Skip to comments.In 2016, GOP Needs a Candidate Voters Believe In
Posted on 11/18/2012 5:01:56 AM PST by Kaslin
In the wake of Mitt Romney's loss, many Republicans say the GOP must make far-reaching changes to be competitive in future elections. White voters are a smaller and smaller part of the electorate, they point out, while Latinos and other minorities are growing as a percentage of the voting public. Unless the Republican Party reinvents itself to appeal to those voters, the argument goes, the GOP can get used to being out of power.
There's something to that. The electorate is changing, and the Republican Party needs to keep up with the times. But the more fundamental answer to the GOP's problems could be much simpler than that. To win the next time, Republicans need to find a really good candidate. Just listen to the masterminds of Barack Obama's victories in 2008 and 2012.
On Thursday afternoon, the Obama campaign held its last conference call for reporters. Toward the end of the call, the three top officials in Obama's re-election effort -- David Axelrod, Jim Messina and David Plouffe -- were asked what will happen to the mighty Obama campaign now. What next for the enormous campaign infrastructure, with its massive databases and voter profiles? Will it go to a new candidate?
"You can't just transfer this," said senior adviser Plouffe. "People are not going to spend hours away from their families, and their jobs, contributing financially when it's hard for them to do it, unless they believe in the candidate."
"All of this, the door knocks ... the contributions made, the phone calls made, were because these people believed in Barack Obama," Plouffe continued. "And so for candidates who want to try and build a grassroots campaign, it's not going to happen because there's a list or because you have the best technology. That's not how this works. They have to build up that kind of emotional appeal so that people are willing to go out and spend the time and their resources and provide their talents because they believe in someone. ... The reason those people got involved was because they believed in Barack Obama. It was a relationship between them and our candidate."
Plouffe is right. He and Axelrod and Messina could have created the most awesome campaign machinery in the world, and it would have failed had the candidate not been able to forge an emotional connection with enough voters to win. Obama could do that, especially with blacks and Latinos and young people, but also with a significant portion of white voters.
Mitt Romney, on the other hand, appears not to have excited any big group. Yes, he won the support of 59 percent of white voters, but there are indications that whites actually stayed away from the polls in large numbers. Overall, Romney won fewer votes than John McCain's doomed 2008 campaign.
"The 2012 elections actually weren't about a demographic explosion with nonwhite voters," writes analyst Sean Trende of RealClearPolitics. "Instead, they were about a large group of white voters not showing up. ... The reason this electorate looked so different from the 2008 electorate is almost entirely attributable to white voters staying home."
Trende is not sure why so many whites didn't vote. Looking only at Ohio, he suggests many did not like Obama but were turned off by Romney, or at least the negative picture of Romney created by Obama's attack ads. So they did nothing on Election Day.
There is much data still to come in from Tuesday; the popular vote figures and exit poll details aren't yet final. But it's fair to say Romney's problems stemmed as much from his failure to appeal to white voters as his failure to appeal to any other voters. He lost because he did not connect to large swaths of the voting population.
That's where finding a great candidate comes in. Romney is an able, accomplished, intelligent and hard-working man, but Republicans knew from the start he was an imperfect candidate. During the primaries, GOP voters tried every alternative possible before finally settling on Romney. He remained a flawed candidate in the general election.
Now, because of Romney's loss, some are urging that the Republican Party completely remake itself. Some argue that GOP lawmakers must support comprehensive immigration reform and change positions on other issues. The answer, they say, is broad, across-the-board change.
But listen to the Obama team. There is a less complicated lesson to this election. Voters want to believe in a candidate. If Republicans find that candidate, they will win.
Not unless they do something about voter fraud. I got whiff of an article that blew my mind. The main reason the GOP won’t do anything is because of 1982 Consent Decree. It is real!
“In 2016, GOP Needs a Candidate Voters Believe In”
RIGHT NOW the GOP needs Candidates that BELIEVE IN CONSERVATISM enough to speak proudly of their own success!
The voters will follow if you lead them.
This is false.
Romney's only 400,000 votes behind McCain, with plenty of votes left to count.
“But listen to the Obama team. There is a less complicated lesson to this election. Voters want to believe in a candidate. If Republicans find that candidate, they will win”.
Loyalty, despite imperfections, perceived or otherwise, fact or fiction, truth or deception, reality or myth, black or white, all were the mainstay of the Obama campaign.
...and thinking republicans just couldn’t muster any loyalty to anyone, anything, any option, any principle, other than perhaps their own selfish perceptions, rooted in who knows what.
Looking for Reagan is not going to win elections, and elections have consequences. If this election means the party is dead, garnering precious little loyalty, I have a feeling, principled elections are dead, a result of fractured loyalty.
Fully suited in triple layer flame retardant material.
The GOP can ignore its base at its own peril.
Though Sarah Palin saved MeCain from a humiliating loss, a Conservative was not at the top of the 2008 or 2012 ticket.
They had 2 chances and blew it all again, Im done with them. They need to drastically change coarse by way of leadership and if true they need to get to work to kill that decree and grow some balls. From what I can see they are all to happy to get down on thier knees in line wanting to kiss the ring of a fraud
Romney got more votes in Bible Belt States than McCain, or Bush in 2004.
So where is this mythical base that stayed home? Under a rock? On Mars?
I’m watching the late returns coming in carefully to see what there is to the argument that it was a diminished electorate on the Republican side in particular .At least one Freeper has taken up the Daily Kos spin that the turnout will match 2008 when all the late counting, especially CA, is in. Sites differ as to total votes. CNN has made no additions to the totals for about 4 days, though they update at least once in 24 hours. The highest I’ve seen is on Dave Leip at BO63 m +, Romney at 59.4, about 500,000 less than McLain but 2.5 m less than W in ‘04. Whatever the final, this will be a low turnout election, with totals diminished on all side, certainly more diminished on the Obama side. When you consider that it is likely the voting age population went up by 10 m from 2008 to 2012, it is a lock that there were a lot more people of all colors , ages and stripes that could have been won by a better candidate at the top of the ticket (like one who could have hammered Obama on Obama care instead of the one who who had to say “excuse me” every time it was mentioned.)I’ve still got the bottom line that the way Obama governed drove people away by the millions and that he has nothing to build on; there will be no cost to opposing him across the board.
-No more open primaries. Republicans should select Republican Presidential candidates.
-No more Blue State candidates. Both McCain and Romney talked about "reaching across the aisle"...I want a Presidential candidate who wants to Democrats to compromise THEIR principles.
-No more candidates over the age of 60. George W. Bush was 54 when he won as President. The other GOP losers were 68, 73, 73, and 65 respectively. NO MORE OLD GUYS.
-Start the GOP ground game NOW. B. Hussein kept non-stop campaigning from the first time he was elected. The GOP needs to begin their 2016 ground game NOW.
- The GOP pollwatcher movement needs to be much stronger. Quite frankly, we were told this election would be "the most important election of our time". Yet, the GOP leadership is treating this as just another election cycle. "Why, sure we wanted to win, but I'm SOOO looking forward to eating the new French brie at Ben Bradlee and Sally Quinn's next soiree, hee hee hee."
The 2012 election wasn't about "reaching the undecided voters"...it was about getting your base out. While Romney was chasing "undecided" rabbits down holes, B. Hussein was getting his base out and to the polls...twice or more if necessary.
Oh, and one more thing...the Democrats in Congress "are not my good friends from across the aisle"...they're the ENEMY. Those bastards destroyed the greatest economy the world has ever seen, and now they want to turn us into a 3rd World $hit hole, with them in the Dachas while ruling over us. F'THEM!
Still looking for the 69m + you say Obama’s going to get.
Seeing today's GOP on their knees, I don't think it's Obama's knees they want to kiss.
So IOW - at the time of publication it is true. Thank you.
It's not spin, it's math. The definition of spin isn't "Math you don't like."
California as of Nov. 16 still had 1.7 million unprocessed ballots.
Iowa chose Santorum. What’s your excuse for not supporting Santorum. You had a choice - you chose otherwise.
I can do math too - what should Romney have gotten if you take the population growth into account?
Oh, so I suppose your solution for 2016 is to nominate yet another squish moderate who loses.
Excellent, more surrender conservatives.
I never said Obama will end up with 69 million. That’s what he got in 2008. Probably more like 67 million.
The end result of the turnout will likely be close to 2008, with 2-3 million votes switching from Obama to Romney.
Until someone in the media, Rush, Beck ..... anyone points out the fact the election was completely stolen, it won’t matter who runs. You can’t win an election that is rigged.
Oh ya, what about judges that will actually enforce the law with out an agenda.
The only other option is that our side cheats as bad as theirs, but that is really not a solution.
Can you say Marco.....
Growth in the electorate is 4% from 2004 to 2008.
It would be quite the stretch to suggest that ANY of the base is part of that electorate growth, given that the fastest growing portion of the population is Hispanic.
And I don’t think 18-22 year olds in general are part of the “base” that “stayed home.” Do you?
No , it’s arithmetic, which you haven’t done. Currently, rounding up, there are 125 m counted; +1.7= 126.7. 2008, there were 130 m. The voting age population also increased during those 4 years by 10 million, so the turnout is down significantly. It makes a huge difference going forward which interpretation the Republicans make. You’ve aligned with the KOS interpretation, You’re a FReeper, but on this point, you’re a FRumster.
So Obama’s going to get 4 m more votes than he has now? Name them.
My solution, and the only solution, for a Republican in 2016 is to convince about 3 million people that voted for Obama to vote for them. You can go about that in multiple ways, of course, but there's no other option.
Your solution is to motivate an almost entirely non-existent group of people (those for whom Romney wasn't conservative enough, and thus stayed home), which, if everything worked out, would likely have the effect of allowing the 2016 Republican candidate to win Mississippi by 20% instead of 18%.
I would like to nominate Allen West.
You do realize there are large numbers of uncounted votes in states other than California, don't you?
Also there was a real turnout decline in NY and NJ for obvious reasons.
I've honestly never read Daily Kos in my life, so it would be hard for me to be aligned with them.
When will we ever learn...we just cannot expect the GOP to ever be anything near what we want it to be.
We need a PARTY we can believe in.
This is what conservatives always do. They get sidetracked with non issues.
I call it gathering sea shells. I developed the concept to chide my wife who forgets the mission, the main effort. At the Normandy Invasion, she and those arguing here, would have stopped at water’s edge to gather sea shells. The shells are there and should be gathered while the opportunity exists.
That is this thread. Screwing around with mindless blather rather than making the assault and the successful invasion.
By the way, it's a 1,440 cell spreadsheet I've constructed with the reported AP (on the CNN site) vote totals, and what information there is from all state election websites, which you haven't done.
Their talking points are widely disseminated through journolists in the media; you’re making their argument,as well as David Frum’s (Too old, too white, too male)
-Need to stop opening our primaries in Iowa and New Hampshire. (I noticed how that you listed that one first, BTW.)
Take it from a lifelong Iowan who wishes it were otherwise: this is no longer the Iowa of "State Fair," "The Music Man," or any other nostalgic, feel-good make-believe. The un-gentrified older sections of many larger towns looks like West Chicago or Rockford, the land is divided into far fewer - but far larger - farms, and most paychecks are dependent on some form of tax collected from someone else.
The GOP needs to kick these two underachieving states to the curb tout suite.
The GOP-E was warned, repeatedly, what would happen if they carpet bombed Conservatives and tried to shove Romney down our throats.
You must be lost in the weeds. Even if Obama gets 1 m more out of CA, where are the other 3-5 m coming from?
Bad data leads to bad arguments, bad decisions, and bad strategies. And all too often people invent data to support their arguments, rather than looking at the data and then developing an argument from it.
And once bad data gets out there, it lives forever, especially if people want to use it to support an argument.
For example, Gary Bauer claimed a few days ago that “3 million values voters stayed home” - either he’s lying, or he’s somehow perverted the initial 3 million vote gap on election night between Romney’s reported total and McCain into ALL of that supposed gap being “values voters.”
And of course just based on actual counted votes so far, that “3 million” gap is now about 400,000.
Any 2016 strategy based on appealing to “3 million values voters that stayed home” to get them to turn out for the Republicans is doomed to fail, because the 3 million doesn’t exist.
What makes ANYONE think that there will even be an election in 2016? The dice were thrown and the USA crapped out!
Hey, we did that the last two times. Nominate a squish, lose. Nominate a squish - lose.
Now the patented Stategerist strategy - “Let’s nominate a squish because nobody loses like moderates”
Brilliant plan. Who should we credit for it?
Answer the question strategerist. Will Romney cover McCain + 4 percent, or not?
You’re just so super skilled with maths.
The GOP will need a candidate whose supporters can advocate for them in a sincere way- and that means someone who isn’t a milder version of the incumbent. I voted for the POS Romney but understood it as an act of hypocrisy on my part, being a conservative and voting for a left-winger like Myth. I certainly wouldn’t have told people “I am voting for Romney because I think he’d make a good president” because that wouldn’t be the truth. That’s the sort of support that Romney could not get. All he got was a grudging vote from a good many people on the right- and obviously, that isn’t going to be good enough.
Of those running who would you have preferred?
Good thing we have you to run in and save your hero. “Oh no - after all the votes are counted, Romney might actually finish ahead of McCain’s numbers from 4 years ago.”
Maybe he can run ads - “Hey, people I didn’t suck as bad as you all thought. I’m still eligible for 2016!”
It is a result of being intelligent enough to think and analyze vs. the Left's penchant for moving as a consolidated herd. We would be arguing whether the best apostle was Peter, Paul, Mark, Luke, John, etc., and lose sight that failure to come to some sort of agreement will result in Judas holding the scepter of power.
“Can you say Marco.....”
I’ve noticed they’re (conservatives) already starting to head that idea off at the pass.
You do understand the difference between talking points and numbers, don’t you?
There’s reality, and there’s what you want to believe. What you want to believe doesn’t match reality.
There are quite a few states that actually are done or almost done counting.
Go here for state-by-state totals for 2008:
And for 2012, some results:
So no calculations, no spreadsheet - actual numbers you can look at yourself.
You’ll notice Romney has more votes than McCain in all three states posted (and these are only 3 of the 32 states where that is true ALREADY, even with all the votes not being counted.)
How is it possible that Romney got more votes than McCain in Georgia, Kentucky, and South Carolina, yet millions of white base voters “stayed home?”
OK - here’s a question;
Do you think Reagan won in 1980 because he got a bunch of “true conservatives” that didn’t vote in 1976 because Ford was a moderate RINO, to turn out?
Or because he got a bunch of people who voted for Carter in 1976, including millions of Democrats, to switch to him?
Popular EV Romney/Ryan 59,637,581 47.7% 206 EV 38.3% McCain/Palin 59,934,814 45.7% 173 EV 32.2% Net McCain/Palin +297,233 -2.0% -33 EV -6.1%
Whomever becomes the nominee in 2016 needs to be someone that can bring enough voters together to defeat the democratic candidate. We surely don't need a 16 year run of democratic control plus however many years into the future the Supreme Court impact of their nominees will be.
That has never been the thrust of my argument. I have said that the way Obama governed drove people away, I have focused on his losses more than Romney’s. But if you really want to talk about “people that stayed home” on the Republican side, where are the 62 m that voted for Bush 8 years ago? Or the additional 12 m who turned out for him in ‘04 compared to ‘00? Romney really should have made a gain on that order over McCain’s ‘08 total.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.