Election Pre-Mortem

Obviously, Romney is going to win handily tomorrow. The question is why? More specifically, how did I get it so wrong:

If Republicans lose the independent vote 58% to 42%, they will lose. And that’s not even considering the fact that Mihos in fact took 7% of the vote for himself. I think we could expect similar results if Gingrich goes rogue and runs third party.

So I hope you’re a bit more informed about Mitt Romney’s electability now. Nominating Mitt Romney will, I believe, lead to a massive loss in November. My hope is that is doesn’t have an effect down ticket.

More or less, Obama ran the entirely wrong race in all the wrong ways.

Back in 2004, when Bush beat Kerry, I was in a car with some liberal friends who asked me what I thought of the election. I told them that I thought Howard Dean would have had a better chance of beating Bush, a thought which intrigued them. They asked me to elaborate, which I did. I told them that in an election between someone who believes in something, and someone who believes in nothing or whom at least appears to believe in nothing, the something will win every time. I told them that Bush was a poor President who was very beatable. But Kerry, rightly or wrongly, came across as a guy who believed in nothing. And as a result he was seen as unfit to lead, and so voters stuck with what they knew, despite their reservations about the current President.

Given the poor state of the economy and the generally poor performance of Obama as President, the best he could have hoped for was a scenario similar to 2004, in which the challenger is deemed unacceptable for some reason. In some sense, the Obama camp knew this, which is why they went so negative so early in the campaign. But the way in which they did it was completely idiotic, to put it mildly.

Evidently, the Obama camp lives inside its own echo chamber. Instead of going after Romney as a man who changes his views on a whim, who apparently believes in nothing, an accurate and potent criticism of the man, they decided to try to portray him as a right wing extremist.

Because the Republicans spent the entire primary season wringing their hands over Romney because they were concerned about nominating someone too right wing.

Romney was the quintessential politician who believed in nothing, who ought to have been beaten by anybody who believes in something. Instead he was portrayed by the Obama camp as someone who believed in something, just something different from Obama.

This blunder more or less handed the election to Romney. But that was only the beginning.

It would seem as if the Obama team really spent the election shitting its pants over the Tea Party. In case you were unaware the Tea Party is more or less un by middle aged middle class women. This marks a very dangerous fissure in the Democratic coalition. If middle class women peel away as a reliable source of votes, the Democrats are in trouble. So they spent their entire convention screaming about birth control and abortion. It was absurd and certainly didn’t convince anyone of anything. More importantly, it squandered another opportunity to show how Romney is a guy who believes in nothing.

Finally, for reasons that puzzle me, they failed to go after the Mormon angle in the way I assumed they would, namely by pointing out that Romney proselytized what was then a racist religion for two years. Obama surrogate Andrew Sullivan has only just mow started asking those questions, way too late.

So say hello to President Romney. I don’t hold out much hope that he’ll be any good as president. But he certainly can’t be as bad as Obama has been.

UPDATE: So obviously, I shouldn’t have written this, and should have just stuck with my original prediction. I certainly appears that Obama simply had a better ground game in the battleground states, and got turnout that was at or near 2008 levels, something that I wasn’t considering could seriously take place. Now we all have to brace ourselves, for the implementation of Obamacare and the debasement of the currency. It’s gonna get ugly.

UPDATE 2: Ira Stoll mirrors my thoughts.

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