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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And what happened in Wisconsin? I thought the Walker GOTV machine was already there, yet we lost easily. How is that Romney’s fault?

SAZMD on November 8, 2012 at 9:51 PM

Add to that the fact that Romney was completely off the air from the April primary until the end of October (though the Ryan Congressional campaign was on the air rather heavily in his district) and between the Ryan VP announcement and the last weekend of the campaign not been in Wisconsin ONCE (and Ryan only being back here in campaign mode a couple times).

Steve Eggleston on November 8, 2012 at 10:04 PM

Ceolas on November 8, 2012 at 10:00 PM

I think we need to go further:

If Mitt Romney really believes in America–and I think he does–he will get together with

Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Dennis Miller, et al. and hammer out a solidly conservative

platform for a third party.

They could have it done in time for the 2014 House and Senate races; most certainly they

can do it by 2016.

Mr. Romney, are you truly conservative? If you would do this, thereby making it clear that

you have committed yourself to solidly conservative ideology, I would vote for you again. If you

cannot, then stand down and support the person who would lead such a party.

It is time for a third party. A party that has as its leaders strong people who will not capitulate

to the leftists whose goal is to destroy America.

Leaders without egos; who can withstand the assault of a media who will attempt to crucify

their reputations.

Leaders who will stand up to a ideologically corrupt Supreme Court; passing laws over and

over again until the SC understands that the people want a moral society built upon the rule of

law: the Constitution of the United State as the framers intended it, not some postmodern

fantasia of shifting “fairness.”

Leaders who care not one whit about a body of nations infiltrated by third world dictators and

Godless superpowers that think they can dictate to the sovereign United States of America and

its citizens how to conduct our affairs.

Where are you leaders who can lead from the front? Who can make America what she

needs to be, for her citizens and for the world.

(Faux libertarians need not apply.)

davidk on November 8, 2012 at 11:07 AM

I would add: Leaders who support and enforce the Tenth Amendment:

http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/

davidk on November 8, 2012 at 8:40 PM

davidk on November 8, 2012 at 10:04 PM

The 2012 presidential election is over, but perhaps the 2016 contest has already begun. Florida senator Marco Rubio, a star in the Republican party, is headed to Iowa.

There, he will attend a fundraiser for Iowa governor Terry Branstad.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/rubio-heads-iowa_662073.html

bluefox on November 8, 2012 at 9:58 PM

Good – maybe Rubio will be the 2020 nominee. I wouldn’t want to be Rick Santorum, who is NextInLine™ – the country won’t have fully collapsed by then.

Steve Eggleston on November 8, 2012 at 10:06 PM

Ehh… but as conservatives shouldn’t we realize there isn’t such thing as perfect? What I mean to say, would it not work to allow competition among the state and local field offices? Provide them the resources and tools to get the job done… they can take from a choice established processes or piece together their own. One office can draw from a national database, while another can spend the time to create their own… because the volunteers there happen to know their local area much better than any consumer/demographic database. Trust each field office to create, edit and buy air time for their own custom campaign ads. Can you imagine seeing an internet video ad that was shot just down the street?! That’s only possible in a highly decentralized campaign.

Serious Cat on November 8, 2012 at 9:58 PM

Yes and no. Decentralized works, but only after you make sure that everybody has a basic understanding, some core concepts. To me, a good organization is like a NASCAR team. You don’t let every tire changer do their own thing – you practice changing tires until you find the best way to do it. If a new guy says “I’ve got a better way”, then you test it, compare it to what you’ve got, and keep what’s better- your goal is to keep getting better. Even if you finish first, you want to perform even better next week. Because the guy who finished 2nd sure as heck isn’t going to stop trying to pass you.

Local teams making ads can work – but don’t leave it to random chance. Maybe the local campaign comes up with a great campaign. Or, if they’re earnest but ill-prepared, they come up with a horrendously bad ad that hurts every Republican in the country. George Allen lost votes because of Murdock and Akin. Romney was really hurt by the 47% comment.

In the media, we hate companies that won’t let their employees talk on camera. But those companies spend a lot less time putting out fires when some middle manager responds to a question the wrong way.

hawksruleva on November 8, 2012 at 10:06 PM

Regarding point 2, I recommend watching AlfonZo Rachel’s latest piece.

Steve Eggleston on November 8, 2012 at 9:42 PM

Thanks for the link. I like ZoNation & I agree with him mostly. But his point about Alan Keyes is wrong– Keyes lost to the IL Senate race to Obama. I liked Cain myself (and I hate to say it — for the same reason he points — diffuse the “race” issue on the left) BUT I thought Cain withdrew from the race when all that b.s. came out (of course dug up by Obama henchwoman Allred) not that the party threw him under the bus.

But over all, yes I agree –why do you think the Dems specifically targeted Allen West & Mia Love in House races? They know how dangerous a man like West is in office & they sure as heck cannot have a Black female Republican in national office — Love could have lost them 70% of their “base.”

Dark Star on November 8, 2012 at 10:06 PM

Kevin Swain ‏@kdswain28

@iowahawkblog I want a President who just wants to leave me alone.
Retweeted by David Burge

davidk on November 8, 2012 at 10:08 PM

Obama knew he was losing; Romney knew he was winning. Something happened between Monday Nov. 5th & Tuesday Nov. 6th. And no PPP poll can convince me otherwise

Dark Star on November 8, 2012 at 9:47 PM

I agree. That is why everyone was just so shocked. And it wasn’t just the Presidential race, many States lost Republican Senate races.

It was like a Democratic landslide. See what you make of this:

http://www.salon.com/2012/11/05/ohio_republicans_sneak_risky_software_onto_voting_machines/

bluefox on November 8, 2012 at 10:15 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

The Dems had a plan to surpress turnout. Early on, they highlighted Romney policies that conservatives didn’t like (hey, we worked with him on Obamacare). Then they ran ads (unopposed), portraying Romney as a cold, greedy plutocrat (Romney shipped jobs to China for a quick buck). They used Romney’s own words to reinforce that (47%). In key battleground states, they found specific messages that hurt Romney (auto bailouts). They hit every demographic group with SPECIFIC anti-Romney messages (women – Romney will steal your uterus, seniors, you’ll lose Soc. Sec, youths- Romney isn’t cool).

All of those messages softened Romney’s turnout. Team Obama knew the plan was working, and so they held other messages in reserve – (hey, he’s racist!, and hey, he’s a Mormon!).

Note that their plan had nothing to do with ACTUAL POLICY. We asked people to vote because of the national debt, they asked people to vote for some intensely-felt personal reason.

hawksruleva on November 8, 2012 at 10:16 PM

Right- conservatives could deliver a great, uplifting message on TV. We could harness the MSM to communicate a message about the waste in government, and the plight of inner cities, and the success of inner city students in charter schools.

But we need to study how to best tell those stories, and not waste the time we do get on TV. Liberals do a great job of staying on message in interviews. It’s not fun, or authentic, but they hammer their messages home.

We also need to stop accepting liberal premises. John Stossel does a great job of this. He presents familiar liberal ways of thinking, then takes them apart and shows why they’re wrong. The rape questions in the Senate camapigns should’ve been easy to disarm. But nobody has coached GOP candidates on how to respond and stay on message.

hawksruleva on November 8, 2012 at 9:43 PM

Good points, but I think the GOP needs to find another way to get the message out in spite of the MSM. They will never, ever get a fair shake from them, so to me, it’s a waste of time to even consider them a viable alternative. God bless the people at Breitbart who have taken up the mantle of what Andrew was doing, but we really need another Andrew, a take-no-prisoners type to deal with the media effectively and brutally.

And yes, the GOP absolutely has to stay on message and that means they are going to have to stop with the crap of tearing each other down like they always do. Maybe the Dems would rather keep Dennis Kucinich out of sight most of the time, but don’t ever let an outsider talk smack about him — he’s a Dem and one doesn’t diss a Dem, ever, no matter how looney he is.

And yes again … GOP candidates need immense coaching on how to talk about certain topics. This wasn’t in the same category as Todd Akin, but the hubby and I watched a replay of a debate between PA Senate candidates Tom Smith and Bob Casey Jr. on C-SPAN. I liked Tom Smith, and we both voted for him, but we both agreed that if he were elected, his first order of business should be to find a good debate coach.

PatriotGal2257 on November 8, 2012 at 10:17 PM

Way back when Romney accepted the nom at the convention, how many people inwardly winced when he said “repeal and REPLACE” Obamacare?

I know I did, but I consigned it to the Not Now compartment and made sure it didn’t come out again. But he kept on saying it, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who was put off by that comment. The other one was the constant CONSTANT “reach across the aisle” phrase.

Honestly, that phrase should be made illegal. Nobody is swayed by it. It’s become so hackneyed and poisoned it should be struck from the English language. You have to work with the other side, but you never use that stupid phrase. Find some other way of saying after we win, we will be persuading the other side to work with us. Easy.

Those are 2 points that may have put off conservative voters. My .02.

Ozwitch on November 8, 2012 at 10:29 PM

Well, I’m not saying the ads go out un-vetted… a quick approval process back at central HQ can make sure no stinkers get out into the wild. But I’m tired of, and I think most of America is too, is the tightly scripted, and focus group tested politics. Just tell us what you are going to do and why you think your plans will work. I can’t recall one Romeny-2012 ad that I found inspiring or informative.

Also, I think GOP candidates should organize their campaign in a way that mirrors how they want to govern. We preach that local government is the unit of government best equipped to provide you services (when possible) so why wouldn’t local offices come up with better strategies and processes for reaching and teaching folks in their own neighborhoods? Heck, let them even fund-raise directly for operating costs in their local HQ instead of having talented people siting around with no funds to get anything done because the state polls aren’t looking too good.

Serious Cat on November 8, 2012 at 10:32 PM

Dissing Sarah Palin and the Tea Parties wasn’t smart. Almost 100% of the Tea Party Members are Conservatives.

I don’t recall the T.P. word ever crossing Romney’s lips. I think Ryan said the word once.

Even on this very site the Romney claque were denouncing Tea Partiers and social conservatives as divisive and a problem with independents etc. Hey, you know what? It turns out that if you go to war with your own base, you lose.

casuist on November 8, 2012 at 9:51 PM

I remember. Turns out Romney got a large share of Indies in spite of the SoCons, LOL Whether it was Romney’s idea or members of his Campaign Staff to not reach out to the T.P., the result was the same.

bluefox on November 8, 2012 at 10:33 PM

Good points, but I think the GOP needs to find another way to get the message out in spite of the MSM.

PatriotGal2257 on November 8, 2012 at 10:17 PM

Twitter, FB, and whatever is next – (why doesn’t some anonymous conservative make that?) We can have conversations without the media.

Drudge actually has a lot of influence over the media, most of the time. Romney actually stepped on the Benghazi scandal, giving the media a reason to write it off as a partisan issue. It’s amazing how many stories from Drudge end up on local and national newscasts.

Youtube can make an average singer a millionaire- it could make a President. The singer and the President both just need the right hook.

We could also do better at helping reporters tell our stories. Send compelling press releases. Do events at good times to make newcasts. Have candidates do interesting things.

hawksruleva on November 8, 2012 at 10:34 PM

“I’m not here to talk about President Obama,” Matt said in the television interview. “I think he is great. I’m here to talk about my dad and what he would bring to the country.”

PappyD61 on November 8, 2012 at 9:04 PM

Mitt and Ann’s boys are not the brightest, but they did serve their country by campaigning for Dad in 2008

bw222 on November 8, 2012 at 10:39 PM

Well, I’m not saying the ads go out un-vetted… a quick approval process back at central HQ can make sure no stinkers get out into the wild. But I’m tired of, and I think most of America is too, is the tightly scripted, and focus group tested politics. Just tell us what you are going to do and why you think your plans will work.

Serious Cat on November 8, 2012 at 10:32 PM

I’m tired of losing. It’s like negative ads. Everybody hates them, but they move the needle. And the truth is that the GOP doesn’t test its messages, or they wouldn’t sound so stale and fake. The Dems aren’t NEARLY as good at this stuff as they think. We could run circles around the with better ideas, presented the best way.

Think of all of the really great, funny commercials out there. If we did a good job, some of our ads could be like that. There are ads that I’m actually HAPPY to see. Romney had a good message at the very end – an uplifting, optimistic, inclusive message. But it was already too late (and his campaign didn’t have the data to realize they were already screwed).

hawksruleva on November 8, 2012 at 10:40 PM

Those are 2 points that may have put off conservative voters. My .02.

Ozwitch on November 8, 2012 at 10:29 PM

Then they are idiots for allowing the reelection of the man who is 100% going to keep Obamacare & they deserve to suffer just as much in the Obama economy as those who voted FOR Obama.

Dark Star on November 8, 2012 at 10:41 PM

I remember. Turns out Romney got a large share of Indies in spite of the SoCons, LOL Whether it was Romney’s idea or members of his Campaign Staff to not reach out to the T.P., the result was the same.

bluefox on November 8, 2012 at 10:33 PM

Romney’s campaign had “leaders” like Kevin Madden and Mike Murphy. They make Matt Millen’s tenure as General Manager of the Detroit Lions look stellar.

bw222 on November 8, 2012 at 10:46 PM

bluefox on November 8, 2012 at 10:15 PM

Thanks but I will not give salon a click. Whatever the article accuses Republicans of doing is just projection for what the Dems *actually* did.

In fact, when I heard Howard Dean say election morning that the only way Obama would lose Ohio is if “the Republicans cheated” I began to suspect that was typical Dem projection & that the Dems had already set the cheating up. When all the networks delayed calling FL, VA & NC, I *knew* the fix was in for those states as well. However many votes Romney got in any of them (and in NH & CO too), I knew Obama was certain to get about 40,000 more.

Dark Star on November 8, 2012 at 10:46 PM

Local campaigns could do a great job – and I think you’re right they should have some latitude to do things there way. But they need to have access, have an understanding of what affect various options will have.

I’d be fine if local/state primaries were a free-for-all. But once we’ve got nominees, they need to spend a week or two learning what styles, words, themes work, AND WHY. They need regular updates from the GOP about how voters feel about them, their opponent, and the messages of both sides.

Give the locals good info, and they can make good decisions.

hawksruleva on November 8, 2012 at 10:46 PM

They make Matt Millen’s tenure as General Manager of the Detroit Lions look stellar.

bw222 on November 8, 2012 at 10:46 PM

Now that’s bad.

Cindy Munford on November 8, 2012 at 10:54 PM

Ya know, everyone’s beeshing and moaning about this demographics thing…

why not try having more kids and making sure they come up right?

Oh, wait. That would require self-sacrifice.

What’s wrong with me?

avgjo on November 8, 2012 at 10:59 PM

Romney made the election about One Big Thing. THE ECONOMY
He let everything else slide.

Obama made the election about A Whole Bunch of Things. Economy,Class Warfare,Abortion,Immigration,Education,etc.

Romney’s coalition was a one lane path to the White House.

Obama’s coalition was an 8 lane freeway to Reelection.

Romney forgot that Bush, Reagan, Nixon, and all modern Republican Presidents all built coalitions with many different groups which lead to their victories.

Romney is responsible for his campaign. He lost it.

portlandon on November 8, 2012 at 10:59 PM

Ya know, everyone’s beeshing and moaning about this demographics thing…

why not try having more kids and making sure they come up right?

Oh, wait. That would require self-sacrifice.

What’s wrong with me?

avgjo on November 8, 2012 at 10:59 PM

Actually the evangelicals are, something not much discussed in the “demographics thing”.

BTW, what would the democratic party numbers look like without the past thirty years of abortion?

slickwillie2001 on November 8, 2012 at 11:03 PM

Thanks for the link. I like ZoNation & I agree with him mostly. But his point about Alan Keyes is wrong– Keyes lost to the IL Senate race to Obama. I liked Cain myself (and I hate to say it — for the same reason he points — diffuse the “race” issue on the left) BUT I thought Cain withdrew from the race when all that b.s. came out (of course dug up by Obama henchwoman Allred) not that the party threw him under the bus.

But over all, yes I agree –why do you think the Dems specifically targeted Allen West & Mia Love in House races? They know how dangerous a man like West is in office & they sure as heck cannot have a Black female Republican in national office — Love could have lost them 70% of their “base.”

Dark Star on November 8, 2012 at 10:06 PM

The Keyes situation is a bit, shall we say, screwy. He came in cold and as a carpetbagger after the Jack/Jeri Ryan divorce records miraculously got unsealed and knocked Jack out of that race. He was never anything more than a placeholder.

It could be argued that Cain was the first person Akin’ed. My recollection of the timeline is Allred dug up the dirt, the party insiders and the punditry (no, not necessarily the same crowd) jumped on it, Cain and company fumbled badly, his support dried up across the board, and he departed.

The Florida ‘Rats got a big assist from the Pubbies who redrew West’s, and only West’s out of the Pubbie Congressmen, district to hurt him and help the ‘Rats. My guess on that is because they couldn’t stop Marco Rubio, they’d get their vengeance on West, and by God, they did.

Steve Eggleston on November 8, 2012 at 11:03 PM

I can testify that EkDahl’s account is totally accurate.

ORCA was a disastah.

Want to know the irony?

It was built on a failed Dem template from ’07.

And that one crashed, too.

They literally bought a failed program.

Mitt is a great guy, but when he didn’t fire Fehrnstrum after “etch-a-sketch”, I was always afraid of the W strain of loyalty-trumps-all mentality.

He had one shot after Denver, and they played it safe. And were killed for it. Very sad.

budfox on November 8, 2012 at 11:12 PM

The Keyes situation is a bit, shall we say, screwy. He came in cold and as a carpetbagger after the Jack/Jeri Ryan divorce records miraculously got unsealed and knocked Jack out of that race. He was never anything more than a placeholder.

Steve Eggleston on November 8, 2012 at 11:03 PM

I remember that disaster. Jack Ryan should never have agreed to release part of his divorce records. It only made the Chicago media curious about what they weren’t allowed to see. Pretty tawdry stuff, it turns out, but the local ABC station had no business asking a Los Angeles judge to unseal it in the first place.

So the State GOP went scrambling for a last-minute candidate against Barack Obama. But Alan Keyes? They flew him in from Maryland to run for Illinois Senator? Ugh.

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on November 8, 2012 at 11:41 PM

ORCA was a disastah.

Want to know the irony?

It was built on a failed Dem template from ’07.

And that one crashed, too.

They literally bought a failed program.

budfox on November 8, 2012 at 11:12 PM

Oh my God. Romney was running his campaign on Windows Vista. That actually explains a lot.

HTL on November 8, 2012 at 11:59 PM

Dirty tricks, yo. The DNC has it.

what about 100% voter turn out. If you guys aren’t pushing these stories, then Breitbart would be sad.

http://www.punditpress.com/2012/11/what-luck-obama-won-dozens-of-cleveland.html

joeindc44 on November 9, 2012 at 12:02 AM

This high-tech stuff is hogwash. Romney’s loss boils down to three things:

1. Failure to hammer Obama on Bengahzi
2. The awkward post-Sandy period where Romney was “off-line” for a few days; the whole Chris Christie/Obama bromance thing didn’t help either….he went overboard
3. The MEDIA. Sure, it sounds like a cop out, but it’s not. Think about these few examples:

a. The spurious claims made by Harry Reid that were never challenged by any of the networks
b. The equally spurious claims made by Obama spokeswoman Stehpanie Cutter…never challenged by the media.
c. BENGHAZI….we lost an ambassador and 3 other Americans over 2 months ago and the media still isn’t interested in what happened.
d. Treatment of the economy for Obama compared to GHWB and GWB…the last two Republican incumbents to face recessions.
e. The Chrysler/Jeep issue…Romney essentially quoted the Bloomberg article where the top Jeep guy said new production would be in China and eventually all production might be there….and yet the media and so-called fact-checkers jumped on the Dem bandwagon claiming Romney fabricated the whole thing.

You have to remember, most people still get the majority of their news from the local papers, radio and TV. If the media had done its job….there would never have been a first Obama term, let alone a second.

ScottiesRule on November 9, 2012 at 12:16 AM

Dirty tricks, yo. The DNC has it.

what about 100% voter turn out. If you guys aren’t pushing these stories, then Breitbart would be sad.

http://www.punditpress.com/2012/11/what-luck-obama-won-dozens-of-cleveland.html

joeindc44 on November 9, 2012 at 12:02 AM

HA? Not a chance. Not mainstream PC.

slickwillie2001 on November 9, 2012 at 12:16 AM

Obama knew he was losing; Romney knew he was winning. Something happened between Monday Nov. 5th & Tuesday Nov. 6th. And no PPP poll can convince me otherwise

Dark Star on November 8, 2012 at 9:47 PM

I suspected this too. But we will never find out, won’t we?

vnohara on November 9, 2012 at 12:43 AM

This high-tech stuff is hogwash. Romney’s loss boils down to three things…

You have to remember, most people still get the majority of their news from the local papers, radio and TV. If the media had done its job….there would never have been a first Obama term, let alone a second.

ScottiesRule on November 9, 2012 at 12:16 AM

No offense, but this is exactly the kind of dinosaur reasoning that will lose a few more elections for us. It’s the 80/20 rule. You’ve heard of that, right?

Messaging, MSM, minor tactical points, they all are part of the 80%. The last 20% you get with a better GOTV effort. Which is where Romney failed.

HTL on November 9, 2012 at 12:55 AM

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.

That’s one of the mistakes that Dems always make: That they’re the only ones smart enough to be on the cutting edge and harness new technology, etc. And that the GOP can never catch up. It’s ridiculous. It’s really just a matter of deciding to USE the technology or not. Once the GOP decides that it’s valuable, then it’s not magic. Just do it.

cicerone on November 9, 2012 at 12:58 AM

It’s really just a matter of deciding to USE the technology or not. Once the GOP decides that it’s valuable, then it’s not magic. Just do it.

cicerone on November 9, 2012 at 12:58 AM

Then by all means, can we please decide to use it? I am tired of being at an informational disadvantage and our guys have plenty of money to put into this stuff. Peter Schiff, Sheldon Adelson, we need you!

alwaysfiredup on November 9, 2012 at 1:16 AM

hey, the data from the precincts is coming out. How many 100% precincts will fellow cons need to witness before getting pissed off enough to demand change.

joeindc44 on November 9, 2012 at 1:31 AM

Had Romney reached out to the Tea Party, he would not have needed any “Technology”. There are TP Organizations in every town in this Nation. We have two in my town of about 50,000.

Dissing Sarah Palin and the Tea Parties wasn’t smart. Almost 100% of the Tea Party Members are Conservatives.

I don’t recall the T.P. word ever crossing Romney’s lips. I think Ryan said the word once.

Not smart.

bluefox on November 8, 2012 at 9:49 PM

But the GOP hates the Tea Party. Even though it was the Tea Party that delivered Ted Cruz.

Kyle_Reese on November 9, 2012 at 3:13 AM

People keep citing the negative ads the White House ran against Romeny back in spring and summer as explanation for his low turnout. But the damage those ads did was almost completely negated by Romney’s showing in the first debate. He surged ahead as the voters who’d had their impression of Romney molded by the negative ads, actually saw Romeny for themselves.

To discern what really shaped the final outcome of the vote, it’s necessary to focus on the period from the first debate, where Romney surged ahead to the last weekend of the campaign.

It’s that window of time that needs to be looked at.

sartana on November 9, 2012 at 4:05 AM

All I see are a bunch of masters of hindsight popping up right and left.

Does not impress.

Sherman1864 on November 9, 2012 at 5:32 AM

All I see are a bunch of masters of hindsight popping up right and left.

Does not impress.

Sherman1864 on November 9, 2012 at 5:32 AM

Defending Romney by trotting out Obama’s flip-flops is a losing argument. You want to replace the guy in office and you defend your candidate by saying he’s no different than what they already have? Romney’s flip-flops go to his credibility as being a vehicle for change. If he cannot offer change then what is the point of voting for more of the same?

sharrukin on November 28, 2011 at 8:33 PM

It wasn’t hindsight for many of us. I wasn’t alone either.

Just review the campaign from 2008 with John McCain. It will be the same, but worse, because Sarah Palin will not be involved.
Nominate Romney, lose.

carbon_footprint on November 28, 2011 at 8:19 PM

A preview of what’s to come if Mitt Romney is the GOP nominee

4 more years of President Pantload Golfsalot???

BigWyo on November 28, 2011 at 8:29 PM

1) 4 more years of Obama
2) The GOP was for mandates before it was against mandates. Say hello to Obamacare forever.

jhffmn on November 28, 2011 at 8:39 PM

Once again defeat from the jaws of victory, and this one hurts, because we had a chance of a lifetime to demonstrate how superior conservatism is to Omama/lib’s utter failure.

neuquenguy on November 28, 2011 at 8:44 PM

It is going to take someone with charisma to make Americans pay attention and end up knowing something, and Romney just is not that person.

astonerii on November 28, 2011 at 8:54 PM

You are confusing the uninspiring McCain with the equally uninspiring Mitt Romney — both of whom believed it was their turn to play president.

Punchenko on November 28, 2011 at 9:00 PM

“Conservative” Romney supporters don’t have any ground to stand on. Much like how Romney doesn’t stand on any solid ground on any given issue.

YoungAmerican on November 28, 2011 at 9:05 PM

Binggggooooooo…that’s exactly why Romney is the most unelectable candidate that could be nominated, regardless of what we’ve been force-fed for the past 3+ years.

ddrintn on November 28, 2011 at 9:15 PM

When you have to slice and dice the explanation so finely it gets old real fast. A few such explanations are OK, but after the third or fourth time people come to the obvious conclusion. The same conclusion that they came to with John Kerry, The Prince Of Nuance.

sharrukin on November 28, 2011 at 9:34 PM

Newt can win the election. Mitt can’t.

Mitt can’t win because people won’t go to the polls to vote Obama out with Mitt. They’ll go to the polls to vote Obama out with Newt, though.

DarthBrooks on November 28, 2011 at 10:36 PM

This. Romney doesn’t flip-flop in the classical sense, saying that he changed his mind on issues – he goes all-in and swears that he never did, said or believed what he did, said or believed in the past.

29Victor on November 28, 2011 at 11:10 PM

And that is just one thread.

sharrukin on November 9, 2012 at 6:25 AM

I live in Virginia, a state we were suposed to win. I got dozens of robo calls go vote. I got several calls from people go vote.

I doubt that a tenth of the electorat knew that the 7.9% of the populace who are “unemployed” is only about a third of the actual unemeployed and that similar percentages had stopped looking or were underemployed.

I doubt that 20% percent of the electorat knew that people over fifty would continue to have the same medicade coverage they currently have under the Ryan plan.

burt on November 9, 2012 at 9:03 AM

….but when he didn’t fire Fehrnstrum after “etch-a-sketch”, I was always afraid of the W strain of loyalty-trumps-all mentality.

He had one shot after Denver, and they played it safe. And were killed for it. Very sad.

budfox on November 8, 2012 at 11:12 PM

Fehrnstrom was speaking for Romney with the “etch a sketch”. Romney wanted to run as a squish and that is what he did.The Shawmut Group in Boston were the “strategists” behind Mitt. They are Massachusettts RINOs, who disguise Republicans in order to survive in a Left wilderness. They were the “brains” behind Scott Brown’s sell out campaign. Mitt ran a Massachusetts RINO campaign. A Massachusetts GOP campaign will always be defeated by the Left.

kingsmill on November 9, 2012 at 9:38 AM

Romney was an excellent candidate who ran a great campaign outperforming his party. He lost for many reasons including a stupid electorate and the fact leftist pundits beat the brains out of conservative pundits – who have no clue how to play the game.

Basilsbest on November 9, 2012 at 10:03 AM

A Massachusetts GOP campaign will always be defeated by the Left.kingsmill on November 9, 2012 at 9:38 AM

Despite the fact Obama had near universal support from the corrupt media, he did not beat Romney. The right beat Romney.

Basilsbest on November 9, 2012 at 10:06 AM

mittens is solely to blame for his failure…he’s a liar without a conservative soul

Pragmatic on November 9, 2012 at 10:07 AM

mittens is solely to blame for his failure…he’s a liar without a conservative soul

Pragmatic on November 9, 2012 at 10:07 AM

So a different candidate, with the same election strategy and the same failed get-out-the-vote campaign would have defeated the superbly effective Dem GOTV and biased media?

Mitsouko on November 9, 2012 at 10:37 AM

Let me also point out that Mitt ran up this campaign in 4 months, and Obama had four years.

That has to change if any kind of major GOTV effort is to be successful

Mitsouko on November 9, 2012 at 10:41 AM

So a different candidate, with the same election strategy and the same failed get-out-the-vote campaign would have defeated the superbly effective Dem GOTV and biased media?

Mitsouko on November 9, 2012 at 10:37 AM

No, a different candidate would have had a different election strategy, and a different candidate wouldn’t have treated the Tea Party, Ron Paul, Palin, and Gingrich the way Romney did. A different candidate would have had the dedicated Palin fans, Tea Party folks, and Ron Paul supporters helping the GOTV effort.

sharrukin on November 9, 2012 at 10:46 AM

I think part of our problem is that we keep looking to our presidential candidate to fix all of the problems. Romney was uniquely qualified to be our president. He did a good job as gov of Massachusetts, and we know he can run government efficiently and balance budgets.

However, we have always known that he’s not the best campaigner. This was evident when it took so long to close the deal during the primaries. Sure his campaign was well organized, but campaigning just isn’t his area of expertise. Hence small little mistakes, and big miscalculations on how the electorate behaves.

If we’re going to fix this problem we need to look at the RNC. We need a chair that understands these cutting edge strategies, and can put them to good use. Reince Priebus simply didn’t get the job done, and I’m concerned that Republicans are about to throw away another opportunity to find a chair that will turn our ground game around. Who that person is I don’t know yet. We need to take a good hard look at what it is we need to improve our ground game, and then select a chair that will be effective at implementing it.

SethEllis on November 9, 2012 at 10:47 AM

And what happened in Wisconsin? I thought the Walker GOTV machine was already there, yet we lost easily. How is that Romney’s fault?

SAZMD on November 8, 2012 at 9:51 PM

Even when Obama was unpopular nationally, he was well-liked in WI. During the Walker recall, the MU Law polls showed Walker winning by 6 pts and Obama winning by the same margin.

gumbyandpokey on November 9, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Stop! Already! We got beat! That’s it, accept it. Stop with the out organized, out campaigned, out spent, out maneuvered stuff! 14 million fewer people voted in this election than the last. How many stayed home because Romney was , rich, a Mormon, not their candidate, not Ron Paul? My idiot brother didn’t vote because some higher authority gave him the vision to know that Obama would win anyway! How many people fit in that demographic? Problem is, you can’t fix stupid! The good part in all of this is Obama has to stop blaming his predecessor now. If he even attempts to resolve some of the issues he’s facing, we can only benefit, if not, we’re down the drain.

Boats48 on November 9, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Personally, I feel Romney should at some point head the RNC.

Were there both organizational and fund-raising flaws? Well, yes. But one of the things Mr. Romney is good at is learning from mistakes. With his talent and ability to solely focus from a national party standpoint we could build an organization second to none. And we are going to need it.

Life is a series of experiences and everyone makes mistakes. The key is to not make the same mistakes twice by learning from them.

We as a party should realize that Democrats have been very good at making incremental gains with an eye towards the long term. There has been very good focus on achieving key objectives and then capitalizing at the right time. Look at education, SCOTUS and the historic Congressional majority they used to implement Obamacare.

Face it. We’ve never been that good, focused or principled. The Republican Party is one of internecine, almost feudal warfare- even when in power. We gain the levers of power to truly cement our agenda and make fundamental changes- then fold like a lawn chair in a wind storm. Democrats bend or use the rules in Congress to their advantage and when we get a chance to do the same, the rules are placed on an altar and we sings hymns about how we are better than that. Really? Is it about winning at all costs or whining while the other side stomps to victory?

Anyway, I think it is about building a better organization with focus on principles and then driving them home in a very articulate and familiar way. At the moment we are too focused on small things which arise out of the feudal structure that hold us together.

Marcus Traianus on November 9, 2012 at 12:14 PM

It turns out that sharrukin, ddrintn, astonerii, and others were right all along. Read sharrukin’s post above and learn something.

Short version: In a changing demographic we nominated the richest, whitest and least inspiring guy we could find. Because he was “electable”.

SurferDoc on November 9, 2012 at 12:34 PM

..and don’t drag Romney back around for another try. He’s dead, Jim.

SurferDoc on November 9, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Basilsbest on November 9, 2012 at 10:06 AM

The Squish Romney left 2 million McCain voters on the table. He had no shot at attracting the 9 million that Obuma left on the table. Those 11 million, low hanging fruit voters, were not going to be attracted by more abortion, more and free contraception, gender bending or the deconstruction of marriage. They were repelled by Willard because of the cultural signals he sends off : a plutocrat who stands for nothing.

kingsmill on November 9, 2012 at 1:11 PM

No, a different candidate would have had a different election strategy, and a different candidate wouldn’t have treated the Tea Party, Ron Paul, Palin, and Gingrich the way Romney did. A different candidate would have had the dedicated Palin fans, Tea Party folks, and Ron Paul supporters helping the GOTV effort.

sharrukin on November 9, 2012 at 10:46 AM

I still maintain that with only four months of preparation, it would still not match four years of preparation.

In 2016, the Dems will be in the same boat as us. That should help.

Mitsouko on November 9, 2012 at 1:16 PM

I still maintain that with only four months of preparation, it would still not match four years of preparation.

In 2016, the Dems will be in the same boat as us. That should help.

Mitsouko on November 9, 2012 at 1:16 PM

Romney had actively been running for President for 6 years and had been preparing for his entire life. He was possibly the most prepared candidate in US history. His failures were not for lack of time.

jonknee on November 9, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Every day it’s the same crap around here.

- third party
- more conservative
- Palin (shudder)

Clueless and tone deaf, you are.

Moesart on November 9, 2012 at 2:16 PM

But in the wake of his loss Romney’s campaign now looks ludicrous.

Indeed. And the Romney pushing shills like AllahPundit and Ace look incredibly ludicrous too.

promachus on November 9, 2012 at 4:59 PM

How many stayed home because Romney was , rich, a Mormon, not their candidate, not Ron Paul?
Boats48 on November 9, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Stop with the nonsense. Nobody resented Mittens his wealth. We all resented him because he was a janus faced, flip flopping big government, nanny state liberal who pursued scorched earth tactics against movement conservatives. He turned the GOP into one giant country club where people who didn’t go to Ivy League universities were not welcome. He turned the GOP into a 1950s Mad Men style frathouse where women were treated like sub humans. No wonder, the non-Ivy league working class white vote and women repaid with disdain and stayed home.

promachus on November 9, 2012 at 5:38 PM

Jack_Burton on November 8, 2012 at 8:54 PM

I don’t think that Conservative turnout was the problem. I think that the less engaged voters who were probably more disposed to Mitt were not sufficiently motivated to vote. I don’t know what it takes to get these lumps of humanity off of their collective a$$ and do their civic duty, but the words “cattle prod” come to mind.

In short, it looks to me that if people could vote from their couches Mitt would have won. The dire threats facing our country were not enough. It seems that only the catastrophe that is on its way MIGHT be sufficient.

MJBrutus on November 9, 2012 at 8:06 PM

It turns out that sharrukin, ddrintn, astonerii, and others were right all along. Read sharrukin’s post above and learn something.

Short version: In a changing demographic we nominated the richest, whitest and least inspiring guy we could find. Because he was “electable”.

SurferDoc on November 9, 2012 at 12:34 PM

The reason I said he was not a good choice had nothing to do with any of that.

It was
“my views are progressive”
“And that plant kills people”
“Severely conservative” Although that was said later, it follows the path.
John Holdren as an adviser, same man who said we should force feed people birth control by spiking the water. Same man who was Obama’s science czar.
His end run around the congress of his state to implement gay marriage while a constitutional amendment was being worked on.
His record of judicial appointments.
I cannot find my long list of items, but it is at least 20 times longer than this.
Romney was only a Republican because it was the only party base he could use to get on the ballot in Massachusetts. You cannot out progressive a Democrat, so he came in on the other ticket. The fact that he won the primary is the most scary thing about the 2012 election.
I still cannot believe I voted for him, AND HE STILL LOST. That burns. Keeps me up nights now. I caved and voted, where the hell were the other millions of people!

astonerii on November 9, 2012 at 8:59 PM

Now you know the answer to: What does a community organizer do?

ZippyZ on November 9, 2012 at 10:07 PM

The Romney campaign should have been deploying Call-Fire phone banking to call republicans in all battleground states. Callfire is web-based, so it allows people from their own home to simply call in using their cell-phone and make calls on the campaigns half. Peter Schiff tried this in his first failed Senate bid, but they were able to make use of technology in an effective way. I think it’d be better used as a get out the vote technique, rather than a voter solicitation technique. I think they called it the phone from home program. Watch this video to learn more. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4i_IN3ecg4&feature=relmfu

Keep in mind, I did not even support Romney.. lol

fatlibertarianinokc on November 9, 2012 at 10:38 PM

Romney was a dud right from the start and now he has proven it.

Sparky5253 on November 10, 2012 at 12:07 AM

Here’s another sign.

I ordered Romney/Ryan campaign buttons weeks ago.

On Friday, I got an email stating they had shipped on 11/9.

https://purpleslog.wordpress.com/2012/11/10/my-personal-romney-campaign-fubar/

purpleslog on November 10, 2012 at 4:37 AM

MITT SUCKED!!!!

And why?……….simple……he lost.

So he now joins the RINO LOSER Hall of Shame (Dole/Ford/Dewey/McCain/Wilkie,etc)

……and we get higher debt, disarmament flexibility, Death Panels, and other goodies….permanently.

PappyD61 on November 10, 2012 at 7:50 AM

Forget the current Petraeus scandal – that’s just the Wizard Of Oz (the Democrat Party) hoping that American voters will focus on that instead of the real issue here.

Gov Romney wasn’t out-organized by the Democrat Party. “Changing Demographics” weren’t the cause of this election’s results.

THE ONLY ISSUE IS THAT THE DEMOCRAT PARTY STOLE THIS ELECTION THROUGH MASSIVE VOTER FRAUD AND WE ARE LETTING THEM GET AWAY WITH IT JUST LIKE WE DID IN 2008.

Just the disallowed military absentee ballots alone would have easily had Gov Romney winning this election. The military ballots in question were “lost”, “blown up in plane crashes”, “arrived too late to be counted”, etc. The Democrat Party better not keep pulling this BS because eventually the American military will catch on and think twice about supporting an American Gummint that despises them.

CatchAll on November 12, 2012 at 10:23 AM

Stop! Already! We got beat! That’s it, accept it. Stop with the out organized, out campaigned, out spent, out maneuvered stuff! 14 million fewer people voted in this election than the last.

Boats48 on November 9, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Simply not true. http://www.google.com/elections/ed/us/results

The gap is down to about 6.5M today with much of that shortfall coming from Hurricane Sandy hit, NY, NJ,CT. Rove et al are lying to you again, knowing 9.5m votes got added to total after the 2008 election, estimates are 9.9M this year due in part to Sandy.

You must realize people will tell you anything to make money. David Frum started writing his book “Why Romney Lost” in September (and didn’t have an alternate version) Tim Pawlenty quit as co-chair, who does that if they really expect a win?

The Fox, Drudge, Rush…. Media complex took people for suckers. Heck, Fox on air talent was trumpeting Rasmussen IGNORING Their own Fox polls. How does that work? Ignoring your own polls, questioning the Ohio call FOX made on air, forcing the data guys to say 99.95% chance of Obama win.

People need to stop being led by entertainers who get rich selling them crap sandwiches. Get out of the alternate reality bubble. 50% of the population below 18 is non white, adapt to that reality or be prepared to repeat this thread, 4,8 and 12 years from now.

NextGen on November 12, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Media Bubble, exposed.

NextGen on November 12, 2012 at 10:36 AM

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