Saturday, November 10, 2012

Why Romney lost

Not to blow our own horn, but Buzz and I said it in our October 2nd post titled "Here's why Romney will lose in November.We wrote "The powers that be in the current Republican party do not understand a majority of the American people, in general, and the persuadable middle, in specific.  They are locked in a political bubble powered by talk radio and the conservative blogosphere."

The voters proved us right.

The particular issue which is dragging the Republicans towards the ash heap of history is their vitriolic rhetoric on immigration. Building electric fences, self deportation, and fighting any reasonable path to citizenship as espoused in the right wing bubble are not ways to endear yourself to Hispanic voters.

This election, as has been the case with at least the last four Presidential, is fought in the battleground states. In the nine battleground states, (Florida, Ohio, New Hampshire, Iowa, Nevada, Colorado, North Carolina, Virginia, and Wisconsin) where the vast majority of the money was spent, Obama beat Romney in everyone except North Carolina.

The voters in these states heard Barack Obama's and Mitt Romney's messages, particularly with regards to immigration, and they rejected the Romney message.  The other 41 sates and the District of Columbia really didn't see much of a fight on either side, and their outcomes were determined a long time ago. 

Unfortunately for the Republicans, this battleground map is not expanding in their favor.   Since 1992, the Democratic Presidential candidate has not won fewer than 251 electoral votes, and the Republican candidate has not won more than 286 electoral votes.

One of the biggest problems for the Republicans is the fast growing Hispanic population.  Every month for the foreseeable future, 50,000 Hispanics will turn 18.  That's 600,000 potential new voters a year, or 2.4 million in four year period.  Republicans cannot expect to win elections if they only win 30 percent of this voting block.

Nevada will not be a swing state in 2016, and neither will Colorado.  Hispanics will push Arizona into the swing state column in 2016 and Texas into the swing state column in 2020.  If Texas becomes a swing state, the Republicans will become extreme long shots in all national elections.

Supply side economics is also dogma within the right wing bubble.  It is argued by our conservative friends that you can't raise taxes on the "job creators."  Job creators is the term coined by the right for those in the highest income brackets.  To everyone else, this group is just known as the rich. "If we just let them keep more of their hard earned dollars, the job creators will create jobs" is the common refrain of conservatives.

The Republicans have always had an image problem with the middle class and poorer voters.  Their perception as the party of the rich was only amplified by Mitt Romney and his contempt for the "47 percent," and it's not because people who voted for Obama wanted "stuff," it's because the Republicans have fought tooth and nail to protect the interests of the job creators. 

If tax cuts to the top one percent create jobs, why didn't the Bush tax cuts create jobs.  Supply side economic policies which the GOP has been pushing for the past 30 years has not created the millions of jobs that were promised.  The decade following the Bush tax cuts have was the weakest decade for economic expansion on record.  This was a fact not lost on a majority of swing state voters.

The only time in this campaign where Buzz and I lost a little bit of confidence in an Obama victory was when "Moderate Mitt" showed up at the first debate.  The long anticipated "etch-a-sketch" moment came on the stage in Denver.  Romney surged in the polls, because the "severely conservative" Mitt of the GOP primaries didn't show up.

This move to the middle is the only chance the GOP has of staying relevant in the future.  The great Conservative experiment is dead, because Conservatism has gone far to the right and has been overtaken by those who control the right wing bubble.  Although the Sean Hannitys and Rush Limbaughs of the world believe they are carrying the torch Ronald Reagan, they have taken Conservatism so far right that Ronald Reagan would be a liberal today by their standards.

Conservatism has not evolved.  It has devolved into a modern day "Know Nothing" party.  It is anti-immigrant, anti-intellectual, anti-women, anti-minority, and anti-middle class.  This is a path to irrelevance, and until the GOP changes course, the 2012 Presidential election is not the nadir for the Republicans, but the zenith.

**** Buzz did not participate in this post.  He is on assignment in Colorado and Washington state.  His return date is unknown. ****

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