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Election 2012 – What Went Wrong for Republicans – Part 1

As the election moves further into the rear view mirror, a good deal of soul-searching has to be done by the Republican Party.  The inability of a qualified candidate to win against a president whose record belied any sense of accomplishment suggests a fundamental flaw within the party.  Many pundits have already reached conclusions about the outcome and have pinpointed it to one cause or another.  The truth, however, is that it was not any one thing.  It was a confluence of a number of factors .  Rushing to judgment is nothing more than confusing activity with results.  The Republican Party should guard against the quick fix and spend the necessary time to figure out what really went wrong.  If they don’t, the party could become irrelevant on a national level for many years.

What we know at this point is that approximately 3 million Republicans did not show up to vote on election day.  While it is unclear whether closing this gap would have changed the outcome in the Electoral College, doing so would have won Romney the popular vote.  The question then is why did these people not turn out.

Reason one for the Romney loss is machine politics.  Stated simply, President Obama and his campaign team did a better job getting their voters to the poll.  While non-logisitical reasons like “Romney was not conservative enough” could account for some if this, it cannot possibly explain all 3 million people failing to vote.  There is also some evidence that computers that were helping with the Romney campaign’s turnout on election day went down for some time.  While this is bad luck, better planning would have had another system in place that made sure this did not signficantly impact turnout.

The President has proven time and again that his organization gets people to show up on election day.  Remember, that is in part how he shocked people in Iowa in 2008 when he won the Iowa caucuses.  Credit must be given where it is due.  The President’s machine worked better than Romney’s on election day.  Republicans should study the Obama plan and begin duplicate the parts of it that will work for Republicans.

About Josh Quinter

I am a politcally active private practice attorney in Suburban Philadelphia.


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