Something went very wrong very late for the Romney campaign on Election Day – leaving them stunned at just how quickly voters appeared to surge for Barack Obama in the closing hours. To catch political professionals so off guard points to either an incredibly effective last-minute get out the vote campaign, divine intervention on behalf of Barack Obama…or something else entirely. To have so many votes pour in so late for Democrats, when historically it is Republicans who enjoy a surge on election day after Democrat majorities often dominate early voting tallies, makes 2012 a very odd election cycle indeed where all the historical rules of how a national election is won or lost appear to have been re-written in Barack Obama’s favor.
EXCERPT: (via CBS News)
Adviser: Romney “shellshocked” by loss
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.”
…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 thought intensity and enthusiasm were on their side this time – poll after poll showed Republicans were more motivated to vote than Democrats – and that would translate into votes for Romney.
They based their own internal polls on turnout levels more favorable to Romney. That was a grave miscalculation, as they would see on election night.
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. LINK
What this CBS report is attempting to justify is an extrodinary chain of events that fell completly in Barack Obama’s favor on Election Day. Massive turnout for Obama and subdued turnout for Mitt Romney. No prior poll indicated that would happen – but somehow, it did.
Independents were shown favorable to Romney over Obama in poll after poll – in some cases by a significant margin. CBS is attempting to state that those Independents were in fact just Republicans. Really? Then if you add the Republican numbers with the Independent numbers that would make the electorate approximatley 60% Republican-leaning, right? So if that is in fact the reality that CBS is attempting to state here – how does Mitt Romney or any Republican lose any national race? Again, the numbers simply don’t add up – but somehow, someway, they did add up for Barack Obama on Election Day.
Lastly, CBS admits that historically, undecided voters break for the challenger against the incumbent. This time though, that apparently did not happen because Mitt Romney ran for president before. (Though he was not even the 2008 Republican nominee) Really? That is how CBS is attempting to explain how Barack Obama somehow altered a basic political rule regarding undecided voters and an incumbent? Once again, Barack Obama somehow reversed this political rule to his advantage – CBS indicates undecideds actually broke FOR Barack Obama.