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  • Election Shocker – McCain out polls Romney!!??

    Posted by Bruno Behrend on November 7th, 2012 (All posts by )

    As  I was perusing the flotsam and jetsam sloshing around in the swamps after last night’s storm, I came across this surprising (shocking really) bit of information.

    Turnout was way down this election, and McCain may well have gotten more votes than Romney when it’s all over.

    In 2008, Obama won a whopping 69 million votes and poor McCain was just short of 60 million. This year, with a few million votes left to count as things trickle in, Romney is at 57 million, and Obama has yet to break (but likely will) McCain’s 59,934,814.

    Let this sink in…

    Romney/Ryan got fewer (or roughly the same)  votes as McCain/Palin.

    Obama lost around 9 million votes from 2008, and still won re-election.

    What happened?

    The comments below will be full of ideas, analysis, and conjecture. Please comment away, but here is my take.

    From the moment Romney emerged in 2007, I said that Romney could never win because he’s a Mormon, and evangelicals simply wouldn’t come vote for him in numbers necessary for him to win. In 50/50 elections, Republicans need every vote.

    So, after 4-5 years of analysis, posting, blogging, trying to help the hapless Pawlenty, I grudgingly came around to hoping and thinking that Mormonism didn’t matter (which was probably a function of every other Republican being a dolt or a fool).

    I was wrong. Mormonism did matter. Some, even if a small number, of evangelicals decided not to come out and vote for Romney. The “broken glass” voters and “anyone but Obama” voters didn’t show up.

    To be sure, in a 50/50 nation, every small thing matters. The media ignoring Benghazi mattered. Sandy mattered. Obama’s far superior mybarackobama.com mattered. Akin’s and Mourdock’s foot-in-mouth may have mattered. With all that said, if Mitt Romney were a Presbyterian or a Catholic, he’d be president-elect today.

    No exit poll will show it. Analysts will deny it. Evangelicals (and I am one who happily voted for Romney) won’t admit it. But there it is. I’m sure of it.

    Obama lost around 9 million votes from 2008, Romney got the same as McCain, and Obama still won. All because of (not a lot, but just enough) religious bigotry.

     

    39 Responses to “Election Shocker – McCain out polls Romney!!??”

    1. Gray Hat Says:

      It is fine to raise the hypothesis of religious prejudice. But no one should adopt a hypothesis in the complete absence of evidence for it, and you furnish none.

      “I’m sure of it” isn’t persuasive.

      What the numbers suggest is that many of the 2008 voters which Obama lacked this time around chose not to vote at all. And it appears — though it might be good to wait for the final count — that a smaller number who voted for McCain also didn’t vote this time around. The only way to find out *why* would be to conduct non-exit interviews, if a non-skewed sample can be found of people who voted in ’08 and not in ’12, and probe for religious considerations in an indirect manner so as to avoid triggering the “I’m not prejudiced” response.

    2. TMLutas Says:

      There is also the statistical approach to see where votes dropped out. Remember, every precinct has its own vote record. If high evangelical precincts had a drop off, that can be teased out of the voting numbers. It is way too early to get the full raw numbers but it is not beyond reach. It is inconceivable for me that this analysis will remain undone.

    3. zenpundit Says:

      Bruno, you may be correct. In fact, I think that you are correct though I am not sure in which states that marginal demographic hurt most (Ohio? PA?)

      However, the GOP really was walloped by the loss of Hispanic voters this year vice Bush in 2004. Or even McCain.

    4. Joe Citizen Says:

      “No exit poll will show it. Analysts will deny it. Evangelicals (and I am one who happily voted for Romney) won’t admit it. But there it is. I’m sure of it.”

      Well, I know you are a conservative and all, so maybe this is not something that means much of anything to you, but do you have any evidence at all to back up your assertion?

      You seems so sure, and yet you admit that there seems to be nothing to point to that rationally would lead one to your conclusion.

      So where do they come from? And what evidence would you accept as a refutation of your thesis?

    5. zenpundit Says:

      I think primary statements by evangelical preachers and political activists might be an indicator of outlier religious resentment toward Romney.

      http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1011/65445.html

    6. Jason in LA Says:

      When Virginia and North Carolina are a struggle for a Republican I think it is safe to say the evangelicals were a no-show. As for why the were a no-show????

      As a Californian I say to all on the right please head my warning, the United States is hurtling toward a one party cesspool resulting in insolvency and misery!

      Demographically the Republican Party is on the wrong side of the future.

      The California Republican Party committed hari-kari in 1994 by supporting prop 187. They did not choose this battle wisely (though history should note forward thinking Jack Kemp saw how short sided this battle was.) Since then the party has been a lifeless entity with minimal to no influence in the state.

      As a resident of the San Fernando Valley most of my friends/acquaintances, and my spouse, are of Latino heritage. They overwhelmingly did not trust Romney. They didn’t watch the primary debates but they knew Romney was rather hawkish on the issue of Illegal immigration, and they nullified him then and there.

      Colorado and Nevada have growing Latino populations. Who did those states vote for? Florida’s Cubans are one generation removed from Castro. How’s that working out.

      2004 Latinos were 8% of electorate with 44% voting for the victor Bush.

      2008 Latinos were 9% of Electorate with 66% voting for the victor Obama.

      2012 Latinos were 11% of Electorate with 72% voting for the victor Obama.

      It’s silly. I know these people. I went to school with them, had dinner in their houses and dated their daughters (oh yea!), These people are tailor made for the right. Patrick Henry’s rhetoric is compelling for them.

      They are intensely patriotic serving in our military in great numbers. They were furious with 9/11 and were ready to roll immediately! (Basically like our very own Lexington Green, but with an old Impala in the garage.)

      Their work ethic is considerable and if communicated to, they won’t stand for higher sustained tax rates and an increasing welfare state.

      They’ve been locked out of the elite in their homelands and as such, are distrustful of credentialism. So therefore, they have nothing in common with the Elisabeth Warrens of the world.

      They are culturally conservative, familiy oriented and abhor abortion. They go to church. These are people of the right. So why aren’t they voting that way?

      If Republican’s don’t wake up they’ll become The Whigs. The result is The Left, through the use of the Democratic Party, will only accelerate the confiscatory policies that are destroying this country and taking our freedom. It’s time this country’s Right wake up on Immigration! Immigrants loved Reagan, Liked George W, but they were distrustful of Romney.

    7. Bruno Behrend Says:

      Joe citizen and Gray Hat,

      You raise fair points re: lack of data.

      It may turn out that I’m wrong, and the precinct data and other fine-tuned analysis has not yet come in. It’s mostly a gut feeling which others commenting here have confirmed through some inclusive background.

      Frankly, I hope to add another post soon discussing why “everything matters” in close elections, as I alluded to in the post.

      I remain simply floored that Romney got less votes than McCain. Many of us conservatives were expecting to see the vote turnout machine that won the WI recall. That machine stalled, despite a reasonable effort by the RNC and Romney camps.

      Some one didn’t show. Maybe it was the Bush Hispanics, maybe the Tea Party, maybe the old establishment guard, and maybe some combination of all of them. Time may tell us more.

    8. Joe Citizen Says:

      “They are culturally conservative, familiy oriented and abhor abortion. They go to church. These are people of the right. So why aren’t they voting that way?”

      That makes them conservative, not necessarily people of the right.

      They seem to me to be more naturally at home on the conservative left. They believe in family, but also in community. They do not hold greed to be an ideal, nor a moral imperative. They understand such notions as economic justice. While they may have been oppressed by government in their home countries, they were also oppressed, more immediately, by the wealthy elites who thoroughly corrupt those governments, and they identify Republicans as just those type of people (which is why, btw, the Cuban-Americans were Republicans for so long – many of the original immigrants came from just that elite class back home).

      “Immigrants loved Reagan,”

      Not quite sure what “love” means to you – amongst Latinos, Reagan got 40%. Granted, compared to Romney, that is very good, but “love” is not the usual word one uses to describe a group that rejects you 60/40.

      “They’ve been locked out of the elite in their homelands and as such, are distrustful of credentialism. So therefore, they have nothing in common with the Elisabeth Warrens of the world.”

      That does not ring true at all. You may despise Warren’s politics, but she earned her credentials. She is a very accomplished, self-made woman, one who latinos could easily identify with. Which might be why she won 86% !!! of the latino vote. You really should allow facts to inform your opinions, ya know…

      But I agree with your larger point. If Romney had won the same percentage of Latinos that Reagan and W did, the popular vote would have been close to a tie. Florida would certainly have gone red and maybe others as well.

    9. Michael Kennedy Says:

      Are all those Hispanics you are referring to illegal ? I am all for open borders when there is no welfare state. It is the welfare state that made illegal immigration an issue. I have spent 50 years working and teaching in the LA County Hospital. I have watched it fill with illegals and deteriorate as the County has not kept up with the costs. I agree that Hispanics are hard working. I have also spent many nights putting drunken Hispanic men back together again. They are drunk because they are here alone, living in dormitories in Santa Ana. Their families are in Mexico and if they can save enough, they will go back where their money gos farther.

      My house cleaner, who worked for me for 25 years, plans to buy a house in Tijuana, which she can afford. She is a citizen since 1986 and voted Democrat every election. She is a good woman and speaks a little English and still has family in El Salvador. Is there any chance she would ever be a Republican ? No.

      I think the Republicans are getting a lot of advice to become Democrat lite.

      When the crash comes, and it won’t be long, there might be more interest in economics. Probably we’ll get another Napoleon, though. We don’t deserve better.

    10. Jeff the Bobcat Says:

      Never heard of the “conservative left”. Must be a new breed.

    11. Joe Citizen Says:

      Bobcat,

      I know that the popular media tends to equate the left-right and conservative liberal spectra, but I have always seen them as quite different – orthogonal actually. Without going into details, the “conservative left” would be exemplified by such institutions as the Catholic Church (except recently), or many labor unions – i.e. culturally and often psychologically conservative, but with the economic perspective of the poor or working class.

      Liberal rightists would be the libertarians – often quite socially liberal but thoroughly imbued with the political values of the wealthy – Rand, at the extreme.

      The other two quadrants are more obvious, I am sure.

    12. Percy Dovetonsils Says:

      They didn’t watch the primary debates but they knew Romney was rather hawkish on the issue of Illegal immigration, and they nullified him then and there.

      The key word here is “illegal” – there is the a nativist rump that opposes all immigration, but most people are fine with legal immigration.

      If your friends and neighbors are fine with violating federal law as long as the violaters are of similar ethnicity… well, hell, the rule of law is an outmoded Western bourgeois concept, anyway.

    13. Percy Dovetonsils Says:

      Dammit! That should read

      “there is a nativist rump…”

      Edit button, please.

    14. grey eagle Says:

      In Philadelphia, Cleveland, Des Moines, Minneapolis and Madison the GOP poll watchers were forced out, the machines were reprogramed so that half the Romney vote was recorded as a vote for Obama. When the sheriffs escorted the GOP poll watchers back, the programs were switched back to neutral.

      Its the new politics.

    15. Michael Kennedy Says:

      I don’t think the election was close enough for cheating to work but, if it did, we are lost. I think this was the last chance to deal with the debt and the voters ignored it. The next election will probably be in a crisis, either Iran has set off a nuclear bomb in New York Harbor or the economy has gone into hyperinflation. I’ve seen how bad inflation can get with better fundamentals than we have now.

      Anyway, I’ve had a good life. I only worry about my kids. I don’t think the GOP can become Democrat lite and win elections. The country has to get serious and that won’t be until it is too late.

    16. BikerDad Says:

      As an evangelical (raised atheist liberal) who has lived around Mormons almost all my life, I just don’t get the anti-Mormonism thing. Literally. I’ve never seen it except in people who were flat out anti-religous. So I am skeptical that that’s why Romney polled lower.

      I’m thinking more along the lines of Grey Eagle. Romney pulling less of the vote than McCain? Based on MY personal experience, that sounds incredibly hinky.

    17. Tom Holsinger Says:

      Compare apples to apples, not oranges. Look at the vote totals from the 2008 election as of a comparable time on the day after that eleection as the time of this post’s figures after the 2012 election. Sometimes a million or two votes nationwide trickle in from all sources after a presidential winner is declared.

      A comparison of the 2008 presidential election totals based on votes counted as of December 1, 2008, to those counted as of 6 am on November 7, 2012, for this election might be misleading.

    18. Sgt. Mom Says:

      Seriously, I am wondering if there was organized voter-fraud in key districts. Not that I want to be a tin-hatter … but I am still wondering.

    19. Joe Citizen Says:

      “Not that I want to be a tin-hatter”

      Then don’t be, please.
      If you people want to make a contribution to the betterment of this country, more so than you have been able to accomplish in the past four years, you might consider starting with a little intellectual self-discipline, a turning away from the crazy.

      I will bet that the general tone of the conservative critique of this President has turned more people toward him than away from him.

      I am a liberal democrat, but in no way an eliminationist, as I sense from so many on the right. By that I mean that I have no desire for liberals to eradicate conservatives from the field. I actually am fully appreciative of the role of conservatives in any healthy political society, and of liberals. The dynamic tension between the two is what leads to steady, measured progress.

      I sincerely believe that you people have utterly failed to be an honest, sane, effective opposition over these past four years. And reading this site today, I see overwhelmingly that the crazy is being coddled, not rejected.

      The country rejected your leadership, and has asked you to provide a loyal opposition. How about you try to do that in the best possible way, rather than the worst.

    20. setbit Says:

      I will bet that the general tone of the conservative critique of this President has turned more people toward him than away from him.

      I sincerely believe that you people have utterly failed to be an honest, sane, effective opposition over these past four years.

      I for one concede that Joe has a point with these statements, especially if one reads “you people” as “The Republican Party and its tacitly approved spokespersons”.

      Barack Obama has a consummate ability to sound confident and thoughtful even when making absolutely moronic and slanderous statements. In contrast, conservative TV commentary tends towards anger and shrillness, either because “angry and shrill” is the intended tone, or because they’re simply gobsmacked at what Obama routinely gets away with.

      For a lot of voters, tone beats content every time. This was true for Reagan, Clinton, and even George W., in that he was uniquely blessed with Gore and Kerry as opponents.

      And while I suspect I’d get a pretty good laugh at hearing Joe describe what he would accept as an “honest, sane, effective opposition” to the Democrats, there’s a pretty strong consensus around this blog that establishment Republicanism has been an unqualified disaster both ideologically and politically.

      As for the solution to these problems, I sincerely hope for either a replacement for, or a regrouping of, the Republican Party, in a form that will make Joe completely renounce whatever appreciation he ever had for “the role of conservatives in any healthy political society”.

    21. Ginny Says:

      Actually, my experience was that Romney did much for Mormonism. People who distrusted their theology had doubts about believers; I’d been around some in my life and generally found them various and imperfect but genuinely decent; they also shared with my more evangelical friends many core values. My friends were reluctant to vote for him in the primaries, but as they watched they saw he was an exemplar of many of the values they treasured, of civility and generousity, of quick action and quiet warmth. He treated Obama with respect and seemed to have a reasonable relation with the truth. They came to see him as a good man. They voted for him, not as they might have six months ago, against Obama. Thoughtful Americans remain open minded and pragmatic – a good husband and father, a good boss and friend – he lives with purpose. Conservatives credit action rather than intention – rightly so. They don’t have to accept Romney’s theology to respect his integrity.
      I suspect more bigotry was on the left. But then if I took Harry Reid as an exemplar of a set of ideas, I, too, might have doubts about its worth.

    22. Scotus Says:

      On the issue of evidence, Rasmussen and other polls kept showing that from to 15 to 20% of self described conservative voters were going to vote for BO. I couldn’t understand it and doubted the data, but, I must say, more than once it crossed my mind, including today, whether it had to do with Romney’s Mormonism.

      Secondly, Rasmussen found that 12% of all voters made up their minds in the last week. 12% of self described Dems make up their minds in the last week, and 9% of self-decribed conservatives make up their minds in the last week. Since BO won, I assume he got almost all of the late deciders. Can you say “Sandy,” which, according other exit polls, was the No. 2 issue that mattered the most to voters after the economy. Thanks Chris Christie! He didn’t cause Romney’s defeat, but he didn’t help either.

    23. phwest Says:

      I am utterly gobsmacked that anything like 10% of voters could have made up their minds in this election based on the president basically giving a handful of post-disaster photo-ops. Seriously? Giving a couple of short photo ops and promising to “cut red tape”? Not that there isn’t some value in having the president be a public face of the nation’s sympathy to the victims, but to actually decide to vote for someone based on that? I simply don’t understand how people can be that utterly detached from politics and still bother to vote.

      On the turnout, if after everything is finally counted overall turnout was significantly down from 2008 I’d really like to understand where that happened. For all the Obama campaign’s bragging about its incredible ground game in the battleground states if it actually turns out that total voting was down there that really does change the narrative.

      I did wonder about the Mormonism thing (my wife didn’t actually realize Romney was a Mormon, not that she voted for him anyway, and seriously dislikes Mormonism because of one of her uncles’ experiences in that church) before the election. After all the attention it got during the Republican primaries it slipped off the radar after that. I wonder if Obama decided to let is sit in the background and let that fraction of the evangelicals take care of it themselves.

      There may be some interesting information coming out of the post-mortems after all.

    24. phwest Says:

      I did some quick state checking – the overall vote totals in Ohio, Virginia and Florida were even or up slightly from 2008, with Romney beating McCain in all 3 states on total votes, although by less than 100,000 votes in each state.

      One state he was way behind in was California :

      2008 Obama 7.44 MM McCain 4.55 MM
      2012 Obama 5.58 MM Romney 3.65 MM

      New York is similar (total vote down 10%)

      So the vote drop looks more like a case of both sides focusing so heavily on the battleground states that turnout some big states that lacked even interesting down-ticket races was way down.

    25. phwest Says:

      One last thought before bed – it may still be true that Romney lost a chunk of McCain’s support in the key states. Assuming he actually did swing independents significantly, either he lost McCain voters to Obama or Obama found new ones and that fraction of McCain’s support stayed home. Not a big chunk, but 5-10% of evangelicals would amount to 1-2% of the overall vote. I was surprised as the last 30% or so of Florida precincts came in that Romney wasn’t able to pass Obama – that was supposed to be when the strong Red rural districts came in and yet nothing really changed.

    26. Jason in LA Says:

      Phwest:

      I was surprised too. I thought the panhandle was gonna save Romney.

    27. Jason in LA Says:

      Joe, you should respond to what I actually wrote. Where do I say “Latinos loved Reagan”? Whether one voluntarily comes from Latin America, Asia or Europe, the immigrant experience and viewpoint can be remarkably similar, particularly if a political party chooses to make it so. Eastern Europeans immigrants went Ballistic for Reagan, particularly my own family. Off the top of my head I want to say that Reagan was the last R to win the Jewish vote (I may be wrong on that). But I suspect many new Jewish émigrés, were a big reason for Reagan’s popularity.

      “They [latinos] understand such notions as economic justice.” — Joe C.

      As you would define economic justice, no they don’t. The Latinos work much too hard for their money to let a bureaucrat siphon it from them. They are far too entrepreneurial. Once they achieve private sector income growth (of course not during the Obama years), and the accompanying bracket creep that income growth invites, economic justice, as defined by higher marginal rates, (which is what I assume you mean by “economic justice”), will go right to the shit can where it belongs.

      As for the credentialism I referred to, perhaps I was too literal by naming Ms Warren in particular. But if an academic dictates to say the EPA, that construction growth should be curtailed as it could put stress on a 1 inch long fish called the Sacramento River Smelt under the guise of biological diversity, the Latinos I know, realize BS when they smell it. In that sense, they are intensely distrustful of credentialism.

    28. Jason in LA Says:

      MK,
      As a Dr. you know doubt work with plenty of Filipinos. A substantial amount of them work here, accumulating fico credits, only to return home when they retire. Heck in California how many Calpers and Calstrs pensioners leave and pay taxes in adjacent states once they retire? Do you realize how insensitive we sound when we only mention the Latinos going elsewhere during retirement?

      Obviously the welfare state has a high cost structure. I am certainly not denying that fact. However, conservatives using that as justification for putting the brakes on a freer flow of human capital has been political suicide. It just hasn’t worked. There are no longer enough Reagan Democrats left in modern day America.

      And no not all that I’m referring to are Illegal. The preponderance of my Latino friends are legal and love this country. A few of them have gone to fight for it. But they have extended family who are Illegal. And when they perceive one political party appearing to pontificate about how awful the presence of their relatives are, they tend to gravitate to the other party. Even if that other party has nothing else to offer.

      If ideological purity is enough to keep you warm this winter then yes, the Republicans need to change nothing with their immigration stance. Just know that by doing so, they’ve essentially signed over the executive branch to the Democrats in perpetuity. Just as the California Republicans, in their infinite wisdom, have signed over Sacramento in perpetuity. How’s that working out? Happy with Proposition 30 are you?

    29. Bruno Behrend Says:

      For those wondering about why the panhandle didn’t save Romney…

      It fits my theory. That’s a heavily evangelical area.

      Again, I’m not saying it’s the ONLY thing, but please remember that Obama lost what now looks like 8-9 million votes from 2008, and Romney lost votes to McCain!

      Phwest, Your analysis on NY and CA illustrates another point entirely, which is that the electoral college is KILLING conservativism.

      I plan to do a post on that soon. The College is draining big states of cash to fight increasingly Democratic “swing states” that should be red. As the cash flows out and the candidates make no showing, conservative/libertarian ideas and culture atrophies and dies.

      No cash for local organizing, entropy diffusing communication and discussion.

      The college is doing EXACTLY what it was designed to avoid – empowering the big states.

      Conservatives need to stop blathering about how the focus on Ohio proves the college is working. It’s stupid to ignore the fact the left has a lock on almost 200 electoral votes because no Republican campaigns there EVER!

    30. Bill Says:

      Could it also be that over the last four years between 8 and 10 million seniors have died? I am not sure of the exact number (will leave it to others to pour over the charts) but lets face it, the youth vote increased and the older voters are dying.

    31. Bill Says:

      Sorry, what I mean is that there were probably 8 million seniors that voted for McCain in 08 that are no longer living, and while they have been replaced in that age demographic by new seniors (those 4 years younger in 08 and technically not seniors) those youth that voted for Obama in 08 also voted in 12 and their ranks were increased. What I am trying to say here is that if Republicans continue to focus on older folks and not younger folks they will continue to lose. Young people can be convinced of the fiscal argument made by conservatives but we must get over our fetish with social issues or get used to losing elections for the rest of our life. This is about demographics and the democrats have figured this out. And when I say demographics I am talking age groups – not race!

    32. phwest Says:

      Bruno – agree absolutely on the panhandle, that was why I made the observation.

      California is in a very bad place right now politically. If you look at total vote relative to population (using congressional districts as a quick proxy), California turnout was less than half the % of population than the midwest. While the national race wasn’t close and local districts are gerrymandered, there were a lot of significant ballot issues up and still turnout was pathetic. I can’t see that as being good for the state in the long run. But for this reason I don’t know that I’d blame it on the EC per se. Even with the presidential race dead there was still a lot of money being thrown around on the various propositions. Although from a party perspective I guess that just makes things worse. Changing the EC would probably finish off federalism as a constitution principle – a national popular vote inevitably means federalizing elections to prevent an explosion of local voter fraud and a shift to a Nebraska style apportionment would just drive gerrymandering to even more absurd levels. Some of this is just my natual conservativism around this type of reform – but the 17th amendment is a cautionary example.

      I do think the fact that the Republican party in California has just imploded since the late 80s (Dems are claiming supermajorities in the legislature) is very bad. Both the country and the state would be well served if there was a credible Republican blue-dog equivalent in at least some areas. Instead the state party feels like the kind of rump-Republican party that exists in eastcoast cities – a handful of fatalists with the occassional “star” outsider who runs for mayor under the Republican banner (Bloomberg) but really has nothing to do with the party. Maybe losing the ability to last ditch tax increases will actually help here – the need to maintain absolute party discipline in the state Senate has probably contributed to the marginalization of the party.

      As California slides towards an inevitable financial crisis, figuring out how to build a winning alternative to the status quo there would seem to be a great way to address the Republicans’ real need to broaden their voting base. Not that I have any idea what that would look like unfortunately.

    33. phwest Says:

      A random thought – one other negative impact of the current EC dynamic is that it gives an incumbent the ability to target very specific federal intervention in key states to swing elections. This has been an issue ever since the Supreme Court caved on the general welfare clause in the 30s (FDR built his ’36 reelection on the twin pillars of the Solid South and massive targeted pork spending in key Western states), but it seems likely that the auto bailout was critical in Ohio – $50 billion of other people’s money is a cheap price to win a key state. Fewer key states might mean less of this overall, but it also means the incumbent can almost always come up with the resources.

    34. Bruno Behrend Says:

      Phwest,

      CA and IL (Dems just took super majorities here too) need a new political party. I’d call it The Progressive Conservative Party, and tout individualizing the welfare state through savings and vouchers, while broadening the tax base with low, flat taxes on everything from calories to energy – all while abolishing income taxes.

      This party could claim success in two different ways. First, it could kill the GOP, providing the nation with an example of a conservative party that “fixed” a disaster like IL or CA. Second, if that state’s GOP, faced with extinction, reverted to a progressive conservative platform, it still comes to the same result.

      Look up my old posts here to see details on the idea.

      Regardless, we all need to consider the possibility of killing the GOP to save the nation. It isn’t the rank and file GOP voters are bad. It is that the infrastructure is no longer working.

      Want to help me finish my book on the topic?

    35. DOuglas2 Says:

      Echoing some comments above:
      make sure that the voting data you compare is apples to apples and not election-day vs all ballots.
      This is one area where exit polling (and post voting telephone polling for mail-in states and absentee/early votes is actually worthwhile, because the sampling error for some subgroup like evangelicals will not change that much in 4 years. I think we will know if is the evangelicals that stayed home.

      Also, we are remembering McCain as a non-exciting candidate, but forgetting that there was someone else on the ticket who generated a lot of excitement for being:
      – only the second woman to run on a presidential ticket
      – blatantly evangelical Christian in her personal life, but with a history in office of not imposing her beliefs upon others
      – demonstrably hostile to the republican old-guard within her state
      – visibly supportive of the tea-party goal eliminating wasteful spending

      If the evidence shows that evangelicals didn’t turn out to vote, I don’t know how you would disaggregate any negative effect from having two non-Protestants in ’12 from the positive effects of having a female evangelical in ’08.

    36. Tom Says:

      I think being Mormon was a straw.
      Being at one time pro-abortion/ pro-choice is the big, Big, BIG anchor.
      Keeping pro-life people, who never warmed to Romney, at home.

      “Moderate” pro-choice elitist Reps always forget that they dominate the public words written & said, but pro-life voters have many millions in votes. Who vote, or not. Often based on pro-life, or not.

      And to many, Romney was not pro-life enough.

      Sarah Palin would have gotten most of those missing 2 million — altho how many of the millions who did go for Romney would not have gone for Palin? And would the “war on women” attacks have been as good — and how many more Dems would have voted against Palin?

      Enthusiasm works both ways, for both sides.

    37. phwest Says:

      After some additional searching, I’m coming to the conclusion the gap is just an artifact of timing. I found a presentation from : Dan Nataf
      Director, Center for the Study of Local Issues,
      Anne Arundel Community College
      Nov. 10, 2008

      That shows the national vote at that time as Obama 64.25 MM McCain 55.45 MM.

      So 2 days after the election there were still another 10 MM votes on their way in to be counted. Obviously I don’t know the exact timing of when the data in the presentation was pulled, but I would think conclusion is fairly obvious – Romney will end up around 2 MM votes ahead of McCain, and Obama will be down 4 MM or so.

      At that point I think you have to conclude that whatever anti-Mormon sentiment there was really didn’t amount to much. Certainly not enough to be visible in the raw results. So back to the exit polling…

      See also : http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2012/11/07/where-did-the-voters-go-nowhere/

    38. Jim Miller Says:

      There are a lot of votes yet to be counted. Here in Washington state, for example, there are about 1 million to be tallied. (Some haven’t even come in, since our rules allow voters to mail their ballots on election day.)

    39. Michael Kennedy Says:

      “Here in Washington state, for example, there are about 1 million to be tallied.”

      I assume that does not include ballots in the King County Democratic chair’s trunk for emergencies.