HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Politics 2014 (Forum) » Why Romney Never Saw It C...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 10:16 PM

Why Romney Never Saw It Coming


He was the numbers guy. But in the end his numbers were all wrong.

By John Dickerson|Posted Friday, Nov. 9, 2012, at 9:15 PM ET


Mitt Romney says he is a numbers guy, but in the end he got the numbers wrong. His campaign was adamant that public polls in the swing states were mistaken. They claimed the pollsters were over-estimating the number of Democrats who would turn out on Election Day. Romney’s campaign was certain that minorities would not show up for Obama in 2012 the way they did in 2008. “It just defied logic,” said a top aide of the idea that Obama could match, let alone exceed, his performance with minorities from the last election. When anyone raised the idea that public polls were showing a close race, the campaign’s pollster said the poll modeling was flawed and everyone moved on. Internally, the campaign’s own polling—tweaked to represent their view of the electorate, with fewer Democrats—showed a steady uptick for Romney since the first debate. Even on the morning of the election, Romney’s senior advisers weren’t close to hedging. They said he was going to win “decisively.” It seemed like spin, but the Boston Globe reports that a fireworks display was already ordered for the victory. Romney and Ryan thought they were going to win, say aides. “We were optimistic. More than just cautiously optimistic,” says one campaign staffer. When Romney lost, “it was like a death in the family.”

How did the Romney team get it so wrong? According to those involved, it was a mix of believing anecdotes about party enthusiasm and an underestimation of their opponents’ talents. The Romney campaign thought Obama’s base had lost its affection for its candidate. They believed Obama would win only if he won over independent voters. So Romney focused on independents and the economy, which was their key issue. The Republican ground game was focused on winning those voters. “We thought the only way to win was doing well with independents and we were kicking ass with independents,” says a top aide. One senior adviser bet me that if Obama won Ohio, he would donate $1,000 for every point that Romney won independents to my favorite charity. (That would be a $10,000 hit since Romney lost Ohio but won independents by 10 points). In the end, Romney won independents nationally by five points—and it didn’t matter one bit.

Meanwhile, the Romney campaign was openly dismissive of the Obama ground game. Why are they wasting so much money with neighborhood offices, they asked? (In Ohio, for example, Obama had almost 100 more offices than Romney.) In retrospect, the Romney team is in awe and full of praise of the Obama operation. “They spent four years working block by block, person by person to build their coalition,” says a top aide. They now recognize that those offices were created to build personal contacts, the most durable and useful way to gain voters.

Romney advisers say it was impossible to compete against Obama’s huge war chest. They also envy his ability to leverage the presidency for his campaign. Young voters were told about new provisions for student loans and Obama’s support for same-sex marriage, an issue that appeals to young voters. Hispanic voters were wooed by the president’s plan to waive the deportation of children of illegal immigrants. One Romney aide also included the much-debated changes to welfare requirements as a policy aimed to win over African-American voters. “It was like they had a calendar,” said one Romney aide. With each month, the Obama administration rolled out a new policy for a different segment of their coalition they hoped to attract.

more:
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2012/11/why_romney_was_surprised_to_lose_his_campaign_had_the_wrong_numbers_bad.html

36 replies, 4479 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 36 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why Romney Never Saw It Coming (Original post)
DonViejo Nov 2012 OP
nc4bo Nov 2012 #1
demgrrrll Nov 2012 #2
missaj Nov 2012 #4
Indpndnt Nov 2012 #6
davidpdx Nov 2012 #17
dixiegrrrrl Nov 2012 #31
Patiod Nov 2012 #20
satxdem Nov 2012 #7
LuckyStrykes Nov 2012 #35
msongs Nov 2012 #3
coalition_unwilling Nov 2012 #30
justgamma Nov 2012 #5
Freddie Nov 2012 #26
Bad Thoughts Nov 2012 #8
Kaleva Nov 2012 #24
railsback Nov 2012 #9
Cha Nov 2012 #12
Samantha Nov 2012 #10
Cha Nov 2012 #11
UCmeNdc Nov 2012 #13
magical thyme Nov 2012 #22
Nika Nov 2012 #14
Cha Nov 2012 #15
JBoy Nov 2012 #16
dixiegrrrrl Nov 2012 #32
geek tragedy Nov 2012 #18
JRLeft Nov 2012 #19
OldHippieChick Nov 2012 #21
libdem4life Nov 2012 #23
Rosa Luxemburg Nov 2012 #25
Webster Green Nov 2012 #28
bongbong Nov 2012 #27
Cleita Nov 2012 #29
ffr Nov 2012 #33
underpants Nov 2012 #34
amborin Nov 2012 #36

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 10:24 PM

1. Am I mistaken? I think they've still got the welfare requirement thing wrong-o.

The changes weren't meant to appeal to AA's - that's so mighty white of them to think this way.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to nc4bo (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 10:32 PM

2. Apparently they believed their own inaccurate spin too!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to nc4bo (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 10:35 PM

4. BINGO!

My blood is boiling after reading that last line. How arrogant and delusional are these people? I am a black woman who has never applied for welfare. I didn't vote for Obama for food stamps.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to missaj (Reply #4)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 10:48 PM

6. They are completely delusional. Still believing their own spin.

Let them delude themselves into complete irrelevancy. Soon, they'll be as relevant as the Whig Party.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Indpndnt (Reply #6)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 07:46 AM

17. It's almost like they were brainwashing themselves

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to davidpdx (Reply #17)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 02:15 PM

31. My thoughts exactly.

In essence they are saying:
Their opponent was organized, addressed issues that were important to voters, reached out to ALL types of voters ( instead of ignoring 47% of them), and used campaign money wisely and effectively.

Gee....what a concept for winning an election!

"duhhh..I jus' dunno how he done it"

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to missaj (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 10:56 AM

20. That line hit me, too

As if welfare is just flowing free and supporting people who are living like kings and queens.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to nc4bo (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 10:52 PM

7. you are completely right...

But in crazy republican world Obama gave out free stuff for AA votes.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to nc4bo (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 08:00 PM

35. AA female here. I voted for personal rights, economics and a fair government.

I nor my family or AA friends mentioned welfare benefits during the many election conversations I participated in.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 10:34 PM

3. turns out Romney was not willing to spend his OWn money on himself lol nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to msongs (Reply #3)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 01:47 PM

30. He was probably selling shares of himself short on Intrade (or buying shares in

 

Obama as a hedge

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 10:45 PM

5. Why do they never talk about policies?

It's always about the ground game. What exactly were the Cons running on? Lowering taxes on the rich and repealing Obamacare. They effed up the economy and Obama isn't fixing it fast enough. That's all I heard and I'm in Iowa with all the ads.

Maybe it's because people weren't buying what they were selling?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to justgamma (Reply #5)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 01:34 PM

26. Exactly. Romney kept saying "I have a plan"

And I'd yell at the TV, "so what is it??" Besides cutting taxes on the rich and the magic of the free market. Guess that was it...oh.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 11:01 PM

8. I'm not buying this crap any more

All campaigns must go into elections believing they have the ability to win. They all must be prepared to lose. Romney and his handlers were well aware of the problems they faced: years of being referred to as a conservative milquetoast; the near collapse of his campaign in September; the jokes made about his relationship with Ryan; descriptions in the media of a tied race. Even they must have seen in their own polls that their support was declining, even with their "unskewing."

Even if they believed they would win, they were veteran operatives who have experienced loss before. Indeed, Romeny's career had many more political losses than victories. He should be steeled against such optimism.

If there is something that Romney's handlers should learn, it's demographics: you moved so far to the lunatic fringe that your support declines.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bad Thoughts (Reply #8)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 01:19 PM

24. Even the smartest people are prone to delude themselves.

During WWII, General Eisenhower dismissed the intel he was getting that the Germans were preparing to launch a large scale winter offensive because he believed the German military was too weak to do such a thing. Many thousands of Americans died in what is called the "Battle of the Bulge" needlessly as a result of Ike's decision to go by what he believed over the intelligence reports.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 12:05 AM

9. KOS has a much, much more plausible antecdote

 

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/11/10/1160010/-Rethinking-shellshocked-Romney?showAll=yes

A total scam, to keep the base from losing faith and to keep the big donors donating. That's why they're so pissed off. Romney lied to them, too.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to railsback (Reply #9)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 01:25 AM

12. Thanks for the link, railsback.. As Axe said before the election..

"we'll see in a couple of weeks who's bluffing"

Edit: I like this quote in there.. "they're so anti-science it extends to all forms of being anti-evidence, including the polling concerning the very thing they're trying to win."

Talk about "schadenfreude-tastic"!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 12:21 AM

10. And another big thing the Romney campaign did not predict was that

10 percent of Republicans voting voted for Obama.

Sam

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 01:18 AM

11. "A Death" in their family.. The Planet Got A

New Lease On Life!



http://theobamadiary.com/

Thanks DonViejo!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 01:29 AM

13. Propaganda to hide the true con game?

Or Option B: admit that your data looked much like everyone else's and that you're smart enough to know that all along that you were losing, but that the rules of the game prevented you from publicly admitting that. That's partially because, via the 'bandwagon effect,' it might depress turnout, but mostly because it would depress contributions from big money donors who don't want to waste their money -- thus becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy because you then wouldn't have the money you'd need to even have a shot at winning.

Do you think that the Sheldon Adelsons of the world would be willing to open up their checkbooks for future races, to the tune of tens of millions of dollars, when they find out that they've simply been lied to about Republican chances in order to keep the dollars flowing? Remember, these are guys who've been promised that they were getting the unvarnished truth about the campaign -- the platinum-club insider access -- and now they're finding out that they're getting grifted, just as standard campaign operating practice. (As you no doubt know, Karl Rove is having parallel problems with his American Crossroads donors.)

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/11/10/1160010/-Rethinking-shellshocked-Romney

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to UCmeNdc (Reply #13)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 12:49 PM

22. I figured propaganda except for 2 little factoids...

1. He didn't bother to write a concession speech.

2. He did bother to spend $25K on his little self-congratulatory fireworks display, which was not cancelled until he lost.

And 2 personal opinions: in the concession pix, HRH Ice Queen Ann is stoically holding back tears, not her usual aggressive, snarly smile, and Ryan's wife looks really sad as well. The wives never saw it coming.

I do suspect Ryan saw through it. He alone looked happy on stage. He figured it out in time to save his old job. Piteh.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 01:50 AM

14. Great article, thanks for posting this.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 02:21 AM

15. It is a Good Article! just got finished reading it all.. love this excerpt!

Though Romney said he was “severely conservative,” it was the Obama team that played its hand conservatively. They, too, planned for fewer Democrats to show up at the polls, but in their case it was so that their campaign organization would work twice as hard. On election night in Ohio, when turnout exceeded their intentionally conservative estimates in some districts, they knew that they’d win the state 45 minutes before the networks called it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 02:34 AM

16. Or maybe they're just incredibly out of touch,

And with their heads up their asses didn't realize how much they pissed off the majority of the electorate.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JBoy (Reply #16)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 02:53 PM

32. That, and incredibly racist.

“We just didn’t expect the African-American vote to be so high.”

After 4 years of the most open racism I have seen since the early 1960's, including racial insults to the President, they really thought no one would vote against them?????
edited to add:
This line from the article:
"If you’re basing your entire campaign on white people, it leaves you little margin of error. That's where Romney’s troubles as a candidate hurt him."
which should have read: ""If you’re basing your entire campaign on white MEN...."

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 07:50 AM

18. More mittenfreude--I can't get enough. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 09:12 AM

19. This a Gawd Damn lie!

One Romney aide also included the much-debated changes to welfare requirements as a policy aimed to win over African-American voters.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 12:05 PM

21. With their heads buried in the sand

Let them continue to be anti-immigrant, anti-women and anti-gay and our country will continue to be anti-Repuke.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to OldHippieChick (Reply #21)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 01:03 PM

23. add in anti-youth...because as Obamacare goes into effect, they will greatly benefit.

They are awake and voting...Hallelujah!!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 01:26 PM

25. so Romney's team ordered a victory fireworks display!!!

I wonder who returned it to the store?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Rosa Luxemburg (Reply #25)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 01:37 PM

28. The pyro-techs they hired took the stuff back to the shop.

One doesn't simply go to a store and purchase class A fireworks shells and mortars.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 01:35 PM

27. Numbers guy?

 

> Mitt Romney says he is a numbers guy, but in the end he got the numbers wrong.

Flip-Flopper was never, is not, and will never be a "numbers guy". He is just a high-class grifter, thief, tax evader, draft dodger, coward, and white-collar super-criminal.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 01:43 PM

29. The trouble with spread sheets is that they are two dimensional.

Life is three dimensional and if you don't look at the flesh and blood buried in all those numbers you will miss a lot.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 03:10 PM

33. Never underestimate your opponent. We didn't. They did.

According to those involved, it was a mix of believing anecdotes about party enthusiasm and an underestimation of their opponents’ talents.
We worked the GOTV, while they wandered aimlessly through the same neighborhoods, relying almost exclusively on deceptive and negative advertising.



We did the hard work, planned and were guided by an effective strategy. Our leaders knew precisely where to put resources, their leaders were arrogant neocons and neocon wannabees who were more concerned with skimming money off the top than winning an election. We had passion for our candidate, they had money. Knowledge, strategy and passion wins.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 06:00 PM

34. They whole thing was a consultant scam to bleed money out of the campaign

The smaller factor is they they didn't realize the "independents" included TeaBaggers who no longer called themselves Republicans.

The larger factor is that WE (in the Va - the Kaine campaign I know of first hand) flat out OUT WORKED them. Their ORCA program was a disaster from the techonilogic side to the implementation side....and it was was a scam on their own campaign.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 08:02 PM

36. why was Ann crying in Colorado before the election? and a repub statisticisan also predicted Obama

would win....i think Romney knew he had little chance; and his internals suggested this also.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread