First of all, a huge thank you to the 59,832,706 people who voted for Mitt Romney during this last contest. 60 million people saw what we here at Mitt Romney Central have believed about Mitt Romney from the beginning, that he would be the best person to lead America during these challenging and changing times. And we thank each and every one of you!
From the beginning, Mitt Romney has had to overcome huge obstacles to become the GOP nominee. Not only was he from one of the most liberal states in the country, but he was also responsible for a health care law that inspired Obamacare, something conservatives loathe to this day. Ironically, Mitt Romney represented the last chance for America to turn back from Obamacare, and yet America chose otherwise.
Also, Romney had to break new ground for religious freedom by being the first Mormon nominee of a major party. In a party with such large numbers of religious conservatives, this was no small task. Democrats are usually quick to point out how accepting they are of minorities of all stripes, but in this case it was the Republicans who were the first to nominate a well-qualified individual from this religious minority group and the GOP deserves credit for that.
Further, Romney was the first businessman to get so close to the presidency in a very long time. An unfortunate reality in American politics is that people with successful business backgrounds open themselves up to all kinds of attacks from political opponents. Whether the attacks be “he’s a rich guy who doesn’t understand the common man,” or “his business did harm to some people,” being a businessman is a profession fraught with difficulties when running for high political office. It’s really a shame because something America needs so badly is someone with skills and acumen for creating businesses and managing debt ridden programs.
Romney deserves great credit for having broken new ground in all these areas.
From the beginning, Romney surprised a lot of people who wanted to write him off for one reason or another.
In the general election Romney achieved one of his most amazing accomplishments, Romney matched Obama in fundraising. Obama, the greatest fundraiser of all time, was matched by a challenger without nearly the advantages of the current incumbent president. That is an amazing accomplishment. I am sure that Romney will continue to use that prolific ability to raise funds in order to help other candidates who fight for conservative values.
When the candidates went head to head in the debates, Romney trounced the president during the first debate in a way no sitting president had ever been defeated before. That was another huge accomplishment. Romney went on to garner favorability/likability numbers that were even better than Obama’s after that first debate because people got a chance to see the real Mitt Romney, not just a caricature drawn by the Obama campaign. Romney didn’t attack Obama’s character, but the Obama campaign from the beginning set out to “destroy Romney” through character assassination. That is one of the main reasons Romney’s likability numbers were so high.
So if Romney was such a great candidate, why did he lose? It’s a good question and here’s my take.
Heavy Democratic turnout due to Obama’s ground operation, much heavier than anybody on the conservative side was predicting, is what won the election. In 2008, Democrats came out in huge numbers to support Obama. Back then, 8% percent more democrats showed up at the polls than Republicans. This year 6% more democrats showed up than Republicans. With margins like that, it is pretty tough for a Republican to win. Romney actually won independents in the swing states of OH, PA, VA, CO, and NV but still lost due to heavy Democratic turnout.
It is difficult to beat an incumbent president, even one with a lackluster record like Obama’s. I think a lot of people on the right thought it would be easy to defeat Obama, but that was simply a wrong assumption. Those people forgot that Obama’s coalition was still in place from 4 years ago and that he would have 1 billion dollars to defend himself with.
Further complicating Romney’s chances of upsetting the president was the jobs report numbers. I think many Americans (rightly or wrongly) felt like the economy was in fact improving because the jobs report improved markedly in the final months of the election.
Lastly, Hurricane Sandy helped Obama win re-election because it didn’t allow Romney to continue hammering away at his economy/jobs message during the last crucial week of the campaign. Obama got to walk around the Jersey Shore looking presidential, compassionate, and bipartisan. The hurricane blunted Romney’s momentum going into the final week of the campaign.
So that is my take on the campaign. We here at Mitt Romney Central want to thank Governor Romney for running a great campaign. It was a sacrifice Romney didn’t have to make. Romney did it out of love for his country and a genuine desire to get America on the right track. We congratulate Mitt Romney on the obstacles he has overcome and on running a strong campaign.