Losing Elections in 2012

The post-mortems continue with Erick Erickson weighing on on cripples, bastards and broken things …errr I mean consultants, donors and SuperPACs:

When consultants told rich donors who were funding them that they were not making money off the Super PAC’s that the rich idiots . . . er . . . donors funded, they were being honest. They probably were not.

But ad heavy Super PACs outsourced the ad buys, the mail, the data collection, etc. to other groups that got commissions and you can be sure that a lot of these supposedly noble consultants working for free were making a killing off of commissions, referral fees, etc. through their relationships with the commissioned vendors doing the actual work. Read this old post of mine for a sampling of how these consultants can make money without actually making money.

Just as important as making money for these guys was control over the data. In fact, in singular importance this campaign season has been the buzz word “data.” But what the hell is that data and why is it so important?

Read the whole thing if you want to learn how the GOP failed so miserably earlier this month.


  1. Posted November 27, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Before the election, it was said that even though we might get rid of Obama, how would we get rid of the voters who elected him? Now that Obama is re-elected, it seems we really must press the issue of finding out how to change the minds and hearts of such a misguided electorate. For something like a century, progressive forces have been at work taking over the educational establishment and media in America. They have done their work well. We will not really take back this country until that maleficent program is undone. The young must learn the political and social principles of the Founding Fathers, not their salacious sex lives. And social studies must give way to geography and history once again. Journalism must aspire to report the facts rather than move an agenda. Probably these sorts of reforms can only follow political victory. But political victory may never occur without the beginnings of such reforms. At least, next time we spend a billion dollars to campaign for a president, let’s do a little conservative educating in the process.

  2. Mary Anne Smith
    Posted November 27, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Excellent insight into the current situation. We need to bring back many of the “old ways,” when people respected personal rights and morals. Parents need to teach their children more than how to win in life. It’s not all about being at the top………..it’s about being a good person and living with other good people, for the common good.

  3. ShockandAwe
    Posted November 27, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This American Spectator article sums up what I’ve been saying about the Romney campaign for a month. His inability to connect with working class white voters cost him the election.

  4. MikeN
    Posted November 27, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

    What I don’t get from that article is what people can do with Gravity. I don’t mean the features. It seems to me that turnout is the domain of the national and state and local parties. With $1 million or $10 million, what can a donor do involving Gravity?

  5. Derclaw86
    Posted November 27, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This just makes me sick. We’re supposed to be the party of smaller government, free enterprise, and less red tape. Instead, the GOP runs its own party just like the Democrats run the country. We have a primary system dominated by religious zealots and a party that functions like a slimy, Chicago-styled machine. And then we actually have to wonder why we can’t win anymore!!! God help us!!!!

  6. Posted November 27, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Corrupt and inept GOP campaigns are par for the course. Rove in his two national campaigns excised most of the corruption, granted, but let’s not pretend he wasn’t inept. Remember the “victory tour” in California in late-October 2000 as Team Gore was camped out in Florida and as the Democrat media unleashed its DUI late hit? And thereafter not circumventing the liberal media entirely with live network broadcasts in ’03 and ’04 — similar to Reagan’s “fireside chats” — allowed the left to define Bush’s presidency and nearly gave us President Kerry.

    But that aside all of this analysis by Erickson et al. somehow misses the giant flaming neon elephant in the room. The harsh reality is that 44.77 million Republicans voted in ’04, but only 39 million Republicans voted in ’12. That’s not really a GOTV problem. That’s not a consultant problem. That’s a people problem.

    If after four years of Obama and facing the specter of four more years of Obama Republicans could not self-motivate to vote en masse, and in lock step, then the inescapable conclusion is that we’re hosed.

    Given the horrible demographics of the GOP’s erstwhile primary “base” it’s not altogether clear that ’16 will be any different. Will we have a clean and fast primary in which one of the obvious general election candidates (e.g., Rubio, Portman, McDonnell) emerges and is allowed to pitch general election themes? Or will that primary season degenerate into a drawn-out pissing a crapping match about abortion, deportations, evolution and contraception?

    • Kevin Paradine
      Posted November 28, 2012 at 10:58 am | Permalink | Reply

      The collapse of the Bush economy, Katrina and the Iraq war’s unsatisfying last four years* reduced the number of Republicans. These are huge, glaring policy mistakes that could only be blamed on Bush and damaged the Republican brand. I was hoping against hope that it wasn’t true, that 08 was an anomaly, but I was wrong. It was a realignment of sorts.

      So the anti-abortion people and the ones who hate gays and the other pressure groups can keep rearranging the deck chairs. This ship is going down as long as they are anywhere in view in the Republican party.

      I regret my 2 votes for GWB now. Leaving Gore in charge of 9/11 would have been wiser than the devastation GWB wrought, and Gore couldn’t have socialized America more than Medicare Part D and the vast expansion of food stamps and other largesse during the Bush admin. The chastening produced by repeated electoral losses might have excised the religion from the Republican party by now. I suppose we’ll have to watch a few more scumbag Democrat victories before that happens, now.

      * In regards Iraq, having spent a year in-country and under fire in 07-08, I think I can say that without provoking the usual chickenhawk responses.

      • Barf
        Posted November 29, 2012 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        Do you believe the GOP would win a national presidential election without Evangelicals? I served too, i do not agree with the Iraq War now but you have to remember the Democrats were in charge of Congress from 2007 to 2011, both chambers. Bush was stuck, he was a lot better than the current slug. A lot of your posts are anti-Christian, get rid of them. I am just wondering if you think the GOP can win without them and how. I see the rise of a viable third party coming. It will be good for the country.

      • Kevin Paradine
        Posted November 29, 2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        Christian conservatives got used to the idea of having a political party of their own. As long as the Republicans were winning, it was hard to argue with this. Now that the Republicans are losing on a regular basis, it is time to make big changes. I don’t hate Christians. I’m just here to tell you that you’ll never win in the Midwest or Northeast or West Coast ever again with a Christian conservative message. Ruling out almost 270 electoral votes leaves no room for error.

        The Republicans can win by being Republicans again and not an arm of some mythical evangelical caucus. The key points are resisting socialism and minimizing government’s involvement in day to day life. You can get lots of votes that way. Far more than being bible thumpers.

        Third parties are not viable in American politics. The last successful one was born in 1854. The system calls for two opposing parties and while their names aren’t written into law (usually), they are so entrenched that one must use the apparatus of one or the other to accomplish anything.

      • Barf
        Posted November 29, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

        True of states such as Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Missouri and Indiana are different. I don’t see the GOP as a Christian party. They haven’t ever really done anything they said they would. I am done voting, it’s more of the same with both parties. I give up and really don’t care anymore. I will be content with whatever happens. I will survive. I suspect many Christians feel this way and are just done with it, i know a few who are. The GOP should just swing left on social issues. That is in their best interest. Honestly, they should. I don’t even care. No GOP for me anymore.

      • MikeN
        Posted November 30, 2012 at 11:43 am | Permalink

        The only reason the GOP has a chance in Pennsylvania is because of Christian conservatives, particularly Catholics. These people are Democrats who are voting pro-life.

      • Kevin Paradine
        Posted November 30, 2012 at 11:57 am | Permalink

        You are looking at it backwards. The only reason the GOP keeps losing (every time since 1988!) in PA is because of the very position which makes the christian conservatives happy but alienates almost every other group.

      • Dave
        Posted December 1, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

        The problem with Militant christians is their black and white view of the world which is all to apparent in the text of supporters on this website. I agree 100% that the Militant Christians got used to having a party all their own and have never had to work on compramise. The my way or the highway attitude works as long as the majority agrees with you but as soon as that view becomes the views of the minority, you simply fall further and further behind. And that’s what is happening to the extremist militant christians. It’s kind of like evolution where as the world inevitably changes you either adapt or you die and the Militant Christians aren’t adapting because of their stubborness to find common ground with everyone else. The country is changing. The demographics are changing. The people coming into the country don’t share the exteme views of the group. Militant christians will either change with it or get thrown in the waste basket of evolution like so many other over-specialized animals who couldn’t or refused to adapt did. And the sad truth is, the core values of Christianity are alive and well. The majority agree with them. Its the extremist positions on fringe issues like abortion that are dooming them and the party they support in.

    • Derclaw86
      Posted November 28, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Permalink | Reply

      In the 2000 primary, Bush needed to win California over McCain in order to secure the nomination. He needed the support of the CA GOP establishment. He received it, on the condition that he not write-off the state and campaign there in the fall. That’s why Bush campaigned in California during October 2000. As for today, one good thing has happened. Gov Branstad has eliminated the overrated Iowa straw-poll. The result is that there will be one fewer crapping forum for the social issue crowd to indulge itself. However, we still need to push for a regional or national primary in order to produce a meaningful, battle-tested message to be carried by a strengthened nominee.

  7. Prescient11
    Posted November 28, 2012 at 11:21 am | Permalink | Reply

    Keith, I would still like a breakdown as to how Rasmussen was so off on party ID. I mean I really hung my hat on that one. He had a D+1 in 2010 when it turned out to be dead even at the polls. And this time he was showing R+2.6.

    How in the hell could he be so off on that figure. He had NEVER OVERESTIMATED R support and in fact had continued to underestimate it.

    How was that so far off???

    Electronic voting machines should be banned, people should be required to fill out a paper ballot. Period.

  8. yellowhand
    Posted November 28, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Can’t agree more with you, Prescient11. I would also like to see national voter ID requirement in all 50 states and an end to early voting. Absentee works just fine. O received 100% of vote in some districts. That is a statistical impossibility. Why isn’t the FBI raiding polling places?

  9. me@hotmai.com
    Posted November 28, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Kevin, you are an example of how stupid the stupid party is. You never learn. We need both fi-cons and so-cons and a smattering of libertarians to win base wise, then branch out. This infighting is stupid. It will never win for us. The left never does this. In 2004 the GOP used gay marriage as a wedge issue, and polls showed Americans agreed with no gay marriage. Yet the Dems did not drop kick their gay supporters who are an increasing part of the coalition. They understand you have a big tent BASE and then you branch out, you never win via subtraction. The left is smart enough not to kick or infight their disparate rag tag team of varied supporters, or suggest they get rid of some they think might lose some moderate votes, such as pitting women or blacks against the gays. Yet the fi-cons constantly whine and want to get rid of the culture warriors, ignoring the moderates and indies shwo they WANT big government and entitlements, you could just as easily argue the pro-business Romneysque moderate types LOST this election with their STANCES as you can by trying Akin-ize all social conservatives, but you do not see the so-cons demanding the GOP run on social issues ONLY, and to kick the fi-cons out of the tent, do you?

  10. me@hotmai.com
    Posted November 28, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

    We did not lose over social cons or Akin. We lost due to our inability to sell both fiscal and social con logic to the masses in easy to understand terms, and with a loaded media, schools, and such that we still are not seriously contesting, we lost because we retreat on principle constantly (the moderate beltwayers now caving on tax policy and immigration, etc.) which demolaizes both fi and so-con’s who are the foot soldiers.We lost because our side refuses to study propaganda and imaging Allinskylike tactics and use them as effectively on our foes as the enemy does us. Right now, 4 years out, the left and dozens in the press are already Palinizing Ruibio over how old the Earth is. They are trying to make him uncool to vote for in the eyes of the typical low information voter, using image building techniques via ambushing and collecting quotes to twist. Where are OUR guys doing that IN ADVANCE to left figures as targets? We lost because we always REACT and respond, we never instigate, we keep playing fair while our foes hit under the gut with every sucker punch they have. We lost because currently, most of you guys are not tough enough to bring a knife to a street fight, and with liberals you have to do that or be gutted like a fish…

    • Kevin Paradine
      Posted November 28, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

      1988 vs 2004. That’s all. I would compare 1988 to 2012 but I don’t want to be completely depressing.

      But yeah, the social conservatives aren’t the problem.

  11. Barf
    Posted November 29, 2012 at 9:36 am | Permalink | Reply

    The Republicans should just divorce all Christians and traditionalist. So basically the gays and pro aborts can fight over the role of government and taxes. So basically there will be two morally bankrupt parties, the Republicans and the Democrats the only difference is the Republicans want lower taxes and less govt. That is the only difference. The Evangelicals can start their own party.

  12. MikeN
    Posted November 30, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

    From RedState:

    The 2012 election made it abundantly clear that the Republican Party must reject fiscal conservatism if they want to win any more national elections. Small government fiscal conservatism is simply an archaic notion that a majority of the population now rejects. If the future is demographics – as many here and in the MSM claim – then the demographics we need to win are turned off by appeals to limited government and fiscal conservatism.

    The Millennials (or whatever we call the young vote these days) clearly rejected the fiscal conservative message in 2012. Their rejection is not surprising. They have grown up in an era of big government. They have been taught the praises of big government at big universities financed by big government on increasingly bigger loans provided by big government to cover big tuitions. Those student loans keep them from having to work while attending college and allows them to study non-productive majors like art appreciation, feminist studies, peace studies, theater, etc. They also like the idea that mom and dad can now keep them on their insurance until their mid-life crisis and thus postpone the consequences of studying a major that will not pay for itself.

    African-Americans also clearly rejected fiscal conservatism in 2012. They voted overwhelmingly for Obama and turned out in large numbers because many felt that a Republican victory would cut off the supply of government goodies. They do not care that government welfare destroyed the African American family and thus condemned and still condemns many of their youth to perpetual unemployment and prison. They are addicted to government largesse and view the government as their lord, provider, and saviour. Clearly, continuing the government largesse is more important to black Christians than supporting the Biblical concepts of marriage, the family, and opposing infanticide and abortion – even when the abortion of black babies has reached the level of genocide.

    Hispanic voters stand at a crossroads and are more evenly split than the African American or the youth vote. Nonetheless, many of them are drawn to the welfare state, lower university tuition underwritten by a big government, and the promise of amnesty. If amnesty is a bridge too far, then why not give them a little more government largesse to ease the pain and remove the stigma of being illegal.

    If the Republican Party wants to make significant inroads into these three demographics, then it must embrace fiscal liberalism and, at the very least, offer the same goodies the Democrats do to win their votes. As Rush famously aid, “You can’t beat Santa.” So if you can’t beat them, then you join them. The fiscal war at the national level is clearly lost.

    The proper venue for fiscal issues is the state and local level. State and local policies and tax codes have a direct impact on job creation, which is why Texas and North Dakota continue to create jobs even in the midst of the Obamanation. The best thing fiscal conservatives can do is to take their fight to state and local government. Federalism is their only hope because they are done at the national level.

    In rejecting fiscal conservatism, the Republican Party will open inroads into these traditional liberal constituencies. African Americans and Hispanics are more in line with the Republican Party on social issues and will naturally gravitate toward the GOP if the barrier of fiscal conservatism is removed. Since fiscal conservatives will still be connected with the GOP at the state and local level, Republicans can still count on their votes at the national level. Thus no votes are lost and many more are actually gained by rejecting fiscal conservatism.

    At the national level and in the guise of the Reagan coalition (fiscal, social, and strong defense), fiscal conservatives have continually undermined the coalition and have not even pulled their own weight in recent years. Fiscal Conservatives may make good governors but they perform horribly at the national level. Where were the fiscal conservative leaders in the last election cycle? Who was the great champion of fiscal conservatism in the Republican primaries? Most of the fiscal leaders – Mitch Daniels, etc – sat out the election and/or refused to work with other conservatives. In their insane demand that fiscal conservative be the sole issue of the campaign, they alienated other conservatives, alienated the base, insured Romney the nomination, and burned any bridges that social issues might have built to the demographics the GOP claims that it needs.

    It is time for the fiscal conservatives to go. If they will not go quietly and for the good of the party, then they must be purged.

    • Kevin Paradine
      Posted November 30, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Fine, already done. No Republican candidate will ever get a cent from me again.

      But yeah, ignoring the total devastation wrought by Akin and Mourdock – laughable.

      Enjoy your regional party of declining fortunes, Redstate.

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