Today, in Episode #5 of our series, How To Save Your Country In 5 Minutes, Drew Ryun finishes up his series within a series on precinct work, GOTV and how Mitt Romney narrowly lost the Presidential election in 2012.
Today, in Episode #5 of our series, How To Save Your Country In 5 Minutes, Drew Ryun finishes up his series within a series on precinct work, GOTV and how Mitt Romney narrowly lost the Presidential election in 2012.
For quite some time, I’ve deemed the Senate a lost cause. In recent years, Democrats have shown a remarkable sense of discipline, getting every member – even those from red states – to vote for the most radical pieces of legislation. Moreover, roughly half the GOP conference is worthless and couldn’t care less about their constituents, and there is certainly no leadership from Mitch McConnell. The fix was in a long time ago on the bill. That’s why we must work on forming a backstop in the House.
In order to strengthen the resolve of conservatives in the House, we need to begin focusing on the source of this capricious pursuit of amnesty-first at all costs. These people don’t care about good policy, so all we can do is blow up the irrational political argument that is fueling this political suicide.
In addition to lacking any core principles, the GOP consultant class is completely tone deaf to the electoral tea leaves of their own politically-motivated positions. In their alternative universe, if the Senate passes an amnesty bill, Republicans in the House are in deep trouble with 8.5% of the electorate. In the real universe, it’s the Democrats who should be in trouble with 91.5% of the electorate – if Republicans would only take the initiative to campaign against them on this issue.
The grave error of the indolent consultant class is rooted in their misreading of the 2012 election. As Sean Trende noted last week, the real story of last November was the number of white voters, particularly working class, who failed to turn out and vote for Romney, even though they have been completely disenchanted with the Democrat Party. Although Romney offered some parsimonious tough talk on immigration when pressed about it during the primary debate season, he refused to campaign on the issue during the general election.
In fact, when Obama issued the illegal administrative amnesty in middle of the presidential race, Romney showed weakness by ostensibly agreeing to the premise of amnesty. Romney failed to run a single TV ad on this issue during the campaign. He should have been in Youngstown, Ohio inveighing against this out-of-touch end-run around Congress, while promising to stand with the American worker. But, alas, Romney said nothing about the issue, and in fact, evinced an image much closer to that of a Zuckerberg corporatist than a conservative populist.
Hence, in pursuit of voters who are largely out of reach, Republicans are leaving millions of white working class voters on the table – voters who are eminently within reach. Additionally, all the recent polling has shown that Blacks are against this amnesty bill. [Remember, a majority of Blacks voted for Prop 187 in California.] Were Republicans to go on offense and actually embrace a conversation on illegal immigration and enforcement-first during the 2014 midterms, they can drive a wedge between some black voters and the Dems, while crushing them with white working class voters. Poll after poll shows that Independent voters favor enforcement-first by a wide margin.
And what about the Hispanic vote? To the extent that there is a large portion of them who are within reach, it certainly won’t occur with the brand of stuffed-shirt Republicanism that is peddled by the consultant class, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner. It will be through Tea Party populism.
Arizona provides a great example of a favorable outcome for Republicans when they actually choose to engage on a wedge issue and return fire. In Arizona, there is no ambiguity about the Republican position on immigration. After all of the GOP-backed enforcement laws, every voter knows where they stand on the issue. Even John McCain and Jeff Flake are forced to lie to the voters during election years.
So what happened in 2012?
Despite the fact that Hispanics comprised 18% of the electorate (more than Florida and Colorado), Romney outperformed McCain’s 2008 showing in the state. He received 25% of the Hispanic vote, only slightly below his national average. Incidentally, Jan Brewer received 28% in 2010. But here’s the kicker: Romney blew out the white vote by a whopping 34 points! There wasn’t even much of a gender gap; he won the white women vote by 30. He won 12% of Democrats and 51% of Independents. Indys comprise a larger share of the electorate than either party in the state.
We’ve all heard the post-election bromide about the problems with the GOP; “we are too old, white, and male.” When you cut through the spin, the motivation behind this summation from the GOP elites is that we ostensibly need to be like Democrats in order to compete with the broader population. However, when you look through the data, you will find that the problem is not really age or gender; it is all about race. Even if you buy into the notion that our ideology is hurting us with women and the youth, that is not the case with blacks and immigrants. They vote Democrat based upon identity politics that is insidiously exercised by white liberals in this country.
We’ve all heard that the youth are fleeing the archaic party of conservatives, right? Well, according to an analysis by Pew, the youth vote is a lot more complicated than that. In 2008, Obama won the 18-29 age group by a whopping 34 points. In 2012, he won the youth by 24 points. That’s still a large margin, but not representative of a negative trend at all. But here’s the kicker: Romney actually won the white male vote under 30 by 13 points and even the white female vote by 1 point. Yes, I know. You’ll say that whites don’t count. However, we can conclude from here that our problem with the youth is just a redundant manifestation of our problem with minorities, especially because they comprise such a large portion of the under 30 vote. But that does not mean we are not appealing to the youth by virtue of age.
Conversely, let’s take a look at the 65+ senior vote. From the way the commentators speak, one would think that seniors are all voting Republican. The reality is that 44% of them voted for Obama, just shy of the 45% he got in 2008. If anything, we can conclude from here that Republicans are underperforming with the demos that are naturally predisposition to vote for them, while Obama is maximizing his demos.
When you cut across all the data, you will definitely find that age and gender play a role in the electoral process. Sadly, by far, the biggest factor is race. Romney won the white vote across the vote, even the most liberal demographic – young women. It’s clear that the sinister race baiting and ethnic pandering is working for Democrats. So how would all these wizards of smart in our party deal with this problem? Tilting the party to the left will not help convert voters who largely cast ballots based on identity. Quite the contrary, the fact that we have not already distinguishing ourselves from the Democrats is what is weighing us down with white voters and seniors.
If you want to get a glimpse inside the problems behind those who were backing Romney, read this Politico story:
Charlie Spies, who helped launch pro-Mitt Romney super PAC Restore Our Future and served as Romney’s 2008 campaign general counsel, tells PI that Republicans for Immigration Reform — a newly filed super PAC for which he’s serving as treasurer — has big plans for the next couple of years.
“It is a super PAC that will support pro-comprehensive immigration reform Republicans, including in primary elections when they are attacked for supporting comprehensive immigration reform,” Spies wrote in an email to PI, noting that the group, which formally filed federal organizational documents last week, hasn’t yet established firm fundraising goals.
On the surface, this is nothing new. There are plenty of Republicans who are running scared and are of the opinion that support for half-baked amnesty will somehow win over the Hispanic vote in a bidding war. However, what is new here is the fact that the man who ran ads bashing Rick Perry on immigration in the primary is now starting a group that is advocating more amnesty than Perry ever supported.
We’ve seen this pattern on numerous occasions. Moderate Republicans find ways to surreptitiously get to the right of their more conservative competitors in the primaries, while dropping those views as soon as they become inconvenient. This is what we’re up against with the Republican consultant class. It’s all scheming and gaming; there are no core beliefs with these people.
Everyone in my field is coming out with predictions, so I figured I’d throw my hat into the ring. Let me stress that the important thing is for us to win and turn out the vote. The punditry, analysis, and ‘who was right horse race talk’ is secondary. Moreover, the real fight for our country will begin in earnest when Congress returns next week, irrespective of who wins the election. We are committed to fighting for limited government, free markets, an America-first foreign policy, and traditional American values here at the Madison Project. That is something that will not change with the outcome of the elections.
With that said, I’m predicting a 295-243 Romney victory.
Ultimately, there has been a clear trend in this election over the past few weeks. Romney is leading in enthusiasm, winning Independents, and hitting early voting benchmarks in all the key states that have early voting except for Nevada. The momentum was blunted slightly by a small bump for Obama following Hurricane Sandy. Rasmussen seems to indicate that the bump has subsided. While I believe that the bump will still cut into the larger margin of victory that I initially anticipated, it will not be enough to alter the fundamental trajectory of the race.
Even according to the polls that show the race tied or Obama ahead, Romney would clearly be leading in the event that the D vs. R turnout reflects anything that the anecdotal evidence is indicating. Rasmussen and Gallup are actually predicting a Republican edge in turnout tomorrow. If that is the case, this thing will not be close. I don’t anticipate there to be an R edge; however, I think that a D+2-+3 turnout would still lead to a Romney victory – even using the media polls.
Even though most national polls have the election either dead-even or one of them with a 1-point lead, Romney appears to have regained his lead among Independents in the most recent polls. The final Rasmussen poll showed Romney leading by 15; ARG showed+12, Monmouth showed +16, and CNN showed a whopping +22. Some of these numbers are clearly too high, but even if you adjust them to a 7-10 point lead, it’s hard to see how Obama makes up the ground with his base. He would have to replicate the 2008 turnout model of D+7 or greater in order to overcome the deficit with Independents – a proposition that would require both a depressed GOP turnout and a repeat performance of his record minority and youth turnout 4 years ago. The early voting turnout and the enthusiasm gap in the polling have proven that model to be demonstrably false for this election. Remember that Obama only won Independents by 7 points 4 years ago.
Running down the list of states – it’s a no-brainer to me that Romney wins North Carolina and Florida. It won’t be close.
Virginia: I believe that Virginia will be close, but Romney should win based on his consistently positive polling with Independents and the strong turnout advantage in early voting for the conservative parts in the state relative to the urban areas.
Colorado: Republicans have the lead in early voting in Colorado. It’s hard to see Obama overcoming that when election day voting is so much more Republican to begin with. Also, Independents in Colorado have soured on Obama more than anywhere else.
Iowa: Republicans have met the benchmarks for early voting in Iowa and are on target to match Bush’s 2004 numbers. The newspaper endorsements had a huge effect and even some of the skewed polls have the race tied.
New Hampshire: While most polls show New Hampshire tied or Obama slightly ahead, they also show Romney with a massive lead among Independents. Both of these data points cannot be true. Therefore, with Romney’s solid advantage among Independents, in conjunction with the overly white demographic, this one should turn red.
Ohio: I fully subscribe to Karl Rove’s early voting math. Democrats have lost a net of 265,000 early votes relative to 2008 – wiping out Obama’s margin of victory in the state. All polls show Romney winning the election day vote. That should be enough to put him over the top.
Wisconsin: I have full faith in the ground game of the Republican Party and tea party groups in Wisconsin. They turned out a huge victory for Scott Walker, and if the D vs. R split is even close to the recall election, many of the media polls would show Romney ahead. Moreover, the gap between early voting turnout of the conservative Milwaukee suburbs and liberal Dane County is the same it was during the Walker recall. That’s a good omen.
Among the states I think Romney will lose are Nevada, Michigan, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania.
Nevada: The minority growth and the Democrat machine in the state have become insurmountable. Early voting already shows that.
Michigan: Romney never really made a play for it, and even Rasmussen’s last poll had him down 5. The auto bailout factor is also in full force.
Minnesota: I think this one will be much closer than anyone would have imagined a few weeks ago – maybe within 2-3 points. However, ultimately we have not invested enough time to harness the GOP trend in the state. It will take one more election cycle.
Pennsylvania: Of these 4 states, I think PA is the most likely to turn red. I would love nothing more than a PA victory. I ultimately think that Romney will blow it out in central and western PA, and will even win the Philly suburban Bucks County. However, I believe that Obama will turn out enough of his base in the inner city (along with some help from voter fraud) that he will need more to overcome the margin. I just don’t see him winning enough of the other suburban Philly upscale voters in Montgomery and Delaware counties to pull out a victory. I see him coming within 1-2%, but coming up heartrendingly short.
That’s how we get to 295 electoral votes for Romney. I think he’ll win the popular vote by about 1.5%.
This is my prediction, but I recognize, as all my colleagues do, that this is a very murky pre-election period. Anything could happen. As conservatives, we must be prepared for any result.
The text book definition of political bipartisanship is Republicans completely abjuring their principles to conform with Democrat objectives. People on our side who bemoan the lack of bipartisanship and lampoon us for being so “intransigent” in the face of compromise tend to miss this point. Their dream of bipartisanship is predicated on the erroneous notion that there is a willing partner to engage in compromise. Well, they should heed Harry Reid’s words very carefully: (via Roll Call)
“Mitt Romney’s fantasy that Senate Democrats will work with him to pass his ‘severely conservative’ agenda is laughable,” Reid said in a statement. “In fact, Mitt Romney’s Tea Party agenda has already been rejected in the Senate. In the past few months, we have voted down many of the major policies that Mitt Romney has run on, from the Ryan plan to end Medicare as we know it, to the Blunt Amendment to deny women access to contraception, to more tax giveaways for millionaires and billionaires, to a draconian spending plan that would gut critical services for seniors and the most vulnerable Americans.”
Reid accused Romney of “kowtowing” to the tea party and disputed Romney’s claims of bipartisanship while he served as governor of Massachusetts.
“He had a terrible relationship with Democrats, cordoning himself off behind a velvet rope instead of reaching out to build relationships,” Reid asserted. “Senate Democrats are committed to defending the middle class, and we will do everything in our power to defend them against Mitt Romney’s Tea Party agenda.”
Let’s put this in perspective. Mitt Romney is a very moderate Republican. He has governed like a moderate, campaigned like a moderate, and has spoken incessantly about working with Democrats. Yet, Harry Reid is telling him to take his bipartisanship and shove it. Hence, they are treating him with the same demeanor as they would Jim DeMint.
This is something that moderate Republicans never understand. In the eyes of Democrats, Republicans are the hated enemy. They want them dead (politically speaking) – every one of them. They will treat moderate Republicans with as much vitriol as they would conservatives, unless they agree to completely surrender to their socialist agenda. That is why there is no way to compromise with them. Democrats will never willingly concede any aspect of their agenda unless they are forced to do so by voters.
With that in mind, it’s not hard to understand why we lose so many policy fights with them. They come to the table with truculent partisanship, while Republicans begin negotiations conceding half their ground. It’s a recipe for disaster.
If Romney becomes the next president, he must heed Harry Reid’s warning and remember what happens when Republicans unilaterally cede the field to a more adamant and determined enemy.
One of the most portentous comments ever made by a candidate concerning his own campaign prospects was Romney’s off-the-record remark about Obama having an automatic 47% floor of support. The media attack dogs lambasted him for his “out of touch” sentiments. The reality is that Romney hit the nail on the head months before the pollsters would coalesce around that number.
Let’s confront an inconvenient reality: anyone who votes for Obama at this point is either inexorably dependent upon socialism or incorrigibly out of touch with American values. It’s not just the economy. Obama’s egregious disregard for the situation in Libya – one that he created in the first place – and the insidious cover-up of the attack that is continuing to this day, should be sufficient reason to dissuade any judicious voter from supporting him. Yet, despite Romney’s surge and likely win next week, Obama is still garnering exactly ……47% of the vote.
Yesterday’s Pew national poll had Obama at 47%.
Today’s NPR/Democracy Corp. poll (Democrat) has Obama at 47%.
Rasmussen has had Obama at 47% for over a week.
GW/ Battleground is predicting a 52-47% win for Romney.
Even in blue states like Minnesota and Oregon, Obama is now at…. 47%.
If and when Romney becomes our president-elect, we must temper our euphoria with level-headed vigilance over Romney’s policy agenda. One particular threat we must confront will be Romney’s attempt to disarm House conservatives by deploying Paul Ryan to keep them in line.
Last week, Politico published an article detailing the strategy for Romney’s first few months in office, based on interviews with campaign staff. There is a lot of disturbing information in the article, but this one is the most disconcerting:
One of the biggest worries for a Romney administration, according to the aides, will be keeping conservative lawmakers happy when the most urgent task, dealing with the nation’s fiscal emergency, is going to immediately alienate the loud, powerful wing of House Republicans that is resistant to raising revenues, even though their leaders recognize it is a mathematical necessity.
That would be the most urgent task for a Vice President Paul Ryan, who has credibility with the tea party wing of House Republicans from his stint as a reformist House Budget Committee chairman.
“We’re going to come in and need to be able to do a lot of things that aren’t easy to do,” the official said. “Ryan is going to have to help keep the conservatives at bay and on the field. Some of them are going to expect us to come in and do a lot of things that we aren’t going to be able to do.”
Of course, this comes as no surprise to our readers and activists. When Romney initially tapped Ryan as his running mate, we offered robust applause for his bold move, but articulated our concerns with him as well. While Ryan is an indefatigable and articulate spokesman for limited government and free markets, his voting record doesn’t always reflect that. In fact, he was one of only 6 Republicans to vote for every bailout. It’s not that he’s insincere about his convictions, it’s just that he buys into the Washington deal-making mentality. When the rubber meets the road, he feels that we must cut deals with Democrats, even if they completely abjure the very principles he so passionately defends.
As we noted last week, there is some confusion in the polling data that is creating a bimodal projection as to who will ultimately win the election. The national polls seem to show Romney with a steady lead, and with Obama failing to break 47% as an incumbent. On the other hand, a number of state polls show the race tied or Obama slightly ahead in the key battleground states.
However, when you examine the party breakdown of the polls, they are really reflecting the same reality. There is almost a linear correlation between the level of Obama’s support and the size of the Democrat advantage in the given sample (duh?). Most of the national polls show a reasonable D/R split (not overwhelmingly optimistic, but somewhere between 2004 and 2008 turnout), while most of the state polls that show Obama ahead have a sample that is more advantageous to Democrats than 2008! Does anyone really believe that the turnout will be worse for us than 2008 when the enthusiasm level is completely reversed from 4 years ago?
The one common theme from all the polls is that Romney is winning Independents and other key swing constituencies that are needed to win. Some polls have him winning them by historic margins. As such, the only way Obama can win is if the D/R split is more favorable for him than 2008. And that is exactly what PPP and others are predicting. However, if he performs only slightly worse than 2008 in terms of D vs. R turnout, there is no way he can win, given the strong support for Romney among Independents.
Take a look at this chart put together by Josh Jordan of National Review, and tell me how Obama can win. (note that some of this is a day or two outdated, but the overall picture remains the same):
There is an emerging narrative percolating throughout the political world; the prospect that Romney could win the popular vote but lose the Electoral College. The theory is predicated on the seemingly contradictory data between state and national polls. National polls seem to show Romney with a consistent 2-4% lead, while state polls show the candidates tied or Obama slightly ahead in Ohio, Iowa, and Wisconsin.
Some analysts are attempting to harmonize the state and national polls by theorizing that Romney’s national lead is driven by historic gains among whites in red states and a strong showing in Pennsylvania and Michigan. They suggest that ultimately the Electoral College boils down to Ohio (or Wisconsin, if Romney loses Ohio), a state where Obama’s much-vaunted ground game and oversaturation of ads could flip the state and the entire election to Obama.
This analysis is dead wrong. Either the state polls are correct, and this is a dog fight, or the national polls are correct, and this is a Romney win. The both cannot reflect reality.
It’s not just that the national polls show Romney ahead by 3%; it’s that 3 respected, yet diverse, national polls converged yesterday on the exact same number in one day – Romney 50% Obama 47% (today Gallup is Romney +5 and ABC/WaPost is Romney +1). So Romney is at 50% and the incumbent is at 47% (how ironic!) with undecided voters likely to break against him in an election defined by the stagnating economy. But it’s more than that. The Washington Post poll has Romney leading by 19-20 among Independents; Rasmussen shows him with a 17-point lead. Romney is now crushing Obama on the economy and even leading in favorability. It is almost impossible to lose the Electoral College under normal circumstances when leading by more than 1% nationally. It’s certainly impossible to lose when polling this well in all the internals.
In order for Romney to win by such margins in the popular vote, yet lose the Electoral College, he would have to outperform Bush in a number of non-swing-states, though he is unlikely to do so.
The math doesn’t add up.
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