Is Voter Turnout the GOP’s Main Problem?

Discussion of the Week
The political chattering class has been dissecting Mitt Romney’s defeat.

Democrats and their supporters say the Republican party is full of stale ideas and frustrated white men, unsuitable for the new American demographic, on its way out. Its views on social issues such as abortion and gay rights are out of step, its views on immigration become a headwind against a rising contingent of hispanic voters, and its economic viewpoint is ruined for a long time because most of the population believes it was George W. Bush who killed the economy.

Republicans say their core ideals are intact and fine, but they ran a flawed candidate in Mitt Romney. It was the messenger, not the message, that lost to an eminently beatable incumbent with approval ratings below 50 pct and an unemployment rate near 8 pct. Despite running for president since 2006, Romney never created an attractive profile of himself. This enabled the Obama team to play off the caricature of Romney provided by Gingrich in the primary season to define Romney as a rapacious capitalist. This neutralized Romney’s main strength, which was that he’s an effective businessman who could improve the economy and provide more jobs. Romney’s flip-flopping, unwillingness to reveal tax records, and the 47 pct video sealed his profile. Voters on the fence never bought Moderate Mitt, and fence-sitters determined the outcome of the election.

All of this may be missing the simpler story, however. What if, instead of the outcome having had anything to do with core party messaging or the messengers, the slim majority of the popular vote went to Obama only because his campaign was better at getting supporters to the polls?

A new infographic by Chloe Carter suggests precisely this. Here it is in its entirety, with more written below:

Did You Vote?

Maybe the GOP’s just not good enough on Facebook and Twitter.

Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman told the Wall Street Journal CEO Council that turnout from the Democratic base was much better than it was for the Republican base, better than Republicans expected, and probably better than Democrats expected. Democrats did a better job getting their voters to the polls. Mitt Romney received fewer votes in Ohio than John McCain received in 2008, yet came within 2 points of Obama’s tally.

The level of micro-targeting employed by the Democratic party was impressive. For example, it knew through its database of social connections which relatives of people who’d already voted had not voted. It could then automatically call up the one who voted, thank them for the vote, and ask them to call their sister who had not yet voted. Against such technology and coordination, the GOP fell flat.

These data suggest the GOP would be wise during a period of introspection to consider not just its core ideals, but the tactical side of winning elections: motivating the base, getting out the vote, running a ground operation of knocking on doors and maintaining field offices where people can meet local GOP supporters who can explain the benefits of conservatism. If not for Obama being such a weak candidate, Romney would have fared much worse than a 2 pct loss because of his inept get-out-the-vote operation.

This is not an argument for or against either party. It’s a look, rather, at how the election may say nothing about the superiority of the Democratic message and/or candidate, or the inferiority of the Republican message and/or candidate. With the margin of victory small enough to be explained by poor Republican turnout alone, the only message of the election may be that Democrats are better at exciting supporters, and that Republicans had better step it up in this area.

Sound off, citizen! Join the discussion in the comment area below.

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  1. Posted November 28, 2012 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    Obama’s tally would have been much greater were it not for Republican suppression of the vote. That’s the only way Republicans win elections: cheating, destroying democracy. Republicans and their 1% masters are traitors and have done more damage to the United States than al Qaeda ever could.

  2. matt
    Posted November 22, 2012 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    The problem is that the republican party leaders (not all republicans, but the leaders of the party and their followers) stand for the cultist mindset known as free market capitalism. They do not believe in the nation as a whole but rather profit and personal wealth as the driving force of their ideology. At it’s core the idea of free market capitalism works fine. The problem is human greed creates an imperfection in that concept of capitalism, it corrupts it. Instead of a rational market place we get a market driven by lobbyists urging policy makers to limit potential competition. That is not a free market, it’s a biased market. Almost every action the party leaders take, every stance they take serves to further the goal of greater wealth concentration at the expense of who ever is in the way at the time. They do this and try to champion it as ‘small government being good for the economy’ when it is only good for the few that profit and no one else.

    A large portion of the active republicans have been rolled into this mindset, fooled into believing that the goals of the few are good for the whole of America. The republican party changed hands in the 50s and 60s, and it’s then that they stopped promoting the welfare of the nation and instead promoted the notion of free market capitalism. It was a small wealthy group mostly based in Texas that lead the coup, with Eisenhower believing that the group were ‘ stupid’ and that Americans were too smart to fall for their game. Fast forward 70 years and the whole party is now on board with the small government mindset, championing the idea of a free market but not realizing the votes they pass are stifling the freedom they supposedly seek.

    JP Morgan would be proud while Teddy would be rolling in his grave. The country needs to be a center focused country because if we are weighted too far left or too far right, having lost we would topple over ourselves as Lincoln warned us we would.

  3. Posted November 22, 2012 at 2:34 am | Permalink

    I think it is true that the Democrats are just better at getting the vote rather than having a better actual platform. For instance, women and latinos favor the democratic party because they think Democrats are somehow pro woman/latino and Republicans are anti-latino and anti-women. Latinos and women should relate more to the Republican party(if they sent the right message) because women and latinos are some of the fastest growing demographic in terms of small business ownership and they are driving our economy forward. Also people somehow think if Mitt Romney won the election women would be forced to cook at home and not go to work. Obviously this couldn’t be further from the truth and Mitt couldn’t keep women from working if he wanted to. It just frustrates me that the Republicans somehow can twist good political ideas to sound so overbearing and backward in the spotlight.

    The Republican party doesn’t need to change it’s core ideals, it just needs to re-package them so that the “new” generation can understand them better.

  4. Kent
    Posted November 21, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    Health care.

    Some have mentioned the universal health care as a good deed by our President. I cannot argue against health care for all US residents, although the country has prospered for over 200 years without it, it just sounds so damn good. Just like no one can argue against more money for education without sounding pretty bad.
    But if everyone has healthcare, that means everyone has to pay for the healthcare. There is no source of revenue in our country except the working man and woman. We can say we are taxing employers or corporations or the drug companies, but they just pass taxes on in the cost of the product. So at the end of the day, all health care costs will be paid for by the taxpayers.. You and me. Of course we have the govt running the program, so figure an extra 20% overhead and waste. And of course most voters will think the healthcare is free, and they will overload the system and drive costs sky high. The govt will step in and borrow money from China to pay for the extra costs, and the US will be further in debt. If you doubt this,prediction, just look at how the govt pays for the other entitlements, and you will know what is coming. It will not be pretty, but it sounds so good. God, are we stupid!

    • Tom
      Posted November 22, 2012 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

      “so figure an extra 20% overhead and waste”. Possibly, but as I understand it, administrative costs are lower for Medicare than for private insurance. I understand that is up for debate but I believe that debate should happen.

      True, universal health care costs will be paid for the tax payers. Taxes are what we pay so we can live in a civilized society that has things like running water, sewer services, good roads, healthy infrastructure. I personally, would rather pay taxes for a universal health care plan than for military things the military does not want.

    • Tom
      Posted November 23, 2012 at 12:32 am | Permalink

      Sorry, I just have one more comment, then I’ll put my soap box back under the desk.

      ” And of course most voters will think the healthcare is free, and they will overload the system and drive costs sky high. ”

      From a personal perspective…..

      I am a type 2 diabetic. I exercise everyday, eat a low carb diet, and do the things that a type 2 diabetic is supposed to do to keep healthy. Latent diabetes is in the DNA of our family, so my kids are also destined to become latent diabetics. Family members before me have all been latent diabetics. I don’t run to the Dr. all the time, even though my health care is “free” since I am on Medicare and Medicare Advantage (which I pay for).

      Here’s my point . It has been infinitely less expensive for Medicare (and previously my company sponsored health care) for me to be diagnosed as a diabetic and treat it as a chronic disease than not “run to the Dr.” and wait until I eventually had renal failure which would then have required vastly more expensive kidney dialysis. Practicing medicine, in my opinion, means we should be treating medical situations before they become acute and require much more expensive interventions. My belief is that Universal Health Care could do that. To me, stupid is not taking care of a health care situation while it requires minimal intervention than waiting until it becomes a crisis intervention and much more expensive to treat. Those without health care tend to do that.

      I would be curious however, where you have come up with the extra 20% because the government is running the program.

  5. Kent
    Posted November 21, 2012 at 2:13 am | Permalink

    Chris in Denver,

    Dear Chris, of all the respondents so far, you have been able to put foolish political jargon aside, you dont get caught up cheering for one team or the other, rah rah.. Hooray for the home team, etc. You cut right to it. The man we elected doesn’t have an ounce of fiscal common sense. I know he has no military background and he is a child in international politics. In fact, other than sex appeal, I am not sure what he has any talent for? But in money matters he should be tarred, feathered, and run out of town on a rail. Bankrupting the greatest country in the world, and reducing the U.S AAA rating should have eliminated him from any voters choice. But the voters listen to his wonderful sounding voice, and disregard his economic record. You know, Hitler was elected by popular vote, the people loved him. Go figure.

  6. Chuck
    Posted November 21, 2012 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    Bravo Tom, well put, and thank you for your service.
    I am also a middle aged (53) white guy. I voted straight republican or conservative for decades. But that party has been pandering too much to the lunatic fringe. It has become the party of “No”, as in saying no to science (global warming, evolution), and no to expanding health care. It has also come under the influence of a bunch of nannies who want to tell other people how to live their lives (abortion, gay marriage).
    When you combine these far right stances with a candidate who’s proposed budget had no numbers(!), you have a losing party. The president was able to state over and over how he plans to reduce the deficit with one dollar or new taxes for every two dollars cut from spending. It is a plan endorsed by many, many economists. Every bipartisan think tank that looked at Romney’s proposed budget (the one with no numbers), said there were not enough loopholes in the world to make up for his proposed 20% tax cut. And BTW-that was the same 20% tax cut he ran on for 18 months, until he disavowed it during the second debate (SMH now).
    Mitt Romney was a pig in a poke. I had no idea what I would be getting, or even what the man believes in.

  7. Tom
    Posted November 20, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    Ok, I might as well put my two cents in. First, I’m one of those “crusty old white guys” as one commenter posted. I’m 66 years old and semi-retired. I’m on SS and Medicare (thank goodness), and I used the GI bill to get through college after the Viet Nam era. So, I guess I’m one of the 47% who Mitt thinks are freeloaders. By the way, I’ve been working since I’m 14 and hope to continue until I’m physically, or mentally, unable to do so. I still consider myself a contributing member of society as I work to expand STEM education in our public schools. Why am I telling you all this? Because, there seems to be a big focus on voter demographics in these comments and the analysis.

    Next, what political party am I? For many, many years, I was a Republican. Finally, during the George W. Bush years, I became fed up with the Republican party. It was no longer the party I agreed with. It was now the party of Faux News (MSNBC is just as absurd!), Grover Norquist (still not sure who he is), Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity. Nor, did I agree with the Democratic party. Since I am an endangered species, a moderate, I became an Independent voter. I believe they are many of us but we may be a “silent majority”.

    Now, how did I vote, and more importantly, why? I did not vote for Mitt. Right up until the time I went into the voting booth, I continued to wait for details on the Republican Party platform. “Just trust me on the details”. Last time I heard that from a CEO, it cost me my job. Still, I was willing to give Mitt the benefit of the doubt if only I heard some details so I could make an intelligent choice. But the Republican party message from Romney was so garbled, to this day, I still have no idea what the party stands for. Am I thrilled by Obama? No way! But, there a is track record there even if I don’t agree with some it. I do agree somewhat with Obamacare but feel it didn’t go far enough. I believe this country should have some form of Universal Health Care. It is absurd in a country with the wealth of ours, that there are people who do not have health care or are one serious illness away from bankruptcy. I know some of them!

    Why did Obama win? Simply because the Dems did a much better job of determining where the votes were to get the electoral votes needed and getting them. If was a good strategy and they executed well. If only we could apply some of those same strategies to the issues facing our nation. Good luck on that.

    More important however, is to take a close look at today’s Republican party. In my opinion, it is badly broken to the point of being dysfunctional. The whack jobs that ran in the Republican primaries set any candidate up to lose. It was entertaining but I couldn’t take any of it serious. The platform set the party up to lose. Mitt changed “what he believed in”, more often than I change my socks. In my opinion, had the Republican party actually been truly more moderate in it’s platform, the race would not have even been close. Even saying they should be more moderate, it would have been difficult for any voter to believe that given the track record of changing positions.

    Perhaps it’s time for the Republican’s to go back into history, way before the Dubya era, and see what their party once was. Perhaps go as far back as Ike, who must be turning over in his grave. I can say for myself, I’m quite unlikely to rejoin the Republican party as long as their leaders are folks like Rick Santorum, Rick Perry and their ilk. They simply do not reflect this ex-Republican’s, and it appears many others, views. But sadly, I doubt that will happen. There appear to be many in party that continue to believe they have the right path but used the wrong message. That’s not what I believe. Others may, and they are entitled to their opinion. I repeat, a more moderate Republican party, and the election would not have even been close.

    My two cents…….for what it’s worth………now back to your regularly scheduled Jason Kelly podcast……

  8. PH
    Posted November 20, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Nice comments directed towards older white males on here. Glad to see Obama supporters display such bigoted racist, sexist, and age discriminating attitudes.

    The two party system exists to polarize you and distract you from important issues. Keep arguing.

    Those that defend Obama when he is called a socialist – have you ever actually read his autobiography?

  9. Kent
    Posted November 20, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    Who really won the election ???

    Just for fun, I looked at the returns from New Jersey, Ohio, Michigan, Calf. And Florida. Some of these are called swing states, and some, like NJ and Calf. Are Democratic thru and thru. Here is what I discovered. If the Electoral College ran as it used to run, Obama would have lost the election big time. In modern times, most states have instituted a winner take all rule. So the popular vote winner in the states gets all the delegates. This never used to be so. Electoral votes were supposed to be counted by Congressional district. The US was never a democracy, but is supposed to be a republic.
    As we have changed the rules, we have changed the results. I would never trust the vote of the people in a pure democracy. Their opinion changes with the wind, with the latest Dr. Phil show, or with other TV personalities lastest thoughts. Our country’s founders knew the opinion of the masses changes with the weather, and they gave us a representative form of govt that we have been slowly changing for the last 100 years. As we changed it, the results have become worse and worse, and it matters not who is in office. The system is now non-functional. Any student of history can predict where the US will be in the next 100 years… and the answer is not pretty. No one can stop it from happening. A train wreck awaits us.

    Sorry for the bad typing, iPads are not easy to type on.

  10. Gary G
    Posted November 20, 2012 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Note to CP…..LOL… WAS a lost cause no matter who won. If there are any people left that are familiar with history and a memory longer than a bunch of Facebook posts, this country has not had a representative democracy in place for many decades now. If you do really thorough research (something few of us have time or resources to do and sadly the media will not), you can absolutely prove that less than 10% of all voting in Congress in the past 50+ years has not been tied to special interests lobbying and campaign donations. What agenda do we think this country will have as a result? Something the majority of the population feel strongly about or something driven by a few interest groups (be they socialist, capitalist or other)? Seriously, this is at best a semi-benevolent oligarchy and has been for quite a while. Change whatever talking heads in D.C. that you want to use, it won’t make a bit of difference in the overall results…. the bottom line for critical issues in this country is being driven by purchased votes.

  11. Kent
    Posted November 20, 2012 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    There are many political parties, Dems, Republicans, Independant, Tea Party, Libertarians, and folks who believe in no party all. And there are certainly many voters who mindlessly walk in and vote a straight party ticket. Many man-in-the-street interviews will ask citizens who is the vice-president, who are you senators, and who is your representative in Congress, and the vast majority of our populace does not know. They all know who Sponge Bob is. So why do we think some serious message was sent with the most recent election? The average investor is a genius compared with the average voter.
    So what we have is an election for president, that is mostly a popularity contest. Not unlike, “Who is your favorite movie star?” Who do we elect for prom king and queen? Social media only increases the role of popularity over substance. Canditates avoid talking about hard issues or difficult decisions. They mouth platitudes. Once is office, they cut deals in dark smokey rooms and little or nothing happens in the public eye. What does happen often benefits the elected official more than the voters. Politicians treat voters like suckers, and who is to say they are wrong?
    If you look closely at the status of the US, espcially debt, but other issues too, and you were to look at what problems has Congress or the President solved in the last 20 years (not put off, but solved) the only conclusion to be drawn is that our government is broken. It does not work, and the monkeys running the goverment cannot fix the mess they created. It really doesnt matter who we elect, the inmates are running the asylum, and we are all on borrowed time. There is not one reason to expect Congress, the Supreme Court, and the Executive Branch to wake up one morning and begin righting the floundering ship. We allow it to happen. We are all aboard a ship of fools.

  12. David Deutsch
    Posted November 20, 2012 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    The Republican Party believes it just needs to repackage it’s “brand” to win voters, but the reality is that most Republicans are an unappealing if not creepy bunch appealing to “individual freedom” (translate greed) and social values (translate “prejudice”). The delusion of Republican politicians runs far deeper than their wisdom.

  13. Mark
    Posted November 20, 2012 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Republicans lost because they did not turn out the vote. Their base, which is the crusty old white guy, is dying…

    Before you get worked up from my post, please make sure your pace maker is working properly.

  14. EF
    Posted November 20, 2012 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    So Obama’s camp was able to “get out the vote”. That doesn’t mean that the right decision was made or that Obama is what’s best for America. Right now, America is like the out-of-control drug addict or chronic alcoholic that cannot or will not help itself until it finally hits rock bottom. It is apparent that America needs to experience more pain. The democrat-voting sheep will demand and consume all the way down to that bottom and Obama, their pusher, will see to it his users get their “fix.”
    In the end, America will either accept responsibility and get on the path to real recovery or it will continue to abuse itself until it dies a terrible death.

  15. Chris in Denver
    Posted November 20, 2012 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Obama could have kissed 10,000 baby seals and I still would not have voted for him. Above all else, voting for a president, any president, who adds $6 trillion to the national debt in 4 years is absolutely unacceptable. I would even go further to say that it is unpatriotic to support someone so fiscally unsound.

  16. Rae in Florida
    Posted November 20, 2012 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    People are being searched without warrant. Torture is advocated and lengthy isolation is done frequently. Due process may not have even been considered in the case of Bradley Manning and others. We are suffering a deep disconnect from our national and personal roots. Once upon a time, business owners, landlords et al were proud to uphold reputations of fairness and were considerate of everyone in town. You can visit antique homes of settlers in Massachusetts and see a roof outside the back kitchen door for the poor to stay and be fed by the wealthy homeowner.

    Now, anything is allowed, and even admired, to squeeze a profit. The profiteers are becoming the source of our legislation. Even our food is being can not be trusted. A treasured, educated democracy has proven vulnerable to the patterns of all history. Inequality grows and seeds a revolution grow. The wealthy of China escaped to Taiwan.

    I voted for Obama because I fear the horrors of a revolution for my grandchildren. I believe that quelling the testosterone demand of “I am the best, therefore I will reign and seed the next generation.” is essential for the survival of this planet. I do not have many years left, but I plan to use what time I have to promote the worldwide rise of women. If mothers are represented equally, in accordance with the population, we stand a chance of planetary survival.

    Posted November 20, 2012 at 2:50 am | Permalink

    I agree with CP comments above. To buttress his points, this is the same Romney who chastised Ohioans by airing a ridiculously untrue ad and doubling down on it even when GM CEO came out against the lie. Add the fact that Romney was actually a project for the 1% with his intentions just to assume the presidency facts and truth not withstanding!
    Fast track to post election and the same guy has the guts to again chastise the minority voters, women and young voters by claiming they were offered gifts by Obama. Thus to him the reason he lost. The guy is so out of touch with reality and despicable even his Mormon folks had to call him out.

  18. Dean L Thomas
    Posted November 20, 2012 at 2:46 am | Permalink

    I voted for Obama, I looked at the big picture. I could not see the huge differences in the math reguarding the budget, taxes, and government spending. Are the dems. getting it right? no not by a long shot. health care, entitlements, deficit, to name a few. The other side did’nt present a clear path to change any thing. The President does not really do much to steer policy in Washington. Congress does. Look at Ohio, voted dem. for president. Then turned right around and relected the house speaker John B. I did’nt like Paul Ryan either. Leave religon out of schools and government, period. end of story. Kids are fat. drive by a school and check it out. I’m glad the first lady can continue her projects. Now watch the republicans in washington work aggressively in cleaning up their image and talking about how wonderful they are in reaching bi partisan agreements.

  19. jas
    Posted November 20, 2012 at 2:43 am | Permalink

    The Republican candidates for the Presidency this time around were the largest group of morons that the GOP has even presented to the voting public.

    That reflects on the whole party: Bachmann? Cain ? Perry? Santorum? This is really:” Idiots of the World, unite! We found your leaders.” Once these are your front runners, the message is irrelevant. You know that the party is controlled by cretins and there aren’t enough cretin voters to elect anyone of them…. yet.

    And it turns out that Mitt wasn’t much better.

  20. Ron
    Posted November 20, 2012 at 2:24 am | Permalink

    I’m one of the many dedicated voters who are disgusted by the major political parties. I voted Libertarian. Romney may have had a valid point about the 47 percent. Blacks came out en mass again for Obama. Historically, their demographic shows a tiny turnout compared to population and registered voters. Baby Boomers worried about the future of Social Security and Medicare came out en mass for Obama. So did lots of other folks who don’t want their federal benefits, whatever they might be, dismantled during the inevitable cost-cutting. My daughter protested the perceived lack of leadership by both candidates by not voting. I think that, as a rallying cry, “tax the rich” is more effective than anything the Republicans said in their platform or in their speeches. I think I’m in the majority who want the Congress to stop playing party games and get busy fixing problems.

    • Rick
      Posted November 20, 2012 at 5:12 am | Permalink

      Maybe “Blacks came out en masse again for Obama” because they self identified (as if it was a big question) with being lumped in with the “47%”. The other reason could be that it’s nice to have someone in the white house with whom you share at the least a common ancestry. (Consider that for the past 200+ years that commonality was reserved to white men of certain upbringing/education/heritage; it’s hardly a surprise that in the past (“Historically” as you say) “their demographic” failed to turnout as proportion of their actual population. Are you really this good at pretending to be blind?

      • jwoop66
        Posted November 22, 2012 at 9:08 am | Permalink

        Racism is racism. If I voted for someone because of common ancestry I would be labeled racist. Rightfully so. Blacks are not children. They do not need to be coddled as if they were children. If they voted for someone based on their common ancestry then they voted based on bigotry and nothing else. Your reply was childish.

  21. CP
    Posted November 20, 2012 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    I look at it this way… if the theory for Romney losing is that voters just didn’t turn out, then you’re conceding that the platform is as fundamentally flawed as the candidate was. I’m not sure how one can conclude that turnout was the problem, and then discard the potential reasons for that outcome. The GOP is not bad at riling up their supporters. In fact, they would be better at it than the democrats if they just accepted that it’s not 1950 anymore for a change. The problem is that it’s a little harder to get people to vote for you when your candidates make completely ludicrous statements at every turn, and change positions on issues several times within a news cycle. It’s not that the Obama campaign created some sort of “caricature” of Romney as a “rapacious capitalist” who is devoid of any substance or credible ideas about anything, it’s that Mitt continuously proved them right, during and after the campaign. Also, I would venture to say that you can’t win elections when you disrespect half the electorate, especially if a large portion of them also happen to be your supporters. I’m honestly surprised he only lost the popular vote by about 3 million votes. This coming from someone who didn’t vote for either party.

    • jwoop66
      Posted November 20, 2012 at 2:14 am | Permalink

      I was with you until I saw you were just a troll. It’s not 1950 anymore? What does that mean? We don’t hold congressional committees to root out communists? LOL. That kind of meaningless statement is right out of dem party platform. You gonna talk about a war on women next? How the repubs want to outlaw abortion? The only ones who even mention that crap are dems trying to stir the pot. whatever dude…

      Mitt was a piece of dry white toast. A significant number of likely repub voters were vehemently against his nomination. He was a democrat basically. The party platform disregarded a portion of its base; the Tea Party and the Paulbots. For a year I’ve read thousands of responses online from people saying they would not vote for romney because he was the same as obama. They tried to play to the “moderates” and got hosed like they always do when using that tactic.

      • CP
        Posted November 20, 2012 at 5:01 am | Permalink

        “It’s not 1950 anymore? What does that mean? We don’t hold congressional committees to root out communists? LOL.”
        That’s exactly what it means. Isn’t the GOP machine the one constantly groaning about Obama being some sort communist? Wasn’t Michelle Bachmann saying the Congress was full of socialists? Weren’t the GOP candidates making idiotic statements on a weekly basis about rape and the way the female body works? You can call it stirring the pot if that makes you feel better, but those of us living in the real world can’t bring ourselves to vote for candidates who govern based on retrograde views based on fantasy.

        You did make one very important point though. Romney and Obama were similar on a lot of things, so perhaps a lot Republicans stayed home this time because they thought it was a lost cause regardless of who won. It’s hypothesis worth exploring, if the GOP media troglodytes weren’t so averse to unbiased research data. Either way, it only reinforces my overall point, which is that you can’t just say the GOP lost because of low turnout, without first exploring the reasons why it may have happened.

        • jwoop66
          Posted November 22, 2012 at 8:57 am | Permalink

          Mock if you want, but Obama’s family history is what it is; Communist. It takes five minutes of investigation to vind it out for yourself. His grandparents were communists, his mother, family friends, Frank… These things cannot be denied. If they are good ideas, why do people hide from them? Is the word “socialist” what bothers you? Use statist if it feels better. Congress is full of statists. Obamacare is the masterpiece of statist legistlation in this country. It IS the epitome of statism. What would you call it?

      • Rick
        Posted November 20, 2012 at 5:06 am | Permalink

        The ad hominem response to CP qualifies as a “fail”. In fact, its quite a short story: the arguments advanced by those aligned with the Tea Party and its “leaders” simply alienate a large portion of the electorate. The end. Appealing to sensible conservative values (i.e., appealing to the moderates) is not the reason for the vehement opposition within your completely unsupported claim that a “signficant” number of “likely” repub opposed his nomination. In my opinion, characterizing Romney as “the same” as Obama reveals the lack of sophistication of the perspective. On any number of critical issues, the distinction between what Obama is espousing and what Romney would have preferred could not have been clearer: choice of Supreme Court justices, size of the Defense budget, approach to taxes and stimulus, support for energy industry etc etc. Also in my opinion, disregarding the Paulbots and the Tea Party was the right choice, but it should have been made in March, not in October. The reasons are simple: Ron Paul’s purpose was not to seriously contend for the presidency but to bring the power of the Fed into question. Extending that question into actual dissolution would be absolutely disastrous to markets around the world – Ron Paul knows that as well as anyone. The Tea Party similarly offers important discussion points, but as the election has shown, the more extreme the view (and the further from the status quo), the less correlated with the choice favored by the majority. If the GOP seriously wishes to fracture into distinct parties, it hands the Democrats a generation of victories. Idealism is fine, but it has little to do with actual politics.

        • jwoop66
          Posted November 22, 2012 at 9:30 am | Permalink

          Ad hominem how?

          What arguments advanced by the Tea Party alienate the electorate? If you actually know what the Tea Party is about and not what MSNBCNN told you it was about, you would know it is simply about adhering to the principles of the Constitution. What in the Constitution alienates any American? You do realize the US is the only country in the history of mankind, sorry; humankind, that is based on ideas and principles, not just geography and language? The basis of the United States IS the Constitution. You do realize that don’t you? Without the Constitution, this country is just like any other throughout history. Rulers and peasants. You can argue that is what we are, but that would be your opinion, and based on what you wrote so far, not backed by any real facts. We are supposed to be a notion ruled by law; with a govt that has LIMITED powers. This is what the Tea Party stands for. It has nothing to do with race or abortion or any other media inspired diversion.

          A quick google search will reveal to you that voting was down this year for both parties. Even obama got a good deal less voter turnout than in ’08. Romney couldn’t motivate a good deal of the repub base. Because you are so knowledgeable and smart, you know that the parties, above all, must turn out their base on election day. Obama and the dems did a MUCH better job of that than romney. Independents mean nothing if the base doesn’t show. When the repubs ignored the ronpaul folks at the convention, they sealed their fate as far as this election. When the repubs lean right, they win. Look at 2010. Those folks are still there for the most part.

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