romney was a great candidate, IMO.

A great candidate would be president-elect right now. Romney is a loser.

casuist on November 8, 2012 at 8:56 PM

I hear you..Don’t forget the Re-Education camps..:)

Dire Straits on November 8, 2012 at 8:48 PM

HotAir: Re-Education Camp Edition— scrawling messages on scraps of toilet paper and passing them amongst ourselves.

It would almost be a better format than the blog platform HotAir uses now. (You guys really need to do something about that, unless it means automatically-playing videos like Breitbart.com, then nevermind)

Glenn Jericho on November 8, 2012 at 8:56 PM

Jack_Burton on November 8, 2012 at 8:54 PM

Good points..Voter turnout will get lower in future years..:(

Dire Straits on November 8, 2012 at 8:57 PM

Silver lining: Romney is gone

Flapjackmaka on November 8, 2012 at 8:54 PM

Great American tragedy, you’re not…

SWalker on November 8, 2012 at 8:57 PM

Who will be Bob Dole in 2016?

PappyD61 on November 8, 2012 at 8:53 PM

No, this election was 2004. John Kerry was played by Mitt. Hopefully, Rubio can play obama in 2016

Flapjackmaka on November 8, 2012 at 8:55 PM

Sorry, Rubio is a younger Jeb Bush.

Great story but when he debated John Kerry on the floor of the Senate he revealed himself to be NOT a believer in the pre-eminence of Conservatism over Liberalism/Progressive thought.

Plus, he’s a SQUISH on immigration.

PappyD61 on November 8, 2012 at 8:58 PM

Glenn Jericho on November 8, 2012 at 8:56 PM

LoLz..I hear you..:)

Dire Straits on November 8, 2012 at 8:58 PM

I know they kept after me.

But why should all this be up to Romney? The Republicans should work on this at the party level…the candidates can not do everything.

Terrye on November 8, 2012 at 8:58 PM

CEOs say jump and everyone around them says how high

this is incorrect…at least for large modern firms. (maybe Last has had some bad experience at the WS)

coalition building, team building, visioning, analyzing. I can only think that Bain capital was a tough business. It is not just about the numbers…it is about sizing up the people, watching out for the charlatans…building a team that you can trust.

barking out orders is not ‘in’…and hasn’t been for a long time…these are not straw bosses.

r keller on November 8, 2012 at 8:58 PM

Many just didnt seem to give a crap. Romney was a great candidate, IMO.

Jack_Burton on November 8, 2012 at 8:54 PM

If Romney couldn’t motivate them to care then how was he a good candidate?

Romney was Obama-lite and they saw no reason to get excited about that.

sharrukin on November 8, 2012 at 8:58 PM

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