First time visitor? Learn more.

“There’s a Sense That We Let Mitt Romney Down”

by Speranza ( 6 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Elections 2012, Headlines, Mitt Romney, Politics, Republican Party at November 10th, 2012 - 10:11 pm

No shite Sherlock!

Incompetence and a bad ground game = an Obama victory!

by Guy Benson

Mitt Romney’s top campaign aides conducted a conference call with conservative journalists this afternoon, during which they assessed the damage from Tuesday’s electoral loss.  The participants included campaign manager Matt Rhoades, political director Rich Beeson, polling director Neil Newhouse and digital director Zac Moffatt.  A few notes from the call:

Matt Rhoades, on the overall race: “No campaign is perfect, and we certainly made our share of mistakes.” On Paul Ryan: “He has come away from this race with a very bright future before him.”

Rich Beeson, on the campaign’s strategy: “We won independents and held the base.  We thought that would be a winning combination.” Given the heavily Democratic electorate, it was not.  On Boston’s computerized ‘ORCA’ ground game tracking system:  ”This was the first time we’d ever done anything like [ORCA] on that grand a scale.  We got data from 91% of precincts across the country,” he said, noting that the program will help Republicans track and predict voting behavior in the future.  As for reports that the system crashed on election day, Beeson conceded that there were significant technical issues: “There were glitches in the system, I don’t want to gloss over that. We were able to beta test it, but not at the volume of data we needed.”  He said the program thought it had been hacked, which triggered a laborious process of rebooting the whole system with new passwords.

Neil Newhouse, on the outcome:  ”It didn’t end up like we’d hoped for and expected (more on the “expected” part later).  [The Obama campaign] ran a very small campaign in a very big way.” Newhouse said the opposition effectively targeted specific demos in their coalition, using contraceptives, DREAM Act waivers, and student loan policies to entice key elements of their base to show up and vote.  They “pretty damn well succeeded” at turning out their voters, he concluded.  As an example, Newhouse pointed out that in Ohio, 160,000 more African Americans voted in 2012 than in 2008. Obama’s margin of victory in the state was roughly 100,000. On the other hand, “we had fewer white voters turn out [nationwide] in this election than in 2008.  The question we have to ask ourselves is ‘how did that happen?’”

Newhouse, on Romney’s strengths: In exit polling, voters were asked about four metrics of leadership.  Romney beat Obama on the questions of (a) which candidate has a positive vision for the country, (b) which candidate shares “my values,” and (c) which candidate is a “strong leader.”  Despite batting .750, Romney got crushed by approximately 60 points on the question of which candidate “cares about people like me.”  This suggests that the Obama campaign’s early “kill Romney” approach — painting the former governor and CEO as an out-of-touch, uber-wealthy, outsourcing robber barron — worked.   It also suggests that personal connection and relatability are now more important factors in national elections than experience or accomplishment.  Newhouse added that the right track/wrong track statistics tightened by 48 net points from November of 2011 through election day, which helped boost the president’s approval rating to non-fatal levels.

Newhouse, on the effects of Hurricane Sandy:  ”It was not determinative. It was a factor, it was not the factor.  But it hit the pause button on our campaign and our messaging for about four or five days, and it gave Obama the opportunity to look presidential.”  Newhouse said exit polling indicated that about three percent of the electorate said Sandy was the most important factor (!) in their presidential choice, and that many of them made up minds in the last few days of the campaign.

Question and answer period:

The Washington Examiner’s Michael Barone asked whether the birth control attacks were effective.  The campaign brain trust said that HHS’ contraception move was narrowly targeted at a segment of the population — young unmarried women, whom Obama carried by 38 points on Tuesday.  Romney’s advisers said Team Obama knew exactly what they were doing by running the unseemly “first time” ad; they recognized they’d face blowback from some elements of the population, but thought it was worth it on balance, in order to appeal to young women.

PJTV‘s Roger Simon asked about Romney’s bruising loss among Hispanic voters.  The entire Romney team acknowledged that this was a big problem, and that Republicans need to think hard about how to reverse this trend.  Part of the issue, Beeson said, was that Obama’s campaign spent heavily on brutally negative ads against Romney for many months over the late spring and summer, before Romney had the resources to fight back.  ”By that time, [Hispanic voters] were already predisposed against us,” he said.  Romney’s advisers also mentioned that the attack ads Obama ran on Spanish language radio and television were far “meaner, tougher and over-the-top” than “any attacks they leveled against us in English.”  This battle played out intensely, but off the mainstream media’s radar.

I asked about the October “expand the map” strategy, which demonstrably failed.  Was the campaign engaging in a deliberate head-fake by pretending that Pennsylvania, Minnesota and other states were in play — or did they actually believe they had their core path locked up (through Virginia, Florida, Colorado, etc), and thus had the luxury of expansion?  I also wondered aloud which scenario would be worse (misdirection vs. bad intel). The Romney brain trust seemed to side-step the heart of my inquiry, instead focusing on the Pennsylvania aspect.  Newhouse: ”The decision was not made lightly to expand the map. In order for us to go into PA, we had to have every other friggen’ thing in the campaign fully funded. We went to everyone to make sure they were fully funded before we went into Pennsylvania.  Every other need was met before we did that. The guys on the ground in PA, including our polling guys, were very encouraging. Our numbers were positive there. As it turns out, it was relatively close, but it wasn’t as close as other target states.” Beeson: “The Obama campaign saw the same numbers we did. They clearly saw it closing. We wanted to wait as long as we could to prevent them from getting that Philadelphia machine fired up in time.”

These analyses make sense, but only within the context of the campaign truly believing that they were safe in other crucial must-have states — a cataclysmically wrong assumption.  When I stopped by Romney headquarters in Boston back in September, Newhouse said his team was anticipating a D+3 electorate in November.  This seemed entirely reasonable to me, based on evidence from 2004, 2008 and 2010, but it turned out to be incorrect.  The actual electorate this year was D+6.  Post-election news reports reveal that Mitt Romney was “shell-shocked” by his loss, an outcome that can only be explained by shockingly flawed internal polling.  Was that polling predicated on a D+3 model?  If so, that would explain the huge disconnect between Boston’s expectations and the final results.  I’ll reiterate that although the D+3 model seemed sensible on its face, it was the campaign pollsters’ job to figure out if their assumptions comported with reality.  In retrospect, their failure to do so looms very, very large.

Finally, Joel Pollak from Breitbart asked if the campaign’s gurus felt like they’d let down the American people, particularly Romney’s supporters.  The takeaway line from a relatively broad answer to this (admittedly tough) question came from Neil Newhouse: “There’s a sense that we let Mitt Romney down.”  If the candidate truly expected to be delivering a victory speech on Tuesday night, even as he was in the process of losing the popular vote by two percentage points and the electoral college by a wider margin, Newhouse’s assertion isn’t too far off.

Comments

Comments and respectful debate are both welcome and encouraged.

Comments are the sole opinion of the comment writer, just as each thread posted is the sole opinion or post idea of the administrator that posted it or of the readers that have written guest posts for the Blogmocracy.

Obscene, abusive, or annoying remarks may be deleted or moved to spam for admin review, but the fact that particular comments remain on the site in no way constitutes an endorsement of their content by any other commenter or the admins of this Blogmocracy.

We're not easily offended and don't want people to think they have to walk on eggshells around here (like at another place that shall remain nameless) but of course, there is a limit to everything.

Play nice!

6 Responses to ““There’s a Sense That We Let Mitt Romney Down””
( jump to bottom )

  1. 1 | November 10, 2012 10:34 pm

    The biggest single factor is election fraud -- and the GOP’s abject failure to do anything substantial to combat it.

    Moreover, Mitt Romney wasted a lot of his political and financial capital trashing his GOP rivals in the primaries, and recruiting various shills to help him do that. All that accomplished was to discredit the GOP as a whole. But then, when it came to the campaign vs. Obama, he never even tried to land a good punch.

    Pathetic.


  2. Fritz Katz
    2 | November 10, 2012 11:27 pm

    I worked for the Romney campaign here in central Florida.

    I’ve got all kinds of stories about the election, and I think I know why we lost. 3 MILLION Republicans just stayed home on election day. I was driving to hundreds of homes in the central Florida. I was on the phone calling thousands and talking — in the final days of the election the phone bank switched from registered voters to registered Republicans for GOTV (Get Out The Vote) — many Republicans were enthusiastic, and realized that this election could really be the end of America and were determined to vote. However, every so often (about 1 out of 10), I got to talk with someone who just started SCREAMING at me when he/she found out that I was working for the Romney campaign.

    Who were these people? All I can tell you is that they were registered Republicans who had “Super Voter” status because they had a history of voting in past elections. But in this election a large percentage just stayed home. It’s hard exactly determine what a persons exact grievance is if they won’t stop screaming at you over the phone. But, I was able to carry on a cogent conversation with a few of them.

    Some were Evangelicals — and they wouldn’t vote for the Mormon. (They’d rather stay home and let the Anti-Christ have 4 more years!).

    Some were Ron Paul supporters — the Romney campaign could have courted them after the primaries by simply saying that Romney would sign “Audit the Fed”. Instead there were some nasty shenanigans early Monday at the Tampa Republican Convention that totally alienated thousands of potential supporters.

    Some were just really, really tired of the Republicans putting up a perceived “MODERATE” to represent them. They were tired of G.W. Bush and John McCain representing them. They cheered when Romney came out forcefully in the first debate — but fell flat in the second and third. Why did Romney stop mentioning Benghazi after the first statement that we shouldn’t apologize (and the media jumped all over him)? Obama is NOT just a nice guy, “in over his head”. I don’t understand why someone would be pissed enough over that, but apparently some people were.

    Yes, I’ve read “The Way Forward” and Krauthammer is just wrong (and it’s sad because he’s usually right). Most Hispanics voted for Obama for the same reason most blacks vote for Obama. Democrats are the party of free stuff, and you get to take from the evil, rich in-human corporations and give it to yourselves — because everyone thinks they are moral so they deserve to take stuff from others. Republicans are the party of hard work and you get to keep what you earn — but that’s not moral, because you are just being selfish and not sharing with others.

    Think it through — who gave amnesty to millions of illegal aliens in 1986? After that support from Hispanics dropped — and G. H. W. Bush got a smaller percentage of Hispanic votes than Reagan.

    G.W. Bush wanted to push through amnesty and joined with Ted Kennedy to push it through. Support from Hispanics for Republicans dropped further.

    John McCain ran for president, He was “Senator McAmnesty”. Then support from Hispanics for Republicans dropped further.

    Every time Republicans pander, they lose support. “The Way Forward” is the way Backward. Hispandering doesn’t work. Has it ever occurred to the geniuses of the Republican strategists that a large percentage of Hispanics don’t have illegal immigration as their “numero uno” issue?


  3. Speranza
    3 | November 11, 2012 12:47 am

    Some were Evangelicals — and they wouldn’t vote for the Mormon. (They’d rather stay home and let the Anti-Christ have 4 more years!).

    They are damned fools!

    Yes, I’ve read “The Way Forward” and Krauthammer is just wrong (and it’s sad because he’s usually right). Most Hispanics voted for Obama for the same reason most blacks vote for Obama. Democrats are the party of free stuff, and you get to take from the evil, rich in-human corporations and give it to yourselves — because everyone thinks they are moral so they deserve to take stuff from others. Republicans are the party of hard work and you get to keep what you earn — but that’s not moral, because you are just being selfish and not sharing with others.

    You are absolutely correct. Being the pro Israel Party did not make any where near a majority of Jews vote Republican.


  4. waldensianspirit
    4 | November 11, 2012 9:21 am

    Stats say Mitt got the same evangelicals as prior candidates but less Mormon votes


  5. 5 | November 11, 2012 2:54 pm

    @ Fritz Katz:

    The Republicans need to create infrastructure in the Hispanic community to take on the Left. Amnesty is not a silver bullet. It will take a few cycles just like it took to win the South, but the only way is to educate and point out the Left’s failures. This will take tie and effort.

    The GOP has to make inroads with Single Women. They got killed with this demographic. Again this calls for micro-targeting and building infrastructure. Like with Hispanics, it will not be one cycle. It needs to be consistent and permanent


  6. 6 | November 11, 2012 3:45 pm

    Fritz Katz wrote:

    Most Hispanics voted for Obama for the same reason most blacks vote for Obama. Democrats are the party of free stuff, and you get to take from the evil, rich in-human corporations and give it to yourselves — because everyone thinks they are moral so they deserve to take stuff from others. Republicans are the party of hard work and you get to keep what you earn — but that’s not moral, because you are just being selfish and not sharing with others.

    I think you are exactly right there. Free Shit bought the election this time. These people think they are going to get free healtcare from ObamaCare. Won’t they be shocked when they find out that they have to pay for it or pay a substantial TAX for not having health insurance. But it’ll be 2014, and it’ll be too late. Even then, instead of being mad and voting for Republicans, these people will vote for the Democrat that promises them more free shit in the form of the Public Option on health insurance. It is totally predictible. Now, these people will also be the ones in the street rioting for their free shit when the credit runs out and the economy collapses, but that’ll be something we deal with then. Look at Greece, and you see the future of America, except there won’t be anybody there to bail us out when we go broke. And when ourt economy collapses, the economy of the World will collapse. The people who think they are looking forward to a world without the USA won’t like it so much when they are starving, but I could really give a shit about themn. We need to take care of our own, but that means taking care of the productive, and shedding the parasite class.


Back to the Top

The Blogmocracy

website design was Built By David