Reports of Republican Demise Premature

2012-Electoral-Map

By Jeff Boone

Column Right – Pundits on the left are already singing the song of Republican demise unless the GOP migrates more to their worldview.

I say “whoa Nellie” on that tune.  The rhythm is off, and the melody stinks.

First, this election was still quite close as Presidential elections go… especially for a second-term election.  The popular vote difference was only 2.3% in Obama’s favor.  Obama only gained 92% of the votes he acquired in 2008 running against John McCain.  In this 2012 election he didn’t gain a single state and he lost Indiana.

The election was also quite divided.

Looking at the electoral map, it is quite obvious that the red state versus blue state division is as strong as ever.

But, back to the point the political-left is making about the GOP.

It is true that women voters came out in favor of Obama.  It is true that Latino voters came out in favor of Obama.  It is true that younger voters came out in favor of Obama.  It is true that black voters came out in favor of Obama.  It is true that Asian voters came out in favor of Obama.

It is also true that the GOP made MANY mistakes that contributed to the lack of support from these groups.   The exception to this is probably the black voter group that would probably still vote 95% for Obama if he was stealing pies from their window sill.

But here is the real reason that Obama won and these groups supported him:  MONEY!

Yes people, the Republicans got beat by the very thing the left and liberal media likes to claim they love more than nature, children and puppies.   The Democrats beat the GOP with money… their own favorite possession!

Here are a few facts to help you understand this point.

  • Romney’s campaign benefited from $625 million in Super Pac ads, compared to Obama’s measly $460 million. But, despite all the lefty hand-wringing about Citizens United and the GOP-benefiting power of the Super Pac, the election impact turned out to be nada. Super Pacs didn’t move the needle a bit for the GOP.
  • Even though Romney won the Super Pac dollar game, Obama won the campaign dollars game. He raised $1 billion compared to Romney’s $919 million.

But you say “so what, they both raised a ton of cash!”  Yes, that is true… but with a couple of big caveats.

One – Obama used his Pac and campaign money early during the Republic primary to attack Romney.  Romney, unfortunately, had to use his funds to combat other Republicans.  The GOP primary election was bruising and difficult and Romney, the rich guy, actually ran out of money.  This again benefited the Obama campaign as they waged one of the most negative attacking ad-wars in the history of modern Presidential elections.   The impact of this massive ad attack, combined with all the free advertising provided by the left media prone to regurgitation Democrat campaign talking points, was devastating to Romney’s image.  He wasn’t able to recover until the first debate where viewers could not believe this was the same guy they saw fully trashed on TV, print and radio over the previous months.

Two – And this is very important… the Obama campaign received millions of dollars worth of free labor from labor unions.  So why is this something worth including?  It is worth a lot frankly, because, other than the barrage of negative ads tarnishing Romney’s image, the main reason Obama won is that the Democrats had a fantastic ground game.  They accomplished something unheard of in modern Presidential politics… matching the record-setting voter turnout in a re-election campaign.  Those burly, but frisky, blue-collar Obama campaign workers on loan from their union masters who were salivating at the prospects of Democrat-sponsored paybacks of labor concessions and fat pensions… they did a fantastic job.  They had their pages of bulleted talking points (basically this… the GOP hates women, old people, Latinos, blacks, poor people and puppies), two pairs of tennis shoes for walking the beat knocking on doors, and the keys to a fleet of busses ready to drive all those reliable Obama supporters to the polling stations.

So there you have it… money, including the monetary value of an army of free union labor, won the election for Obama.

That is very ironic since money is the root of most of the political conflict today.  More precisely it is the money being spent by government way above and beyond the money received by government.

Romney has a lot of money, but he lost to campaign money while basing his campaign platform on reducing the government money spent and increasing the money people could earn with better job prospects.

Yes, money irony abounds.

The lesson we learned is that it will take even MORE money to win the election next time.

See you in 2016 with lots more money!

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12 thoughts on “Reports of Republican Demise Premature”

  1. Jim Frame

    Money won’t be enough, I’m happy to say. The GOP cognoscenti (I’m talking about the rational people, not the Tea Party foamers or evangelical nutjobs) have been all over the airwaves since Tuesday, confirming that the Republican Party has to be willing to retreat from its hard-line positions on abortion, immigration and taxes if it wants to attract enough voters to survive in presidential politics.

    .

  2. David M. Greenwald

    The problem I see is that money in presidential races has only marginal importance. In a Senate Race the amount of free media coverage is marginal so money matters there because it define the race. There is so much media coverage of a Presidential election that I have never seen evidence that money matters. To the extent it might races like 2004, 2008 and 2012 were decided on the ground which takes money.

  3. medwoman

    Jeff

    First I want to thank you for taking the time for your Column Right pieces. I truly appreciate seeing clear, and for the most part non vitriolic ( probably the black voter group that would probably still vote 95% for Obama if he was stealing pies from their window sill. Hmmmm…. no slight intended I am sure) expositions on your point of view.

    And an initial point of agreement before I state my points of disagreement. I think we will continue to see much more money poured into elections despite the apparent irony of more and more evidence from recent elections that they are not simply up for sale to the rich.

    As for points of disagreement:
    1) I think it is easy when disappointed over a big loss to want to blame someone or something else rather than examine what, in one’s own belief system or actions might have contributed. However, it is exactly the opposite that is necessary if one wants to succeed in the future.

    2) [quote]basically this… the GOP hates women, old people, Latinos, blacks, poor people and puppies[/quote]
    First, “hate” had nothing to do with this. And the left leaning politicians and press, while very repetitive in their
    harkening to the underlying GOP positions, did not create them.
    1. Women do not believe that the GOP hates them. They do believe that the GOP wants to control their
    reproductive rights. And despite your posting of a single poll, the GOPs platform and statements from their
    candidates and leaders were in agreement almost universally on this point. Jeff, if a group says repeatedly that
    their goal is to limit a woman’s reproductive health rights, and through their actions in imposing in many
    states, more and more barriers to appropriate health care, then I am going to take them at their word.
    2. GOP “hating” old people. This is just silly. The issue here is not hatred but security. The question is which
    party did voters believe is more likely to promote programs that will ensure the well being not only of today’s
    elderly, but of our own children when they are elderly ? I think it is clear what the majority thought.
    3. GOP “hatred” of minorities. Well, have you taken a look at the comments sections following articles by many
    of the right wing pundits ? Or “jokes” circulated by some fairly highly placed right wing politicians making
    very offensive “jokes” at the expense of the first family ( just Google racism and Michele Obama) and you
    can see the level of disrespect if not “hatred” that is out there. Now before you say, well George Bush was also
    made fun of, please note that I put Michelle’s name in. Please show me like samples of vitriolic attacks on
    Laura or Barbara Bush or on Ann Romney or any of their children with regard to their race or appearance.
    4. GOP “hatred” of the poor. No not hatred. I would say that “contempt” is closer to the truth. I think that
    Romney in a moment of extreme unguarded honesty summed up his opinion in his “47 % ” comment.
    What I think that the majority of voters sense is that the GOP attitude with regard to the poor has it exactly
    backwards. Romney seems to believe that being wealthy means that you are virtuous and hardworking.
    I believe that the majority believe that being virtuous and hardworking may or may not provide a path to
    wealth in our society. Some of the kindest and most hardworking folks that I have ever met in my life are
    physical laborers with no hope of ever getting above that level financially. These are not people who are not
    taking responsibility for their lives, but whom our current social and economic structures have trapped in or
    near poverty.

    Jeff, these wounds were not inflicted on the GOP by a left leaning President and media. They are self inflicted wounds. One of the beauties of our system of government is it includes safeguards that provide some assurance that political extremism on either side is unlikely to be successful for long. One part of the debriefing from this election for the GOP should surely include, along with a re evaluation of strategy, also a re evaluation of principles
    and how better to align those with inevitably changing times. Those of us on the left have had to do this many times ( Bill Clinton, the loss of a single party payer as our preferred means of health care reform, the continued existence of Guantanamo as a few examples), Now I truly believe it would be a good idea for the GOP to do the same.

  4. Neutral

    [i]it is quite obvious that the red state versus blue state division is as strong as ever.[/i]

    Wrong map. [url]Vanderbei’s Purple America[/url] is, and has been for the past three cycles, a far more accurate representation of the electorate.

  5. Davis rocks

    Hey Jeff,

    Sorry to see that you are such a bad loser, but then, like Romney, I think you were convinced that the Romney/Ryan ticket would win. What I find astonishing is that you can try to complain that “money” is the reason why Obama won when it is the Republicans with Karl Rove at the helm consistently trying to buy elections with smear ads against Democrats. For instance remember the Republican “swift boats” ads to smear a decorated Vietnam war hero John Kerry the night before Election day to help George W. Bush get elected? The Democrats ads simply focused on debunking all of the attack ads by the Republicans.

    The bottom line is “The Left” really learned from bad experiences from previous stolen elections (i.e. both George W. Bush elections) and got ready for this battle. Obama got the popular vote as well as the electoral college vote majority’s and it is in spite of all of the negative advertising the Republicans did.

    You seem to acknowledge to some extent that the GOP did some bonehead stuff, which can not be disputed. Comments degrading women and their reproductive rights like “legal rape” were reflective of how stupid some Republican representatives were in their personal opinions on women. The response was that women were not going to ignore that political bombshell and they voted loud and clear to protect their future and the future of all women for choice and reproductive rights. 99.9% of all of the negative campaigning I saw was from the Republicans and a lot of it was pure vitriolic stuff trying to spread a lot of lies.

    Let’s not forget that one of the main reasons why Romney lost is because he kept changing his positions on main issues and so he could not be trusted as a President. Who could predict what he would wind up actually doing if he got into the White House? Have you see this month’s “The New Yorker” magazine? It is of a tattoo artist tattooing Romney’s arm and going down his arm the artist is crossing off political position after political position that Romney had taken over the course of his campaigning. The message basically was: “Romney is all over the map with his political positions, although each time he seems to be so sure of himself at that moment. But then, depending upon who his audience happens to be, he changes his position over and over again”.

    Let’s not leave Paul Ryan out of this conversation as a reason why the Romney/Ryan ticket lost. Ryan made it VERY clear in the VP debate that he and Romney had EVERY intention of overturning Roe vs. Wade when they got the chance to appoint new Supreme Justice’s.

    For me it is sad to see that Romney got as many votes as he did. Based upon so many racist comments against Obama and his family on line, a good number of those votes for Romney were by racists. It is sad to see that the civil war is over so many years ago, yet racism persists clearly in certain parts of this country.

    In the end, thank God, the Left did a good job organizing and getting the word out about why Obama and Biden were the best choice, even though they were significantly outspent by the Republicans.

  6. Don Shor

    So, Jeff, are you saying that if Romney and the GOP had more money, they would have won? How much more? How would they have spent it?
    This is sad. If you don’t recognize why you lost, you’ll keep losing.

    Romney and Ryan were too far to the right for the voters.
    They ran their campaign ineptly.
    The Republican brand was badly tarnished by the primary process.
    The demographics, as every analyst notes, now favor Democrats.
    America’s electorate is not center-right.
    On social issues, the country has moved towards greater tolerance and more moderate positions, just as the Republicans have moved toward less tolerance and immoderate positions.
    No amount of money would have overcome these hurdles.

  7. Mr.Toad

    The New York times predicted the election correctly while Fox News’ predictions were wrong. Maybe people need to return to traditional sources of information.

    I thought it was funny that Romney went on Fox News regularly throughout the campaign but was unavailable to media outlets that might ask clarifying questions. David Frum was on MSNBC condemning right wing guys who knew Romney was going to lose weeks in advance but acted like they were going to win in order to keep the money flowing. He didn’t name people but said he did in his new book. I imagine he was talking about guys like Rove, Hannity, Morris, Barone, Will and other right wing pundits who led guys like Jeff Boone down the primrose path to slaughter. What is truly amazing is that team Romney didn’t see it coming. Talk about drinking the Kool-aid! Too bad, they should have looked at 538, where Nate Silver called all 50 states in advance.

    So to you Jeff i say please stay in denial about the realities of American politics because unless you change the Republican party is as doomed nationally as it is in California, where, it is now reduced to being a local party with no state wide influence at all, because California voted super majority Democrat.

    Think about that super majority Democrat California, savor it, let it roll off your tongue like virgin snow melting and making the beautiful music of a bubbling stream.

    Jeff your ideas have been repudiated at the ballot box, and, instead of pontificating, you should be reflecting about why the Republican ideals in this state have been rejected by a super majority of voters.

  8. Don Shor

    Jeff: “the Obama campaign received millions of dollars worth of free labor from labor unions.”

    Labor for Obama: [i]The A.F.L.-C.I.O.’s president, Richard Trumka, said on Thursday that the nation’s labor unions would have 128,000 volunteers working on the “final four days” of the 2012 campaign, saying these volunteers would knock on 5.5 million doors and make 5.2 million phone calls.
    Mr. Trumka said union members would also distribute two million leaflets at unionized work sites between now and Election Day, noting that that would be on top of 12 million fliers mailed to union members’ homes.[/i]
    –N.Y. Times

    Evangelicals for Romney: “The Faith & Freedom Coalition made over 122 million voter contacts to evangelicals, faithful Catholics, and other voters of faith in key states in 2012. FFC’s voter education effort included 23 million pieces of mail, 21 million get-out-the-vote calls, 18 million text messages and emails, and 30 million voter guides distributed in 117,000 churches.”
    — Ralph Reed

  9. wdf1

    Plus plenty of free pulpit time from conservative evangelical pastors:

    Pulpit politics: Pastors endorse candidates, thumbing noses at the IRS ([url]http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/11/04/14703656-pulpit-politics-pastors-endorse-candidates-thumbing-noses-at-the-irs[/url])

  10. Michael Harrington

    I had to self fund some of my CC campaign

    Why didn’t Romney just write some big checks in the summer, call them loans, and try and respond to the Obama attack ads ? I haven’t seen any analysis of this

    I put some money into the fall 2011 referendum in the emergency breech caused by the CCs unexpected failure to roll the biggest permanent rate hikes for a year, if you are going to drive, you have to put gas in the tank

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