Sunday, November 11, 2012

What Happened to the Romney Landslide?


source: Media Matters

Previous Post:
Snark Amendment: Republicans Predict Romney Landslide

I said when I gave those predictions that if we have the same turnout pattern we had in ’08, obviously Obama’s going to win. And then I went on to say that wouldn’t happen. I said ’08 was an excrescence(?); it was an outlier year and in ’10 it went back to normal. Well, I was wrong. ’08 was not an outlier year.
~ Pundit Dick Morris on Fox News via Washington Post

Rove argued that Obama won with a smaller popular vote and a smaller margin of victory than in the 2008 election against Sen. John McCain. Instead of expanding voters, Rove argued, Obama "suppressed the vote" by demonizing former Gov. Mitt Romney and encouraging people not to vote.
"President Obama has become the first president in history to win a second term with a smaller percentage of the vote than he did in the first term," Rove said.
"But he won Karl, he won!" Fox News host Megyn Kelly interjected.
~ Politico


For weeks prior to the election, Fox News has been giving valuable air time to pollsters and pundits who predicted a Romney “landslide.”
These projections were in stark contrast to reputable poll results that were used in other media outlets; however, Fox News viewers were led to believe that the other polls were “skewed” against Mitt Romney. It turns out Fox News was skewed toward self-promoting “experts” who were universally wrong about their predictions.
The network extensively featured Dick Morris who predicted an overwhelming Romney win with 325 electoral votes and a strong popular vote margin. Morris was spectacularly wrong in his election analysis, as he has been for much of his career.
. . . Joining Morris in eating humble pie was Karl Rove, known as “Bush’s brain.” . . . In the end, Rove looked utterly foolish as the President won Ohio by almost two percentage points.
. . . It might be time for Fox News to find some other consultants to interview as viewers will soon tire of being played for fools.
~ Jeff Crouere on Bayou Buzz

From Michael Barone, Famous Conservative Political Analyst
The results are in and I was wrong when I predicted that Mitt Romney would win 315 electoral votes. For those of you who sent in nasty emails and for those who sent in reasoned arguments that I was wrong, please be assured that I will be on a diet of crow for some time. For those who sent in positive or thankful emails, remember that none of us wants to live in a country where one party wins every election even though we tend to wish our party would win every time, and so disappointment is a necessary attribute of living in an electoral republic.
. . . An electoral vote lead of 332-206, the likely outcome, is pretty wide given the narrowness of the popular vote margin; George W. Bush led John Kerry 51%-48% in the popular vote in 2004 and won the electoral college by only 286-252. But that is how our system works, and all the players and observers knew that going in. Including me. And, by the way, if you didn’t hear me before, I was just plain wrong.
. . . I take some pleasure in finding I have been wrong, because it’s an opportunity to learn more. As I prowl through the 2012 election statistics I will have an opportunity to learn much more about America and where we are today. A nation dissatisfied with the results of a Democratic president, Democratic Senate and Republican House has decided to return a Democratic president, Democratic Senate and Republican House. Lots to learn for all of us.


. . . this wasn't simply a case of partisans rooting for their side and letting that enthusiasm color their analysis. What was so unusual was there was no polling data to support the idea of a Romney Landslide. None. Zero. It did not exist. Instead, this was a school of conservative pundits incapable of imaging the president being re-elected, and incapable of imaging Obama not losing in a humiliating electoral rout.
~ Eric Boehlert on Media Matters

In short, the Right used ideology as the intellectual underpinning of their projections, while everyone else used facts. Nate Silver isn’t a mystic or the modern incarnation of Nostradamus – he’s an extraordinarily thorough polling analyst who bases predictions on a formula that accounts for real world margins of error and reporting discrepancies. It isn’t perfect, but the methodology is pretty airtight when it comes to projecting accurate odds. That’s why every half decent political analyst took Silver’s projections seriously and discounted the Right wing noise machine when it came to picking a winner.
This theme of fantasy vs reality goes far deeper than picking the winner in Presidential elections. It goes to the heart of what now constitutes conservatism in America, and why it is in perpetual decline.
~ Ben Cohen on The Daily Bantor


Peggy Noonan's Non-Apology Apology For Being Wrong, via Wonkette
President Obama did not lose, he won. It was not all that close. There was enthusiasm on his side. Mitt Romney’s assumed base did not fully emerge, or rather emerged as smaller than it used to be. He appears to have received fewer votes than John McCain. The last rallies of his campaign neither signaled nor reflected a Republican resurgence. Mr Romney’s air of peaceful dynamism was the product of a false optimism that, in the closing days, buoyed some conservatives and swept some Republicans. While GOP voters were proud to assert their support with lawn signs, Democratic professionals were quietly organizing, data mining and turning out the vote. Their effort was a bit of a masterpiece; it will likely change national politics forever. Mr. Obama was perhaps not joyless but dogged, determined, and tired.
Apart from those points, everything in my blog post of Nov. 5 stands.


Romney voters, let me say a few words to you. Too many of you are only now beginning to see that for many months you have lived in a kind of informational and analytical bubble, shaped by conservative intellectual leaders who refused to fully and fairly process what the poll data was suggesting.
. . . But Romney voter, after all the necessary criticism of the conservative bubble regarding poll-analysis has been made, the truth is this: the most fundamental reason you remained in that bubble was your belief in your fellow citizens, in the general decency and common sense of the American public. Obama was so obviously bad, that you couldn’t believe that enough of your fellow citizens wouldn’t see it and act upon it.
. . . those who really look into your eyes will know it too: your bubble was built upon love.
And now, it is popped.
~ Carl Scott at First Things


It's time for Karl Rove to float away in his balloon
. . . You see, a good political strategist has to be willing to listen dispassionately to what the data tell him. He does not yell angrily at that data, like a distraught husband refusing to believe that his wife just left him. In that moment, Rove exposed himself as the petty figure that he is.
As Dorothy Gale, D-Kansas, famously put it, “Why, you’re not a wizard at all, you’re just a man! And you’re a very bad man for pretending to be a wizard.”
And after that, as I recall, the defrocked wizard floated away in a balloon, unable to steer a new direction because “I don’t know how it works!”
~ Jay Bookman, Atlanta Journal-Constitution


In truth, Romney was a perfect embodiment of the current GOP. As much as the Republican Party is a radical party, and a nearly all-white party, it has also become the Fantasyland Party. It’s an isolated and gated community impervious to any intrusions of reality from the “real America” it solipsistically claims to represent. This year’s instantly famous declaration by the Romney pollster Neil Newhouse that “we’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers” crystallized the mantra of the entire GOP.
. . . (Karl) Rove’s remarkably graphic public meltdown on Fox News—babbling gibberish about how his Ohio numbers showed a path for Romney even after the election was lost—marked not just the end of his careers as a self-styled political brainiac and as a custodian of hundreds of millions of dollars in super-PAC money. It was an epic on-camera dramatization of his entire cohort’s utter estrangement from reality.
. . . Michael Barone, the once-respected co-author of The Almanac of American Politics who in 2008 compared Sarah Palin to FDR and who this year abandoned his fact-based standard for a faith-based standard underestimating minority turnout; he predicted a 315 electoral-vote victory for Romney. Like Rove, Barone called nearly every battleground state wrong. (The professional pollster most admired by the right, the GOP-leaning Rasmussen, didn’t bat much higher.) (Nate) Silver got all 50 states right.
~ Frank Rich on New York Mag

Frank Luntz, Republican Strategist
“Look– the published polls that the Romney campaign and the Republican establishment were trashing day after day turned out to be accurate. And all the polls that are being done for the Republican establishment– I know that the House candidates who lost were shocked at what happened, the Senate, Republicans were supposed to gain seats they actually lost…
“This is a bad day for Republican pollsters, and it’s something that they should be held accountable for. You have to tell your clients the truth, and you have to be accurate. And to miss so many states and to be this far off, your Fox News viewers ought to be outraged, because day in and day out they were told that Mitt Romney was going to win, and the fact is Ohio was ​never​ up, Wisconsin was ​never​ up, Pennsylvania was ​never​ up…the published polls were correct. Nate Silver was correct. But the Republican establishment polls were wrong.”

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