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  Why did Romney underperform so much?
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Author Topic: Why did Romney underperform so much?  (Read 5794 times)
The Chad Ralph Northam
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« on: June 25, 2017, 11:24:12 pm »

I didn't really become a political junkie till late 2015, so maybe if I had followed the 2012 race the answer might be obvious, which is why I'm posting here. With the economy still not recovered from the crash, Obamacare being controversial if not just flat out unpopular and the massive wave in the 2010 midterms, the race seems (to me at least) like it should have been really tight, but in the end Obama took it handily, and Romney wasn't even really close. Why was this?
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dw93
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« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2017, 12:06:41 am »

While the recovery was weak, it was still a recovery and it was noticeable by 2012, not to mention unemployment also started to fall in late 2011 early 2012 as well, so Obama had that going for him as well. On top of that, Obama had the Bin Laden raid and the ending of the war in Iraq, and the flaws of his foreign policy wouldn't become obvious until his second term. Obama's response to Hurricane Sandy also gave him a boost.

Romney was also disturbingly prone to gaffes, such as "I like being able to fire people," "Corporations are people my friend," and let's not forget the infamous 47% remark. He had these gaffes and didn't have a strong base of support like Trump had in '16 to defend and support him no matter what.  Also, Romney's record at Bain was for him what Willie Horton was for Dukakis or what the Swift Boat Veterans Ads were for Kerry, and as was the case with Kerry and Dukakis, Romney didn't respond to the attacks at all. He also didn't effectively attack Obama either.

Romney could've won that election, but it would've been tough and it would've been close because even with Obama's vulnerabilities (and there were quite a bit and I say that as someone who voted for him), I don't think the Country was all too willing to elect a Republican President just four years after the Bush/Cheney debacle.

So in short, he underperformed because Obama had more going for him (even if it was slightly more) than against him in the last two years of his first term and Romney made a great deal of  mistakes

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The Chad Ralph Northam
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« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2017, 12:38:37 am »

Why didn't Obamacare drag him down more?
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« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2017, 12:52:45 am »

Why didn't Obamacare drag him down more?

Romneycare, LOL.
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« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2017, 07:22:58 am »

He was successfully painted (and for good reason) as a top 1%, out of touch tycoon who was clearly out of touch with average Americans and genuinely seemed to lack empathy.

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RINO Tom
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« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2017, 08:54:48 am »

I wouldn't say Romney seemed to lack empathy, but whatever.  I think the answer is, for however reckless he was with the overall state of the Democratic Party, Obama was a good Presidential candidate who resonated with a lot of people.  If he hadn't lost a lot of racist former Democrats in 2008 (aka had been a White male), he would have won in an absolute landslide.  NOTE: this is not even close to saying that people who didn't vote for him were racists, as I did not support the guy, but there were certainly a significant number of Democrats who voted for out-of-touch-Massachusetts-liberal John Kerry and refused to vote for Obama, likely because of his race.
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« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2017, 10:31:13 am »

Obama had more charisma and Romney's 47% gaffes and Obama's attack ads had an effect on WWC voters. A significant  amount of WWC that voted Obama but this time leaned GOP especially in the Midwest instead probably stayed home or voted for Obama because of the Obama campaign's effective strategy in painting him as out of touch.
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AP
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« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2017, 01:57:17 pm »

Mitt Romney was pretty dull and (like others said) had a lot of gaffes without a strong base to defend him.
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PoliticalShelter
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« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2017, 03:00:51 pm »

I wouldn't say Romney seemed to lack empathy, but whatever.  I think the answer is, for however reckless he was with the overall state of the Democratic Party, Obama was a good Presidential candidate who resonated with a lot of people.  If he hadn't lost a lot of racist former Democrats in 2008 (aka had been a White male), he would have won in an absolute landslide.  NOTE: this is not even close to saying that people who didn't vote for him were racists, as I did not support the guy, but there were certainly a significant number of Democrats who voted for out-of-touch-Massachusetts-liberal John Kerry and refused to vote for Obama, likely because of his race.
This would of easily been cancelled out by much lower black turnout (and possibly lower Latino and Asian turnout).
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RINO Tom
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« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2017, 03:15:22 pm »

I wouldn't say Romney seemed to lack empathy, but whatever.  I think the answer is, for however reckless he was with the overall state of the Democratic Party, Obama was a good Presidential candidate who resonated with a lot of people.  If he hadn't lost a lot of racist former Democrats in 2008 (aka had been a White male), he would have won in an absolute landslide.  NOTE: this is not even close to saying that people who didn't vote for him were racists, as I did not support the guy, but there were certainly a significant number of Democrats who voted for out-of-touch-Massachusetts-liberal John Kerry and refused to vote for Obama, likely because of his race.

What?

What is confusing or controversial about suggesting that there were Democratic voters who voted for John Kerry but not Barrack Obama in some areas of the country?  I then made the point that it's not like thinking Obama was "out of touch" or "elitist" would be a legitimate reason to not vote for him if you'd previously cast a vote for John Kerry.
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PoliticalShelter
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« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2017, 03:16:26 pm »
« Edited: July 03, 2017, 03:18:03 pm by PoliticalShelter »

I wouldn't say Romney seemed to lack empathy, but whatever.  I think the answer is, for however reckless he was with the overall state of the Democratic Party, Obama was a good Presidential candidate who resonated with a lot of people.  If he hadn't lost a lot of racist former Democrats in 2008 (aka had been a White male), he would have won in an absolute landslide.  NOTE: this is not even close to saying that people who didn't vote for him were racists, as I did not support the guy, but there were certainly a significant number of Democrats who voted for out-of-touch-Massachusetts-liberal John Kerry and refused to vote for Obama, likely because of his race.

What?
Yeah outside of Arkansa this was obviously not the case in most southern states which moved about couple percentage point away from Obama (and a chunk of that was probably generational replacement).
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RINO Tom
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« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2017, 03:29:04 pm »

I wouldn't say Romney seemed to lack empathy, but whatever.  I think the answer is, for however reckless he was with the overall state of the Democratic Party, Obama was a good Presidential candidate who resonated with a lot of people.  If he hadn't lost a lot of racist former Democrats in 2008 (aka had been a White male), he would have won in an absolute landslide.  NOTE: this is not even close to saying that people who didn't vote for him were racists, as I did not support the guy, but there were certainly a significant number of Democrats who voted for out-of-touch-Massachusetts-liberal John Kerry and refused to vote for Obama, likely because of his race.

What?
Yeah outside of Arkansa this was obviously not the case in most southern states which moved about couple percentage point away from Obama (and a chunk of that was probably generational replacement).

In an election where the country moved 8 points in the Democrats' direction, Oklahoma moved .15% to McCain, Louisiana moved 4.12% toward McCain, Tennessee moved .80% toward McCain, West Virginia moved 2.26% toward McCain and Arkansas moved an almost astounding 10.09% toward the Republican ticket.

Again, I'd like to hear another hypothesis why a very significant chunk of former Democratic voters would vote for John Kerry but not Barrack Obama.  Both are socially liberal, more "academic" types from highly populated areas who were accused by the Republicans of being out of touch with Middle America and elitist.
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PragmaticPopulist
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« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2017, 04:03:49 pm »

I wouldn't say Romney seemed to lack empathy, but whatever.  I think the answer is, for however reckless he was with the overall state of the Democratic Party, Obama was a good Presidential candidate who resonated with a lot of people.  If he hadn't lost a lot of racist former Democrats in 2008 (aka had been a White male), he would have won in an absolute landslide.  NOTE: this is not even close to saying that people who didn't vote for him were racists, as I did not support the guy, but there were certainly a significant number of Democrats who voted for out-of-touch-Massachusetts-liberal John Kerry and refused to vote for Obama, likely because of his race.

What?
Yeah outside of Arkansa this was obviously not the case in most southern states which moved about couple percentage point away from Obama (and a chunk of that was probably generational replacement).

In an election where the country moved 8 points in the Democrats' direction, Oklahoma moved .15% to McCain, Louisiana moved 4.12% toward McCain, Tennessee moved .80% toward McCain, West Virginia moved 2.26% toward McCain and Arkansas moved an almost astounding 10.09% toward the Republican ticket.

Again, I'd like to hear another hypothesis why a very significant chunk of former Democratic voters would vote for John Kerry but not Barrack Obama.  Both are socially liberal, more "academic" types from highly populated areas who were accused by the Republicans of being out of touch with Middle America and elitist.
Maybe there were still a few yellow-dog stragglers left when Kerry ran, and they died off and/or switched to voting Republican starting in 2008. The same thing happened in southwestern Virginia (or VA-09). Obama was the first Democrat since George McGovern to lose all SW VA counties aside from Montgomery County, home of Virginia Tech.
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RINO Tom
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« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2017, 04:19:09 pm »

I wouldn't say Romney seemed to lack empathy, but whatever.  I think the answer is, for however reckless he was with the overall state of the Democratic Party, Obama was a good Presidential candidate who resonated with a lot of people.  If he hadn't lost a lot of racist former Democrats in 2008 (aka had been a White male), he would have won in an absolute landslide.  NOTE: this is not even close to saying that people who didn't vote for him were racists, as I did not support the guy, but there were certainly a significant number of Democrats who voted for out-of-touch-Massachusetts-liberal John Kerry and refused to vote for Obama, likely because of his race.

What?
Yeah outside of Arkansa this was obviously not the case in most southern states which moved about couple percentage point away from Obama (and a chunk of that was probably generational replacement).

In an election where the country moved 8 points in the Democrats' direction, Oklahoma moved .15% to McCain, Louisiana moved 4.12% toward McCain, Tennessee moved .80% toward McCain, West Virginia moved 2.26% toward McCain and Arkansas moved an almost astounding 10.09% toward the Republican ticket.

Again, I'd like to hear another hypothesis why a very significant chunk of former Democratic voters would vote for John Kerry but not Barrack Obama.  Both are socially liberal, more "academic" types from highly populated areas who were accused by the Republicans of being out of touch with Middle America and elitist.
Maybe there were still a few yellow-dog stragglers left when Kerry ran, and they died off and/or switched to voting Republican starting in 2008. The same thing happened in southwestern Virginia (or VA-09). Obama was the first Democrat since George McGovern to lose all SW VA counties aside from Montgomery County, home of Virginia Tech.

And you don't think his race played any part in that?
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PragmaticPopulist
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« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2017, 04:31:17 pm »

I wouldn't say Romney seemed to lack empathy, but whatever.  I think the answer is, for however reckless he was with the overall state of the Democratic Party, Obama was a good Presidential candidate who resonated with a lot of people.  If he hadn't lost a lot of racist former Democrats in 2008 (aka had been a White male), he would have won in an absolute landslide.  NOTE: this is not even close to saying that people who didn't vote for him were racists, as I did not support the guy, but there were certainly a significant number of Democrats who voted for out-of-touch-Massachusetts-liberal John Kerry and refused to vote for Obama, likely because of his race.

What?
Yeah outside of Arkansa this was obviously not the case in most southern states which moved about couple percentage point away from Obama (and a chunk of that was probably generational replacement).

In an election where the country moved 8 points in the Democrats' direction, Oklahoma moved .15% to McCain, Louisiana moved 4.12% toward McCain, Tennessee moved .80% toward McCain, West Virginia moved 2.26% toward McCain and Arkansas moved an almost astounding 10.09% toward the Republican ticket.

Again, I'd like to hear another hypothesis why a very significant chunk of former Democratic voters would vote for John Kerry but not Barrack Obama.  Both are socially liberal, more "academic" types from highly populated areas who were accused by the Republicans of being out of touch with Middle America and elitist.
Maybe there were still a few yellow-dog stragglers left when Kerry ran, and they died off and/or switched to voting Republican starting in 2008. The same thing happened in southwestern Virginia (or VA-09). Obama was the first Democrat since George McGovern to lose all SW VA counties aside from Montgomery County, home of Virginia Tech.

And you don't think his race played any part in that?
Sure, there were probably voters at the margins motivated by racist sentiment, but 5 years later, that region voted overwhelmingly for a black pastor for lieutenant Governor.
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RINO Tom
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« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2017, 04:52:33 pm »

I wouldn't say Romney seemed to lack empathy, but whatever.  I think the answer is, for however reckless he was with the overall state of the Democratic Party, Obama was a good Presidential candidate who resonated with a lot of people.  If he hadn't lost a lot of racist former Democrats in 2008 (aka had been a White male), he would have won in an absolute landslide.  NOTE: this is not even close to saying that people who didn't vote for him were racists, as I did not support the guy, but there were certainly a significant number of Democrats who voted for out-of-touch-Massachusetts-liberal John Kerry and refused to vote for Obama, likely because of his race.

What?
Yeah outside of Arkansa this was obviously not the case in most southern states which moved about couple percentage point away from Obama (and a chunk of that was probably generational replacement).

In an election where the country moved 8 points in the Democrats' direction, Oklahoma moved .15% to McCain, Louisiana moved 4.12% toward McCain, Tennessee moved .80% toward McCain, West Virginia moved 2.26% toward McCain and Arkansas moved an almost astounding 10.09% toward the Republican ticket.

Again, I'd like to hear another hypothesis why a very significant chunk of former Democratic voters would vote for John Kerry but not Barrack Obama.  Both are socially liberal, more "academic" types from highly populated areas who were accused by the Republicans of being out of touch with Middle America and elitist.

Or... well.. it could be that those states have been trending heavily Republican since 2000. Clinton did significantly worse in the states you mentioned, and the last time I checked she isn't black. IIRC, you are also the one who insists that she would have won most of them in 2008, so this is quite inconsistent with your claim that Obama only did poorly there because of his race.

Basically what PragmaticPopulist said. Also, even if what you said was true, there aren't nearly enough of these racist "Dixiecrats" to make a significant difference in the PV.

I believe some of the early polls that suggest Clinton would have carried AR and WV if she had been the nominee in 2008, and how is that inconsistent with the belief that these states had significant "racist Dixiecrat" populations?
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« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2017, 05:03:23 pm »

These early polls are often meaningless. Remember when McCain was supposed to be competitive in MI, OR and WA? I believe the partisan lean of these states would have been too much for Clinton to overcome in the end, and her popularity in places like WV would have tanked during the general election campaign as well.

And again, that doesn't explain why Clinton lost these states by a much wider margin than Obama. Wouldn't these racist Democrats who abandonded Obama happily vote for someone who is White? You were one of the very few people who suggested that she would win places like Elliott County, KY.
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This is Eharding, guys
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« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2017, 05:08:07 pm »
« Edited: July 03, 2017, 08:22:25 pm by ossoff2028 »

When a Black woman and a Jewish man ran in Oklahoma against equally vile GOP candidates in 2014, the Black woman did happen to outperform the Jewish man, contrary to the predictions of the forum. She actually overperformed both Obama and the Jewish man quite a bit in some rural counties filled with Democrats in Name Only, even though 2014 was much more favorable to the GOP than 2008 nationwide.
https://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/state.php?fips=40&year=2008&f=0&off=0&elect=0
https://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/state.php?fips=40&year=2014&f=0&off=3&elect=0&class=3
https://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/state.php?fips=40&year=2014&f=0&off=3&elect=0&class=2
Oklahoma's Democrats In Name Only voted overwhelmingly for Bernie in its 2016 presidential primary, even though they voted for Hillary overwhelmingly in 2008, and none of them voted for Hillary in the general election (nor would they have voted for Bernie; he would have alienated them on social issues). What the candidates stand for appear to matter a lot more in Greater Appalachia than who they are. I guess that's why some places converted to voting for McGovern by the legacy of Lyndon Johnson's Great Society campaign in 1964 (even though that campaign was all about race; it's why Deep South Whites never voted majority Democrat for President again) trended so hard against Barack Obama both times. If the Democratic Party really wants to win these places with lots of Kerry-McCain voters, it can do so with candidates of any color (does anyone think Ben Carson would have lost Louisiana?), but it must move right. Lyndon Johnson famously had a substantially more conservative voting record than JFK and was praised as a centrist in the Senate. Joe Manchin and Heidi Heitkamp, which remain so valuable to the Senate Democratic caucus even unto this day, didn't win their states by being left-wing extremists. The Democratic Party must embrace a message of compromise and moderation, even if it means working with people who voted for Trump. It's not going to lose many more unrealistic Dems if the Dems do that, and there's absolutely no good reason why they shouldn't.

Also, Harold Ford, Jr. How could I forget Harold Ford, Jr.?
https://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/state.php?fips=47&year=2006&f=0&off=3&elect=0&class=1
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« Reply #18 on: July 03, 2017, 05:44:08 pm »

I wouldn't say Romney seemed to lack empathy, but whatever.  I think the answer is, for however reckless he was with the overall state of the Democratic Party, Obama was a good Presidential candidate who resonated with a lot of people.  If he hadn't lost a lot of racist former Democrats in 2008 (aka had been a White male), he would have won in an absolute landslide.  NOTE: this is not even close to saying that people who didn't vote for him were racists, as I did not support the guy, but there were certainly a significant number of Democrats who voted for out-of-touch-Massachusetts-liberal John Kerry and refused to vote for Obama, likely because of his race.

What?
Yeah outside of Arkansa this was obviously not the case in most southern states which moved about couple percentage point away from Obama (and a chunk of that was probably generational replacement).

In an election where the country moved 8 points in the Democrats' direction, Oklahoma moved .15% to McCain, Louisiana moved 4.12% toward McCain, Tennessee moved .80% toward McCain, West Virginia moved 2.26% toward McCain and Arkansas moved an almost astounding 10.09% toward the Republican ticket.

Again, I'd like to hear another hypothesis why a very significant chunk of former Democratic voters would vote for John Kerry but not Barrack Obama.  Both are socially liberal, more "academic" types from highly populated areas who were accused by the Republicans of being out of touch with Middle America and elitist.
Yes and most of these states only moved away from the democrats by a couple of points, which is what I said if you bothered to read what I said. As for the national swing, you only stated people who had voted for John Kerry, so.
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Nat. Sec. Council Member Dwarven Dragon
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« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2017, 10:46:28 am »

A few reasons:

1. Romney, like Hillary, infuriated his opponent's base through essentially calling them Un-American.

2. Obama wasn't as much of an abortion crusader as Hillary. Yes, both are strongly pro-choice, but they finessed the issue very differently. Obama, unlike Hillary, clearly supported the (popular) Hyde Amendment - he made no attempt to repeal it when he had control of the house and senate, he wrote it into ObamaCare via executive order, and he kept the democratic platform silent on the amendment. Also, rather than going around celebrating late-term abortion like Hillary did, he instead effectively dodged the whole late-term issue and instead focused on Romney's extremism on abortion - pointing out repeatedly that in a 2008 debate, Romney said that he would be "delighted" to sign a bill that banned abortion even in a case where it was needed to save the life of the mother. It was an effective approach - Romney spent the campaign trying to convince the electorate he supported the usual 3 exceptions (rape, incest, life of the mother), while Obama got to talk about the issues where he could sway swing voters the best, such as the improving economy.

3. Romney couldn't keep his message straight - As much as the Trump campaign had no clear policy ideas, they at least had a consistent message - "America First", "Make America Great Again", "Build the Wall", etc. Romney, meanwhile, said different things to different people all the time, which just made him look insincere when put next to the relatively consistent Obama. For instance, Romney said at one point that Obama made the economy worse, only to say days later that the economy hadn't gotten worse, but hadn't gotten better either. At one point, Romney said that if he paid more taxes than were legally due, he wouldn't be qualified to be president. But later on, he deliberately undercounted his 2011 charitable contributions to give himself a tax rate that looked more "normal" but was more than he actually owed, essentially calling himself unqualified. At another time, he said he supported an exception to abortion to protect the health of the woman, only to withdraw his support for that a few days later. I'll also point out that Romney ran a far more conservative campaign in the primary then he did in the GE, even saying at one point that he essentially didn't mean anything he said during the primary campaign. The difference between Romney and Trump here is clear - Trump got through his gaffes because he embraced them and stuck by what he said. Romney reversed himself frequently, which just hurt him more than the gaffes themselves.

4. Obama defined Romney early as an out of touch businessman - unlike Hillary, who until March or April was content to pretend Trump was certain to lose the nomination, Obama defined Romney beginning in late 2011, before the first primary delegate was even awarded. Therefore, when Romney put away Santorum in April, he entered the GE campaign with a negative image already on him, which he never shook off. Trump had a negative image too, but was also less clearly defined than Romney, a fact that he was able to use to his advantage.
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« Reply #20 on: August 24, 2017, 01:15:04 pm »

Obama had a much better GOTV/ground game in the closing weeks, which made the difference in the swing states.  Team Romney's election day platform, Orca, crashed on polling day and probably cost him at least FL.

Additionally, it's simply very difficult to knock-off incumbent presidents barring some sort of recession or international disaster.  2012 took place during a recovering economy in the wake of a major foreign policy success for the President (Bin Laden raid) and Obama was very personable and good on the stump. 
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« Reply #21 on: August 24, 2017, 03:29:09 pm »

Obama had more charisma and Romney's 47% gaffes and Obama's attack ads had an effect on WWC voters. A significant  amount of WWC that voted Obama but this time leaned GOP especially in the Midwest instead probably stayed home or voted for Obama because of the Obama campaign's effective strategy in painting him as out of touch.

Romney won non college-educated whites 61-36. Wasn't that the biggest margin by which the GOP won them since Reagan atleast? Romney won them by a bigger margin than Bush and McCain for sure.

Anyway, the race was winnable (but very tough) but Romney just ruined it. All the gaffes, the unnecessary hard-right turn on immigration, his botched up tax plan, letting Obama define him early (in hindsight he shouldn't have waited until the very last moment with his ad blitzkrieg, but that's easy to say in hindsight) and setting the wrong targets. Romney did win the groups he targeted, the problem was that these groups weren't enough to win the election. He severely underestimated minority turnout.
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« Reply #22 on: June 13, 2018, 09:26:17 pm »

The Obama campaign was as efficient of a machine as we've ever seen in American presidential politics. That alone is really all one needs to know - and it applied to just about every facet of the election.

Another factor was that the GOP had a contested primary and the Obama campaign (unlike the Clinton campaign, which was in my opinion their biggest mistake) rolled the dice, believing that despite the same rumbles as we saw in 2016, that Romney would ultimately win the nomination. They spent months and god knows how much money attacking Romney as an out-of-touch millionaire before he was even the presumptive nominee, making him damaged goods from Day 1 of the general election.

Romney certainly didn't do himself any favors - and he very well may have been able to make it incredibly close without his self-inflicted wounds - but his fate was sealed not by his gaffes and missteps, but by the efficiency of the Obama campaign and the extra time it had to destroy him. Obama ultimately won the voters he needed to win, in the areas he needed to win and by the margins he needed to win, and in the process, shut out Romney in almost every part of the country that was competitive. Even with more money, the Romney campaign and allied forces were not able to spend enough across all these battlefronts to offset the Obama campaign's efficiency.



And as far as the "would Clinton have done better by trading increased minority turnout for disgruntled white Democrats in 2008?" argument...I used to think the answer was yes. That very well may still be true in terms of PV, but a Clinton 2008 bid at best would've simply minimized the margins of loss in the Upper South and Appalachia (along with other scattered rural areas nationally) without flipping any states Obama lost. Additionally, a variety of Obama 08 states might have been far more competitive or even lean GOP without that increased minority turnout. Again, campaign efficiency is the theme here.

However, a Clinton 08 campaign would have still resulted in a win and it would have been better for the Democratic Party as a whole in my view, with less hemorrhaging in rural and ancestrally Democratic areas that would have minimized the damage in 2010, reduced any negative impacts of redistricting and resulted in a more stable party electorate as a whole (i.e. less volatility in turnout between presidential and midterm elections due to increased reliance on white voters and reduced reliance on non-white voters).
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HagridOfTheDeep
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« Reply #23 on: June 14, 2018, 12:03:39 am »

The Obama campaign was as efficient of a machine as we've ever seen in American presidential politics. That alone is really all one needs to know - and it applied to just about every facet of the election.

Another factor was that the GOP had a contested primary and the Obama campaign (unlike the Clinton campaign, which was in my opinion their biggest mistake) rolled the dice, believing that despite the same rumbles as we saw in 2016, that Romney would ultimately win the nomination. They spent months and god knows how much money attacking Romney as an out-of-touch millionaire before he was even the presumptive nominee, making him damaged goods from Day 1 of the general election.

Romney certainly didn't do himself any favors - and he very well may have been able to make it incredibly close without his self-inflicted wounds - but his fate was sealed not by his gaffes and missteps, but by the efficiency of the Obama campaign and the extra time it had to destroy him. Obama ultimately won the voters he needed to win, in the areas he needed to win and by the margins he needed to win, and in the process, shut out Romney in almost every part of the country that was competitive. Even with more money, the Romney campaign and allied forces were not able to spend enough across all these battlefronts to offset the Obama campaign's efficiency.



And as far as the "would Clinton have done better by trading increased minority turnout for disgruntled white Democrats in 2008?" argument...I used to think the answer was yes. That very well may still be true in terms of PV, but a Clinton 2008 bid at best would've simply minimized the margins of loss in the Upper South and Appalachia (along with other scattered rural areas nationally) without flipping any states Obama lost. Additionally, a variety of Obama 08 states might have been far more competitive or even lean GOP without that increased minority turnout. Again, campaign efficiency is the theme here.

However, a Clinton 08 campaign would have still resulted in a win and it would have been better for the Democratic Party as a whole in my view, with less hemorrhaging in rural and ancestrally Democratic areas that would have minimized the damage in 2010, reduced any negative impacts of redistricting and resulted in a more stable party electorate as a whole (i.e. less volatility in turnout between presidential and midterm elections due to increased reliance on white voters and reduced reliance on non-white voters).

I always figured she'd have lost Indiana and North Carolina but picked up Missouri.
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SN2903
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« Reply #24 on: August 03, 2018, 09:53:13 pm »

Lack of enthusiasm, elitism perception, awkward debater at times, seemed too fake. So many reasons. Obama won by default. He didn't run a great campaign in '12.
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