Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney walks away from the podium after conceding the race during his election night rally, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Boston. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia, Pool) )
Romney’s loss: Let the blame game begin

First Published Nov 07 2012 06:42 pm • Last Updated Mar 06 2013 11:32 pm

Boston • Blame superstorm Sandy. Or top strategist Stuart Stevens. Or the 53 percent of Americans who didn’t like that 47 percent comment.

Even before Mitt Romney conceded the presidential race early Wednesday, the circular firing squad had broken out among Republicans suffering over another disappointing election.

At a glance

Electoral College

Needed to win » 270

President Barack Obama » 303

Mitt Romney » 206

Still counting — Florida » 29

More online

5 charts that explain why Barack Obama won the election

What should Mitt Romney do next?

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

With a majority of Americans dissatisfied with President Barack Obama, unemployment near 8 percent and an economy still teetering on the brink, Republicans thought their "turn-around artist" Romney was the answer.

Voters disagreed — and it appears Obama’s campaign was successful in targeting its key voting base and even undercutting some Republican-leaning groups such as mothers, pulling enough votes to win the Electoral College and the popular vote.

Obama overwhelmingly captured the Hispanic and other minority vote and had a significant advantage among women and young voters, according to exit polls conducted for a consortium of news organizations at voting stations around the country. The president also won over moderate voters. Romney, meanwhile, scooped up better than 80 percent of the conservative vote, won among older voters and enjoyed a slight edge with men.

One top Republican official said Wednesday there was just no strategy in the Romney camp to cull the votes it needed.

While the campaign had models showing a path to victory, the numbers were hyped among demographics that Romney couldn’t get, the official said on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorizved to speak about the insider information.

"There was no model to get to 270," the official said of the number of Electoral College votes needed to clinch the presidency. "The math didn’t work."

Who deserves the most blame?

Some pundits weighed in that the storm that slammed the Northeast last week snuffed out any Romney momentum by giving the president a stage to look presidential, or that the GOP nominee never fully recovered after the leaked video of him telling rich donors that 47 percent of Americans are "victims" who want the government to take care of them.


story continues below
story continues below

Those, however, might have been secondary to statements by the campaign’s own people, including Stevens, the strategist, and Romney pollster Neil Newhouse, who appear now to have oversold how well the campaign was going in its final days.

"Our momentum is undeniable, if you just look at the numbers," Newhouse said in an email to supporters, citing a 70 percent drop in the early vote for Obama and 10 percent hike for Republicans.

Newhouse claimed Romney and running mate Paul Ryan had an 11-point advantage with independents.

"So even though the billion-dollar Obama juggernaut wants to crow that Romney-Ryan momentum is a myth," Newhouse argued, "they have nowhere near the numbers they need to position themselves for victory on Election Day."

Newhouse’s remarks obviously were meant to keep the campaign’s base fired up, but his spin proved 180-degrees wrong.

Ron Bonjean, a Republican strategist in Washington who was not affiliated with the Romney campaign, said the fault lies with how the campaign allowed the Obama team to introduce Romney to millions of voters through negative attack ads that separated him from average Americans.

"There were no biographical commercials [on Romney] and so the ground was defined by the Democrats," Bonjean said. "Romney did not do direct one-on-one town hall meetings nor put himself in unscripted situations where he could hear directly from people hurting across America. Aside from the [Republican National] Convention, the only real chance he had to connect was the first debate and it is the only reason the polls were so close."

Romney himself offered an endorsement of his campaign operation to reporters ahead of the results, saying he was proud of the effort.

"No campaign is perfect," he told reporters aboard his plane. "I’m sure like any campaign, people can point to mistakes. But that’s the mark of anything that’s produced by human beings."

The Romney team was "very solid," the candidate said, and didn’t have the infighting that eats up valuable time and resources like other campaigns faced.

"We’ve gotten our message across," Romney said. "I am very pleased. I feel we have put it all on the field. We left nothing in the locker room. We fought to the very end."

Next Page >


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.