Friday, November 16, 2012

My Theory On Romney's Troubling Defeat Has Evolved


Thank you for all of your interesting responses to my "Why Romney Lost" post. As I was compiling the quotes, I thought I had it all figured out. I still believe that Romney lost due to millions of Republicans failing to show up to the polls, but my theory as to why they stayed home has evolved over the past 24 hours.

From the time I had first read that Romney-Ryan had actually received fewer votes than McCain-Palin, my knee-jerk reaction was that millions of conservatives stayed home due to the belief that Romney is a flip-flopping RINO, because....well, he is. Although a few voters may cite this as the reason they didn't vote, I no longer believe this to be the reason Romney lost the election.

There is no love lost for Obama among highly informed conservatives. They know the potential ramifications of a second term. I have a difficult time believing that a significant number of this group of voters would pass at the chance to remove him from office. We have seen plenty of evidence of this with very vocal critics of Romney lining up to support the GOP ticket.  I know several people, personally, who have never warmed to Romney, yet they all showed up to the polls to vote for him last Tuesday.

I believe the focus should be on the low-information individuals in the party. These are historically unreliable voters. They get their news from the major networks and word of mouth. They are more likely to be influenced by the fallout from Romney's "47%" comments, news about the mansion he's building in California (complete with a car elevator), and his perceived aloof attitude towards "ordinary" folks like you and me. I believe this group makes up the majority of the 3-5 million McCain-Palin voters who stayed home last week.

An argument can be made that Romney was repeatedly mischaracterized by Team Obama and the biased mainstream media. To a certain extent, that's true, but isn't it the job of the candidate to break through, and get their message out?

In conclusion, Romney did not lose due to demographics. Romney did not lose because of Todd Akin. Romney did not lose because of Rush Limbaugh. Romney did not lose because he's a "RINO." And Romney did not lose because people want free birth control or "gifts," as Romney claims. The bottom line is that Romney did not provide a compelling enough argument for his candidacy to get the low-information Republicans to the polls.

40 comments:

JRTerrier5 said...

From where I sit, he lost the youth vote -- women in particular -- because the Republican party & Romney were viewed as anti-woman & anti-gay & anti-immigrant. Akin & Murdoch did play into that meme, perhaps not in MO & Indiana but in other places across America.

And I still believe that the DEM urban centers were up to their old tricks -- echoes of 1960. There is no question that the AA community still regards the President with great affection but it is hard to believe that turnout in the AA community was higher this time around. I don't for a minute believe that the dead voters in Chicago & elsewhere didn't cast multiple votes.

It will be interesting to see what happens in Col West's district.

BOSMAN said...

Romnwy lost because most Americans are BRAIN DEAD and spend their time watching reality hows (their reality not mine), scratching lottery tickets (something for little or nothing ...very attractive JUST LIKE EUROPE..most without a pot to piss in) and watching the fair and balanced coverage on MSNBC, NBC, ABC, and CBS (although Fox News spent more time criticizing Romney than praising him.).....THAT'S WHY HE LOST!

Right Wingnut said...

Bos,

Some of those folks you referred to are the low-information Republicans that Romney didn't reach, so they stayed home.

Informed conservatives don't watch MSNBC. Informed conservatives tend to show up to the polls. Informed conservatives did not elect Barack Obama.

How do we reach the low information crowd in the future?

BOSMAN said...

WE DON'T...UNLESS you want our candidates to start promising things.

Face it my friend. We've become a country of takers, not makers. a country of ZOMBIES who feel reality is what they see and hear on tv...because their own lives suck. (mostly because of their actions or in-actions...maybe instead of doing homework in school they copied it (as an example...you know..surviving off those who did...sound familiar), ...that is what a LARGE CHUNK of Americans are now...THAT'S what you're dealing with. GIVE'M something that they don't have to work or pay for and you're speaking their language

Machtyn said...

First, let's dispel the myth that Romney's a flip-flopping RINO. He's not. In order to be flip-flopping, one must have flopped on a position. That Romney has come around from non-governmental interference with regards to abortion-murder, to a position that abortion is murder and should be enforced by government is a GOOD thing for Republicans.

I agree with the majority of your post, though. The low-info voter failed to turn out for Romney. Yes, it is the candidates job to get his message out. It truly is a miracle, though, that he was able to defeat the GOP machine, the MSM, and DEMs and still only *lose* by a few hundred thousand votes in swing states (where a good recount and certification of the ballots are in order) is absolutely amazing.

Like in a game, the refs may make terrible calls that affect the outcome of the game, one must still play better to avoid the biased refs. In the case of politics, we know the Democrats lie, cheat, and steal, and have a media that is wholly on their side. We needed to have better turnout than that. And the GOP failed on that account in a MAJOR way.

You can try to pin Romney for low turnout, and you are correct. But the simple fact that we couldn't get a majority Senate is a testament to the whole of the GOP being unable to turnout voters.

BOSMAN said...

PS,

Get rid of public assistance for other than disable vets or those born with disabilities. LIMIT unemployment benefits (NO EXTENSIONS) That would put a stop to a lot of this....Let folks FEND FOR THEMSELVES! Then arm yourselves, because they won't like it!

That's how you make them productive...faced with living in the streets or starving would be their new reality....Work or Die. Having another baby to increase you public assistance...would be a thing of the past.

If churches and other charities want to pick up the slack for these people..let them. Then only those who want enable their life styles can support those charities....NOT THE TAX PAYERS.

Anonymous said...

I agree with brain dead americans, ESPECIALLY the ones who turned out for Obama (blacks, single women, minority). I have chatted with a few who voted for Obama about why they did, their response? Because Obama understands them, hes "poor", not rich...hes black and understands a black and latino needs. Really? An finally hes not against women.

I asked theses same people some facts of what Obama's record or plan is? They did not know, just to say Obama will help them. One even said that the rapper Jay-Z and Beyonce helped make his decision when he endorsed Obama.

Anonymous said...

Bosman,

Spot on.

Anonymous said...

I agree with this post but I also agree with Romney's comments... to an extent. But Romney's comments actually helps to solidify RW's argument. The man is out of touch with everyday Americans and it's moronic comments like these that prove that.

Romney had/has a hard time appealing to the average American... FACT. He has a net worth of $300 million... not many people can relate to the guy... FACT. When you add the fact that the Obama Campaign sold a notion that Romney was going to take away all of their freebies... the choice became obvious.

I don't think you can blame the one without the other... they're symbiotic.

I notice the new meme from the Romney crowd is that if Romney couldn't win, then no Republican will ever win the Presidency again... I'm sure it's partly sour grapes but a lot of this rationale is the inherent problem with the die hard Romney fan. Blame everything and everyone else except Romney.

In 2008, he didn't win the primary because of religious bigotry. He had a hard time during the primary because of Fox News. He didn't win the General because the base is selfish and stupid, because of Fox News, now because the people want their free shit.

More people voted for McCain/Palin even with some of the Romney camp sitting out, than they did for Romney/Ryan. To me it's an easy calculation... don't blame the message... blame the messenger.

jerseyrepublican

Anonymous said...

Bosman, you're argument is interesting but horrifically unfair. I agree with the gist of the argument but it's not like Romney would have ended unemployment extensions in this economy. Just like you shouldn't raise taxes in this economy... you cannot end unemployment extensions. The better argument is this, because of Obama's poor job on the recovery, Americans suffering hard times have the right to unemployment insurance because the President did not create an economic atmosphere that would have helped these Americans.

Many unemployed Americans, have been honest, tax paying Americans for decades. They paid into the system that our representatives created and now they have the right to collect on their money.

Your argument only works for a small subset of Americans that aren't big enough in numbers to sway the course of an election. But when a large portion of the electorate feels that Romney will take away next months electric bill or mortgage payment because he sees them as deadbeats instead of victims of Obama's horrific economic policies... they weigh the good with the bad. On one hand you have Obama who exacerbated the problem but through the government programs they know they can pay their son's tuition next year. On the other hand you have some rich, old white guy who might have better ideas but will cut the programs they need to survive, the programs they paid into... the choice becomes easier.

For some reason it's always easier to blame the "deadbeats" for Romney's bad choices and poor performances more so than the obvious... Romney is just not a good candidate... he never was.

jerseyrepublican

Anonymous said...

Machtyn, there is no dispelling of anything... Romney proved, during the general election, that he is flip flopper. He talk out of both sides of his mouth, he was caught doing it on at least a few occasions. I won't argue that he isn't a conservative at his core but it's pretty obvious the man has chameleon ways when it comes to elections. He is a so-con with a RINO spin. One day he's a militant so-con the next he sings kumbaya... there's no arguing that.

jerseyrepublican

Katrina L. Lantz said...

What? Saying they watch Modern Family wasn't enough? *gasp*

Seriously, though, I do agree we need to find a way to reach these voters. They voted for W. Bush because he had this cowboy everyman sort of charm. Probably finding out about his twenty-year-old DUI made him even more relatable to some folks. (In Detroit, I heard a co-worker say, "Everybody's got a DUI.") Being that I'm Mormon, Romney is my everyman. I had no problem with him because his clean-cut, hard-working, practically post-partisan demeanor is what I've come to expect from a Mormon leader. But most people in America still don't understand (nor seem to want to understand) Mormons. In fact, I think there was still a portion of the electorate who stayed home because they could still hear the echo of their youth pastor telling them Mormonism is a cult.

But that's not enough votes to constitute the loss in my view. I do think the smear campaign by Pres. Obama was more effective than I originally believed. They hit early, before the primary had even been decided, and they hit often, spending millions on ads in every state. They even floated a negative Romney ad in AZ during the primary, which they didn't do for any other candidate. Weird. But effective.

We need to do what Romney suggested in his conference call: shorten the primary, do 8-max debates with conservative questioners, and get our message out to the everyman voters. How? I still maintain that social media is going to be a big way. Even hillbillies and rednecks have cell phones, and pretty soon all cell phones will be smart phones, so...

Anonymous said...

Katrina, you make some good point... smart phones... funny stuff. You're a welcomed addition to FPP.

jerseyrepublican

BOSMAN said...

Hi JR,

Welcome back to RS. I hope you and your family escaped the wrath of Sandy.

I think you UNDER ESTIMATE how many fall into the groups I described above.

WHAT IS 'YOUR' version of 'TOUGH LOVE' for all the dead beats.work phobic/habitual gov't freeloaders?

Right Wingnut said...

I'm a redneck, and I have a smartphone, so you may be correct, Katrina. ;)

Seriously, the majority of my Internet time is on my phone. I'm using it right now, in fact.

Right Wingnut said...

JR,

Your first comment was so spot on, that I wish I had written it.

Right Wingnut said...

Machtyn,

I didn't intend to start an argument as to whether Romney is a flip flopping Romney, but is is the impression many have. I initially thought that it caused conservatives to stay home. Given how awful Obama is, I don't believe that to be the case.

Right Wingnut said...

JR,
One other thing I forgot to mention. His recent comments to donors are the reason why my theory on why he lost has "evolved."

Rozy Lass said...

Everything Romney said resonated with me; I feel he does understand the "middle-class". So he's rich; Ted Kennedy was rich too and immoral and completely out of touch with lesser classes. So that argument doesn't hold water. Perhaps Romney lost because he didn't lower himself to the level of his opponent, took the high road and was drowned out by the snychophantic media who couldn't say one good thing about him. Perhaps he lost because the left has several generations of influence in the schools and the products of those schools are uneducated in the basics of the Constitution and citizenship so they flock to someone who promises to take care of them and allow them to sin rather than having to work hard for a living and take responsibilities for their sinful choices. Changing ones mind as one receives more knowledge is not flip-flopping unless, according to the media, one is a Republican. Democrats are the true flip-floppers saying whatever is expedient to the situation. But they are given a free pass to be inconsistent and hypocritical.

Frozone said...

Not saying that no other republican will ever win, but am saying that no other republican will be as well qualified to LEAD (not campaign). All the knee jerking, monday morning quarterbacks in the party will run pell mell to some charismatic, empty suit, and it will be Obama part III no matter who wins (Dem or Repub).

Welcome to the United States of American Idol.

Katrina L. Lantz said...

"Welcome to the United States of American Idol."

*shudders*

Thank you for the welcome, JR!

newark hawk said...

Throughout the fall campaign, I heard callers to "conservative" talk radio shows continue to bash Romney, still calling him a "a phony", "a RINO", "the establishment candidate"(whatever that means), "a Massachusetts liberal", etc....

I find it hard to believe that all these Romney-hating Republicans went to the polls, held their nose, and pulled the lever for Romney-Ryan on November 6th.

Far easier for them to skip this election, hope that Obama wins, clearing the way for their favorite ABR candidate to win the GOP nomination in 2016.

Folks, let's not kid ourselves - Santorum, Gingrich, Cain & Perry had a very large contingent of devoted supporters who felt that Romney was the devil incarnate, thanks to the non-stop lies, smears & vitriol directed his way by Limbaugh, Levin, Beck, Ingraham & Company during the primaries.

For millions of these passionate ABR supporters, shrugging off the bitterly contested primaries and supporting Romney in the general election was simply out of the question.

Ronald Reagan should thank his lucky stars that "conservative" talk radio wasn't around in 1980, because if it was, he would've been crucified for his liberal California governorship(far more liberal than Romney's Massachusetts governorship ever was), and crucified for his numerous flip-flops on tax increases, union rights, immigration and abortion, not to mention his 30-year affiliation with the Democratic Party.

If "conservative" talk radio were around in 1980, Reagan wouldn't have survived the GOP primaries, much less have defeated Jimmy Carter in the general election.

Right Wingnut said...

NH,

Many on C4P sounded like those callers, yet almost all of them casted their votes for Romney.

There's also the possibility that they could have been seminar callers.

Primaries are always divisive. It's up to the candidate to unite the party. I would argue that Romney failed in this area, but I'm sure you disagree, so I'll leave it at that to avoid a pissing match.

Anonymous said...

Machtyn is right and so is Mitt Romney. I've talked to people who voted for Obama, and they want more entitlements. There is NO doubt.

They don't think. They have no comprehension of the risky circumstances we're in, from the Middle East to the proverbial fiscal cliffs.

These people don't get that at the same tax rate with the rich, the rich pay more. They are ignorant, and don't care that they are ignorant. They sell out liberty for a mess of porridge.

They think America is invincible.

Romney did MORE than anyone to resist Obama Machine. Let's put the blame where it belongs. Some immature folks want celebrity and being cool. They like ObamaCare. They are to blame.

The Right was mobilized more than ever in my life. Ringwingnut needs to stay gone.

Right Wingnut said...

The author of the last anon comment must have had some spiked Kool-Aid this morning, if he believes what he just wrote.

I'll say it again....Obama promising birth control to college women, and ObamaCare to Hispanics has zero impact on whether the base shows up to vote. In fact, I would argue that it should provide extra motivation for the GOP GOTV program. At some point, the excuses need to stop.

cimbri said...

First, I still think we had a good shot before the hurricane, but regardless...

There are so many reasons. Someone could write a book about all the reasons. Bush was probably the #1 reason as the exit polls showed. Remember Carter was good for 3 Republican victories.

Agree with Bos, we need to cut HHS. I don't know why the Rs keep funding the people year in and year out who don't vote for the Rs. If the Rs are not going to cut HHS, then they should announce who on their team will get the govt. largesse. This is stupid, just continually voting for HHS money for democrat voters.

Machtyn said...

RWN: I think it's a fair point that Romney failed to unite the party. The evidence is the less than stellar turnout. However, I don't think he owns ALL the blame.

Point taken that you didn't want to rehash the flip-flop meme. I understood that, but it irks me that so many fell for it. We lost what would have been the greatest President this nation would have known. Right up there with Washington, Lincoln, Reagan and the rest.

These are different times, though. Who's to say that Romney would not have been able to break through the divisiveness of the media and the Democrat party. (But I repeat myself.)

newark hawk said...

My only criticism of Romney - and it's a major one - is that he didn't effectively refute and debunk Obama's main message, which was essentially this:

1 - I inherited an economic mess that Bush 43 was entirely responsible for.

2 - I've done a reasonably good job of cleaning it up.

3 - Romney is Bush 43 & Gordon Gekko in disguise.

That, in a nutshell, was Obama's main message throughout the campaign.

Romney made virtually no attempt to respond to point #1, did a mediocre job, at best, of responding to point #2, and only addressed point #3 during the GOP convention.

I don't live in a swing state, so I didn't see every Romney TV ad, but from those I did see on the internet, I was not at all impressed.

If Romney had Lee Atwater(may he rest in peace) running his campaign, instead of Stuart Stevens & Russell Schriefer, I have zero doubt that he would now be our nation's President-elect.

I suspect that Romney probably thinks the same.

cimbri said...

NH, republicans were running Bain ads themselves early this year. When you have your own side running vulture capitalist ads, it's pretty bad. Obama merely picked up where they left off. We had Palin saying Romney was using Stalinist and Alinsky tactics in Florida before his win. We had Rush say he wasn't a conservative. Laura Ingraham criticized him for going to the beach in the middle of summer, which I thought was done to demonstrate he was fit and healthy, ready for the job. Too many Republicans wanted Romney to lose, so he did. They got what they wanted and I hope they enjoy the next 4 years.

cimbri said...

Oh yeah, another problem was Romney had to spend too much time in Ohio because it had already been bought in the auto bailout. This plays into Ann Coulter's incumbency argument which was a huge advantage for Obama. So like I said, many reasons for the loss, most of which were out of Romney's hands.

Right Wingnut said...


Ted Cruz: Mitt Romney ‘French-kissed’ Barack Obama

.......So by the third debate, I’m pretty certain Mitt Romney actually French-kissed Barack Obama.

“I have no doubt that there is a focus group somewhere of undecided Ohio voters who have been living in a cave for the last 30 years, who decided they liked that,” Cruz continued. “‘Don’t show any disagreement whatsoever with the president. Don’t rock the boat. Just be a nice guy.’”......

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1112/83989.html?hp=f2

Right Wingnut said...

Susana Martinez rips Romney for comments.

http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2012/11/16/susana-martinez-mitt-romney-comments/

Right Wingnut said...

Pawlenty not impressed with "gifts" comments either.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1112/83983.html?hp=l7

Right Wingnut said...

Then, there's Romney's old friend, Newt....

http://vimeo.com/53710548

Trent said...

I am going to vomit if I hear one more self-pitying conservative blame the "mainstream media". Conservatives has Fox News Corp with the largest primetime cable news audience for about a decade. Conservatives have the Post and the WSJ. Conservatives have the top 3 radio talk shows on the air in Limbaugh, Beck, and Hannity. Not to mention the websites. Any conservative in America can go anywhere to get them their daily fix of Obama-Hate.
There is a reason why it is called 'Main-Stream' Media.

Right Wingnut said...

Trent,

Do the chicks dig the open shirt look?

Which "Post" are you referring to? Surly, you're not referring to WaPo.

The viewership of NBC, ABC, and CBS news broadcasts dwarfs that of Fox News. Besides, Fox has almost as many liberal commentators as they do conservatives.

Right Wingnut said...

But, you're surly not referring to me, so I'll let someone else respond. I call it like I see it, and leave the "self pity" to others.

cimbri said...

RW, the gifts comment was merely referencing patronage. Pubs are just nervous and sensitive right now. Plus, since Romney is now gone, it's convenient to try and pile their problems on him. Better be careful, because a lot of people still like him.

Right Wingnut said...

BTP,

Until you start identifying yourself, I will delete all of your comments.

P.S. I can tell when it's you.

JRTerrier5 said...

I agree 100% with what Cimbri said.

cimbri said...
RW, the gifts comment was merely referencing patronage. Pubs are just nervous and sensitive right now. Plus, since Romney is now gone, it's convenient to try and pile their problems on him. Better be careful, because a lot of people still like him.