Saturday, November 10, 2012

Byron York: Key to Winning 2016--Candidate Who Can Inspire, Not Message Change

Byron York in the Washington Examiner puts together the pieces about Obama's win and Romney's loss.

First he notes the question about what the Obama campaign will do with the amazing infrastructure they have built. Pass it on to another candidate? No.
". . . [T]he three top officials in Obama's re-election effort -- David Axelrod, Jim Messina and David Plouffe -- were asked what will happen to the mighty Obama campaign now. What next for the enormous campaign infrastructure, with its massive databases and voter profiles? Will it go to a new candidate?

"You can't just transfer this," said senior adviser Plouffe. "People are not going to spend hours away from their families, and their jobs, contributing financially when it's hard for them to do it, unless they believe in the candidate."

"All of this, the door knocks ... the contributions made, the phone calls made, were because these people believed in Barack Obama," Plouffe continued. "And so for candidates who want to try and build a grassroots campaign, it's not going to happen because there's a list or because you have the best technology. That's not how this works. They have to build up that kind of emotional appeal so that people are willing to go out and spend the time and their resources and provide their talents because they believe in someone. ... The reason those people got involved was because they believed in Barack Obama. It was a relationship between them and our candidate."
[emphasis added]
Barack Obama won because he inspired people, especially the left wing of the Democratic Party.

Mitt Romney did not excite any group. Not even Mormons. In 2004 George W. Bush gained more Mormons (80%) than Mitt Romney (78%) in 2012.

York mentions the fact pointed out on this blog previously that McCain (actually McCain-Palin) running in the face of a massive financial meltdown in 2008, gained more votes than Romney against the same candidate who was much stronger then because not shackled with a poor economy and poor presidential record.
Mitt Romney, on the other hand, appears not to have excited any big group. Yes, he won the support of 59 percent of white voters, but there are indications that whites actually stayed away from the polls in large numbers. Overall, Romney won fewer votes than John McCain's doomed 2008 campaign.

"The 2012 elections actually weren't about a demographic explosion with nonwhite voters," writes analyst Sean Trende of RealClearPolitics. "Instead, they were about a large group of white voters not showing up. ... The reason this electorate looked so different from the 2008 electorate is almost entirely attributable to white voters staying home."
[emphasis added]
Romney's problem was clear in the primaries.
That's where finding a great candidate comes in. Romney is an able, accomplished, intelligent and hard-working man, but Republicans knew from the start he was an imperfect candidate. During the primaries, GOP voters tried every alternative possible before finally settling on Romney. He remained a flawed candidate in the general election.
[emphasis added]
In the primaries, Romney was sold not as having the best ideas, being the best campaigner or best anything. Like Democrats voting for John Kerry in 2004, 2012 Republican voters thought Romney had the best chance of beating the incumbent. Both Kerry's and Romney's role was to not stumble and win by attrition. It showed in the presidential vote even though both Kerry and Romney had massive get out the vote efforts.

York concludes that it wasn't Obama's positions that won the election, but the fact that more of his voters believed in Obama as a leader than Romney's voters believed in Romney as a leader.
Now, because of Romney's loss, some are urging that the Republican Party completely remake itself. Some argue that GOP lawmakers must support comprehensive immigration reform and change positions on other issues. The answer, they say, is broad, across-the-board change.

But listen to the Obama team. There is a less complicated lesson to this election. Voters want to believe in a candidate. If Republicans find that candidate, they will win.
[emphasis added]


MAX Redline said...

Now, because of Romney's loss, some are urging that the Republican Party completely remake itself. Some argue that GOP lawmakers must support comprehensive immigration reform and change positions on other issues. The answer, they say, is broad, across-the-board change.

They say that every time, then we get handed the same old. Sorry, that's a defeatist pile of crapola.

Reagan didn't win by changing positions, and no other Republican candidate will, either.

T. D. said...

So interesting that even the Democrats realize they won because they did not compromise. Obama doubled down on his commitment to his core positions.

The more I think of it, Romney was our John Kerry. Primary voters voted for him not because they liked him best but because they thought he had the best shot at beating the other candidate. Do you think the "experts" will ever get it that believing in your cause is more important than merely wanting to defeat the other guy?

MAX Redline said...

Like Dole and McCain, Romney was the guy that that the hotshots in the Republican Central Committee chose. It's similar to what happened here in Portland (though here it was even more blatant): despite the presence of newer and more capable contenders, Portlanders were given a choice among Hales, Brady, and Smith. Those three were the only ones the media paid any attention to - and then they systematically began tearing down Brady. Smith was his own worst enemy, but the media relished bringing all of that up.

They set up - and ensured - a Char-Lie win. Let's face it, the media could have dredged up Smith's stuff long before it got to debate time, but they didn't.

Different players in the national run, but the same effect: we were handed the guy they wanted to run.

And of course, given the "election integrity" permitted, Barky was sure to win (he got 108% of the vote in one precinct? Really?).

You can't defeat the other guy unless you define core values, stick by them, and recognize that the hotshots and the media aren't your friends. They were appalled by Reagan, and they've done what it takes to ensure that something like him doesn't happen again.

T. D. said...

The hope is the real upset the Tea Party gave them all last time.

That movement set the media and the establishment back for one election. Gov. Romney, however, was not a Tea Party guy, so he couldn't tap into that energy as Marco Rubio, Rand Paul did.

It even gave us a tied state house of representatives. No small accomplishment in this blue state.

There is energy out there for a change. If only it can be harnessed.