John Yoo : It Wasn't Demographics bit.ly/YZSL9J
— Ricochet (@Ricochet) November 7, 2012
The sleeper story of last night's loss is that Mitt Romney won the middle but lost conservatives. Republicans failed to turn out their own. I don't feel that the Romney camp necessarily pursued the wrong message or the wrong strategy. But it seems that they did not attend to the nuts and bolts of the ground game...That is an interesting take. Would a more conservative candidate have captured both conservatives and independents? Reagan did, but that was in 1980. I just can't see Newt Gingrich or Santorum out performing Romney last night. Of course, neither one of them were Reagans. And I did not hear a lot of conservatives say they would sit the election out (a few but not that many). So where are these missing conservatives?
Romney lost due to several factors: Tactical decisions in the last two weeks of the campaign, not going happy warrior/hammer and tongs on Biden and Obama in Debate night #2 and #3, a storm that allowed Obama to appear bipartisan and presidential, the media actively carrying Obama's water and covering up lies from Fast and Furious to Benghazi, and the GOP losing the narrative on dealing with illegal immigration and falling 30 points behind Democrats on the Hispanic/Latino vote. Yes, demographics were part of it. If conservatives stayed home on top of that due to the GOP screwing up its ground game, that does not surprise me.
I am all for principled conservatives running. I will support them. But no retreads please. We need new leaders to take on this fight.
If You’re Going to Win the Kentucky Derby, You Need a Horse shar.es/GWNS3 via @oklabecca spelling it out.We also lost due to ignorance.
— Elizabeth Scalia (@TheAnchoress) November 7, 2012
Robert Stacy McCain is partially correct also...
Good analysis from Baseball Crank on Mitt Romney's fundamental problem (being Mitt Romney)...
The problems with Romney were, rather, his built-in weaknesses as a candidate and the strategic choices that followed from them. Romney is, as I have consistently noted, an outstanding man - smart, accomplished, tireless, enthusiastic, and of unimpeachable personal character. But his political weaknesses were the same they always were, the same I warned of in the primaries (with one exception: his Mormon faith didn't seem to hurt him too much with evangelical Christians). He remained a poor political communicator with no political principles, and that meant he was stuck selling himself and his reading of the landscape, rather than selling ideas. He was particularly hamstrung by his inability - unique within the Republican Party - to mount a convincing root-and-branch critique of Obamacare, having signed a nearly identical plan in Massachusetts. He might have benefited from the Supreme Court doing his job for him by striking down the individual mandate, but the Court upheld everything but the overreaching changes to Medicaid, and Romney's campaign went off the rails from that date (June 28), not really recovering any momentum until the Ryan pick. He was never a convincing social/cultural populist. He continued to be prone to painful gaffes as he'd been for years, the worst being the infamous 47% video.
In other ways, Romney predictably lacked ways to distinguish himself from Obama and connect with voters. His biography marked him as a business success, but also as a guy without any sort of inspiring narrative of overcoming adversity, and Bain Capital turned out to be more of a liability than an asset, especially with the white blue-collar voters in the Midwest who have never really warmed to Obama. His governorship was too short, too hamstrung by a veto-proof Democratic legislative majority and too overshadowed by Romneycare to produce much in the way of governing accomplishments to run on.
As I noted in the primaries, Romney was the first moderate Republican to run without a serious background in national security or foreign policy since Tom Dewey, and that meant he lacked the gravitas to do more than tread water on foreign policy. His foreign trip over the summer - while overstated by his critics - was not a P.R. success. With Obama having one signature national security accomplishment (the death of bin Laden) to his name and uninterested in engaging in the kind of ideological debate on national security that characterized his campaign against McCain, that left Romney confined to the domestic sphere to score all his points.Newsmax: Why Mitt Romney Lost
And the one area where I felt Romney had gone too far to the right in the 2008 and 2012 primaries - immigration, on which he relentlessly attacked Giuliani, McCain, Brownback, Huckabee, Perry, Gingrich and others from the right - burned his bridges with Hispanic voters, requiring him to focus entirely on maximizing his share of white voters not already ideologically wedded to the Democrats, an unnecessary self-inflicted wound. That's a mistake we as a party cannot afford to repeat in the future; avoiding it was one of my chief reasons for opposing Romney twice.
h/t: Dan Riehl