I Was Wrong When I Said Romney Would Win

But you’re wrong if you think Obama won because the GOP is too old and too white.

I was wrong. I admit it. I was in good company, too. Not just from partisans on my side. Pollsters, pundits and analysts of many stripes didn’t think an Obama win was probable, even possible in some cases. And even you Obama supporters must admit, you were scared it could happen, too.Oh sure, I know no Obama supporter will admit it now. They have the luxury of being on the winning side. But deep down they knew, just as the country knew: If Obama won, it would be because the country was willing to ignore the state of affairs we find ourselves in today.

The stats remain unchanged. Things aren’t good. Exit polls show 53 percent of voters think we’re headed in the wrong direction. When asked, “should government do more to solve problems,” it was 51 percent “no” to 43 percent “yes.” You can read the cold facts in my last column. Yet, despite those facts, President Obama won a second term.

So, the conversation now turns to the new favorite meme of GOP critics: “The party is too male, too white, and too old.” For starters, I attended the GOP convention in Tampa this year. I watched the daily rundown of speakers. Outside of the actual GOP ticket, I’ve yet to see a year that featured so many rising stars in the party who were non-white and female.

Is it true the GOP has a problem making the sale to non-white voters? Yes. Do I know precisely how to remedy that? I don’t. But I won’t accept the premise for one moment that the GOP is some kind of old, white guy club. Further, that it’s an old, white guy club that only votes for old white guys.

If that’s true, then how do you explain that four of the six current female governors in the nation are not only GOP members, but also three of those are minorities? George W. Bush still holds the record as the president with the highest number of women and minorities as advisers and cabinet members.

Cite those facts, and the next reply is, “Ok, but still—only whites are voting Republican.” This is true and important. In every demographic—old, young, male, female—the majority white vote went to Romney this year.

To be clear again, I don’t like nor am I comfortable with minorities not voting GOP. But it is patently false to suggest GOP-voting whites won’t elect minorities and women. They do, they are, and they have—as four statewide gubernatorial elections prove. That’s more than the Democrats have, period.

Even NBC/MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, no conservative advocate, admitted as much during the very same convention in Tampa I attended:

By the way, Democrats wish they had the diversity of speakers and deep bench to show America. The Democrats wanted a keynote speaker that was Hispanic, and they had to dig inside a red state to find a Hispanic mayor.

Todd went on to list the various Hispanic elected officials featured that week, like New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, Texas GOP Senator-elect Ted Cruz, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

One thing the Republican party has are a lot of elected officials to help deal with this issue of going against the grain on the fact that their mostly white—their support base is a white, Southern part of the party. The face of the Republican party of elected leaders—Democrats wish they had that diversity.”

Now to the issue of that supposed “toxic” social conservatism.

I will never forget the Democrats’ convention this year. In removing Jerusalem as the recognized capital of Israel and fully removing God from their party platform, only to “boo” and jeer as it was forcibly replaced—I would have assumed that would have been devastating to them politically.

Sadly, the brunt of the “social issues” debate this year came from a couple of dopey answers from two Republican Senate candidates on abortion.

For the life of me, I’ll not understand how anyone running for elective office doesn’t have a cogent, political answer ready for this question. There was no defending Missouri’s Todd Akin. The entire party, including Romney, turned away from him. But the damage was done.

Still, the facts are these. The majority of this country believes in a power higher than itself. Black and Hispanic churchgoers are still a socially conservative people, too. Never forget that gay marriage was defeated in California statewide due to black opposition. Meanwhile, an AP/Univision poll conducted last year suggests the majority of American Hispanics oppose abortion.

I still close as I did last week. Romney, in the closing weeks of his campaign, was overheard in prayer to say, “Lord, if this is your will, please help to make me worthy.”

It was a prayer that any reflective, decent, inwardly looking person prays when they might be on the precipice of assuming the most powerful office in the world. Romney is a man of tremendous decency, unprecedented charity, and almost unusual morality.

But as David Wilson, professor of political science at the University of Delaware, said of Tuesday’s vote, free of the minority component, one cannot say Obama won any other demographic free and clear: “Straightforwardly put, a majority of voters just liked Obama more than they liked Mitt Romney.”

I said in a Tweet on Election Day: “It occurs to me—nobody voting Romney today will ever paint a mural of him or put his picture on their bumper. Not about him.”

For Romney supporters, it wasn’t ever about Romney. For Obama supporters, it’s always been about him.

I confess, I was wrong. There were about 2.8 million more Americans who don’t view President Obama as 57.2 million Americans and I do. Romney isn’t as hip and cool as President Obama. Maybe The View, Daily Show, Letterman, Leno, and all the “morning zoo” radio show interviews just made Obama more likeable. Sadly, I think it’s largely that simple.

Because it sure wasn’t his job performance.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/andy.burton.921 Andy Burton

    You are still wrong. You are making a generalization about a majority of American voters. I readily admit to having been nervous about the outcome – I feel we dodged a bullet as a nation. I voted for Obama not because he’s so likeable but because I actually like how he’s handled a very tough situation that George W. Bush handed him. I like a lot of his agenda and I admire his intellect and how he’s used his charisma and organizational talents to build a coalition that supports this agenda. I do “like” him better than any candidate that panders as shamelessly to Tea Party extremists in the primaries and then panders to the center, equally shamelessly, in the general. Sure I know Obama did similar things with the left in 2008. But he stopped the extreme right agenda for 4 and now 8 years at least. Sure I “like” him better but to oversimplify and reduce my position to simple-minded emotion shows how little you still understand about what happened Tuesday night. Did you vote for George W Bush because you felt you could have a beer with him?

  • Frank Anuzelli

    I just think too many people saw Romney as the type of business man that only extracted value from companies and then transferred it to himself and his backers. As president he would have extracted it from the average working middle class.

  • jamesgerber

    Romney decent and moral? How can you say that about a homophobic bully and animal abuser who refuses to even apologize?

  • NipseysKlub

    “One thing the Republican party has are a lot of elected officials to help deal with this issue of going against the grain on the fact that their mostly white—their support base is a white, Southern part of the party. The face of the Republican party of elected leaders—Democrats
    wish they had that diversity.”

    And IMO, that is where the issue begins. The party can’t just push one or two Latinos out there and say “see, we like you all, come vote for us” Yea, the talent may be deeper but the extreme nature of the rhetoric/policies don’t match. As a party, a GOP candidate is assuming that minorities vote like “he is dark like me, I must vote for him/her” which is so dumb and disrespectful.

    As a African-American, I can co-sign w/ your point of “Still, the facts are these. The majority of this country believes in a power higher than itself. Black and Hispanic churchgoers are still a socially conservative people, too.” However, PA provided a perfect example of the GOP problem. When GOP State Rep Turzai made his comment, he showed his true intentions of the purpose of the Voter ID agenda. Al Sharpton made the point, which despite who the man is, you can’t disagree w/ his point. He said “look at the black turnout…do you think Black people were waiting in line five hours to make a fraudulent vote” No one is waiting in line that long to make a fake vote. If anything, the high minority turnout was more of a “middle finger” vote against the Voter ID agenda than just voting for the President

  • The Dog

    I love the way Republicans discounted the polls showing Obama was in the lead before the election but now when their guy lost, the Exit Poll that shows “53 percent of voters think we’re headed in the wrong direction” is 100% legitimate. And btw, conservatives are infamous for not responding to Exit Polls, so I would interpret that 53% as Liberals saying the Republican House is heading us in the wrong direction with Grover Norquist driving the bus over the fiscal cliff! Santorum was never more right: “The smart people are not with us.”

  • Amy

    The GOP is living in a bubble of old school white people–mostly men. They will continue to lose as the population continues to become more diverse. And more importantly if the GOP continues to move so far right (or wrong)– wrong on climate change, wrong on women’s rights, wrong on gay rights–essentially living in a bubble where facts don’t matter, empirical evidence is dismissed and their heads are buried in the sand.

  • Jane Yavis

    Chris – May I suggest conservative Talk Show Hosts step outside their protected bubble and become more familiar and aware of their surroundings? The Stepford style “Taker/Maker” assignment backfired but you were too Angry to listen. So don’t worry about being wrong,,,,,, talk Radio is responsible for the large Democratic margin of Victory in the five county area where your message is heard. Stand up and take a bow. Keep twisting the reasons,,, it works well for the Democratic party. Now, get off my Lawn Sonny!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/james.murphy.50767 James Murphy

    You are just a fool is all.

  • http://www.facebook.com/james.murphy.50767 James Murphy

    You have to start getting your information from a resource OTHER then Fox News. After that, we can see if your next prediction is a little more on target because this one wasn’t even close.

  • mistermark123

    Chris, you’re an idiot. All of the legitimate polls showed Obama winning, but you just couldn’t resist regurgitating the crap coming out of your right wing echo chamber.