Why did so many of us believe that the republicans would win the election, even win it big? We ignored the analysis of election predictor Nate Sliver and the Real Clear Politics polls. Believing that we would win made the loss even more painful. How did we get to that point? I can only speak to what I saw happening in Virginia but I suspect that Virginia mirrored what happened across the country.
First, we saw how energized republicans were. We knew in Virginia we had many more volunteers on the ground than during any previous election. We logged in hundreds of thousands more phone calls, and door knocks than in 2008. So many people wanted to turn our nation around, away from ever increasing debt, sky high unemployment, with more and more people on food stamps and the ever swelling rolls of people on the government dole because they have no other choice. We wanted to see our government protect our embassies overseas and not make up absurd lies to cover incompetence and lack of protection. We saw and felt the energy on the ground, in our neighborhoods, at our meetings, in our Victory Offices. We called voters who were so excited about taking our country back. We KNEW that we were turning out the vote for our republican candidates. We KNEW it. What we didn’t know, the democrats were doing the same thing. They were turning out their base, and more, in numbers that rivaled 2008. We never saw it coming.
We didn’t see soon enough that the democrats were using their age old scare tactics to get voters into the voting booth. It wasn’t until the last few days of the campaign that we knew the democrat’s meme, “Romney will take away women’s rights, he’ll send all women back to the 1950′s” was actually being accepted by the voters. No one knew that voters would believe that Romney was going to abolish birth control and take away all ‘women’s rights’. Romney didn’t counter that ridiculous notion because no republican thought anyone would believe it. During this campaign Romney never mentioned birth control or overturning women’s rights (although I remain hazy as to exactly what that means). So why would anyone believe that he wanted to take away those things? Even if Romney had wanted to take those things away, which he didn’t, how would he even begin to accomplish that? And why would he? It’s absurd. By the time it dawned on me, and others, that voters were actually buying this ridiculous idea, it was too late to counter it. Just as democrats have for decades scared the elderly into the voting booth by telling them that republicans wanted to take away their social security and medicare, this time they scared women with the silly lie that Romney would ‘take away all their rights’. Again, I can’t define that, and neither could the women, and some men, who believed it, but that didn’t stop them from wanting to vote against it. They weren’t sure what it meant, but they knew they didn’t want it. We never saw it coming.
Most people who know me know that I never believed that we could beat Obama, the First Black President. No matter how big his failures with the economy and abroad, race is far too important to Americans to see the First Black President defeated at the polls. White guilt would never allow that to happen. Chris Matthews said so! He and the rest of the MSM were so determined to make the First Black President a success, they would do anything necessary to see him re-elected. They all said as much. No matter how bad things became, the First Black President must never look like a failure. Republicans thought that perhaps America had moved beyond race being SOOOOO important. We thought that America would be willing to put the good of the country over race. We were wrong. Race remains THE MOST important thing for the majority of voters, gender is a close second. We never saw it coming.
In the last 2 weeks of the campaign, I began to believe that perhaps we could defeat the First Black President because he really has been an incompetent President. Our pundits told us that the polls were wrong. The polls were over sampling democrats so they were all skewed against Romney and for the First Black President. Day after day we heard the pollsters were using the same model as 2008, and that turn out could never happen again for Obama. Except that it did. We never saw it coming.
Finally, those we trusted, the great republican political experts, told us that not only would Romney win but he could possibly win BIG. Karl Rove, the architect of political campaigns, in charge of Crossroads PAC, predicted that Romney would win easily. Then the well respected Michael Barone made his prediction that Romney would not only win, but win BIG. He was wrong, right down the line with every swing state. We never saw it coming.
Being blindsided makes the loss so much worse. We have no one to blame but ourselves, our media, and our pundits. We all believed because we so desperately wanted to believe. None of us wanted to believe that race, lies, and scare tactics would triumph. None of us wanted to leave our children, and their children, debt that they will be paying off for the rest of their lives. They will never enjoy the standard of living of their parents and grandparents enjoyed and none us wanted to accept that. Everyone wants their children to have a better life. None of us wanted see cuts to our military, our country’s defense, while our taxes are raised. None of want to see the US become more and more dependent on foreign oil because the EPA (Employment Prevention Agency) won’t allow the Keystone pipeline and won’t allow coal. We don’t want to see more and more people forced onto unemployment and disability payments because they can’t find jobs because of restrictions and taxes on our businesses. None of us wanted to see Obamacare fully implemented with the lack of choice that goes with it for the elderly and the rest of us. We didn’t want to see it force thousands of business to stop offering insurance to their employees because they can’t afford Obamacare. We couldn’t believe that the American people wanted all these things either, but they did.
We never saw it coming.