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View Diary: Mitt was not the Problem (17 comments)

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  •  It's much simpler than that... (0+ / 0-)

    A majority of voters in several critcal swing states chose Barrack Obama over Mitt Romney.  Period.

    As much as we'd like to delude ourselves that these elections are about policy, class warfare, racism, whatever your issue is, the reality is that Americans almost always choose the presidential candidate that they LIKE the most.  Maybe the Obama message machine framed Romney as a rich dick, but that only reinforced the fact that a lot of Americans were inclined to not particularly like Mitt Romney.  If Americans had liked him more, then GOP voters would have liked him more, and he'd have won his primary more easily.  Yes, he was probably the best the GOP had, and nobody else could have made the race closer, but that just means that the rest of the GOP field was even less likable.  Is this so hard to believe:  Rick Santorum?  Michelle Bachman?  Newt F'ing Gingrich????

    If there was one major misread by the GOP, it was that there are a lot fewer Americans that hate Obama than they thought there were.  This, combined with no particular affection for Romney, was the difference.  Turnout was big, but not decisive.  Obama voters turned out like 2008, but the GOP also turned out like 2008.  If GOP voters liked Romney, they would have turned out like 2004, and Romney would have won VA and CO, and we'd still be counting votes in OH and FL.

    In the last 100 years, the more charismatic candidate has won nearly every presidential election.  There were two exceptions.  In 1964, the country was far too liberal for Goldwater, and the country was not prepared to have four different presidents in four years.  In 1968, charisma was a tie (neither had it), but Richard Nixon was the still quite viable (and gracious loser of a dubious election in 1960) former VP of a successful administration, running against the VP of an embattled administration.

    Obama is objectively more likeable than Mitt Romney, just like Bush was more objectively likeable than Gore or Kerry - maybe not to everybody, but to the less informed "average" voter.  And, no, readers of this site are not average voters.  

    The 2016 election will be a contest between two men (no, I don't think Hillary will be nominated).  The events that transpire between now and then will have an impact, but not nearly as much as which candidate the average voter would prefer to have as a friend.  

    •  I think it runs a little deeper than that, (0+ / 0-)

      I think people need to identify with the person and the message. Jimmy Carter was not necessarily more charismatic than Gerald Ford, but he certainly had the right message for the time, someone outside of Washington DC politics who could rise above the ugliness. And I think in the case of gore and Kerry, they did well despite the lack of personal charisma. Their messages were attractive. Had it just been about personal identity, they would have been shellacked.

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