More Reports of Project ORCA Fail

Here is a report from one of our own readers Tom in Arizona on the epic failure of the Romney Get Out the Vote effort:

I volunteered for the Romney campaign election day task force on 10/21/2012.  I received the following email on 10/22/2012:

Hi Tom,

 Thank you very much for your interest in being involved with the Romney-Ryan Election Day Task Force! Your help will be vital on Election Day. It will take up to 2 days to process you into our volunteer system, but we will be in touch with further information very soon.

If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to e-mail me at C********o@mittromney.com.

Thank you very much,

dc

To keep this short, after four days of no further contact, I started trying to contact the campaign myself over the remaining days before the election.  I tried the above email on 6 different occasions with no further replies.  I tried calling 3 different victory centers, most of which went to voice mail, and some of those voice mail boxes were full.  I spoke with “live” people twice, both of which said they’d get back to me.  Neither did.  I’m in AZ and I told them I could go to CO if necessary or help by making phone calls from home if they already had enough volunteers in CO.  I also told them I could do anything else they need, just let me know.  I NEVER HEARD BACK!  It failed before it began.

I saw your post on Gravity yesterday and why they wouldn’t use that is beyond me.  The private sector had the solution and Romney failed to use it.  How ironic.

Regards,

Tom in Arizona

The blame lies far higher than the Romney staffer in the above email but this is only the latest example of how Mitt Romney’s staff failed him at the least opportune time.  Considering there were 37,000 volunteers for Project ORCA, if each person gotten people to the polls across Colorado, Ohio, Virginia and Florida we would be talking about President Romney today.

133 Comments

  1. Prescient11
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

    First.

    This failure is unbelievable and unacceptable. How fucking hard is it to put together a GOTV outfit that works? I mean seriously.

    SCREW THE NEVER ENDING ADS. Take 1/100th of that money and buy VANS and employees to drive them. Delivery guys who know each area like the back of their hand.

  2. TeaPartyPaul
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Permalink | Reply

    What if karl Rove would have just focused on Colorado, Ohio, Virginia and Iowa. Open 50 offices in each with twenty volunteers in each…cost maybe 10 to 30 million for two months? And run another GOTV program gravity nationbuilder whatever…i wonder what it may have looked like? Obama finished with about 133 offices in Ohio and twice as many paid volunteers. I am reading many things about some polling places not even having a Romney volunteer at them, or a Romney sign in front of them. Shame…we have to fix the gotv…and get FAR INTO the digital age.

    • Fred S
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Are Super PACs permitted to set up campaign offices? I know that they are supposed to be independent of the campaigns.

    • Prescient11
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Permalink | Reply

      10 to 30 million? Please, it should be no more than a $5MM for that entire operation. And that is with renting a fleet of vans for a month.

      I mean WTF???? This epic fail is not acceptable in the slightest. 200 volunteers banking 100 votes per day for early voting, gives us 20k votes PER DAY. FOR A MONTH!!!!!!!!

      How this has not been done is well well beyond me.

      • TheTorch
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

        I agree. The more I hear about this the worse it gets.

        You have software that was not even beta tested properly, distributed to people who have never used it, pretty much right on election day??? Mindboggling

        I am not a conspiracy theorist but you could almost believe that some inside the campaign were deliberately sabotaging the GOTV effort! I mean it is that ludicrous!

      • Prescient11
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        The Torch. I agree. Volunteers for the efforts need to be vetted and volunteer MONTHS IN ADVANCE. Well, for 2016, we need to bank each and every R vote that did not vote in 2012. We need to confirm them early.

        Go pick everyone up at their homes. Bring coffee. Actually be the friendly party reaching out to everyone.

        Demorats troll ghettos and grab people, illegals and other wonderful “bases”. It’s the least we can do to reach out to our own supporters. This is the last time I will every trust the incompetents running this effort.

      • noma
        Posted November 10, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        This is what happens when you fundamentally underestimate your opponent – you forget to see their strengths. The Obama GOTV effort was unprecedented in size and strategy for the prize – the electoral college. While we were wasting time arguing with the pollsters, they were laying groundwork for an electoral college crush despite a small vote majority.

    • stuckinmass
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I don’t think Rove was involved with this campaign

      • Prescient11
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. And that is unfortunate.

  3. Fred S
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

    No wonder Reince Priebus has gone silent the past few days. He was boasting about the great GOTV operation, but now the truth is being unveiled. This is a tougher nut to swallow knowing that a better orgainized ground game could have gotten us across the finish line.

    • TheTorch
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Preibus should be fired, with immediate effect, clearly he hasnt got a clue!

      • stuckinmass
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

        Campaign is over now, so he essentially is fired!

      • stuckinmass
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

        ignore that, I was thinking of Romney’s campaign manager

  4. Japes
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

    What’s the “post on Gravity” they are referring to?

  5. stuckinmass
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Did they have dry runs on project ORCA prior to election day?
    Is it susceptable to a denial of service attack?

    It’s great to introduce new technology, but use the old methods as a backup plan!

    • TheTorch
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink | Reply

      and that is another good point. It is the most basic thing of all, that you should have some kind of backup in place, if the system fails. We all know what technology is like, and how it can go wrong at the most inappropriate moment.

      and that did not occur to anyone in the Romney Campaign??

      • Ron
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

        It was not ORCA. The base simply didn’t turn out. ORCA was out for only 90 minutes. Look at the following story from National Review:

        Romney Camp Pushes Back on Orca Claims
        By Katrina Trinko
        November 9, 2012 6:34 P.M.
        Comments
        11
        Print
        Text

        Commentary, Ace of Spades, and Breitbart have all reported on alleged malfunctions of Orca, the computer program designed by the Romney campaign to help with get out the vote efforts. In a nutshell, Orca was supposed to provide, updating throughout the day, lists of which likely Romney voters had already voted, and which hadn’t, with the idea being that those who hadn’t could be visited or called.

        But the Romney campaign is denying that there was any “massive failure” of Orca, although the campaign acknowledges the system was down for up to 90 minutes in the morning. Other than that one long outage, they say the system worked, albeit with minor glitches. Ultimately, the campaign had voting data from 91 percent of counties, said Romney digital director Zac Moffat.

        Orca “has no relation to the outcome,” a Romney aide says. “We achieved in a large part what we set out to do in the swing states in terms of our electorate. The reality is the President did what he said he was going to do. The Obama campaign said that they were going to increase turnout from 2008, and they were able to do that. And that had nothing to do with a reporting system on Election Day.”

    • Ron
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Here’s another fact to chew on: Romney was far ahead of McCain’s numbers in the rest of the country. He was running well even in BLUE STATES, just slightly behind Obama! But his performance in BATTLEGROUND STATES was weaker with his own base. This was the source of a lot of confusion regarding polls. How could he have been 3 or 4 pts behind in OH when he was only 1 pt behind in national polls? Now we know why. Our guys stayed home. And why was that? I blame people like Rush (who was opposed to Romney before he was for him), as well as a lousy primary season that had Republicans knifing one another in ads and speeches, and I blame websites like Redstate and Freerepublic for whom no candidate outside the red states is ever pure enough. All that, together with the unanswered Obama ads that seemed to confirm the character attacks levied against Romney during the primary season. Nothing Romney did or said could shake free that necessary margin of votes that would have turned this country around. We’ll try again in 4yrs but it’s going to be that much harder to undo all the damage Obama is capable of doing.

      • Andrew
        Posted November 10, 2012 at 3:00 am | Permalink

        The fact that it was in swing states only tells you everything you need to know. It was all about the campaign that Obama ran.

      • Willard Phillips
        Posted November 10, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

        I agree totally. Remember when Rush made fun of Mitt Romney after he said at CPAC ” I was a severely conservative governor “? What was that about?! Did Rush actually think this would help Mitt Romney’s chances in the general election? Did Rush think Newt Gingrich, or Rick Santorum could actually win a Presidential Election. Then there was Peggy Noonan and David Brooks stupidity. How is it possibly that eight weeks before a presidential election these “Conservative” feel it is constructive to write negative articles in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal about Mitt Romney’s comments of the President’s foreign policy?!!! How stupid can you be! The death of Ambassador Stevens never became an issue because “Conservatives” were blasting Mitt Romney for three days. Day, after day the news story was Mitt Romney’s inappropriate comments, not the he death of a US Ambassador. Ten years from now will anyone remember Mitt Romney’s comments? No, but people will remember terrorist killed a US Ambassador because the Presidents policies did not provide adequate security. Romney’s timing could have been better, but to go on national television as an “authority” and criticizing him to liberal news outlets is absurd. Then my favorite conservative Joe Scarborough. I don’t think I heard him say one positive thing about Mitt Romney. During the past year all I have seen on his show are liberal guests, after liberal guests criticizing Mitt Romney. During one episode of Morning Joe he showed a video tape that leads the audience to believe that at a Romney rally the audience was saying “Ryan, Romney, not Romney, Ryan”. Joe, wake up and smell some of that Morning Joe brewed by Starbucks!! What was the point of that?! If it was true why would you show footage of “your guy” looking bad at an event and then laughing at the it. Then to make matters worse it wasn’t even true. I guess Joe Scarborough likes the fact Valerie Jarrett watches their show every morning. The bottom line is if the “Conservative Base” showed up on election day Mitt Romney would have won (and sadly Mitt Romney would have been a great president), but six months of criticism by “the Conservative Establishment” caused the republican base not to turnout. How could Romney get less votes the John McCain?!!!! According to the “Conservative Establishment” Ronald Reagan was a true Conservative, but he was was elected 28 years ago because according to them both Bush 41 and 43, and Nixon weren’t conservatives. Expect more outcomes like the one that happen on Tuesday if the “Conservative Establishment” does not get there act together and support their candidates.

      • wtbirds92
        Posted November 10, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

        I agree totally. Remember when Rush made fun of Mitt Romney after he said at CPAC ” I was a severely conservative governor “? What was that about?! Did Rush actually think this would help Mitt Romney’s chances in the general election? Did Rush think Newt Gingrich, or Rick Santorum could actually win a Presidential Election. Then there was Peggy Noonan and David Brooks stupidity!!! How is it possibly that eight weeks before a presidential election these “Conservative” feel it is constructive to write negative articles in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal about Mitt Romney’s comments of the President’s foreign policy?!!! How stupid can you be! The death of Ambassador Stevens never became an issue because “Conservatives” were blasting Mitt Romney for three days. Day, after day the news story was Mitt Romney’s inappropriate comments, not the he death of a US Ambassador. Ten years from now will anyone remember Mitt Romney’s comments? No, but people will remember terrorist killed a US Ambassador because the Presidents policies did not provide adequate security. Romney’s timing could have been better, but to go on national television as an “authority” and criticizing him to liberal news outlets is absurd. Then my favorite conservative Joe Scarborough. I don’t think I heard him say one positive thing about Mitt Romney. During the past year all I have seen on his show are liberal guests, after liberal guests criticizing Mitt Romney. During one episode of Morning Joe he showed a video tape that leads the audience to believe that at a Romney rally the audience was saying “Ryan, Romney, not Romney, Ryan”. Joe, wake up and smell some of that Morning Joe brewed by Starbucks!! What was the point of that?! If it was true why would you show footage of “your guy” looking bad at an event and then laughing at the it. Then to make matters worse it wasn’t even true. I guess Joe Scarborough likes the fact Valerie Jarrett watches their show every morning. The bottom line is if the “Conservative Base” showed up on election day Mitt Romney would have won (and sadly Mitt Romney would have been a great president), but six months of criticism by “the Conservative Establishment” caused the republican base not to turnout. How could Romney get less votes the John McCain?!!!! According to the “Conservative Establishment” Ronald Reagan was a true Conservative, but he was was elected 28 years ago. Expect more outcomes like the one that happen on Tuesday if the “Conservative Establishment” does not get there act together and support their candidates.

  6. Prescient11
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Seriously guys, let’s look at this. You set up 50-75 offices within Ohio. Phonebanks, etc. Ask the question, can we count on your vote? Then drive and pick everyone up when you can. Hire pizza/food delivery guys in the area and pay them a bit of a premium. They are your drivers. Go get everybody with an established route and then boom, you have a fantastic GOTV operation.

    Bank the support in advance, go pick them up with donuts/coffee or whatever and move on.

    This is not hard nor super expensive. With the fate of the future of our country, this seems to be the least we could pull off. Especially since we know what states are going to be very competitive. I.e., down to 10.

    • TheTorch
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I think a donut could be an apt description of the GOTV operation…

      • Prescient11
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

        I am just floored by this. If I am in charge of the Ohio operation, we will have 500k votes banked re early voting in advance in 2016. Guaranfuckingteed. Just give me two months and $2-4MM.

      • Prescient11
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

        Of course, the other thing we could do is a guerilla non-GOTV effort for demorats. Just drive around cleveland, pick them up to go vote, and then drive to fucking west virginia and drop them off.

        sorry, but I had to laugh on that one. Two GOTV operations. Suck on that!!!

      • TheTorch
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

        I know how you feel. It is just inexplicable. You just cannot get your head around this. How they could they fail on the most basic thing, it is just incomprehensible. They even had the Bush 2004 plan on how to do it! Karl Rove is a phone call away!
        If we lost on election day, but we got more votes than McCain, then at least that is easier to understand, but to end up with a GOTV delivering less votes than McCain in this economy! with a superior candidate, with a much better campaign, with a terrific debate performance, enthusiasm off the scale, and volunteers working their butts off, it just defies belief!

    • TheTorch
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

      The amazing thing about this 2012 election is that Obama did not win, the Romney Campaign, threw it. Astonishing.

      • Tom
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

        So true. That’s why reports like this need to come out so that this NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN!

      • jeff
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

        This was a reply of 2004. Like Kerry the momentum seemed to be on Romneys side drawing huge crowds but Bush had a large and stealty ground game that put him over the top.

    • Ron
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

      It wasn’t the GOTV operation. Part of the base never showed because it didn’t want to show. I know people like Rush and Erickson and others won’t admit this, but they did serious damage during the primary season. So did the long primary season itself. Romney was already damaged goods before the convention. A nice chunk of the base actively disliked him and were determined never to vote for the nominee. That has to be looked at honestly. Part of doing better in the future will be to take a cold hard look at some of this. We need to ask how we ourselves are hurting ourselves, not what Romney did wrong. This blaming everything on Orca is a cover for something else–the irresponsibility of some of our own conservative leadership.

      • noma
        Posted November 10, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

        Don’t forget the christian right. This is what hapens when you reduce effective governance to dogmatic pseudo-religious platitudes. After all the demonization did you really thing a visit to Billy Graham in the 11th hour would have that base come out for you? Hank and company were still talking about the mormon plot to take over the world a few weeks before the election.

  7. madawaskan
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Romney lost the Cuban American vote in Florida.

    Unbelievable.

    Orca–maybe. Although Republican GOTV has never matched the Dem union army that never stands down.

  8. jeff
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I live in Miami Florida. I can tell you that Obama grassroots people knocked on my door at least three different days around election time and were all over the polling places. Didnt receive any visits from Romney people and they seemed to be quite outnumbered on the ground.

    • Prescient11
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Really??? That’s why we need Rove’s model on steroids. In 2004 they were out everywhere and centralized in a SWING STATE.

      No more fucking Boston HQ. Put the center where it needs to be. I call Cincinnati.

  9. John
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Whomever replaces Priebus (and he needs to go – heck Michael Steele turned out more votes than Priebus) should make the 2014 campaign about nothing but GOTV and early voting. Use it as a trial run for 2016. It is becoming clear the entire 2012 GOTV was an illusion from the holodeck on the star ship Enterprise.

    • Prescient11
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Agreed 100% We need to start the outreach program and the GOTV plan now. They will bask in the glow of the zero win.

      Trust me, many people are disturbed by this and we can capture that disillusionment if we PLAN AHEAD this time.

      Real volunteers need to be gathered now and a plan of attack needs to materialize.

      • jeff
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

        I could only imagine how sucker punched Romney must feel and probably pissed as hell that he got caught off guard. Of course if he ran the show and made the decision to rely on huge media ad buys then theres no one else to blame but him.

      • stuckinmass
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think any candidate manages his own campaign. They have too much work flying around the country, prepping for speeches, debates, etc to really worry about this kind of stuff.

        No doubt they are livid and upset too. I read a report that he was shell-shocked, they really were convinced they had this!

      • Prescient11
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

        Agreed. At the end of the day, we need two things:

        1) A candidate that negates the never-ending class warfare attacks of Democrats. See Rubio-Tom Cotton ticket.

        2) A ground game second to none. How has this not been done. I used to deliver pizzas and food. With those guys driving everyone around you would be rocking an entire month before the election. Start out with lists of R voters that sat this election out. Then move to R voters that did not.

        Simple as can be. Lock them in, can we count on your support? If yes, then go pick them the fuck up that day to go vote.

      • TheTorch
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

        Yes, ultimately Romney has too carry the can for this, as much as I like the guy, he is responsible.
        Is it not extraordinary though, that this was his first real and only chance for the presidency, his moment of truth, he put everything into it, turned out to be a super candidate, and created a golden opportunity, but he was beaten not by Obama, but by his own campaign.

        How the heck does anyone console themself with that fact. Stunning.

    • Prescient11
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

      In addition, you grid it out. This is how delivery drivers work. You organize by R affiliation, and streets. Hit everyone of them up. If they are home, lock them in and say you’ll be by in an hour with the van. 10 people/2 hours. That should be the goal.

      All over the state, happening everyday. Then at churches and nursing homes on the weekends. Make it an event.

      • Prescient11
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        And last thing, tell everyone that says they are voting R that if they need a ride to just call! We are offering rides and donuts.

        Next!

      • John
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

        Republican candidates avoid college campuses like the plague. This is a big mistake. These kids are impressionable and with the proper messaging many could be pulled into the R column despite their 99% liberal professors. Will there be vocal protestors, probably. But, if a candidate can stay on message they could connect with many students. Only half of college graduates are getting the jobs they want upon graduation. That likely won’t change much by 2016. We cannot surrender these young voters to the Dems going forward.

      • Prescient11
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

        John, I tend to agree completely. Use the dem class warfare argument against the professors and the schools.

        They are getting rich in endowments and tenure. Yet all you get is tons of debt and no jobs for the privilege of paying them.

        And prices keep going up!!! THAT IS SOCIALISM 101. Make the kids hate it because we are 100% correct in our argument.

  10. Arkansas Yankee
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Arkansas Yankee:

    It get worser and worser. I know I am using improper English to make a point.

  11. Tony
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

    If Karl Rove were running the campaign, Romney would be President. In certain situations, a bare knuckled, no holds barred, evil genius is needed. This was one.

    • Prescient11
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Amen. Let’s one up Rove.

      We need streetfighters that can call a spade a spade.

  12. Japes
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

    ORCA wasn’t the only whale that failed the Mitt Romney…

    LOL. Only joking…haven’t seen the national polls but I heard Romney’s mo’ was waning before the storm hit. The problem was turn out. It wasn’t Sandy.

    • Tony
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Romney decided to coast after the 1st debate. That was a mistake.

  13. Disaster
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I volunteered for Project ORCA for a while now in the Boston HQ. Please do not attack or take shots at me. I only did it so that I could help get Mitt elected our next president. The idea was conceived long ago before I joined. When I signed up, the concept seemed like a great idea to me and it was described as the wave of the future and a high tech solution to the outdated GOTV efforts of the past. I am not a campaign veteran nor am I a high tech guy, that said, I started noticing problems right away. There was poor organization and communication. The task force that I was on, had a responsibility for vetting and training volunteers on the ground in the battleground states. The internal system that we were using for tracking folks in the field was very poor. It was inefficient and poorly designed. It crashed on us many times. I felt like it was designed by amateurs. In fact, we saw lots of young interns involved in this project. They are smart and passionate but they have no real life expereince and they should have been managed better. Things were going well for a while and we met and even exceeded our numbers in terms of the field volunteers. Original goal was 17K volunteers, but we doubled that. There were about a 100 of us giving as much time as we possibly could and eating Domino’s pizza every single day. We were constantly told that things were going great and this is going to make the difference on the election day. However, as we were getting closer to the election day it was becoming more and more clear that the communication was handled poorly, volunteers on the ground did not know what to do, they had no idea when they would get an app, and the list goes on and on…We were told that there would be a test run before the election day, looks like it never happened. I was also at the TD garden on the election day, 1 of about 900 volunteers. It was a complete disaster from the moment I got there. Complete lack of organization, internet connection was very slow, phones were malfunctioning, and most importantly we heard nothing but frustration from the volunteers in the states. The system crashed all the time and the 900 people at TD Garden really had very little to do. We stopped getting calls, however we were told that ORCA is working and we are getting good information. They promised to us to put up the numbers on the TV screens so that we can track what is going on with the voting but that never happened. Our guess was that they either do not have the numbers or they don’t like what they are seeing. The entire state of NC was closed off to our volunteers because the campaign failed to work together with NC GOP (How can that possibly happen???). We were divided into state specific section and NC folks had absolutely nothing to do all day long. By early evening most of us felt like we are in a bubble. While we were at the command center, we had less information that anyone at home who had access to TV, and so we turned to internet to get the information. As more and more bad information started coming in, the whole place got quiet and some folks started leaving early. The whole day was surreal and very depressing at the end.

    I feel that I did my part in helping get Mitt elected. I made financial contributions and worked with about 100 volunteers many late nights to do everything we possibly can. I was hoping that the system will work and there are competent folks on the organizational side of this project who would get us across the finish line. It did not happen. Whoever runs in 2016 should pay careful attention to this disaster…

    • stuckinmass
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for your time and help!

      Sounds like the GOTV effort was a bigger unorganized disaster than just Orca! SMH

      • TheTorch
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

        yes thanks for all your work and effort.

        No one will take a shot at you, that was a frank statement about what happened, and it is useful information to confirm with what we now know.

        It actually is very sad, what a roller coaster everyone was on, and then to drop the ball when it mattered most.

        Thank god for volunteers like you, I mean think about other states that could of slipped, like NC, if it was not for your hard work, despite the system and the incompetence above you.

    • Tom
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Every GOP candidate for any office, national, state or local should be required to read this and plan to never allow this to happen again.

    • John
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Enthusiam – Check (see above)
      Volunteers – Check (see above)
      Money – Check ($1B raised)
      RNC/Campaign Leadership – MASSIVE FAIL

      Let’s make sure none of these keystone kops at the top get involved in any future campaigns.

    • Dave
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

      What will come out upon further investigation of why ORCA failed is that it was actually built by democrats in the tech industry.

    • rcl_in_va
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for your long hours and hard work. The more I read about this the worse (read incompetent) it is. I feel sick.

  14. bks
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Bottom line, Obama proved to be a better Chief Executive than Romney. Romney never actually built anything. His expertise is in takeovers and tax avoidance. I have no doubt that our host, Mr. Backer, would have seen this trainwreck coming and had a plan B ready. Who thinks a complex software system will work correctly on the first try? Obama was running a country (for better or worse). Romney has been total focussed on campaigning for the past six years (no other job) and then completely blew the most important poll of all.

    –bks

    • TheTorch
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink | Reply

      You know bks that is just the sort of cheap comment I would expect from you, with regard to Romney.

      Romney would of been a wonderful president, and America will regret the decision it has made. But that is the way it goes.

      It clearly has escaped your attention that we are only a few days out from the election and already the stock market has been tanking, small companies are laying off people so they are 50 or under with employees, larger companies are laying off people. We have not even reached a week yet of your guys second term!

      However, there is a silver lining, which someone kindly reminded me of yesterday, thanks to term limits, he gets 4 more years and that is it.

      I just pray to god, that America can survive 4 more years of this president…

    • Dave
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I actually kind of agree with that. He had to of delegated that task and whoever he gave it to, failed him miserably…unless that person was paid off to allow it fail miserably. I mean you are all right, blaming GOTV is a LAME excuse. Either that wasn’t it and that’s the cover up or there’s more to the story. That’s why the GOP should own GOTV and they should work to improven it each cycle.

    • Andrew
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 3:04 am | Permalink | Reply

      Romney is the kind of person who is born on third base and thinks he hit a triple. Obviously his dad’s connections got him the in with the Bain family, which led to the founding of Bain Capital. He is definitely no Steve Jobs, working his way up from obscurity.

  15. PeterJ
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

    What everyone here is discussing is mostly a top down campaign driven model, whether digital or field office based. That probably works well for incumbents, but not for challengers. The solution to both is an RNC sponsored precinct based grassroots bottom up model. I mean, what does a precinct captain even do anymore if not something like this other than monitor poll watchers on election day?

    Precincts vary in size, but surely a precinct based system, with digital support, could be aware of every single voting aged person residing in the precinct, and know from public records whether they are registered and how often they vote. And maybe a couple times a year long before an election, make an initial human contact, which will make later ones more likely to be received. Plus the database generated by such a system should allow awesome micro-targeted surveys in between elections to determine why people vote or don’t and if so, why they voted as they did.

    This takes a state and national level commitment to set up a support infrastructure for a precinct based volunteer system, not a once every 4 years slapdash-hope-it-works campaign model.

  16. zang
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Why didn’t they just use the Bush 2004 GOTV operation as the model? It was the most successful GOTV operation ever, for a Republican.

    • Dave
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Blaming GOTV seems kind of lame. Surely republicans are smart enough to know that once you find a model that work, use that. It’s pointless (and downright damaging as was the case with Romney) to reinvent the wheel. Again, GOTV is something that GOP should own, not the candidate. And yeah, use Bush’s model. Although that may have relied on a lot of Evnagelicals and — what did they call him — Gold Supporter or something like that — they had a term that described how much money you contributed and there was supposedly a network of donors that worked go together. Not sure if that was part of the GOTV or if that kind of thing can be replicated.

    • stuckinmass
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

      yeah, that seems like the logical thing to do. Introduce new technology to augment the effort, but don’t DEPEND on it until it’s proven!

  17. WillBest
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

    No Keith. Just no. Each of those 37,000 people would have needed to locate and convince 20 people to get their butts to the polls and vote for Romney. And they would have had less than 6 hours to do it. Basically about 1 person every 15 minutes.

  18. FCP
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I am still amazed that it has been three (3) full days–72 hours–since I last received an email from the Romney campaign. There were about three emails sent on Tuesday reminding us to get out and vote. Nothing since then. I’m certain that everyone in the campaign HQ is still shell-shocked, but it would have been nice for them to put together a short “thank you” email on Wednesday to those like me who donated time and money–even if we lost.

    • Kevin Paradine
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

      The campaign was a total fail, why bother having class after having spammed my mailbox with dozens of emails essentially saying the same thing.

      • Dave
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

        “saying the same thing.”

        Asking for money… (and voluntering)

      • Kevin Paradine
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

        Pretty much, yeah. Mostly asking for money. I’d already given all i was going to give.

    • Angelina Joseph
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Same story here. I signed up online to volunteer. Two weeks later some one called me and asked for a donation. I told him that I already donated. And that was the end of it. I live in TX . I would have travelled to Ohio if they wanted me there. We used to live in Cleveland, and I could have helped the campaign there. So sad to know that we let go off a great opportunity and loose this close.

  19. exe
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Every time I log into this blog since Tuesday I lapse into a mini-depression thinking about how close Romney was, how his campaign’s gameday plan let him down, and how good of a president he could have been.

    30,000 idle volunteers and we lose by 400,000 votes. Obviously those volunteers aren’t perfectly aligned to where the votes were needed…but if each picked up 20-30 votes on election day, this thread wouldn’t exist.

    • Kevin Paradine
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I can’t help thinking that this is an excuse for a poor message. Just saying. I am sure the GOTV could have been improved – all the stories seem to indicate this – but if GOTV was the margin, something failed elsewhere, also. We were so damned sure we had this thing by 5 points, minimum.

    • exe
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I guess it depends on the extent to which the role of the traditional voter logs (ie paper and pencil) were completely replaced by the Orca SNAFU. If the traditional voter rolls were missing as well, then a key element of any presidential campaign was missing. There was no blocking or tackling, instead the campaign was worried about creating a transition website.

      I just can’t help but wonder how many “high propensity” voters were not able to vote because their ride never came. In a way, that’s the only way I can justify the fact that Romney ran behind McCain.

    • WillBest
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

      We did not lose by 400,000 votes. You can’t just win by 1 vote. You have to win by 50k-100k votes depending if you are talking about CO or FL. 700k votes at a min. to win an election

    • exe
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Not sure I understand that comment, Will. Bush won FLA in 2000 by 500 votes. Sure there was consternation over the certification, but bottom line he was elected.

      • WillBest
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

        1) You have no idea how many votes you really need

        2) Even if you did you can’t expect every recount to go your way

        3) You don’t want to win by having a recount in more than one state and ideally you would avoid a recount all together

        4) Winning by recount in 4 states after losing the popular vote by 2 million is a no go and it will probably spell the death of the electoral college.

  20. Posted November 9, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I have to agree with bks, getting things done was supposed to be Romney’s thing. If you can’t even run a GOTV effort how can you possibly pretend to run a country? Yes, I know, not a fair comparison, but come on! He’s been running for Prez for 6 years! Isn’t a solid GOTV effort a basic instrument this day and age?

    • WillBest
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

      The GOTV was meaningless. Stop trying to assert it mattered. It didn’t. Even if it worked flawlessly there would have been no way to close the gap. You can’t lose the popular vote by 2+ million and win the EV through sheer force of will.

      • Posted November 9, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

        Come on, it’s hardly meaningless. I don’t know he would have win with a better GOTV but a campaign requires every element working at its best.

      • exe
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

        Wow, for once I agree with Peter. A basic element of a well-ran campaign was missing. It cannot be overlooked.

      • Prescient11
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, it was 366k votes in four states. Trust me, that gap can easily be closed. Assume 100k per state.

      • WillBest
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

        You can say it could have been better, but you are blowing smoke out your butt if you think it was going to magically find 400,000 votes to force recounts in 4 states and then win those 4 states while losing the popular vote by 2 million.

        You can say the GOTV needs to be better next time but it is sheer lunacy to think it mattered this time. It flat out didn’t. They had more voters at a margin that wasn’t going to matter. Obama managed to convince 12 million people that they shouldn’t show up this time, and he was running with a massive incumbency advantage. It wasn’t just Obama defining Mitt. It was Santorum and Gingrich too. If I am going to blame any element of the campaign it was that Romney had to campaign past Super Tuesday in order to lock up the nomination.

  21. Derclaw86
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I am so disappointed. I believed in Priebus and thought he would be the difference. In 2008, we badly lacked the resources we needed to compete. In 2010, we were going into debt and we badly under performed our polling, even though we did gain a ton of seats nationwide. I thought Priebus was the answer. He had a proven track record with big wins in Wisconsin in 2010 and enhanced it with the 2012 recall win. Going into this election, we had the resources, money, and enthusiasm we needed. This should be to his credit. However, if the Romney campaign can’t coordinate with super-PACS, I wonder if the party chairman could have. Our Senate campaigns were a disaster, but I think that problem had more to do with the ineffective RSCC. On a brighter note, we did hold the House and limited our losses of vulnerable seats. In Wisconsin, we regained control of the state Senate and added to our margin in the Assembly. I don’t really know how much of this ORCA/ GOTV disaster was his fault, or if Romney simply shoved him aside. We should note that Obama shoved aside Wassermann-Shultz and the DNC, making it almost non-existent. At any rate, we had more resources at our disposal than we did in 2008 or 2010. This marks a vast improvement over Michael Steele. However, we need to use them much more effectively. I have to now wonder if Reince Priebus is the man for that job, or not.

    • Buckeye Bob
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

      One big difference in the Republicans and Democrats is illustrated by the Bill Clinton/Obama relationship. There is no doubt in my mind Clinton harbors ill-will from the 2008 campaign with lingering resentment over the “racism” charge. Yet, Clinton gave a great speech at the convention, and busted his butt campaigning for Obama. With the exception of Gingrich, the primary competitors did little, and frankly hurt more than helped (read this Paulites reference Nevada). The Democrats are like the Republicans used to be, cohesive and unified. The Republicans are really two parties, who can’t seem to unite even against a vulnerable opponent like Obama. I am an optimist by nature, and I think 2014 will be another decent mid-term for the party. However, 2016 will be ugly and splintered again, and without some sort of ground game that at least is better than the 2012 fiasco, the day after the November elections, the David Frums and Steve Schmidts will again be bashing Repulicans. I hope I am wrong, but I have little confidence in any of the current Republican think tanks or strategists. The Koch brothers and the Vegas mogul should earmark 20 million to recruit some new young blood to shake out of the establishment wrong thinking. It may take another loss, but surely if we spent over one billion dollars on this losing fiasco, what will it hurt to spend on a few million on new ideas. The Republicans who laughed at Obama for all his Facebook forays, twitter remarks and emphasis, and the new media of Comedy Central, The View etc. are the real dinosaurs.

  22. benbackstreet
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I am usually not much of a conspiracy theorist, but to you guys think Orca could have been hacked/cyber attacked. We know that cyber attacks were used against Iran by the CIA. If the CIA is working for the President, could they have crashed ORCA??

    • stuckinmass
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 12:33 am | Permalink | Reply

      i have no doubt that there are people who would want to take it down.
      cant say it happened for sure, but it is a big risk for a system like this

  23. Posted November 9, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I spoke with friends of mine in the Intelligence community, they believe that it is possible that it was hacked or hit with Malware.

  24. zang
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Wow. Read this… sounds vaguely familiar… LOL.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/04/politics/campaign/04dems.html?_r=0&sq=kerry%20democrats%20soul%20searching&st=nyt&scp=35&pagewanted=print&position=

    November 4, 2004
    Stunned Democrats Look to the Internal Debate Ahead

    • zang
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

      One senior Democratic official suggested that the problem was deeper than communicating.

      “I do believe there is a cultural shift going on in this country,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the delicate nature of the intraparty debate. “I think the country is becoming more conservative. I think their base is growing.”

    • zang
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Democratic officials seemed stunned by Tuesday’s vote. They said they had thought that for once they had the unity, the money, the organization and a weak enough Republican opponent to win the presidency and at least hold their own in the House and the Senate.

      “With 120 million people voting, at some point it’s got to settle in with us that there are just more of them than there are of us,” one Democratic operative said of the Republicans, adding, “My greatest fear now is we’re going to turn the guns on each other.”

      • Derclaw86
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

        There is one concern, however. The 2004 Kerry campaign gained over 8 million votes above Gore’s total in 2000. Romney’s total will probably be a little less than McCain’s. Evangelical participation has increased since 2004 (23% “04 vs. 26% ’12). However, evangelicals and Protestants as a percentage of our population is in a steep decline. We are rapidly maxing out the pool of unregistered evangelicals to add to our voter rolls. Meanwhile, Dems have just begun to scratch the surface on their base registration potential. The one silver lining is that Bush’s vote share among Hispanic and Black voters was on the rise in 2004. This was interrupted due to Bush’s poor job performance and the rise of Obama. When Obama retires, it may be possible to see those minority numbers begin to rise again. Moderation on immigration and a Marco Rubio candidacy would be helpful in this process. Avoiding stupid, inflammatory statements and having a cleaner primary would also be helpful. Finally, replicating the Democratic comebacks of ’06 and ’08 is certainly possible. However, this is very far from being certain as there are way too many challenges that must be faced.

    • No Tribe
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Yea, I was going to mention about this. After ’04, all the talk was about how the campaign failed Kerry.

      Romney’s campaign, which stored up all the cash till the end, might have worked had Sandy not showed up and the moderate Republican’s not screwed over Romney by sucking up to Obama. Dunno.

  25. No Tribe
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    These guys rocked at getting signs up.

    Just went and checked the precinct and district numbers. Unbelievably, Romney had nearly a 2:3 margin of signs to Obama, compared with a 1:7 McCain disadvantage to Obama, in signs. But McCain got more votes in the NoVA district where I live than Romney did. How does that happen? Not by a lot, but still. And Obama got about the same number of votes.

    However, what I also notice is that Obama ’12 went deeper into the multicultural precincts, driving up the minority vote, to offset the drop-off of Obama ’08 white voters that just didn’t vote in ’12. Well, we can’t say they didn’t vote. They may have switched to voting for Romney, and it is other white voters for McCain/Palin that just didn’t show up to vote in ’12. I tend to believe it was the latter, because I recall how the evangelicals in the neighborhood all went gung-ho with signage once Palin was picked, and never did put up Romney signs.

    Here’s the thing. If you look at the NYT’s exit poll. Romney won among all household income groups that are above $50K yearly. He won each group by 52-54% But he lost the 30-50K group by a 15% margin, and lost the under $30K group by a huge 67-30 percent margin. That’s 47% at work.

    The Republicans have to make a stand here now in Congress. They have to stop the growth of the welfare state. The taxpayers are with them, and are going to be the ones who show up in 2014. At the rate this is going, it’s just going to get worse.

    • Prescient11
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hang tough, and let’s get it right in 2016. Rubio-Tom Cotton!!!

      Obamacare can be defeated in 2017, it’s in the law itself. Hold tough and let them fuck things up themselves.

  26. Prescient11
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I just watched Rubio’s convention speech. Assuming that he’s ok on vetting, and I mean on a big issue, none of the minor crap they bring up.

    Rubio-Tom Cotton, I am on fire for that. His speech was fucking fantastic!!!

    • zang
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Gov. Brian Sandoval might be a better pick than Rubio.

  27. Hestrold
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Obama thought he was going to lose. Body language. Romney thought he was going to win. The crowds, etc. They both were surprised. It was the GOTV efforts that made a difference.

    • Posted November 9, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Obama acted like he was going to lose to suppress the GOP vote. It sort of makes sense.

    • zang
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Kerry had a crowd of 80,000 show up to see his rally in Wisconsin. Obama struggled to get 10,000 to show up. Kerry barely eked out a win in WI, Obama won big.

      Crowd size is not indicative of very much.

    • Posted November 9, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Obama campaign did not attempt to unskew polls and was comfortable with statistics, so they knew they were going to win.

      • WillBest
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

        I seriously doubt they did. He might have thought he had the better shot at winning, but the actuals for FL, OH, and VA are inside a polls MoE, and Co was barely out of it. If his pollsters assumption on R turnout was off by 2% he would have lost the election.

      • Posted November 9, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

        For anyone not ideologically blinded its been clear for months who would win.

        http://www.votamatic.com

      • C'ville
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

        Peter – he couldn’t have been comfortable with stats showing him down millions if votes since 2008. I find it hard to believe that Romney would not get more votes than McCain but apparently there are individuals that want to be called and picked up to vote. About 5% of the GOP base – about 3 million votes. 1 out of 20 people. Hard to understand that individual, but okay. Lessons learned I guess.

      • WillBest
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

        Using data from September to retard the October poll movements and ignoring the national polls which didn’t show a movement back to Obama until the week before the election as your definition of “clear” seems a bit misplaced. But given your other comments on this form I can’t say that I am surprised. I visit a forum that had at least 100 of Obama campaign volunteers that were in full blown freakout mode a week after the 2nd debate and it continued to escalate until Obama “nailed it” in their mind during the 2nd debate.

      • WillBest
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

        A week after the first debate that is.

      • Posted November 9, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

        Will,

        I’ve been saying for a long time in this blog that Obama was going to win, there was little doubt. You think I can predict the future? I just looked at the polls.

        Every single poll based model had Obama winning, and has always had Obama winning. Real Clear Politics had a No Toss Up map, which allocated all states based on simple poll averages. Do you know how many times throughout 2012 Romney was ahead? Not a single day!

      • christopher
        Posted November 10, 2012 at 12:29 am | Permalink

        Hey Peter – I don’t agree with you but appreciate you thoughts. Look at my post below regarding “Election has consequences”. Feel free to opine.

      • WillBest
        Posted November 10, 2012 at 12:43 am | Permalink

        Peter, I think you drank the Obama kool-aid. All sensible people were looking at the polls mid October thinking if Romney wasn’t ahead he is a half a step behind Obama. Even Nate Silver had Romney up in coin flip territory just needing Ohio as VA, CO, and FL were all red on his map

  28. bks
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

    If you haven’t see this already:
    http://www.redstate.com/2012/11/09/campaign-sources-the-romney-campaign-was-a-consultant-con-job/
    Harsher than anything I’ve said about Romney.

    –bks

    • WillBest
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

      If its even half true all those people will be bankrupt and have no prospect at employment ever again. However, I suspect its a lot of people blowing off smoke. His confidence that he was going to win actually made him a very good campaigner on the stump. If anything the Super PACs drop the ball in not running Black voter suppression ads. Obama virtually ignored the problems of the inner city. Black youth unemployment is in the toilet, he opposes vouchers which are popular among blacks etc.

      Sure they would get branded as racist for the ads but they aren’t Romney and @#$#@ the media. Facts aren’t racist anyway. Its no different than all those vagina ads that were designed to suppress the fiscally conservative but socially moderate vote.

  29. Southern Doc
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I know there are many passionate Romney supporters here. They are looking for answers as to how, what they knew was a superior candidate, lost. I think the GOTV fail made it harder for him to win. But blaming the GOTV for the loss is like blaming Robert E. Lee’s artillery commander for the failure to win Gettysburg. Ultimately, it was his command that failed. Lee failed. Winning election campaigns do not prove you can govern well, as Obama has proved, but losing campaigns argues strongly against future success.

    Furthermore, Romney’s loss was not unpresedented. It only comes as a “surprise” to those who have forgotten, or dismissed as irrelevant, prior signs of weakness. Repeatedly Romney and his team have been “stunned” on election night, from Huckabee, to McCain, to Gingrich, to Santorum. And know Obama. None of them were suppose to be able to beat the “better candidate” who had more money, connections, and “better organization.” But they did, and often with little money and almost no “professional team.” What they did have were supporters who were inspired to work and organize for them, and a large natural party constituency of voters who trusted them implicitly and who thought enough of them for them to turn out to the polls without being coaxed. Passion beats organization. In 2008 Obama’s election day GOTV also failed while McCains functioned and it didn’t matter. Romney could not beat a far weaker Obama in an election with lower turnout. He just never “connected” in a way that inspired except briefly at the first debate. He then reverted to meme in the second and third debates and that was it.

    Twenty years ago in Grad School my major professor responded to a student question he clearly was tired of answering concerning “who had the better generals?” Though it was obvious the student wanted a discourse on the greatness of Lee and Jackson, the Civil War scholar replied simply, “well…who wins is a pretty good indicator.”

    • WillBest
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Romney lost because
      1) Incumbency advantage
      2) demographic shift
      3) voter apathy

      The fortunate thing about 2016 is that #1 and 3 won’t be an issue. The republicans will have learned their lessons from this GOTV effort. The demographics problem could be solved in large part by showcasing our successful women and minority candidates. We aren’t going to get majorities of Hispanics or Blacks anytime this century unless something massive happens, but we can demonstrate that we aren’t particularly hostile to those in that group that are taxpayers.

      • Southern Doc
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

        Romney lost because
        1) Incumbency advantage
        2) demographic shift
        3) voter apathy

        The fortunate thing about 2016 is that #1 and 3 won’t be an issue. The republicans will have learned their lessons from this GOTV effort. The demographics problem could be solved in large part by showcasing our successful women and minority candidates.

        1.) Obama was in the weakest positon (the state of the economy, the unpopularity of his major legislation, his failure to tack right in response to midterm losses) of any previous to survive re-election. That’s why Barone just couldn’t believe the polling data as the general gravity against Obama was so negative.

        2.) There was no “shift.” As has been shown Obama’s minority coalition turnout only increased in percentage terms not in absolute terms. In absolute turns only hispanics kept pace with general population growth.

        3.) YES. the apathy of voters whom Romney failed to inspire to come to the polls. Voter apathy is largely the product of a well earned skepticism that politicians are insincere and/or impotent. Both must be overcome by candidates. Romney kept calling for folks to follow his leadership (which is quite right), but they didn’t which means he failed to overcome their doubts about his ability to make a difference in their lives. The basic “connection” weakness of Romney compared to Obama showed up in polling time and time again.

        Lastly: The whole convention was one long parade of “showcasing our successful women and minority candidates.” But warm up acts cannot transfer to a lackluster main event.

        Romney lost because ROMNEY lost. McCain was a poor candidate caught in Wave election. Romney was a poor candidate with the weather gage at his advantage that could not deliver. In fairness he may have been the best candidate we could have produced this cycle given the dynamics of the party. But Romney supporters going forward will need to move past their personal affection for him or they my very well draw conclusions explaining his loss that placate their greif but don’t help us going forward.

      • WillBest
        Posted November 10, 2012 at 1:01 am | Permalink

        I don’t know if it has been posted here, but every single term president in the last hundred years except Hoover who had a total economic collapse, were defeated because either
        1) They faced a credible primary challenge and/or (Carter, Ford) which fractured the base
        2) They faced a credible 3rd party candidate (Bush, Taft) which gave disguntled party members a 3rd way.

        Obama’s base was in tact, he didn’t have to build mend fences/build a coalition, worship at an alter that annoyed moderates, etc. If you don’t think that is huge I don’t know what to tell you.

        I meant by showcase that in retrospect Rubio needed to be the VP. I favored Rubio to Ryan but I didn’t really have a problem with Ryan when he was selected. Granted I doubt Rubio would have got Romney VA or OH, but FL and CO. And it might have done okay with Asians. From my experiences with the Asian community, and I am married into it, they have a natural place in the GOP. The problem is that they don’t feel the party fits them, and I suspect that has a lot to do with the whole “war on women” “white male” successful branding by the Dems.

        I disagree that Romney was a bad candidate. Quite frankly I think he was the only person outside of perhaps Christie who didn’t run, who had a shot at beating Obama. I am thankful that Christie wasn’t the choice because then Sandy really would have been the election.

      • WolvenOne
        Posted November 10, 2012 at 5:06 am | Permalink

        I agree with WillBeat, Romney wasn’t a bad candidate at all. I think Perry might have had a chance, had he been less prone to massive gaffs, but while he did get that under control eventually it was too little too late. I’ll also agree with others than the primaries did massive damage. I remember a lot of people that started off enthused about voting for Obama, that just seemed politically apathetic by the end of the primary. They just didn’t think the Republican party was any better equipped to fix things than Obama. I think Romney undid some of that damage, but only amongst the people that were willing to tune back in.

        Long story short, Bachman, Cain, Santorum, and Gingrich, should not have been allowed to participate. Pawlenty, Perry, and Romney were the only ones that had the right resume, and of the three Romney was clearly the best. After Pawlenty and Perry were out. With a more focused list of candidates we would’ve had a far shorter primary, it would’ve essentially been over after Ohio, and less of Circus before then. Romney would’ve left with lots of money leftover from the primary, relatively undamaged and the Republican party wouldn’t have spent months making themselves look like clowns.

        I mean, back then, the pollsters showed that almost any candidate was competitive with Obama. By primaries end however, everyone started out slightly behind. Later events, like the 47% comment and Hurricane Sandy may have sealed Romney’s fate, but the primary was the only reason the race was competitive to begin with.

    • Derclaw86
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Romney made plenty of mistakes in his loss. ORCA/GOTV was just one of them. Obama also made plenty of mistakes, giving Romney a chance. Both candidates each did one thing very well. For Romney, it was his masterful first debate performance. For Obama, it was his Narwahl GOTV operation. There was also one lucky break, hurricane Sandy. Both had chances to win. It was Obama that eventually prevailed. In response to Southern Doc’s grad school question about which side having the better Generals in the civil war. My answer was “the North” and not simply because they won. Sure you can argue that Lee, Jackson, Stuart, and others were a class above Meade, McClellan, etc. However, the North had President Abraham Lincoln, our greatest President, who kept the union together through unprecedented defeat and adversity. Faced with endless defeat on the battlefield, mounting casualties, bitter dissension at home, political backstabbing, as well as threats of foreign intervention, it was indeed a miracle that Lincoln was able to hold everything together, despite having superior resources. The lesson is that wars are often won in decisive places that are sometimes far removed from the battlefield. The Civil War was won in Washington D.C. because no calamity could shake the skill and resolve of President Lincoln. This last election (or recent battle in our “cold Civil War”) was won not in Ohio or Florida, but in Chicago by a team that had a daring plan and executed it victoriously.

      • Southern Doc
        Posted November 9, 2012 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

        “This last election (or recent battle in our “cold Civil War”) was won not in Ohio or Florida, but in Chicago by a team that had a daring plan and executed it victoriously.”

        Personally I don’t think it was all that “daring.” I think like Grant they ruthlessly pressed their advantages and won ugly. But they did win. But what really helped IMHO was that they faced a Bursides who, to quote your favorite Lincoln after the debacle at the Battle of the Crater:

        “Only Burnside could have managed such a coup, wringing one last spectacular defeat from the jaws of victory.”

  30. Posted November 9, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Every precint in St Lucie county save 1 had turnout 100% of the registered voter http://www.slcelections.com/Pdf%20Docs/2012%20General/GEMS%20SOVC%20REPORT.pdf

    • Prescient11
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Seriously, what the fuck. How is that even possible. It looks like they were well above 100%???

    • exe
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Um. unreal? What did 2008 look like? 2004?

    • Derclaw86
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 12:00 am | Permalink | Reply

      Read further down on the St Lucie report. The actual votes begin on page 3. The first two pages refer to the number of instances some kind of card was used, not actual votes.

  31. Posted November 10, 2012 at 12:12 am | Permalink | Reply

    All of these post mortems seem wrong to me. Obama won because the majority of his supporters don’t give a damn about much else besides electing Obama.
    The bad stewardship didn’t matter because they could blame it on Bush.
    And Romney’s money didn’t matter because Obama not only had the billion but almost every network campaigning for him.

    For me, Romney was a fantastic candidate. He trounced Obama in the first debate, won the second and lost the third. His stump speeches were infinitely better than Obama’s and his life and family were near perfect. I blame him for nothing.

    • WolvenOne
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 4:52 am | Permalink | Reply

      Oh, I agree totally. Romney was a fantastic candidate, and if his campaign failed him I’m not going to blame HIM for that. As has been pointed out numerous times, candidates don’t really run their campaigns, they’re way too busy for that. Sadly, the first real sign that his campaign wasn’t really performing was election night, and by then its too late to correct the ship. True shame, downright tragedy. I try to console myself with the knowledge that God has this all planned out, and that its happening for a reason, but this week has been incredibly hard because of all of this.

  32. christopher
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 12:26 am | Permalink | Reply

    Here is what I just emailed by family, many were Obama voters. They are very bright but ignorant folks. Elections have consequences…

    You Obama voters (my family) are something very special. “Hope and Change” won me over four years ago, but reality pulled me back. He promised to get the unemployment rate to 5.2% and half the deficit in his first term. He FAILED on his own performance standards but yet we are here now again. Now the litmus test of a President is “I could have a beer with him.” Very profound standards we apply now….

    Absolutely, he has a great personality, but he FAILED on his own metrics for performance. In the private sector this is termination. Granted Mitt doesn’t drink, smoke or cheat , is “Stiff” in appearance and form, and doesn’t have a bubbly personality. However there is no doubt, that he would have moved us off the fiscal “cliff” and created JOBS (a rising tide lifts all boats..). The lay-offs are coming because of Ocare and I will have to dismiss at least one of my people before the end of the year. It is true and personal now . So take your benefits and think about the 47% for now, but this is impacting someone you love and those I employ and care about. At some point, there will be no more of us to tax, refer to current Greece for reference. Maybe you don’t care anymore….The DOW is down 3% for the week. Perhaps you do..

    The Libya “cover-up” is coming next. Just stay tuned.

    Regarding Obama, remember the “cult of personality” is a very slippery slope – refer to 1930’s Germany… Best to you all.

  33. WolvenOne
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 4:48 am | Permalink | Reply

    I don’t want to blame Romney for this, as others have pointed out the candidates don’t actually run their campaigns. Whats odd, is that Romney’s primary campaign was, actually pretty darn amazing. That was the most competitive primary I had ever seen, and they kept coming back from behind through a combination of better preparation, strategy, and the simple fact that Romney was the better candidate. That said, if I recall Romney brought in a lot of new people after the primary, since his primary staff didn’t have experience running a national campaign.

    If this is true, then that was a mistake. Romney’s campaign during the primaries was definitely a more effective entity than his general election campaign. Even there I don’t want to be too critical, I still don’t know which segment exactly didn’t turn out. If it was indeed the hard core ABR’s that were all offended during the primary, than a better GOTV machine may not have helped all that much. I mean, some of those guys were downright crazy.

  34. AG
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Has anybody seen this? I think it’s worth signing the petition, even if it doesn’t change anything. At least it’s part of a movement to make people more accountable during elections when it comes to voting. I don’t know how many people follow this website, but I feel strongly that if we all forwarded this to a few people or post it on facebook/twitter, we could make a difference.

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/recount-election/ZQmy0Mlv#thank-you=p

  35. Zee45
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Can everyone stop complaining about the “Get Out The Vote” campaign. As I explained before Its much easier for the democrats to Get Out the Vote for the simple face that most of their wins came in counties that are urban and have many people living in a small area. Check out Philadelphia for example,, the smallest county in Pennsylvania which had over 500,000 (that right 500,00) votes for Obama and just 90,000 for Romney… Romney won most counties in Philadelphia but the population in those counties are smaller and more spread out…
    In other words it is not an even playing field so you cant compare both the “Get Out The Vote” campaigns….

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