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One of the most peculiar stories that came out after election night was that Mitt Romney and his staff were completely stunned when they lost. They didn't see it coming. In fact, they were so confident of victory that they didn't even have a concession speech written. Despite my dislike of Mr. Romney, I actually feel sorry for him. He should've known he was about to lose, but his advisers and supporters in the media completely let him down and allowed him to be blindsided.

The polls before election day were almost unanimous. It was going to be a pretty close national race, but Obama had a stranglehold on the states he needed to win. He had a lead above the margin of error in enough states to acquire 270 electoral votes. Nate Silver gave Romney only a 9% chance to win on election night. Other websites that did polling averages had the same results and Princeton's Sam Wang was even more confident than Silver. Romney's prospects weren't completely hopeless (and in fact were better than McCain's 4 years ago), but there was no reason he should've thought he would certainly be the winner.

So why then did Romney go into election night so confident of a victory? The simple answer is that his supporters and staffers let him down. By supporters, I mean conservative media pundits and talk show hosts who largely predicted a Romney win. Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer predicted a half point popular vote (and narrow electoral) victory for Romney. This was reasonable compared to others. Dick Morris was predicting a 325 electoral vote landslide for Romney. Michael Barone and George Will also predicted 300 electoral vote numbers for Romney, with Will hilariously suggesting Romney would win Minnesota (which hasmt gone Republican since 1972).

There's no doubt that it's smart media strategy to have consultants and supporters keeping a positive spin for your campaign going in the media. In 1984, even Mondale's campaign manager made victory predictions to the press. It's also smart politics for conservatives to rant against the liberal bias in the media to make it look like Nate Silver and others were trying to make Obama's position seem stronger. However, it's apparent that Romney's surrogates were doing more than painting a positive picture; they actually believed the tripe they were spewing and sold that line to Romney.

Why did they believe this? Most of it was based on the theory that most of the major polls were biased and oversampling Democrats. They believed that the partisan gap, which favored Democrats by 8 points in 2008, would be more like the 1 point gap the Republicans enjoyed in 2010. A website called Unskewed Polls ran with this theory and recalculated all the polls based on what they felt would be the correct partisan gap. The major flaw in this theory is that most pollsters do not use a system that weights their polls by Party ID. They capture the party identification based on the responses they get, which has been proven to be the correct method all along and is why Nate Silver gives such polls a higher ranking in his formula. That method proved to be correct once again.

The conservative pundits had no scientific basis for their theory. Instead, they based their theory entirely on generalities. They were making the assumption that much of Obama's core coalition would be less enthusiastic and less likely to turn out and since Romney was winning Independents, he would win the election. However, the polls already accounted for this with likely voter screens meant to weed out registered voters who might support a candidate but aren't likely to show up on election day. Other bizarre unscientific reasoning included Barone's hilarious assumption that Romney would win Wisconsin because "you don’t see many Obama signs on campuses" and Will's argument that the anti-gay marriage amendment would turn out conservative voters in Minnesota.

Sure you could argue that Romney should be smart enough to understand this. And there's no denying the sweet justice of the tired liberally biased media attack backfiring into a cruel blindside when it turned out that the so-called liberal media had nailed the race (Nate Silver called all 50 states correctly and is now 99 out of 100 in the last 2 elections). Still, people like Karl Rove and Romney staffers like Rich Beeson and Matt Rhoades are all pros that should've known better. I think Romney would've made a terrible president, but I can't help but feel bad for the man. He paid alot of money to experts who gave him historically bad advice. Because of this, he woke up on November 6th thinking he was about to be elected President, only to be denied later that night. That's got to suck.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I don't (6+ / 0-)

    This was a game for him, he's super rich and probably feels great that he made it to the finals.

  •  I might agree with you if (12+ / 0-)

    he didn't build his career and accumulate his wealth by misleading people about how successful they'd be if they relied on his expertise.  Seems like he got exactly what he deserved.

  •  I commend you on your empathy, but really, I (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vayle, JeffW, Miniaussiefan, denig, Smoh

    think when all is said and done, he deserved it.

  •  I don't feel bad for Romney (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW

    Now when Romney was making all of those gaffes over the summer, I did feel a little sorry for him.

    After all, Mitt Romney is very socially awkward with a tendency to say things that he either doesn't mean or which come out of his mouth wrong.

    And I can do that at times. Yes, it was supposed to cost him in the polls and it but I still felt for him a bit.

    I ceased to feel sorry for Romney in any way shape or form after the second debate.

    Because someone who is preparing for that debate should have, like, read a transcript of what the President said in the Rose Garden pertaining to Benghazi but instead he chose to listen to the bullshit coming out of the RW entertaiment complex.

    And Candy Crowley, deservedly, handed his ass to him.

  •  Actually, he woke up on November 6th thinking (3+ / 0-)

    he would be elected.

    Because of this, he woke up on December 6th thinking he was about to be elected President, only to be denied later that night. That's got to suck.
    If he wakes up on December 6th thinking he will be elected, I may have to start feeling sorry for him too.

    -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

    by Vayle on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 11:46:55 AM PST

    •  Back in 1968, the comedian Pat Paulsen (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pucklady, Vayle

      ran a satirical campaign for President. I still remember his concession speech: He walks up to the podium disheveled, unshaven, clearly hung over, and starts: "It's really hard when you go to bed thinking you've won, then wake up three days later to discover you'd lost."

      I've been searching for a youtube of that speech, but I haven't found it. It would be delightfully apropos.

  •  It's a culture of monied mediocrity (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BobBlueMass, JeffW, Remediator

    ------
    Ideology is when you have the answers before you know the questions.
    It is what grows into empty spaces where intelligence has died.

    by Alden on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 11:47:00 AM PST

  •  Like feeling sorry for the used car salesman (4+ / 0-)

    Who sold you that 'cream puff'. Mittens campaign was the perfectly designed grift scheme - they conned close to a billion dollars from 'investors', and the money was paid out to 'expert' advisors and organizers who were friends, cronies, even his sons. Everyone involved made a fortune, and Mitt didn't spend a dime.

    Save your sympathy for the victims, not the head of the bunko team.

    "And the Tea Party shall be maimed forever, becoming a mere spirit of malice that gnaws itself in the shadows, but can never grow or take shape again. And so a great evil of this world will be removed." - Gandalf

    by Fordmandalay on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 11:52:37 AM PST

  •  Mitt who™? n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Remediator, IndyReader

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 11:56:05 AM PST

  •  I think he cleared $100 million (4+ / 0-)

    I think Romney cleared  at least $100 million by running for President.  The Bain Capital way would be to run the campaign on Other People's Money (he didn't spend a dime of his own), give his senior staff huge bonuses, and borrow against the name as you can, leaving them without resources.   When do you think the Republican Party will try to do an accounting of money spent?  No time soon.  
    Romney was calm and serene when he made his concession speech, knowing he pulled the con off.  I'll bet he made a killing.

  •  Yeah, no. I'll stick with him being arrogant (4+ / 0-)

    and stupid. And getting what he deserved.

    First, I'll agree that his pollster's work was, at best, incompetent and, at worst, fraud. I killed a lot of trees for a lot of years collecting and analyzing data. Maybe they taught us differently in engineering school, but....

    Never assume anything before you start collecting data. If you do assume something, test your assumption. Especially if nearly everybody else is finding something completely different. His pollster failed him, big time. Assuming a certain turnout, and not testing that assumption, is malfeasance.

    Romney feed the bogus data to those pundits. He and the  GOP propaganda pollsters like Rasmussen. The egg on their faces came from Rmoney's chickens.

    But.....

    Willard was in charge. He's seen a lot of numbers in his life. Cooked a few books.

    He failed to do basic due diligence. All he had to do was ask a few questions...

    How do you know what the turnout's going to be? What if you're wrong? Why is everybody else saying something different? Prove that you are right.

    The campaign's making decisions about allocating millions of dollars, deploying thousands of volunteers and they can't ask basic questions to verify and validate their analyses?

    Mitt likes firing people. Unswerving loyalty to people working for him is not in his DNA.

    The numbers told him what he wanted to believe. He chose to look no further. He asked no questions.

    He was an idiot. Now he's a shell shocked loser.

    A society is judged by how well it cares for those in the dawn of life, the children. By how well it cares for those in the twilight of life, the elderly. And, by how well it cares for those on the edge of life; the poor, the sick, and the disabled.

    by BobBlueMass on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 12:14:01 PM PST

  •  Not too much sympathy here (2+ / 0-)

    When I see him looking so despondent and flailing, the compassion kicks in.  But then my brain reminds me that this man ran on a platform of exploiting the poor to subsidize the idle rich.  I'm not sure whether he's sadistic or oblivious or somewhere in between (I'm leaning towards oblivious) but his loss was the correct result.  

  •  When Mitt Romney thought nobody (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IrishGreg, Catte Nappe, IndyReader

    but his fellow one-percenter fundraisers were listening he said and believed this:

    There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax…[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.
    http://www.motherjones.com/...

    On September 11 this year, when American diplomats were attacked and killed in Libya, Mitt Romney broke a pledge to not engage in politics on that day to say this:

    I’m outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi. It’s disgraceful that the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”
    http://thinkprogress.org/...

    When he finally lost the election, and was offered an opportunity at redemption for the most dishonest campaign for the Presidency in modern memory, he had this to say about American voters who chose his opponent over him:

    What the president's campaign did was focus on certain members of his base coalition, give them extraordinary financial gifts from the government, and then work very aggressively to turn them out to vote, and that strategy worked."[...]

    It's a proven political strategy, which is give a bunch of money to a group and, guess what, they'll vote for you. ... Immigration we can solve, but the giving away free stuff is a hard thing to compete with.

    http://abcnews.go.com/...

    I do not have and never will have any sympathy for this lying, unqualified, reckless, gilded, low-life fraud.

    The choice of our lifetime: Mitt Romney, It Takes A Pillage or President Barack Obama, Forward Together.

    by FiredUpInCA on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 12:56:53 PM PST

  •  Don't get me wrong... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BachFan

    My sympathy here is limited to the specific idea of a man waking up (on Nov. 6th, thanks for the correction) thinking he was going to be President. That's a brutal twist, even if he should've seen it coming.

    Outside of that, I don't feel bad that he lost at all. He appealed to bigotry and greed in his campaign and I will always dislike him for that.

  •  I Don't Feel One Bit Sorry for Him (0+ / 0-)

    He master minded his own demise with his endless lies and immoral campaign.

    And, I'm guessing, that the people whose credit cards he cancelled within hours of the election results being out aren't too happy with him either.  

    He's a jerk and he asked for and deserved what he got.

  •  When you surround yourself with yes-men (0+ / 0-)

    don't be surprised when all you hear are yesses.

    That's why he got a well-deserved nasty surprise.

    I am progressive. I am liberal. I make no apologies. - Kos

    My political compass: - 8.38,-6.97

    by pucklady on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 01:27:11 PM PST

  •  He was a 'CEO' and was brought down the same way (0+ / 0-)

    Surrounded by this reality proof bubble which said that polls were 'skewed' and that Michigan, Minnesota and Pennsylvania were 'competitive' and that the media had 'liberal bias' when they consistently cited rigorous data that had him behind all the way.
       I have seen this in the downfall of CEOs of major corporations who get surrounded by staffers which tell them what they want to hear and never confront the problem. The entire R-money campaign reminds me, in fact, of the Enron corporation; people who thought they were to smart for reality (and didn't give a damn whom they hurt in the quest for profits)and when the roof finally fell in were the most surprised.

    An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head. -- Eric Hoffer

    by MichiganChet on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 01:35:51 PM PST

  •  I DON'T FEEL SORRY FOR HIM. (0+ / 0-)

    I can't think of anyone I'd rather see the victim of a FORCED HAIRCUT.

    Send conservatives to FilthyLiberal.com for re-education.

    by filthyLiberalDOTcom on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 01:36:07 PM PST

  •  You forgot the part where he thought he was (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Remediator

    literally god's gift to the country.  No matter what anyone said to him, he would have had absolute faith in his win.  The son of bitch never lost anything important before.

    Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

    by Smoh on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 02:24:47 PM PST

  •  I don't feel sorry for somebody who thinks he has (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Remediator

    what it takes to be president, but couldn't see this defeat coming. If you are that insulated and out of touch that you can be completely blindsided by these results, you should not be running for president. The other option is that he was not blindsided and just says he was, which is another fine example of why he wasted the country's time with his candidacy.

  •  F--- him (0+ / 0-)

    that's all..

    The longer I live, the clearer I perceive how unmatchable a compliment one pays when he says of a man "he has the courage to utter his convictions." Mark Twain

    by Persiflage on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 03:56:25 PM PST

  •  Romney hired most -- or all -- of the (0+ / 0-)

    Yes Men who spent a long time persuading him he'd win.

    At narrow moments I think that a fix was on, or supposed to have been on, in some of the swing states, but that for any number of possible reasons, didn't come off, and the strategists who were confident about Romney winning were left high and dry.

    It's even more possible, IMO, that Romney was even more out of touch with reality than we accused him of being.  We thought it was just hyper-greed, but it may have been delusional self-importance on top of the greed.  That might be enough -- along with George Will claiming you'll carry Minnesota -- to think you've got a national election in the bag.  

    In the end, though, it wasn't to be.  Whatever the reasons Romney thought he'd win, he lost instead.  He's fading fast on the political horizon, and justifiably so.  I say good riddance, for those factory workers, for John Lauber, and for that dog, all of whom deserved better than they got.

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