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Author: Gordon66 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 1977502  
Subject: Top Six Reasons Why Romney Lost Date: 11/16/2012 12:43 PM
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I like Millgram's top ten list for why Romney lost http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=30383751

But in all seriousness, somebody needs to explain to Republicans, as nicely and thoroughly as possible, how it came to pass that a skinny black guy with a funny name, who had just presided over four extremely tough years for the economy, was able be decisively reelected.

Because based on why I'm hearing on the right, most Republican's still don't quite get it.

So, I will kindly do the honors. There are the six reasons:

1.Demography: The country keeps getting more brown, more secular, more “young,” (i.e., people born after 1970) and more tolerant. If the country had simply been as brown, secular, young and tolerant as in 2008 this would have been much closer. Nothing you can do about this trend; all you can do is try to be less unappetizing to these groups.

2. The Issues: Your positions on most of the main issues of the day—on immigration, healthcare, gay rights, reproductive rights, the environment, tax policy, foreign policy, entitlements, how to close the budget deficit—are less popular than the Democratic positions. Polls have consistently shown this. In those few areas where you still hold an advantage (e.g., gun rights, “law and order”), Democrats have often already surrendered. If the country were voting to see which political platform, rather than which candidate, would be in charge of the country, you would have lost in a historic landslide. I know you wish that some members of your party (Murdock, Akins) could have just shut the F up, but honestly, what they were saying was not out of whack with your actual platform. If your modus operandi is “shhh, please remember not to talk about our platform in public like we really mean that stuff” that could be an ongoing problem. You can't be sure everyone will get the memo. Maybe, instead, reconsider your official positions on the issues.

3. Your Nominating Process--Part I: For some reason, your process drew a disproportionate share of people who much of the country viewed, and with pretty good reason, as joke candidates. Joke as in “this person IS a joke” (Cane. Trump). Or as in “you’ve got to be joking if you think this person as ANY chance of winning the general election” (Santorum. Gingrich. Paul. Bachmann). Sure, the Democrats have had joke candidates too. But never have any of them been front runners. And in this case, you had several joke candidates taking turns as front runner! Then some of these people, invigorated by their (ephemeral) front runner status, proceeded to shred your eventual nominee in public instead of playing nice and focusing on their own pet issues as is the usual custom of joke candidates. As a result, there was not much Obama ever said about Romney that one of your primary candidates didn’t say first, and often more viciously. Newt especially comes to mind. I know it's not possible to prevent joke candidates from running. But maybe there is some way to prevent them from being front runners? Maybe they be somehow encouraged to play nice?

4. Your Nominating Process--Part II. Of the non-joke candidates, your process picked the weakest to oppose Obama. You know as well as I do that Romney had no reliable principles (other than that Mitt Romney should be President), or if he did, he chose not to communicate what those were. The fact of no observable principles, and the flip-flopping that made this so apparent, discredited Romney in the eyes of too many people who might otherwise have been persuadable. Also, having as your standard bearer a stupendously rich and (to put is nicely) aggressive capitalist--one easily portrayed as aloof and awkward and out of touch--really hurt among working class whites economically depressed swing states. Daniels, Pawlenty or Huntsman would have been far stronger candidates. Yeah, they are moderates. But so was Romney. Probably. Sort of hard to tell, for sure. If your nominating process wasn't flooded with joke candidates, maybe these non-joke alternatives to Romney would not have dropped out so fast.

5. Tactics Backfire--Part I. Your side pulled out the stops to use legislative means and rules change (e.g., for early voting) to try to suppress the votes of traditionally Democratic groups. This helped to fire up what otherwise was not a super enthusiastic Democratic base. Ask yourself this: wouldn’t you crawl over glass to vote if someone had tried, but failed, to suppress the voting on your side like this? Then to put icing on the cake, most the new laws got reversed in the courts. Fired up Democratic base + not many actually suppressed = very bad combo. I would suggest you just totally give up on this tactic. You've had nice long run with it, but I'm guessing it's going to hurt you more than help going forward you given demographic trends.

6. Tactics backfire--Part II. Your side had a unprecedentedly large number of memes that simply were not supported by the facts. But they weren’t just passing memes. They were standard stump lines and commercials put in regular rotation. And you persisted in using them long after they had been debunked by the consensus of fact checkers. Obama never went on an “apology” tour. The “that” he said “you didn’t build” was roads and bridges, not your business. Regulations have not gone up under Obama, much less quadrupled. The yearly deficit has not doubled on his watch. Obama never “gutted” welfare-to-work. Chrysler never said they were moving jobs to China. This unprecedented disregard for facts became an ongoing story of its own in the campaign, and deservedly so. Journalists love to show their impartiality by dutifully noting “everyone does it” when reporting on the latest whopper, and this ordinarily let’s your side get away with a lot, but in this case the level of dishonesty was too much to swallow even by the jaded journalistic standards of the day. We're not expecting you to be choir boys. Just try to ratchet this back to typical expectations for modern politics.

I've tried to be thorough here, because I hear a lot of Republicans saying "it was just demographics" or "it was just a weak candidate". And it may be true, this time, that any one of the above was enough to make the difference, because this time you were running against a black guy with a funny name and a bad economy.

Next time, you likely won't be. So fixing only one of these problems will not be enough.

Gordon66
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