Several senior Republicans with knowledge of his campaign said the 47-year-old Walker — who won two elections and survived a recall effort without the help of national consultants — was simply too confident in his own abilities and often acted, ineptly, as his own campaign manager.

“The impression I had,” said one veteran GOP operative, “was that Scott was making it up as he went along.”

“It’s no longer about just backing an outsider in principle; people want somebody who is completely outside the system,” says Heather Stancil, co-chair of the Madison County, Iowa Republican Committee — an area that was supposed to be a Walker electoral stronghold.

“It makes me scratch my head; the only thing I can attribute Walker’s failure to is that people do not want someone tainted by any relation to government at all,” she added. “They are so fed up they don’t trust anybody. He said he was an outsider, but he also had that taint of working in government.”