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Old 11-24-2012, 04:18 AM
Location: Old Mother Idaho
19,374 posts, read 13,036,682 times
Reputation: 14087


The biggest failure of the polls was the lack of concentration on the important swing states. These states are the ones that made the election, and the Obama people polled them more often, more carefully, and more efficiently than any of the national polling organizations. The Obama pollster's metrics proved to be solid and accurate. Moreover, their polling was used to guide the advertising messages, seek out potential voters that lay beyond the traditional GOTV, and many other things.

Obama's team used it's own set of metrics and objectives. Silver's findings verified the team was accurate, but the team did not use Silver's results; they followed their own from the beginnings in late 2011. Their polling frequency was 2-3 times higher than the other polls, and was often very short, with just a few pertinent questions being asked at one time.

And the Obama campaign remained objective. The dips in his polling were all carefully weighed as to whether he needed to change something or not. It was presumed from the first to be a very close race, and never predicted a landslide.

As much as we would like to think we're all equally important, the fact is there are a lot of states that will predictably fall for one party or the other. Paying attention to those states takes away time and money from the states where both really matter. by concentrating on the very most important states, The Obama campaign always produced material that worked in the less important states.

We all saw the results as soon as the returns started coming in. Bing, bing, bing, and it was all over. That is where being objective and realistic paid off.
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Old 11-24-2012, 07:18 AM
Location: Tampa Florida
22,243 posts, read 14,743,045 times
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Obama's margin of victory is still growing. Currently 4.2 million and might yet reach 5 million.
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Old 11-24-2012, 03:41 PM
1,691 posts, read 1,593,333 times
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Originally Posted by afoigrokerkok View Post
Never, but it didn't matter. It was the main focus of the national news for about 9 or 10 days before the election. Something like 40% of voters according to exit polls said that Obama's response to the hurricane was important in their vote. Nowhere close to 40% of voters live in NY or NJ. In addition, those who decided at the last minute broke for Obama according to the exit polling.

While the hurricane clearly had an effect on the election in those states more than elsewhere (NJ was one of four states where Obama did better in 2012 than in 2008, and Obama carried Staten Island after McCain won it in 2008), it had an effect nationwide. I am not saying Romney would have won if it hadn't been for Sandy, but Sandy killed his chances.

Romney was ahead in the RCP (national) average for most of October, including as late as October 30. October 31 is when he lost his lead never to regain it.

RealClearPolitics - Election 2012 - General Election: Romney vs. Obama
Undecideds broke for Obama? That's weird, because you swore up and down that 80% of undecideds break against the incumbent.
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:04 PM
Location: Old Mother Idaho
19,374 posts, read 13,036,682 times
Reputation: 14087
I think the vital question of 2016 will be: Are the Republicans willing to accept possible bad news during the campaign?

Of course, much will depend on who emerges from their primaries. This election's primary candidates were a ludicrous bunch, and as in 2008, were comprised of a group of white knights, all riding in to save the party, each in turn becoming the new hope briefly. None except for Mitt and Huntsman were halfway attractive to anyone other than right-wingers. Anybody But Mitt was the battle cry long before it morphed into Anybody But Obama. The Republicans never liked Mitt any more than the Democrats liked John Kerry in 2004.

Given these unusual and extreme circumstances, it was natural that the Republicans fell victims to their false beliefs that Mitt could, by some miracle, pull off a win. The truth- that Romney was flat-footed, wooden, and too transparently self-serving to ever shake the solid Obama support- was evident early on, but was simply too painful for the Repubs to ever acknowledge.
It's hard to do. Knowing your guy is a loser stings a lot. Kerry stung the Democrats just as much. But the difference between Kerry and Romney was all the desperate yelling that came from the conservatives. The Kerry Democrats didn't indulge in that. They just shut up and hoped for the best.

By doing so, the Kerry defeat became a great time for introspection, and from that arose a more disciplined, thicker-skinned, more tightly organized bunch of Democrats, all determined to answer back to every lie tossed at their candidate, and fully committed to tight discipline of their messages and party's principles.

They became what the Republican party once was. That was a mighty accomplishment for a party of mostly free thinkers. Most had to accept the kind of group thinking that was once exclusively done by only Republicans. Obama came along at the perfect time for this change; as an experienced group-thinking leader, he had all the skills needed to really solidify what had already begun.

As a result, the Democratic party was so solid it allowed the Republicans to rope-a-dope themselves out for months. The Democrats were able to maintain placid silence against the ever more florid and excessive Republican speech. That silent resolve and solidity was reassuring to the majority of citizens who don't engage in daily politics.

Those citizens could tell the difference between reality and delusion. They didn't like Obama so much, but he never claimed the world as we know it would end if Romney was elected. He stood by his record, good and bad, and his followers largely refrained from the depths of personal denigration that was heaped by the carload on Obama. Romney was never subjected to a pile of offensive nicknames, and the voters noticed that. They didn't like the President being called Obummer, Oblamea, Oblier, Oslamma, or all the other ugly names too many Republicans though were cute. They also didn't like being called socialists, communists, or nazis either.
They especially hated the birthers. No American is willing to believe a person who is born here is not a real American. Accepting Orly Taitz as legitimate was like catching terminal cancer for the Republican party.

The conservative message became "Vote for Romney or I'll kill ya." in a lot of minds. The gentler message was "vote for Romney because I'm smarter than you are.", and that's no improvement.

At the same time, the conservatives spent most of their time convincing themselves that they were so intellectually superior, and their cause was so noble, that they ended up convincing themselves against all evidence that Romney would win. And Romney was so convinced of his superiority that he was the most deluded of all. Under such circumstances, the conservative echo chamber was the natural outcome.

I doubt very much that all this is able to change in only 4 years. it took the Democrats over 20 years to return to reality. The Republican party simply does not have the luxury of time these days, what with all the instant communications everywhere. They face some stark changes that must be made quickly to ever hope of becoming a strong majority again. Whether they are up to it remains to be seen.
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