This is a cautionary tale of epic proportions.

The Man Who Would Be President got undone by his own arrogance. His own Narcissistic refusal to look at any data except the data he wanted to see. In spite of the plethora of polling indicating that he was never really out of trouble, Willard chose to disregard it all, and listen exclusively to his own bullshit.

This isn’t just a Willard problem. It’s also a HUGE problem for his supporters, who “know” whatever they hear a fat dope addict tell them on the radio, or what they see on FOX “News.” A huge number of them were utterly stunned when their hero got rejected by the American voters, although they sure shouldn’t have been. The writing was on the wall.

 

Mitt Romney’s campaign got its first hint something was wrong on the afternoon of Election Day, when state campaign workers on the ground began reporting huge turnout in areas favorable to President Obama: northeastern Ohio, northern Virginia, central Florida and Miami-Dade.

 Then came the early exit polls that also were favorable to the president.

 But it wasn’t until the polls closed that concern turned into alarm. They expected North Carolina to be called early. It wasn’t. They expected Pennsylvania to be up in the air all night; it went early for the President.

After Ohio went for Mr. Obama, it was over, but senior advisers say no one could process it.

 ”We went into the evening confident we had a good path to victory,” said one senior adviser. “I don’t think there was one person who saw this coming.”

 They just couldn’t believe they had been so wrong. And maybe they weren’t: There was Karl Rove on Fox saying Ohio wasn’t settled, so campaign aides decided to wait. They didn’t want to have to withdraw their concession, like Al Gore did in 2000, and they thought maybe the suburbs of Columbus and Cincinnati, which hadn’t been reported, could make a difference.

But then came Colorado for the president and Florida also was looking tougher than anyone had imagined.

“We just felt, ‘where’s our path?’” said a senior adviser. “There wasn’t one.”

Romney then said what they knew: it was over.

Romney was stoic as he talked to the president, an aide said, but his wife Ann cried. Running mate Paul Ryan seemed genuinely shocked, the adviser said. Ryan’s wife Janna also was shaken and cried softly.

“There’s nothing worse than when you think you’re going to win, and you don’t,” said another adviser. “It was like a sucker punch.”

They made three key miscalculations, in part because this race bucked historical trends:

1. They misread turnout. They expected it to be between 2004 and 2008 levels, with a plus-2 or plus-3 Democratic electorate, instead of plus-7 as it was in 2008. Their assumptions were wrong on both sides: The president’s base turned out and Romney’s did not. More African-Americans voted in Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida than in 2008. And fewer Republicans did: Romney got just over 2 million fewer votes than John McCain.

2. Independents. State polls showed Romney winning big among independents. Historically, any candidate polling that well among independents wins. But as it turned out, many of those independents were former Republicans who now self-identify as independents. The state polls weren’t oversampling Democrats and undersampling Republicans – there just weren’t as many Republicans this time because they were calling themselves independents.

3. Undecided voters. The perception is they always break for the challenger, since people know the incumbent and would have decided already if they were backing him. Romney was counting on that trend to continue. Instead, exit polls show Mr. Obama won among people who made up their minds on Election Day and in the few days before the election. So maybe Romney, after running for six years, was in the same position as the incumbent.

 

I thought anyone who ever looked at the Internets knew that there are a whole bunch of GOP types calling themselves “independents.” I’m rather stunned that you could make that kind of a mistake.

Nah. I’m not. The misreading of the tea leaves is classic arrogance. Willard was so convinced of his mission, and of its success, that he simply threw away any data that disagreed with him. This is what happens to you when you’ve spent all of your life surrounded by ass kissers and yes-men. The truth about Willard M. Romney is not a particularly complicated one: he’s never really done anything. He was a war lover who dodged the Vietnam draft, after which he was, at best, a financier for a venture capital firm. After that, he was Governor of a state where the Legislature overrode his vetoes 800 times. And during the midterm elections on his watch, the Democrats actually picked up more seats, and got a LARGER supermajority, because of him. His tenure left him with binders full of failure, and one of the most hated men in Massachusetts; Kennedy beat him by about a 2 to 1 margin when he ran for the Senate, or roughly what the President just beat him by. His work on the 2002 Olympics was bolstered by a WHOLE lot of help from the Federal Government, and you cannot go through his tenure there and find anything that a lot of other people couldn’t have done just as well, if not better. And to ice the cake, he’s been showing his contempt for the American system, and its people, virtually nonstop for decades now.

The GOP narrative of Willard as some kind of a success story that would save the country was pure myth, and he made the mistake of buying into it. As always, there were yes-men like Karl Rove, George Will, and Michael Barone standing by to tell him what he wanted to hear, instead of someone who might tell him what he needed to know. He picked a running mate who was as disconnected from America as he was, compounding his problems. I’m quite sure that, just like those guys he abandoned to die in Vietnam, he never saw it coming.

 

 

 

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