Romney: Bill Clinton told me I might have won if not for the hurricane

posted at 5:11 pm on November 15, 2012 by Allahpundit

I’ve written two posts trying to debunk this idea but the fact that pols as savvy as Clinton and Haley Barbour are still pushing it is alarming. One of the lessons of the election, I thought, was that we should trust the math nerds when they read the chicken entrails of polling. Okay, well, the math nerds say that the hurricane wasn’t decisive. Mitt may be the only person in the GOP right now who benefits from believing that it was. He’s done running for office so he doesn’t need to worry about figuring out what went wrong with the larger operation or message.

In fairness to him, though, even he doesn’t sound completely convinced of Clinton’s theory, noting that BC was perhaps being overly “effusive” in his praise during their chat. He doesn’t offer a reason why but I’ll give you two possibilities (beyond the obvious “Clinton was just trying to be nice” explanation). One: Obama said at yesterday’s presser that he’ll talk to Romney before end of the year and praised some of his career accomplishments, like running the Olympics. I’m skeptical that he’d overcome his alleged disdain for Mitt enough to offer him a position of some kind — although people have been spitballing about that online — but maybe he thinks Romney can be useful to him somehow. At the very least, he’d get some points for comity and bipartisanship from the general public by bringing him onboard. Maybe Clinton is anticipating that and this was an early step to try to heal the breach. Two: Don’t forget that Romney spoke at the annual conference held by Clinton’s Global Initiative in the heat of the campaign, just a short time after Clinton destroyed him in his speech at the Democratic convention. Could be that Clinton felt obliged to reach out now since Romney was gracious enough to do him that favor. (He’s become good friends with the Bush family despite beating Bush 41.) If nothing else, it’s smart to stay in the good graces of a potential donor as generous and well connected as Romney.

But I digress. Here’s a new problem with the hurricane theory that I haven’t mentioned before. How likely is it that the race changed in the last few days when, by and large, it hadn’t changed much for the previous three months? To put it differently, what if the campaigns themselves just didn’t really matter?

We all know that most voters decide who to vote for well before the campaigns begin. In political science research, this is called the “minimal effects” thesis. Basically the vast majority of the voters vote how we would expect them to long before the election. The first study to investigate this phenomenon focused on voters during the 1940 election. Researchers found that only 8 percent of voters changed their preference over the course of the campaign. In 70 years, not much has changed…

Well, according to the best statistical models out there—no. This isn’t to say that Obama should have sat the race out as Romney dragged himself across the country. Indeed, if the campaigns were not equally run by the top professionals in the field with endless cash on hand, one campaign would matter. But when the campaigns have equal access to financial and intellectual capital, both could call it a day after the convention. Their activities simply cancel each other out. We could have all ignored the news since August and the election results would have come out the same.

There is one caveat though: as all of this evidence shows, elections are not won by convincing people to vote for a candidate for whom they are not previously inclined. The importance of the campaigns is to get more of their supporters to the polls than the other team. To paraphrase one Obama campaign aide, presidential appearances have nothing to do with convincing voters, they are about rallying the troops and keeping supporters passionate so that they actually turn out on Election Day (and bring their friends).

Reminds me of Drew Linzer’s boast that his Votomatic statistical model was predicting the eventual electoral college totals — Obama 332, Romney 206, give or take — as early as June. Another statistical model I saw claimed that the only thing that really moved the polls much either way over the last month or two was Romney’s performance at the first debate, but of course that wasn’t a campaign event. I think it’s theoretically true that two smart, well funded campaigns will more or less neutralize each other; problem is, both sides didn’t have “equal access to financial and intellectual capital” this time, or they didn’t utilize it equally if they did. Obama had more data, was smarter about how he targeted voters, was evidently more efficient in turning them out, and was shrewder strategically in defining Romney as a kleptocratic tax-cheating layoff artist early in the campaign. (Romney was handicapped in all those things by the fact that he had to worry about a contested primary.) That was the real hurricane. It blew away the traditional “likely voter” turnout model and replaced it with something that looked more like a “registered voter” model. If you’re a professional campaign “meteorologist” for the GOP, how on earth did you not see it on the radar?


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And Jesus answering, began to say to them, Take heed lest any man deceive you.
.
Mark 13:5

FlaMurph on November 15, 2012 at 5:14 PM

Yesm I am sure those 150-200% voting precincts did not matter, either. 42% of those pooled said that Sandy DID WEIGH ON THEIR DECISION.

But, sure, numbers don’t lie. It just depends which numbers you want to discuss.

riddick on November 15, 2012 at 5:14 PM

And now, after the election – we find that Willard is a delusional fool.

HondaV65 on November 15, 2012 at 5:15 PM

Could this mean a Romney comeback in 2016?

lester on November 15, 2012 at 5:15 PM

Dear Romney:

It’s time to shut up now.

Yours,

King

KingGold on November 15, 2012 at 5:15 PM

It all depends on what your definition of “IF” is.

Pork-Chop on November 15, 2012 at 5:16 PM

The poor dead horse says “please stop beating me”.

JPeterman on November 15, 2012 at 5:16 PM

Why are we still believing and promoting anything Bill Clinton says?

BetseyRoss on November 15, 2012 at 5:17 PM

Progressive looks for progressive’s opinion, takes it seriously.

astonerii on November 15, 2012 at 5:17 PM

Another reason Romney lost is because he believes stuff the Commies say.

Axion on November 15, 2012 at 5:17 PM

Obama today “I’m here to fix it”.

Relax, Obama will fix everything.

Oh, the Clintons voted for McCain and for Romney.

Schadenfreude on November 15, 2012 at 5:17 PM

The only way I can see the hurricane having an effect is for those who paid no attention until the final week. If they saw Obama walking arm-in-arm with the fawning Chris Chistie -ye of the massive mancrush- it’s possible those folks could have been persuaded by it. And it’s not as if the national media made any mention of the failures of FEMA in particular and government in general.

If you were looking for a reason to vote Obama, Sandy may have given it to you.

BKeyser on November 15, 2012 at 5:17 PM

Mitt may be the only person in the GOP right now who benefits from believing that it was. He’s done running for office so he doesn’t need to worry about figuring out what went wrong with the larger operation or message.

It’s also because he doesn’t want to come to terms with A)his campaign organization being substandard to say the least and B)giving the electorate a clear choice between fiscal insolvency and at least attempting to right the ship only to have 51% of voters opt for the former.

I can’t blame the dude. It breaks my heart that we’re past the point of no return as a nation. That’s why the Let It Burn brigade is growing by the day.

Doughboy on November 15, 2012 at 5:17 PM

AP is not totally outlandish. Remember the Gallup poll, that had to go down because of the hurricane, consistently had Romney up 4 to 5 pts before they went because of the hurricane. Then when they were able to get back up again, Romney only led by a point. So there was definitely a hurricane bounce that sustained itself through election day.

Empirically, I can speak for the Christie affect on the morale of Dems too. A friend of mine was raving about the Christie-Obama deal and I just think that it is not outlandish to suggest the hurricane made people at the margins feel like they didn’t want to change horses. It was enough to get Obama reelected.

milemarker2020 on November 15, 2012 at 5:18 PM

Hey Honda can u please explain why 3 million evangelicals didn’t show up? Were they idiots like you?

drballard on November 15, 2012 at 5:19 PM

Could this mean a Romney comeback in 2016?

lester on November 15, 2012 at 5:15 PM

.
Decency has been killed. Its never coming back.

President Pantsuit 2016,…..will have no opposition to speak of.

FlaMurph on November 15, 2012 at 5:19 PM

Hurricane Sandy’s first fatality was a large ORCA drowned.

Shut up Mitt.

Go back to the private sector, where you were proven successful.

portlandon on November 15, 2012 at 5:22 PM

Hey Honda can u please explain why 3 million evangelicals didn’t show up? Were they idiots like you?

drballard on November 15, 2012 at 5:19 PM

Why was the Mormon vote down in 2012 compared to 2008?

portlandon on November 15, 2012 at 5:22 PM

Umm.. Clinton is up to his troublemaking, Obama undermining ways again. He’ll totally help Obama get elected, but he’s probably conflicted about Obama’s second term being successful. There’s Billy Jeff’s legacy to protect after all.

And as a sidenote, there is no way in hell that Romney and Obama will ever be in the same room together. Romney’s remarks suggest he still hates Obama and Romney is going to go off and enjoy being rich and not help Obama pretend to be bipartisan. The more amusing relationship to watch will by Ryan and Obama. Those two really hate each other, but can’t avoid each other. I anticipate the world’s most massive four year sniping match between those two.

Illinidiva on November 15, 2012 at 5:24 PM

Hey Honda can u please explain why 3 million evangelicals didn’t show up? Were they idiots like you?

drballard on November 15, 2012 at 5:19 PM

He voted for little Bammie and is trying to get back into his concern troll disguise.

slickwillie2001 on November 15, 2012 at 5:24 PM

Why not accept Romney’s “gift” explanation? Sure, all Presidents do it, but it usually means an extra defense plant somewhere. In this case, each interest got something essential, not peripheral, to their cause.

And not, it should be added, w/o some risk to Obama. It’s easy in hindsight to say gay marriage was a no-brainer, but O risked alienating large swaths of his base. Obama pushed the limits of his executive authority and gave his groups powerful incentives to be thankful to him. And they were.

bobs1196 on November 15, 2012 at 5:25 PM

it is not outlandish to suggest the hurricane made people at the margins feel like they didn’t want to change horses. It was enough to get Obama reelected.

milemarker2020 on November 15, 2012 at 5:18 PM

Agreed. There were a lot of tepid Obama voters who were starting to give Mitt a last look …the hurricane not only knocked him off the radar for days, but it reassured them that Obama really was their guy.

Christie went out of his way to fawn over the guy, and never once reiterated his support for Romney, or invited him to tour the area, as Bobby Jindal did after the last big summer hurricane. Ugh. Oh well..

Priscilla on November 15, 2012 at 5:26 PM

Somewhat off topic but why in hell would Romney meet with Barky after being savaged as a woman and minority hating felon with a clear connection to the worst of Dickensian London.

xkaydet65 on November 15, 2012 at 5:26 PM

Obama had more data, was smarter about how he targeted voters, was evidently more efficient in turning them out, and was shrewder strategically in defining Romney as a kleptocratic tax-cheating layoff artist early in the campaign. (Romney was handicapped in all those things by the fact that he had to worry about a contested primary.) That was the real hurricane.

No, the real hurricane was Hurricane MSM.

Del Dolemonte on November 15, 2012 at 5:26 PM

And Jesus answering, began to say to them, Take heed lest any man deceive you.
.
Mark 13:5

FlaMurph on November 15, 2012 at 5:14 PM

Don’t worry, the GOP will have its “Come to Jesus” moment soon enough (as in Jesus, your Mexican neighbor). That’s the only way it will win in key swing states.

bayam on November 15, 2012 at 5:27 PM

was evidently more efficient in turning them out

Really? Could’ve sworn I saw stats that said his turnout was depressed by 8-9 million voters whereas the GOP turnout was only depressed by 2-3 million. Still enough to add up to a victory but… better at getting his voters to turn out? Hmmm…

Midas on November 15, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Hey Honda can u please explain why 3 million evangelicals didn’t show up? Were they idiots like you?

drballard on November 15, 2012 at 5:19 PM

Bigots

Who really won it for Obama are the millennials.

If you own a business fire a bunch of them. They are spoiled brats who need to learn life lessons. You can’t do better than that. Many more decent and smarter people deserve their jobs.

Let their illusions and Utopia be sustained by Obama, er…

Starve the looters and Obama.

Schadenfreude on November 15, 2012 at 5:28 PM

Could this mean a Romney comeback in 2016?

lester on November 15, 2012 at 5:15 PM

You must be so proud of your Dear Leader. Not only did he set an alltime American record in 2008 by getting 70% of the high school dropout vote, he got many more than that this time around, according to CNN:

High School Dropout Votes for O’bamna 2012 by Blue State:

PA: 82%

CA: 80%

NV: 73%

OH: 67%

FL: 66%

Enjoy your next 4 years, Kid.

Del Dolemonte on November 15, 2012 at 5:29 PM

The Romney Family Political track record is not good.

George Romney Runs for Governor 1962: WIN
George Romney Presidential Campaign 1968: LOSS
Lenore Romney Michigan Senatorial Run 1970: LOSS
G. Scott Romney Michigan Attorney General Run 1998: LOSS
Ronna Romney Michigan Senatorial Run 1994: LOSS
Ronna Romney Michigan Senatorial Run 1996: LOSS
Mitt Romney Massachusetts Senatorial Run 1994: LOSS
Mitt Romney Runs for Governor: WIN
Mitt Romney Runs for Republican Presidential Nominee: LOSS
Mitt Romney Runs for President of United States: LOSS

Their private sector successes are great. But their political track record is terrible.

Romney is 1 of 4. That means Romney has a 25% success rate in politics.

This is who was suppose to beat Obama?

The GOP should have known better than to back a guy who is a success in the private sector, but a failure in the political world.

Clinton Family: Success
Bush Family: Success
Kennedy Family: Success
Romney Family: Fail

portlandon on November 15, 2012 at 5:31 PM

Reminds me of Drew Linzer’s boast that his Votomatic statistical model was predicting the eventual electoral college totals — Obama 332, Romney 206, give or take — as early as June.

Right. And meanwhile on Halloween we had the following cautious optimism at this site:

One of the core reasons to support Romney in the primary, for those who did, was that he was the only Republican running with an organization sophisticated enough to match O’s. Here’s the payoff from Pew:

LOL, read the comments too. Here. They’re a hoot.

ddrintn on November 15, 2012 at 5:31 PM

Why was the Mormon vote down in 2012 compared to 2008?
portlandon on November 15, 2012 at 5:22 PM

Perhaps it’s because there are a lot more Hispanic Mormons now than in 2004.

jawkneemusic on November 15, 2012 at 5:33 PM

Stupid Party nonsense.

No Establishment candidate since Nixon was forced from office has won. None ever will. It is that simple. Conservatives will not vote if an establishment candidate is nominated.

The Tea Party in 2010 is 100% proof that Conservatism will win election it did nationwide.

Steveangell on November 15, 2012 at 5:34 PM

Hey Honda can u please explain why 3 million evangelicals didn’t show up? Were they idiots like you?

drballard on November 15, 2012 at 5:19 PM

Why was the Mormon vote down in 2012 compared to 2008?

portlandon on November 15, 2012 at 5:22 PM

Oh, you know the answer to that one. Their spirits were crushed by Akin and Mourdock. Natch.

ddrintn on November 15, 2012 at 5:36 PM

I’m sorting through some old things I wrote several years ago, and I came across a 2009 quote David Horowitz:

The only way to defeat the left — and I have failed in twenty years of arguing this to persuade conservatives — is to turn the table around and attack their moral self-image. Leftists are in fact the enemies and oppressors of women, children, gays, minorities and the poor, and conservatives should never confront them without reminding them of this fact.

It was true then. It’s true now.

INC on November 15, 2012 at 5:37 PM

Black Swans (which is different from an October Surprise) do occur & they can change an election. However, Sandy wasn’t a Black Swan that did — it is just the excuse Obama & the MSM are using to “explain” the results. All those enthusiastic crowds Romney was getting, Obama slumped over the podium, rambling & crying that this was his “last election” the night before election day and left-leaning papers flipping their endorsements? All figments of the imagination.

If you want an explanation, how about looking at these numbers: Romney outperformed other GOP candidates in states he won (such as outperforming Akin by 10+ in MO) and ran much closer to Obama in traditional blue states that Obama won than McCain did(for example, in 2012 Obama won states by +4 that he won in 2008 by +14) yet somehow, magically, Obama didn’t lose votes at the same rate in the “swing states” of OH, NH, VA, FL or CO and, in fact, even more magically, it was only in certain, critical areas of those swing states that Obama not ran better against Romney than anywhere else in those states, he ran even better than he did against McCain.

Face it: Romney wasn’t the problem here. Until people on the right (especially the ABRs who are more than happy to jump on the “blame Romney” bandwagon) acknowledge that, they are never going to understand exactly what we are up against.

Dark Star on November 15, 2012 at 5:38 PM

Anyway, Romney I fear must be on some kind of suicide watch.

Sherman1864 on November 15, 2012 at 5:39 PM

If you’re a professional campaign “meteorologist” for the GOP, how on earth did you not see it on the radar?

I am reading Sasha Issenberg’s The Victory Lab which gives a long detailed history of campaigns and the build up to this micro-targeting used by OFA. One of the key parts of the book is that winning campaigns are operating by stealth, winning in the margins in tactics that are largely undetected by the media. Micro-targeting irregular voters might make detection of their intent to vote difficult to measure with likely voter screens.

There is definitely something about the approach detailed in the book that resonates in explaining this election. Watching polls for much of the year was like watching paint dry. There was little movement right up until the Dem convention. Polls seemed to pick an immediate lead for Obama as though someone turned on a light switch. My guess Axelrod was polling specifically looking for this movement whereas pollsters such as Gallup might have screened these voters out of their likely sample. Note too Gallup registered voter screen was close to final results. Prior to the convention Gallup showed Romney with a lead.

GOP pollsters and strategists have a lot of catching up to do. OFA and Issenberg seem to think GOP can’t catch up with Dems so advanced in these techniques. I am not sure I buy that.

msmveritas on November 15, 2012 at 5:40 PM

What a cute couple: Bill, who wants everybody to love him, and Mitt, who needs a little self-esteem building right now.

They’re made for each other.

urban elitist on November 15, 2012 at 5:41 PM

Willard would wage an identical “referendum on the economy” RINO campaign if Elijah himself appeared announcing the Last Days. Do not nominate or support RINOs!!!!

kingsmill on November 15, 2012 at 5:41 PM

I’d rather lose than stoop to the politics of the left. Principles still matter to many. I am looking forward to the mess that will be left by this administration so those that voted for these idiots will maybe…finally, learn a lesson in becoming informed voters instead of mindless zombies.

Deano1952 on November 15, 2012 at 5:42 PM

So portlondon should the GOP have nominated Jeb Bush.. After all the Bushes are totally successful electorally.

Illinidiva on November 15, 2012 at 5:42 PM

Hey Mitt “You Lost”

Now act like Mr. Nicklas and be gracious….

For it’s now how you act when you win, but how you act when you lose…GET IT!

Good Night Now….<strong>

not-ur-avragejoe on November 15, 2012 at 5:42 PM

No Establishment candidate since Nixon was forced from office has won. None ever will. It is that simple. Conservatives will not vote if an establishment candidate is nominated.

You have forgotten about the Bushes, especially George HW Bush. Remember him? Director of the CIA? Coiner of the term “Voodoo Economics” in his slugfest AGAINST Reagan?

Resist We Much on November 15, 2012 at 5:44 PM

Hey Honda can u please explain why 3 million evangelicals didn’t show up? Were they idiots like you?

drballard on November 15, 2012 at 5:19 PM

Why was the Mormon vote down in 2012 compared to 2008?

portlandon on November 15, 2012 at 5:22 PM

Because there aren’t exit polls for Utah or Idaho? Got anymore false junk to spew smartass?

Kinda sick of idiots blaming the election on a guy who outperformed the GOP as a whole in this election. Not saying he couldn’t have done things better but it is what it is. Hell dumbass Akin ran 26 POINTS!!! behind Romney in MO which Romney won by 10. Are we supposed to act like that didn’t hurt the GOP brand in more swing-like states?

And to the geniuses who want to criticize Mitt for being honest about “Gifts” costing us the election…As we all know there are 15 million more people on food stamps alone in the last 4 years. Are we supposed to assume these people didn’t have an incentive to go vote for the guy that they perceive will keep “helping” them.

Romney made some strategic errors and GOP consultants in all campaigns seem like F’ing conmen, but as far as things we could’ve actually changed in 5 months..none of them come close to the entitlement culture killing us and our portrayal as racist sexist extremists in the MSM. It’s no secret that in the last 12 years the media has went into overdrive to destroy all of our national candidates and their running mates…it’s worked most of the time too, atleast to an extent.

jaygatz33 on November 15, 2012 at 5:44 PM

You know that’s his version of rubbing it in, when the economy finally collapses and inflation is at least double digits Willy will be the first to say he could have done it better and Hill’s the man for the job.

Speakup on November 15, 2012 at 5:45 PM

So portlondon should the GOP have nominated Jeb Bush.. After all the Bushes are totally successful electorally.

Illinidiva on November 15, 2012 at 5:42 PM

He’ll run in ’16. We’ll find out how successful he’ll be.

As for ’08 or ’12? No way. Bush fatigue is still lingering.

Clinton Fatigue lasted for awhile too.

portlandon on November 15, 2012 at 5:45 PM

I worked for the campaign in Ohio and in project ORCA. I believe Romney lost for the following reasons.

1. Not contesting the summer ads that smeared him here in Ohio and listening to consultants like Gillespie that he’s saving his funds for October. October was too late. The same thing happened to Dole and people like me were screaming at the campaign to get some rebuttal ads in Ohio.

2. Alienating Ron Paul voters. What they did to Ron Paul and the Morton Blackwell/Virginia and Rhode Island delegations, keeping them locked on a bus so they could not attend the rules meeting. Such behavior just does not lend itself to the unity needed to unseat an incumbent president – but they did it anyway. My experience in this campaign and the election results tells me it had a negative effect (voter turnout for Romney less than it would have been) – how big an effect would be the ground over which any debate would be fought.

Ron Paul was very popular in Virginia, New Hampshire and Iowa, as well as Oklahoma, Minnesota, Oregon, Louisiana, Oregon, and to a lesser degree, Washington, Idaho, Ohio and Florida in descending order. Romney at least lost Virginia, Iowa, and New Hampshire because of their infantile treatment of Paul supporters in some caucuses and at the convention.

Just know this though; with the rules changes the GOP establishment forced through, Ronald Reagan would never have gained the Republican nomination.

3. A weak and ineffective get-out-the-base effort, at least in Ohio.

4. A failure to take on Obama strongly in the 2nd and 3rd debates.

5. A failure to have in place a strong poll watching effort to prevent fraud.

6. A failure to take on Obama on issues like the $4.7 trillion in deficits where effectively $4.2 trillion went to reduce the bad debt of the big bank owners of the Federal Reserve from $17.3 trillion to $13.1 trillion. Most were heavy 2008 Obama donors. A point that should have been made over and over to illustrate Obama’s real connections to Wall Street and inattention to a failing economic recovery.

7. A failure to take Obama on the Libyan scandal when he had the chance.

8. A failure to explain his program in any detail that made sense to most voters.

9. In Ohio, Governor Kasich alienated some voters over the way collective bargaining issues with government employees were handled. He should have followed Governor Walker’s model in Wisconsin.

I apologize – I’ve run out of time to include the other reasons.

Falcon46 on November 15, 2012 at 5:45 PM

Bottom line: Romney was the worst possible presidential candidate for this election. The GOP couldn’t have FIELDED a WORST candidate if they tried. Romney fit Obama’s campaign strategy of the rich 1% guy who made his money on wall street.

Could Obama have asked for a better candidate to run his “class warfare soak the rich Wall Street is evil” campaign on?

Look at the NY Times Election page you will see that Romney under performed McCain in OH significantly especially in white working class counties, also it happened in FL, and VA.

It says that white working class voters who hated Obama hated Romney more becomes he embodied the caricature.

Raquel Pinkbullet on November 15, 2012 at 5:46 PM

Geez. Willard can’t even keep his excuses straight.

Mr. Arrogant on November 15, 2012 at 5:46 PM

he’d get some points for comity and bipartisanship from the general public

Obama doesn’t need points, he won. I just don’t see him giving any thoughts to what the over 50 million Americans who voted against him think, especially when it comes to comity and bipartisanship. Didn’t see any evidence of that the last 4 years, don’t expect to see any this coming 4, either.

scalleywag on November 15, 2012 at 5:46 PM

Wasn’t Republican turnout for the primaries down this year?

Wasn’t the audience for the Republican Convention down by around 40% from 2008?

Didn’t the polls accurately predict what happened?

So why are they now trying to blame it on a hurricane?

sharrukin on November 15, 2012 at 5:47 PM

Face it: Romney wasn’t the problem here.

Dark Star on November 15, 2012 at 5:38 PM

Well, partly right: the problem was also his little claque of squish sycophants who, realizing how utterly weak their candidate was and how utterly embarrassing this loss is, have to point out the losses of a couple of conservative GOP candidates to justify their own strategic “brilliance”.

ddrintn on November 15, 2012 at 5:47 PM

O/T: Beckel on The Five just tried to tell kids there is, “in fact”, a Santa Claus. My kids started crying because they know when a lib moves his lips, he’s lieing.

freedomfirst on November 15, 2012 at 5:47 PM

I thought, was that we should trust the math nerds when they read the chicken entrails of polling.
===============================

Or Donkey Poo either!!
(sarc)

canopfor on November 15, 2012 at 5:48 PM

msmveritas on November 15, 2012 at 5:40 PM

Way back in 1990, I worked for a California state assemblyman who had won a special election in June and immdeiately had to run for the full term. He was running in San Diego with the very popular former Mayor Pete Wilson at the top of the ticket running for Governor. He was running against the same guy he beat in the special. And we never saw the guy. There was one debate. Otherwise, he ran no ads, had no street or yard signs, and we saw no direct mail from him. Totally puzzling. We ran ads, had signs all over, did a zillion townhalls and rallies, had the guy in every public place possible for four months, and did direct mail pieces every week.

Three days before the election, the Democrats dropped 10 pieces of mail, all negative, with two of them concern-trolling conservatives that my boss was voting with the liberals in Sacramento. We had no time to recover or respond.

My boss lost by 660 votes out of 144,000 cats. There were 2800 undervotes in the district, peopel who voted in other races but not in ours.

Democrats are really good at this stuff, and have been for a long time. Republicans are very naive about campaigns and still using 1970s methods and theories.

rockmom on November 15, 2012 at 5:48 PM

Nice guy, Bill Clinon.
He didn’t have to bullsh*t Romney to try and make the poor guy feel better…but he did anyway.

verbaluce on November 15, 2012 at 5:49 PM

Falcon46 on November 15, 2012 at 5:45 PM

Ron Paul voters are mostly Dems. They don’t vote GOP otherwise. If Ron Paul would have been nominated he would have lost in a 50 state landslide. Heck even I would have voted for Obama in that case.

The rest of your points are reasonable, but the kooky Ron Paul stuff discredits you.

Raquel Pinkbullet on November 15, 2012 at 5:50 PM

I’m sorting through some old things I wrote several years ago, and I came across a 2009 quote David Horowitz:

The only way to defeat the left — and I have failed in twenty years of arguing this to persuade conservatives — is to turn the table around and attack their moral self-image. Leftists are in fact the enemies and oppressors of women, children, gays, minorities and the poor, and conservatives should never confront them without reminding them of this fact.

It was true then. It’s true now.

INC on November 15, 2012 at 5:37 PM

Good quote and 100% true. Sometimes it takes somebody who actually was involved with the activist left to accurately know how to defeat them. I can only hope people don’t turn insulated populist idiot like Jindal and actually get aggressive.

jaygatz33 on November 15, 2012 at 5:50 PM

Face it: Romney wasn’t the problem here. Until people on the right (especially the ABRs who are more than happy to jump on the “blame Romney” bandwagon) acknowledge that, they are never going to understand exactly what we are up against.

Dark Star on November 15, 2012 at 5:38 PM

To take a page from Harry Potter, we need to send our party leaders to a Defense Against the Dark Arts class.

rockmom on November 15, 2012 at 5:53 PM

Yesm I am sure those 150-200% voting precincts did not matter, either. 42% of those pooled said that Sandy DID WEIGH ON THEIR DECISION.

But, sure, numbers don’t lie. It just depends which numbers you want to discuss.

riddick on November 15, 2012 at 5:14 PM

Indeed. I guess you also can’t believe the 9% of the voting public that said they made up their mind in the last few days of the campaign.

If even HALF of these numbers is to be believed, then the people for whom the hurricane was an important factor that also made up their mind in the final week of the campaign was most definitely more than Obama’s margin of victory.

deadrody on November 15, 2012 at 5:54 PM

Hey Honda can u please explain why 3 million evangelicals didn’t show up? Were they idiots like you?

drballard on November 15, 2012 at 5:19 PM

Why was the Mormon vote down in 2012 compared to 2008?

portlandon on November 15, 2012 at 5:22 PM

.
White meat may taste better…but eating each other probably is gonna be that appetizing.
Listen up:
Tired of saying this. About 2.5 million people die each year in the US. The majority of those are Seniors. From the tail end of the “Greatest generation”. We lose more votes this way each year, than the socialists do. These seniors are being replaced with more moderate (read Dem) seniors- as the start of the baby boomers retire….yes, the “ME generation has consequences. And each year more liberal teens come of voting age. (although Mitt DID WIN 18-29 yr old white voters-not bad)
So at both ends of the population scale, Conservative votes are declining- naturally – beyond any control or appeal of Patriotism. Blame Romney if you need to- HE will have gotten as close as we get- for a long time.

Call it demographics if you want- but its just a pure case of being outnumbered.
President Pantsuit 2016 will literally be able to, phone it in.

FlaMurph on November 15, 2012 at 5:55 PM

Because there aren’t exit polls for Utah or Idaho? Got anymore false junk to spew smartass?

Kinda sick of idiots blaming the election on a guy who outperformed the GOP as a whole in this election. Not saying he couldn’t have done things better but it is what it is. Hell dumbass Akin ran 26 POINTS!!! behind Romney in MO which Romney won by 10. Are we supposed to act like that didn’t hurt the GOP brand in more swing-like states?

And to the geniuses who want to criticize Mitt for being honest about “Gifts” costing us the election…As we all know there are 15 million more people on food stamps alone in the last 4 years. Are we supposed to assume these people didn’t have an incentive to go vote for the guy that they perceive will keep “helping” them.

Romney made some strategic errors and GOP consultants in all campaigns seem like F’ing conmen, but as far as things we could’ve actually changed in 5 months..none of them come close to the entitlement culture killing us and our portrayal as racist sexist extremists in the MSM. It’s no secret that in the last 12 years the media has went into overdrive to destroy all of our national candidates and their running mates…it’s worked most of the time too, atleast to an extent.

jaygatz33 on November 15, 2012 at 5:44 PM

Be sick all you want. And take all that anger and use it to prop up the next GOP Hack to lose.

Romney didn’t even get the votes McCain got in ’08!

McCain lost to Obama when he had no record. He ran on hope & change. Romney just ran against the most failed and limping Presidency in modern History and lost. Why? Because his campaign ORCA system sucked, his message was bogged down in talking points, he picked a VP that couldn’t deliver his own state, let alone his region, and Romney couldn’t win his home state of Michigan, nor the state he governed for 4 years. Romney lost. Not the GOP. ROMNEY. His campaign also smothered Tommy Thompson, George Allen, and others who got snookered by Romney’s ORCA failure.

So rant all you want. Romney is a highly successful private sector businessmen. His management governance style didn’t play well with the voters, who were looking for someone to inspire AND fix things.

portlandon on November 15, 2012 at 5:55 PM

Nice guy, Bill Clinon.
He didn’t have to bullsh*t Romney to try and make the poor guy feel better…but he did anyway.

verbaluce on November 15, 2012 at 5:49 PM

.
No Slick Willie is just,……..sniffing.

Woof !

FlaMurph on November 15, 2012 at 5:56 PM

Raquel Pinkbullet on November 15, 2012 at 5:50 PM

I don’t know, I was really expecting to see a big deal cut between Romney and Paul before the convention that would have had Paul speaking and pbulcily endorsing Romney, and Romney formally adopting some of his policies. Instead the Paul people got rudely thrown out of the convention and his supporters got nothing policy-wise to get them to vote for Romney. Anytime you have a contested primary and another candidate actually wins delegates, the winner has to do something overt to unite the party and win over the other guy’s supporters, if he really wants to win.

I think this is another exapmle of Romney being both arrogant and cautious.

rockmom on November 15, 2012 at 5:58 PM

you were closer the first time Mitt

Obama won because of free stuff, voter fraud, and a little biased hurricane coverage thrown in for giggles

Slade73 on November 15, 2012 at 5:58 PM

Has it dawned on these Republicans that they spend to much time listening to their enemies. Only a fool would listen to Bill Clinton, anybody with more then two active brain cells knows he is not the epitome of the truth. He also has the morals of a alley cat, I know, I just insulted the alley cats, but so be it.

savage24 on November 15, 2012 at 5:59 PM

I guess we’ll never know whether or not Romney would have been a success at creating millions of jobs. You know, like the president is going to be. bwahahahahaha. He didn’t even MENTIONED jobs at his press conference. Maybe in 2015 when he gives another one.

scalleywag on November 15, 2012 at 6:00 PM

Yes, and Bill Clinton is SOOOO well known for telling the truth.

Warner Todd Huston on November 15, 2012 at 6:00 PM

Romney didn’t even get the votes McCain got in ’08!

portlandon on November 15, 2012 at 5:55 PM

.
I will admit I voted for Palin. McCain was just along for the ride when Nov. rolled around.

Throw the corrupt cronies out.

FlaMurph on November 15, 2012 at 6:00 PM

Some goof said on Election Night on CNN that the Republicans have not won an election since 1928 that did not have a Nixon or a Bush on the ticket.

I think the media want us to pick Jeb Bush in 2016.

rockmom on November 15, 2012 at 6:01 PM

Maybe in 2015 when he gives another one.

scalleywag on November 15, 2012 at 6:00 PM

yeah, that media line that the economy will create 12 million jobs over four years no matter who’s president – down the memory hole

Slade73 on November 15, 2012 at 6:01 PM

You have forgotten about the Bushes, especially George HW Bush. Remember him? Director of the CIA? Coiner of the term “Voodoo Economics” in his slugfest AGAINST Reagan?

Resist We Much on November 15, 2012 at 5:44 PM

GHWB’s first term has frequently been labeled as Reagan’s Third Term. When GHWB started governing as a moderate, he lost his re-election bid.

No Establishment candidate since Nixon was forced from office has won. None ever will. It is that simple. Conservatives will not vote if an establishment candidate is nominated.

The principle still holds.

INC on November 15, 2012 at 6:06 PM

Did anyone see Obama at his Hurricane visit? I sure didn’t see anything more than I did when he visited the Gulf. Walked around, stooped in the sand and gazed at the tar balls with a blank stare. That’s about all I saw him do in NJ too, give some knowing nods, put an arm around the Governor, made some empty promises, and then he left. I don’t know what Clinton is talking about.

scalleywag on November 15, 2012 at 6:07 PM

rockmom on November 15, 2012 at 5:48 PM

Exactly, some of the tactics are brutal too. The NV Senate race had mail sent in unmarked envelopes so it couldn’t be connected to a campaign. There is no wonder a campaign would want to distance themselves from the material sent basically shaming people into voting. It is pretty sleazy stuff.

One of the pollsters who is mentioned frequently in the book is Mark Mellman who happened to be the only pollster to get the NV Senate race with Harry Reid and Sharon Angle. Mellman, I am sure, knew exactly the voters he should be looking for.

The most interesting piece of reporting this election came from Major Garrett IMO. Note this prophetic tidbit from his September 1, 2012 article:

As to gravity, Obama’s team has begun preemptively making things look worse in its own polling. For at least two months, the campaign has detected a ripple in the data caused by a spike in voters identifying themselves as Democrats. The numbers that come back on self-identified Democrats don’t match, statistically, voter-registration rolls or historical patterns. This anomaly cropped up in public polls in August. Romney aides have taken careful note and don’t know what to make of it. They take comfort that Democratic voter registration from 2008 is down 800,000 while GOP registration is down less than a tenth of that. Independent registration in the same period is up 207,000. But what if independents are choosing to call themselves Democrats? What if Republicans are? What if people are lying? Obama’s analysts have decided to subtract at least 2 points from Obama’s support in every internal poll.

“We keep weighting our polls down,” Axelrod says. “This has been true of our national polling and state-by-state polling. We’re watching it. We don’t know what it means. We’re not willing to say this means there’s been some kind of conversion. But it certainly doesn’t mean there is a Republican wave. It’s a real subject for investigation. There’s no doubt there’s a pattern out there. At the very least, it kind of militates against their theory that there’s a big wave coming and the wave is going to move in their direction. There is nothing in the data that would suggest that.”

If Garrett’s reporting from the Romney campaign was correct they picked up the trend and ultimately discounted it.

msmveritas on November 15, 2012 at 6:07 PM

Romney’s loss was because of Obama’s overwhelming, steamroller campaign machine . . . nothing more and nothing less.

rplat on November 15, 2012 at 6:08 PM

How little Bammie won: If Every Food Stamp Recipient Voted For Obama, It Would Account For 75% Of His Total

I suspect the remainder are greedy union thugs.

slickwillie2001 on November 15, 2012 at 6:08 PM

I’ve said it 30 times or more-well before the election-that Obama would be hard to beat because:

1 He’s black (because of this he gets nearly 100% of the black vote-literally 100% in 59 Philly districts if you can believe it-and the huge sympathy vote of other minorities such as Hispanics -who also like his Amnesty stance-and Asians. He also gets the sympathy vote of whites in No. New England, Upper Middle West and Pacific Northwest who want to give a failed black a second chance to redeem himself.
2 The MSM exaggerate his accomplishments (if any) and totally ignore his gaffes and decision-making disasters. Much of an unfortunately non too-enlightened public thus remain totally ignorant of Obama’s economic and foreign disasters. 1 and 2 combined tied into the “likability factor” (Which I personally cannot see) make Obama nearly invulnerable.

Contrubtory factors which magnified this defeat but were not in themselves decisive:

1 Romney’s failure to define himself after Obama had defined him as a uncaring rich white bastard.
2 Romney’s failure to follow up his initial overwhelming debate victory by trying to “hold on” to a “narrow lead” with super caution-trying to avoid gaffes whuich the MSM would have nailed him with had he made any.
3 Romney’s too cautious approach to attacking Obama not wanting to “offend” black voters-a strategy which totally backfired since minorities voted for the O Man in record numbers-AND SUPPRESSED HIS OWN WHITE VOTE TOTALS.In summation: Failure to mount an aggressive campaign.
4 Romney’s Mormon faith which suppressed evangelical voters and others who do not like the faith.
5 Christies’ hugging and worshiping words for the president at the Sandy Convention”-making Obama look “caring” “bipartisan” and “presidential”.
6 The union was critical in Ohio and Wisconsin.
7 Liberal Catholics in Pennsylvania, Ohio, wisconsin and Minnesota-who apparently care less about Obama’s attacks on Roman Catholicism than they do about Obama’s socialistic agenda.
8 Jewish voters in Florida which surprised me with their strong Obama vote since he has threatened Israel’s very existence with his pro-Muslim policies.
9 Romney’s dull “cigar store Indian” personality.

MaiDee on November 15, 2012 at 6:15 PM

It all depends on what your definition of “IF” is.

Pork-Chop on November 15, 2012 at 5:16 PM

Good one!

golfer1 on November 15, 2012 at 6:16 PM

I’ve said it 30 times or more-well before the election-that Obama would be hard to beat because:

1 He’s black (because of this he gets nearly 100% of the black vote-literally 100% in 59 Philly districts if you can believe it-and the huge sympathy vote of other minorities such as Hispanics -who also like his Amnesty stance-and Asians. He also gets the sympathy vote of whites in No. New England, Upper Middle West and Pacific Northwest who want to give a failed black a second chance to redeem himself.
2 The MSM exaggerate his accomplishments (if any) and totally ignore his gaffes and decision-making disasters. Much of an unfortunately non too-enlightened public thus remain totally ignorant of Obama’s economic and foreign disasters. 1 and 2 combined tied into the “likability factor” (Which I personally cannot see) make Obama nearly invulnerable.

Contrubtory factors which magnified this defeat but were not in themselves decisive:

1 Romney’s failure to define himself after Obama had defined him as a uncaring rich white bastard.
2 Romney’s failure to follow up his initial overwhelming debate victory by trying to “hold on” to a “narrow lead” with super caution-trying to avoid gaffes whuich the MSM would have nailed him with had he made any.
3 Romney’s too cautious approach to attacking Obama not wanting to “offend” black voters-a strategy which totally backfired since minorities voted for the O Man in record numbers-AND SUPPRESSED HIS OWN WHITE VOTE TOTALS.In summation: Failure to mount an aggressive campaign.
4 Romney’s Mormon faith which suppressed evangelical voters and others who do not like the faith.
5 Christies’ hugging and worshiping words for the president at the Sandy Convention”-making Obama look “caring” “bipartisan” and “presidential”.
6 The union was critical in Ohio and Wisconsin.
7 Liberal Catholics in Pennsylvania, Ohio, wisconsin and Minnesota-who apparently care less about Obama’s attacks on Roman Catholicism than they do about Obama’s socialistic agenda.
8 Jewish voters in Florida which surprised me with their strong Obama vote since he has threatened Israel’s very existence with his pro-Muslim policies.
9 Romney’s dull “cigar store Indian” personality. Amen!

MaiDee on November 15, 2012 at 6:16 PM

No Establishment candidate since Nixon was forced from office has won. None ever will. It is that simple. Conservatives will not vote if an establishment candidate is nominated.

The principle still holds.

INC on November 15, 2012 at 6:06 PM

Did you vote to re-elect the “conservative” Bush in 2004 that had signed the new Medicare entitlement into law? NCLB into law? Massively expanded the size and scope of government?

George W Bush was a “conservative”? Haven’t you conservatives been arguing since Bush left office that he wasn’t really a conservative?

Resist We Much on November 15, 2012 at 6:17 PM

I say we start grooming an Hispanic female Governor for 2016.

scalleywag on November 15, 2012 at 6:17 PM


Ron Paul voters are mostly Dems. They don’t vote GOP otherwise. If Ron Paul would have been nominated he would have lost in a 50 state landslide. Heck even I would have voted for Obama in that case.

The rest of your points are reasonable, but the kooky Ron Paul stuff discredits you.

Raquel Pinkbullet on November 15, 2012 at 5:50 PM

I know Ron Paul voters who stayed home but would have voted Romney had not the nasty convention treatment happened.

Falcon46 on November 15, 2012 at 6:18 PM

search Obama and cult…before Sandy, he was failing…

Sandy brought the sugared Kool-aid…

teejk on November 15, 2012 at 6:19 PM

Hey, y’all posting in all bold. Shouting doesn’t work on the internet.

Just thought I would tell you.

kingsjester on November 15, 2012 at 6:21 PM

RINO NOMINEE LOSER PARADE!!!!

Ford, Bush ’92, Dole, McCain, Romney and prolly another one from the accomplice republican leadership in 2016.

The gop is dead already…….bury it and get it over with.

Nothing will change without new leadership and someone that can communicate!!!

PappyD61 on November 15, 2012 at 6:22 PM

porlondon Are you some Bush associate or something? Seriously, Jeb Bush would be guaranteed to lose the 2016 election because his name is Bush. This is why mainly Ds support his candidacy; they know it is a loser. The only person who’d be a bigger disaster than Jeb Busb would be Sarah Palin.

Illinidiva on November 15, 2012 at 6:26 PM

rockmom I think that you’re right about Jeb Bush. They want him as a nominee so that the Rs lose again.

Illinidiva on November 15, 2012 at 6:29 PM

AP is wrong.

If this election tells us anything is that the polls were closer to the truth than we want to realize.

Exit polls showed that Sandy was a major factors for voters. Over 40% said it was a significant factor and two-thirds of them said it made them more likely to vote for Obama.

The data is right there in the exit polls.

Dont need extrapolations from the super-geeks.

swamp_yankee on November 15, 2012 at 6:36 PM

And now, after the election – we find that Willard is a delusional fool.

HondaV65 on November 15, 2012 at 5:15 PM

Some of us knew that from the get-go.

Dunedainn on November 15, 2012 at 6:46 PM

Face it: Romney wasn’t the problem here. Until people on the right (especially the ABRs who are more than happy to jump on the “blame Romney” bandwagon) acknowledge that, they are never going to understand exactly what we are up against.

Dark Star on November 15, 2012 at 5:38 PM

Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt.

Dunedainn on November 15, 2012 at 6:54 PM

Obama had more data, was smarter about how he targeted voters, was evidently more efficient in turning them out, and was shrewder strategically in defining Romney as a kleptocratic tax-cheating layoff artist early in the campaign.

In considering Obama’s effectiveness in promoting turnout, I had to wonder if the New Black Panther Party so aggressively promoted John Kerry or Bill Clinton or Al Gore. I don’t seem to recall stories of their menacing presence at polling stations in past elections.

Also, the media did such a good job defining Romney as a “kleptocratic tax-cheating layoff artist” that it’s hard to say how much credit Obama actually deserves for that.

In other words, I have a sense that Obama’s wild success as a campaigner is due in large part to circumstances beyond his control–the appeal of a historic presidency, absolutely no negative press, etc. Applying his same methods (the things he really did do–data collection and all that) to a different candidate might not produce the same results.

And, honestly, I could see Sandy helping Obama–as the media had one last hero-image to share with the masses…kinda like in sitcoms where some guy is about to be fired but then he either a. loses everything he has, thus inspiring in the boss guilt and sympathy, or b. does something truly brave and good, thus inspiring in the boss guilt and a feeling that maybe the guy isn’t such a loser after all.

But who knows. These are crazy times.

butterflies and puppies on November 15, 2012 at 6:55 PM

Oh so NOW it’s obvious and clear that elections aren’t about fighting at the margins and winning over the middle.
It’s about firing up your base, getting turnout, and fielding a candidate strongly identifies with that base. Oh, ok. Glad to know. Why didn’t anyone else think of that.

Aside from the candidate himself, how about the messaging down the stretch. Moderating and softening the message did him no favors. Articulate conservatism, can we try it once please.

Braveheart on November 15, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Agreed. There were a lot of tepid Obama voters who were starting to give Mitt a last look …the hurricane not only knocked him off the radar for days, but it reassured them that Obama really was their guy.

Christie went out of his way to fawn over the guy, and never once reiterated his support for Romney, or invited him to tour the area, as Bobby Jindal did after the last big summer hurricane. Ugh. Oh well..

Priscilla on November 15, 2012 at 5:26 PM

Remember what happened in 2000 after the report about GWB’s old DWI arrest was released right before the election? It cost GWB 3-5 points, and nearly his win!

Many people on the right like Allahpundit, who are more rational than emotional, underestimate the impact events like Sandy can have on the late-deciding “idiot” vote.

Anti-Control on November 15, 2012 at 6:59 PM

“Bill also told me that I better put some ice on that, but I wasn’t really sure what he meant by that,” Romney added.

Mr. D on November 15, 2012 at 7:03 PM

Bill, who wants everybody to love him

urbane effetist on November 15, 2012 at 5:41 PM

That’s a myth. Clinton is in fact a Rock Star. Here in the US, the last time the question was asked (2 months ago), his favorability was almost 20 points higher than Dear Leader.

I would imagine his favorables in Europe are even higher.

Del Dolemonte on November 15, 2012 at 7:16 PM

Voters said Bush was to blame for the poor economy, and thought Romney would be the same. Voters also remember how Bush killed black people during Katrina. You do the math. Even Chris Matthews was thankful for the hurricane.

xblade on November 15, 2012 at 7:18 PM

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