Republicans still don't agree on why Mitt Romney lost in 2012

Despite popular perceptions, Stevens says that the data doesn’t show that Obama won because of his campaign’s famous “Get Out The Vote” operation — which, Stevens added, is not exactly reassuring news for Republicans. “It’s a more sober conclusion to come to, say 70,000 more African-Americans voted in Ohio because they wanted to vote … not because there was a half-dozen smart people in a cave,” he said.

And even though the Romney campaign seemed to crumble after the candidate was caught on tape claiming that 47 percent of the country was willfully dependent on government largesse, Stevens didn’t see that as particularly consequential.

“It was an interesting piece of video,” he said, dismissively. “I don’t think it made any difference in the race.”

What did make a difference, at least from Steven’s vantage point, was that a massive hurricane touched down on the eastern seaboard shortly before people went to vote. A president who was looking for a message suddenly was being praised for his poise and leadership.