Sunday, November 11, 2012
An Outstanding Conservative's Technical Analysis Of The Lost "Hubris" Election
Cross posted from Palin4President 2016
The conservative equivalent of the left's Nate Silver (FiveThirtyEightBlog at the N.Y. Times) whom I predict will follow the same trajectory as Silver did i.e. commenting on a major political site, and then onwards to media fame. Silver began his trajectory at Daily Kos posting technical analysis of polls under the pseudonym of "Poblano", here is the equally, for the moment anonymous "technopeasant" who posts at Conservatives4Palin.
This example of his analysis if the 2012 presidential election result is typical of his insight and is, in my opinion, the best analysis presented anywhere so far. It is good to see that the right has this depth of constructive criticism, as the pundit market is , as is usual with the media, up to its neck in leftist opinion.
A summary of my thoughts on the results of the election:
1) On one hand I feel like patting myself on the back for my prediction of a narrow Obama victory and a repeat of 2004 where the incumbent narrowly won the popular vote (under 3%) but again I have to admit Obama's 332 EV-206 EV margin was much wider than I expected. I had always presumed Romney would win Florida and either Virginia or Ohio which would have taken him to roughly 250 EV. (I predicted 259 EV). And the shock only got worse in the wake of so many right-wing pundits and political analysts predicting a runaway Romney win of over 300 EV.
2) So at least I got 1/2 of the equation right, Since Romney clinched the nomination in summer 2012, I have always been concerned that he never exceeded 50% in head to head polls against Obama. And in the general election, I noticed as the election unfolded that Obama's overall approval average at RCP started to move up to the high 40's from the mid 40's and that with Rasmussen Obama was been consistently won the approval of 49%-50% of likely voters. Yes, the thought did go through my mind that the polls were rigged but I also know pollsters towards the end of the election cycle have their own "come to Jesus moment" where their reputations are on the line and know they must really try to get it right. And as it turns out the greater majority did. For example on election day Rasmussen had Obama's overall approval at 50%. His percentage of the vote currently sits at 50.5%.
3) Can we finally bury the notion once and for all that 80% of the undecided within 72 hours of the election move to the challenger? I have not seen any evidence of that in 2008 or 2012.
4) As many of you know before the general election (a period I suspended my criticism of Romney) I conjectured the possibility of Mitt Romney's candidacy could produce a repeat of the low turnout of 2008 where millions of white conservatives simply vanished. That the topic never or seldom arose for discussion in the MSM, Fox News, right-wing blogosphere in the 60 day window led me to believe two things and to confirm my worst fears: The Left was engaging in subterfuge to hide the truth of what they believed our turnout would be and the Right, namely Romney, his team and the GOP establishment were engaged in hubris in being in complete denial of the possibility. Bunker mentality.
5) But I never figured on the double-whammy where Obama would also lose 9 million votes (currently 7.5m) as well as Romney receiving fewer votes than McCain (currently 1.3m). As I have always stated, polls reveal a lot but they CANNOT with any degree of accuracy tell you who is going to show up and vote. And we are now told Romney was shocked by the results. From that news, I can surmise even the candidates themselves haven't got a good handle on turnout whatever political or turnout models they choose to employ. Did anyone except the most ardent Leftist predict a D +6 election, given 2010 was even-Steven: D 36 R 36 I 28? And folks Rasmussen and Gallup polls in between 2010 and 2012 clearly indicated this same dynamic in the partisan divide.
Bottom line: if the 2012 electorate had been even-Steven in the 35, 35, 29 range Obama's popular vote of 50.5% would have been reduced by about 2.8% to 47.7% while Romney's popular vote of 47.9% would have moved up 2.8% to 50.7%, a complete reversal of fortune.
Never in my wildest imagination did I predict D +6 and that the Republicans in 2012 would not do better than 32%, matching the result in 2008.
6) And in the wake of Obama losing 7.5m voters from his haul in 2008 the question must be asked: How the hell did Obama manage to still generate enough turnout of his base to generate D +6? And the answer my friends imho lie with 2 key groups: Former Obama voters and white conservatives. I know we haven't got all the demographic data yet but I suspect a majority of former Obama voters, now disenchanted with the Messiah, sat out the election because Romney was not able to attract them to his tent because of his lack of political and personal appeal and we already know from Rush Limbaugh and others about the millions of white conservatives/Republicans who did not show up either to vote, which in the political vernacular means Romney failed to turn out his base.
But the key to understanding the above phenomenon is Obama did defeat McCain by approximately 9.5m votes in 2008 so he had many votes to play with. Losing 7.5m votes still would have put Obama ahead of Romney assuming the latter just held serve and matched McCain's numbers from 2008. But then you factor in Romney winning 1.35m votes less than McCain (currently) the net loss in votes for Obama becomes only 6.15m.
To say that I am stunned that Romney (even though I have always considered him a mediocre candidate) has apparently gotten fewer votes than McCain in this political climate against a president presiding over such a poor economy, who invoked such outrage from so many Americans on Benghazi and was apparently hated by so many people is not an exaggeration.
7) In the last 24-48 hours, much has been made of the deficiencies in Romney's organization or his ORCA turnout model and plan to maximize the GOP presidential vote with the goal I believe to shift the blame for the defeat to the flaws of modern technology or corrupt staffers than ascribing the blame to Romney and his team for not saying the right things or doing the right thing during the election, in terms of hardcore political philosophy/ideology and political strategy.
I will not do that. Yes, politics has tended to become more dehumanized and impersonal due to advances in modern techniques and technology, but I believe there is no substitute for cogent political speeches, superior performance in debates, one on one contact with voters (the personal touch) and the communication of distinct vision tied at the hip with political principle and conviction.
Imho, Romney was deficient in 3 of the 4 areas and better than advertised in the debates. All along I thought of Mitt Romney as a victim of The Peter Principle. I think I have been proven right. Even so, The Peter Principle only provides an explanation for Romney's incompetence or inadequacy to run a successful presidential campaign, but it does NOT excuse or mitigate the results of that incompetence or inadequacy. Mitt Romney and his team deserve the full blame for this result. A football team does NOT blame the fans when they fail to perform on the field.
8) So what does this tell us about the selection process of bringing about the GOP standard bearer every four years?
First that it is severely flawed in the sense that in 1996, 2008 and 2012 it brought to the forefront candidates who simply did not pass muster but even more importantly conservatives on a regular basis have voted for flawed moderate candidates to represent our side who were clearly over-matched against more qualified, charismatic Democratic presidential candidates (Clinton, Obama).
So I am NOT absolving conservatives for allowing 1996, 2008 and 2012 to be losing political seasons. Again conservatives in the Republican Party represent at a minimum 2/3 of the party and liberals/moderates at most only 1/3 of it (Gallup consistently shows the breakdown at 72% conservative and 27% liberal/moderate). The fact is no moderate candidate could ever have won the GOP nomination in these three cycles without enough conservatives sacrificing their conservative principles and values or even more worrisome is the fact that many of these conservatives unwittingly did so due to being manipulated by the GOP establishment, right-wing media/pundits and the MSM and behaved like sheep being led to the slaughter as they voted for wolves in sheep's clothing, faux conservatives.
In other words it would be easy for me to lash out at our enemies and blame them for all our political misfortune and misery but as an iconoclast I believe in intellectual honesty so i refuse to do so. Enough conservatives voted for Dole, McCain and Romney to make them viable candidates.
Don't you think it's about time we turned off the water and money tap and tell these candidates "to go to hell?"
And be like Ken a recent caller to Rush Limbaugh's program and vow, "I'm never going to vote for a moderate again."
9) But how do we collectively bring this about? By conservatives looking at themselves in the mirror and realize they are the problem but also the solution. And then by vowing to reject COLONIAL MENTALITY and by deciding to throw off the political chains of political inferiority that our masters have imprisoned us for lo these many years we will be off to a good start. Simply we need to tell our masters, "We are no longer children that need your supervision; we are now adults; we don't need you any longer to make our decisions for us. And we will no longer obey you when you tell us to vote for "the chosen candidate" in the primaries. Instead we conservatives vow to only vote for conservative candidates in the future. Period."
10) But ultimately nothing will change for conservatives unless in addition to throwing off the shackles of COLONIAL MENTALITY they decide to unite in esprit de corps fashion, which includes bring together libertarians and evangelicals to forge a political unity or accommodation on social issues and then deciding to get behind the best conservative candidate in the primaries who best advances the notion of the three-legged stool. I have already recommended a conservative convention separate from the GOP convention to bring the latter about.
No longer can conservatives permit our votes to be frittered away or divvied up among two or three "conservative" candidates (stalking-horses if you will) so that a moderate can come up the middle like Romney did in 2012.
But in closing I am fully aware of the hold, authority and power our masters have over us and their ability to keep COLONIAL MENTALITY firmly in place so they can continue to shape and manipulate our political thoughts and decisions through right-wing propaganda, the big lie and fear and smear tactics to convince conservatives they must vote for the establishment choice. 2008 and 2012 clearly demonstrate the immense power of the establishment play book to do so once it is dusted off every four years.
The question we must all as conservatives ask ourselves, "Are we going to remain suckers thinking the "house" doesn't have all the odds in its favor (gambling parlance) or are we going to admit the house has all the power under how the game is now being played and that for conservatives to break away from their chains and become free men and women they must throw off political inferiority once and for all and change the rules of the game permanently so the "house" does not constantly win?"
And the fear the "house" has is that Sarah Palin will lead this revolt and that it would not be able to prevent her from changing the lay of the land, with the "house" gradually and consistently losing more and more power to effect political outcomes.