Skip to comments.Are Republicans Learning the Wrong Lessons?
Posted on 12/08/2012 1:42:01 PM PST by neverdem
As hard as it is to believe, its been only a little over three weeks since Election Day. But there are already plenty of signs that Republicans are learning many of the wrong lessons from that debacle. For starters, theres been a lot of excessive emphasis on racial demographics, which actually changed very little from 2008. According to exit polling, the portion of Hispanic voters went up just 1 percentage point, the portion of Asian voters went up just 1 point, and the portion of black voters stayed the same. Meanwhile, the portion of white voters fell 2 points largely because, as Sean Trende notes, Mitt Romney failed to turn out several million such voters.
Now Senator John McCain says that, when it comes to the life-or-death matter of abortion, Republicans should leave the issue alone. Well, it would be hard to have left the issue any more alone than Romney did, and what did it get him? On an issue on which Americans are typically split pretty much right down the middle, exit polling showed that voters favored the legality (59 percent), rather than illegality (36 percent), of abortion in most or all cases. This suggests that Romneys silence in the face of Obamas pro-abortion rhetoric caused some swing voters to shift their position leftward (as people are inclined to do when they hear only one side of an issue advanced) while millions of pro-life voters apparently sat this one out.
In truth, the Romney strategy on essentially every issue and especially on Obamacare could aptly be summarized as leave the issue alone. Even on the economy, the one issue on which the Romney camp generally seemed eager to engage, the campaign left alone the question of how we got into this mess in the first place. Relatedly, it left alone the crucially important claim that Bill Clinton made at the Democratic convention: Listen to me now. No president, no president not me, not any of my predecessors no one could have fully repaired all the damage that [Obama] found in just four years. This, of course, was ridiculous. FDR had inherited the Great Depression, and yet, in the year that he first sought reelection, real economic growth was over 13 percent more than six times what its been this year under Obama. But Romney characteristically left that one alone, and more than three years into the Obama recovery exit polling indicated that voters still blamed George W. Bush (53 percent), not Obama (38 percent), for the stagnant economy.
As a result of Romneys failure to make the case on essentially any issue either against Obamas abysmal record or on behalf of his own proposals we ended up with this very strange result: In an election pitting perhaps the most liberal president in American history against a moderate Republican who was never fully trusted by the conservative wing of his own party, likely voters polled by Pew Research less than two weeks before the election said that Obama (50 percent), not Romney (38 percent), takes the more moderate positions. And in an election pitting a Democratic president who rammed Obamacare through on a straight party-line vote and then spent the next two years demagoguing Republicans, versus the former Republican governor of heavily Democratic Massachusetts, likely voters in that same poll said that Obama (47 percent), not Romney (41 percent), was more willing to work with leaders from the other party.
As such polling suggests, Republicans didnt lose this election because of demographics, and they didnt lose it because of the positions they took on the issues. They lost it because they failed to make the case against Obama or on behalf of their own ideas and principles. As a result, they failed to rally independents to their side to the extent that they should have, and they failed to turn out their own base. Far from leaving key issues alone in the future, Republicans need to engage the American public on matters of importance and make their case in persuasive language.
More than anything, the debacle of 2012 should show the GOP that it cant run a Seinfeldian campaign a campaign about nothing. Chris Caldwell summed it up nicely in these pages: Where two candidates argue over values, the public may prefer one to the other. But where only one candidate has values, he wins, whatever those values happen to be.
They’re being obtuse on purpose.
What all of us who despise Osama Obama and his pals/worshipers must learn is this...in any given election,particularly Presidential elections,a member of one of two parties...Rat or Republican..will win.And that will be true for the rest of *our* lifetimes,at least,as it’s been true for the last 100 years or more.At the *very* worst the Republican will be the lesser of two evils and might even be a genuinely decent,responsible and respectable man/woman.The Rats learned from 2000 when Nader did,in fact,cost them the White House.They’ll never make that mistake again.The question is can *we* learn the same lesson...sometimes “principles” must give way to pragmatism...sad as that might be.
Principles “gave way to pragmatism” all along in the last election, and where did that get us?
Why vote for a fake, de-facto Dem when you can vote for a real one? That was obviously the voter response to Romney’s failure to discuss any principles (or even issues) and try to present himself as being so close to a Dem that nobody would know the difference.
They NEVER LEARN ANYTHING.
(sorry for shouting)
“More than anything, the debacle of 2012 should show the GOP that it cant run a Seinfeldian campaign a campaign about nothing. Chris Caldwell summed it up nicely in these pages: Where two candidates argue over values, the public may prefer one to the other. But where only one candidate has values, he wins, whatever those values happen to be.
No, their souls have been purchased. They are only playing the role.
"Evangelicals turned out in record numbers and voted as heavily for Mitt Romney yesterday as they did for George W. Bush in 2004," said Ralph Reed, chairman of Faith and Freedom Coalition. "That is an astonishing outcome that few would have predicted even a few months ago."
The numbers back Ralph Reed. No one will argue that Bush failed to turn out the base in 2004. Yet, Romney got several million more evangelical votes than Bush. That this happened in a declining demographic is remarkable.
This guy is correct, the public still doesn't know who or what a Mitt Romney is, and Ryan didn't help with the general public, he was in the same place, an invisible man.
In the end millions of people stayed home, and there was little movement or volatility among the voters, the people who vote as a consistent habit of participatory life mostly just did their grim, uninspired duty, and pulled the lever that they normally pull, an R or a D.
Has Mr. Anderson not yet figured out how far left the GOP is, and still thinks that it is a party of conservatives?
The never ending push to the left, a constant hacking and chopping at conservatism.
You sound very "concerned", we are 4 years away from the next presidential election, yet your "concern" is never ending, we just nominated one of the most hard left nominees of either party in history, and definitely of the GOP, yet you still want to let us know that we need to move farther left.
The republican party is partying while carrying around Boehner like “WeekEnd at Bernies”..
Boehner is quite dead you know..
With Cantor on one arm and McConnell on the other..
The masquerade is not even funny..
Another thing that must be changed is "open primaries". I live in such a state, here in Illinois, primary day, you walk in to the polling place and you are asked, "Democrat or Republican", you state your preference and receive that ballot, no registration by party whatsoever and you don't have to show any form of id for the primary or general election.
The way things stand, we are doomed to continue to have Romney clone candidates.
Thank you, Jeffrey, for making all the same points I was making two weeks ago.
Charlie Crist agrees would agree with you. Of course Charlie Crist is without principle, selfish, and only interested in obtaining political power -much like the Kenyan Marxist and all the other leftists, even the ones with an R next to their name.
Thanks but no thanks. Give me Liberty or give me death!
Let me tell ya lads, as sure'n as this here is the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and fifty four, I am here ta tell ya that for the nex' hundred years, a member o' one o' two parties, eithern the Democrats or the Whigs, is gonna win tha presideshual eeeelecshuns!
Every President since 1870 has either been a Rat or a Republican.Given that the Rat Party is *entirely* behind their Communist "manifesto" the prospect of the Republican Party splitting suggests that the next 50 years will feature nothing but *Rat* presidents.And Rat Congresses as well.All that for the sake of "purity".
Buckwheat won a second term because of VOTER FRAUD.
Republicans are simpletons. You could rob these morons in broad daylight, holding a gun, hatchet, bow and arrow and a claymore mine, and these 30 IQ republicans would blame the tea party.
You obviously missed the point.
The Whigs fell apart not long after the 1854 election. The Republican Party formed by the fusion of old Whigs, Free Soilers, and some anti-slavery Democrats. By 1860, the GOP had established (after a bit of unpleasantness) electoral domination for two generations, basically until 1932.
I don’t see why we have to remain tied to the GOP. Saying that we have to be is simply simpleminded and a lack of imagination. The GOP can go away, and we’ll be none the worse for it. Better to build something else using conservative GOPers, conservative independents, while picking off some Democrats who lean to the Right but haven’t given up their Party yet because the GOP doesn;t really offer a better alternative.
What would George Washington say to us today? This is a contest. . .
This is why Romney lost. And there’s no going back. There exists a majority that will vote themselves more of other peoples money because they have no skin in the game. All the rest is bs.
$30,000 - $49,999..................21%.....57%..42%
$50,000 - $99,999..................31%.....46%..52%
$100,000 - $199,999................21%.....44%..54%
$200,000 - $249,999.................3%.....47%..52%
$250,000 or more....................4%.....42%..55%
Sample: 24157 respondents
I don’t believe it was an “election” in any sense of the word, i.e. where voters go to the polls to find a candidate about whom they have made a considered decision based on their understanding of issues, even if it’s just “D” or “R.” It was a round up; voters who didn’t know anything about either side’s position were herded to the polls by community organizers who had been assigned quotas for each precinct, and told “just get it done.” This is why Nate Silver knew how many were going to turn out. The Obama campaign shared the quotas with him and he knew they’d be met, no matter what fraudulent means it took. So , if it looks funny that a precinct has a 10,000- 0 result, well that’s just factored in. However , the traditional campaign failed to ignite a real response, so Obama fell 4 m short of his 2008 total and election turn out , based on voting age population, will drop at least 5%. Leave alone why Romney didn’t do better; the reality is that this is the best the Democrats could do with their high tech, ground game skulduggery against a surprisingly unsavvy and disengaged Republican party ( the long ,expensive primary campaign is probably the main impediment.) Republicans have no reason to be quaking in their boots. The line has to be that Obama is the first President elected to a second term with fewer votes than to his first term in over 150 years.
This presumes that Republicans are capable of learning ANY lessons.It also presumes the Republicans have values.
What lost the most recent election for the GOP was two things:
Romney is a Mormon. Everyone pretends to forget that, but it’s a major reason he lost.
Obama is the first black president.
The two things doomed Romney.
The solution is:
DO NOT NOMINATE A MORMON.
Obama’s term will be over next time.
Yeh, like I’m going to believe some BS sampling from a bunch of commies and leftists who stole the election.
They’re covering their tracks, jwalsh07.
It was the electoral version of “teaching to the test” if it wasn’t outright fraud.
It sure didn’t feel like a real election. Not to me.
The letter making a compelling case against Obama WAS written, and was given to the MSM to deliver. The MSM rewrote the letter and delivered its version instead of the original.
The case was made, but the delivery system failed.
Bunk doesn’t quite cut it when the democrats win national elections because they turn out large numbers of government dependents in urban areas that vote overwhelmingly for more of your money. But be my guest and cling to the belief that Romney lost because he was a Mormon. I don’t much care.
There actually aren't any moderates ~ just don't exist. Everybody is part of one or more interest groups that tend to debate the big issues that politicians imagine they can resolve.
Romney told donors he was going to focus his campaign on undecided folks in the middle ~ which is exactly why he lost.
He failed to get more Republicans out to vote than Obama did Democrats. That is always a losing game.
Dave, you don’t belive that the left runs up overwhelming numbers in parasitic urban environments? Why not? It’s been going on for years and with illegal immigrants flooding the cities and polling booths it was only a matter of time before they cobbled together a national majority.
republicans can still win the House and they will for a while I think. But national elections are much tougher which is why republicans did nicely in the House and not so nicely in the senate.
Next time, we RUN a true outspoken candidate for AMerica: Colonial ALlen West!
We started hearing in August 2012 that “pretty soon”
Romney would really start campaigning all over and engage Obama. When did he start doing so? I must have missed it.
“Dave, you dont belive that the left runs up overwhelming numbers in parasitic urban environments?”
You’re on target, buddy. Hell, the commies run up numbers of more than 110% of all voting age adults in places like Philadelphia and Detroit.
Do you know how Gov. Walker in Wisconsin won the recall vote? Waukesha County, a large conservative area in SE Wisconsin, didn’t submit its votes until after the leftist vote total from Milwaukee was submitted.
Rats win because of voter fraud.
I have not seen one shred of credible evidence that this is true. I have voted every presidential election for almost 30 years. The longest I ever waited to vote in the past was about 15 minutes. I waited 2 hours! Same with other family members. This is true of reports ALL OVER THE COUNTRY.
Their is significant evidence that voting machines were in fact tampered with.
Confirmed acts of voter intimidation, deliberate delay of military votes, and all manner of fraud.
In the end it's very obvious to anyone with common sense that this election was a sham. It was rigged and stolen right in front of our eyes.
How was it done you may ask? I strongly suspect it was a very simple hidden software routine loaded into electronic machines that simply ran and reduced (deleted) Republican votes by a certain percentage under the democrat votes. This guarantees a win and stays under the recount radar. This theory supports the reason Obama got so many precincts with 100% of the vote. The software routine was not sophisticated enough to compensate for very low vote counts causing ALL ROMNEY VOTES to be eliminated by the program. This is why you have so many small spots were Obama got 100%.
Lastly the reaction of the Republican establishment to the election result confirms my suspicion. They Republican elites (Romney included) KNOW THIS ELECTION WAS STOLEN BY ELECTRONIC VOTE FRAUD. But...since they never did anything going back to the democrats first all out attempt to steal an election (Bush vs Gore, Acorn and "keep your eye on Florida") they are left with no option to try and claim the obvious. The Republican party would look like fools claiming vote fraud now. You can't let one side in any contest continually and openly cheat repeatedly then all the sudden decide go call foul once they cheat in one you really want to win. It's too late then, you just look like sore losers even though you were actually cheated.
Evil has won because good men did nothing.
Sorry, I think your wrong.
Romney did get Repubs out to vote. This election was stolen. Plain and simple. Believing the magic negro won it legitimately is exactly what the ruling class wants you to believe and continue to say.
Look, it was difficult for me to accept what happened this election. Not that Romney lost, but that the election was completely fraudulent.
I will take this belief to my grave. This election was stolen. Which then of course makes me take a second look at 2008. McCain threw that election.
I have no idea why the GOP has let this happen. My guess is they are busy taking care of them and theirs before our nation completely goes under. With no thought of what happens to the rest of us.
At any rate my eyes have been opened. I am disgusted and angry. But what saddens me is that many intelligent FReepers are still believing they have skin in our political process. We don’t. This “if we just do this.. Or if we just run that person” crap I read over and over again on FR is baloney.
We need to wake up. Stop playing the game. We don’t know the rules and we can’t win.
Sorry for the rant, but it’s true. Fraudulent elections. Until we face it, we will never get our Nation back.
That was Thomas Jefferson. He won.
Parties devoted to a sort of elitist ideal of selecting the best person began losing as Jefferson's method won election after election in all regions of the nation, at every level. The Federalists simply dried up and blew away.
Jackson enjoyed a virtual monopoly in US elections. In time one-party politics fell away with the growth of the far more pragmatic group called the Whig party which also sought to win elections and practiced pork barrel politics with a vengeance ~ they, too won many converts to their cause (no surprise).
When they fell the Republican party was formed out of remaining intact Whig units, some smaller party groups, AND, lo and behold, Abolitionist movement units ~ the Abolitionists had not yet succeeded in becoming a political party, but they readily converted to the Republican cause.
Since that time two large coalition parties of roughly equal voting strength have grown up to dispute over who gets the 50% + 1 vote. Each party has its own style, structure, traditions, methods of winning elections and it's own stable of coalition members.
History works to create new factions, so there are cross currents at work, and sometimes a whole large faction will go over to the other party ~ sometimes overnight, and sometimes over a decade or so, but there are wholesale transfers.
What we do not see in this are large bodies of organized independents who have meaningful numbers to influence elections.
We do not see broadly successful third parties that can count on winning elections ~ most such groups focus on influencing legislation or policies in particular areas. They are certainly matched by lobbyists who do the same thing.
Both the major parties currently suffer from having a leadership elite that has money, positions in Congress, and no common sense. Although the Democrats are the worse off ~ with their current leadership elites being actual criminals or mentally ill people, the Republicans are burdened with a very commercialized leadership elite who seem unable to stick to the mechanics of politics!
We call them the GOP-e. At most they command 15% of Republican voters ~ and without the rest of us ~ the Traditionalists, Evangelicals, Catholics, Southerners, Midwestern suburbanites and farmers, TEAPartiers, Right to Life folks, Right to Work folks, and other assorted groups, they'd get just about that same 15% election after election.
What we need to do is come up with a NEW RNC that effectively cuts the GOP-e OUT of party ideological and policy questions and reduces them to fund raising and glad handing. We've already run 11 too many of their candidates in the last 75 years ~ we need to do this differently!
State parties would be asked to send delegates to the NEW RNC instead of to the old RNC ~ and we'd work it from there. New rules, new direction, new faces.......................
I'm still waiting for him to stop smiling and say something bad about Obamugabe!!!!
However, 4 million fewer Democrats turned out this time to vote for Obama ~ than turned out in 2008.
It is us...the voter who keeps learning the wrong lesson. We keep showing up to vote and we vote GOP and they keep disappointing.
The RNC and GOP aren’t the problem, we are.
Time for conservatives to stand together and drop this two-party BS...
I have voted GOP my entire life...I am done supporting these ass-clowns, I will work locally to get a new conservative party going and give voters a real choice, candidate within a party that has solid clearly stated principles who stand behind them no matter what.
Not waiting in lines is never news ~ and 20 years ago our precinct went from busy to not busy. This time it went from not busy to busy. The only difference was the territory carved out to vote at our normal voting place ~ a school with a record of being a good place to get people in and out.
Lines, per se, mean nothing other than failure of local election boards to properly gauge probable turnout based on redistricting.
Obama fell several million votes below what he'd had in 2008.
The way I see it is candidate quality was the problem. Romney was no more a draw than was McCain. Obama ran as 'first negro' ~ and he set records, then he ran is 'jus' another chicago street thug' and did less well ~ a lesson to the Dems!
The problem for us is the GOP-e ~ and some major donors who imagine you really can buy an election by buying advertising on the last couple of days.
You have to build your support in the years between elections so you have people willing to turn out for your candidates. Running loser after loser dispirits people, and then they don't vote.
You didn’t read anything I wrote.
We could have ran Ronald Reagan and we would have lost.
Stay asleep, it is what they want you to do.
But I am awake and know this election and maybe more was fraudulent.
This was the most crooked and fraudulent election in American history. Trying to blame Romney’s Mormonism for the loss is nothing more than trying justify massive fraud.
Explain how 120% of all adult voters in Cleveland voted and it counts. Explain how all the precincts in Philadelphia voted 100% for obuma, with not a single vote for Romney.
The stats showed that 20% of young blacks voted for Romney. Why didn’t that show up in Philadelphia?
“...in any given election,particularly Presidential elections,a member of one of two parties...Rat or Republican..will win.And that will be true for the rest of *our* lifetimes,at least,as its been true for the last 100 years or more”
What happens when the Republican candidate can’t win any more?
But the point I made was that the public persona left Romney incapable of being critical of the second worst President in American history.
That's something for Mormons to fix before they push another one of their faction forward as Presidential material.
When you finally get Romney out to run in a real campaign, give us a call ~ we are still waiting.
All Romney had to do was get out as many Republicans as did George Bush and he would have won.