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Dick Morris: Whites Stayed Home and re-elected Obama?
5 years ago


Now that all the data is in, the fundamental reason for Romney’s defeat is apparent, if largely unreported. It is not just that blacks, Latinos, and single women showed up in record numbers at the polls. It’s that whites didn’t.


The final numbers suggest that 91.6 million votes were cast by whites — seven million less than the 98.6 million that were cast in 2008! Meanwhile, 16.6 million blacks voted — 300,000 more than in 2008; 11 million Latinos voted — 1.7 million more votes than were cast by Hispanics in 2008.


We lost because whites stayed home! Particularly among the elderly, the voter turnout was disappointing with seniors casting only 16% of the vote, much less than had been anticipated. (Seniors were the only age group that Obama lost by a significant margin — 15 points).

Why didn’t whites vote and why didn’t we all spot it sooner?

Impact of Sandy.


There was no good national polling after Sandy struck. Gallup, for example, suspended its polling. At the last minute, it put together a national sample — with lots of disclaimers about the dangers of inaccuracies due to the difficulty of sampling storm-hit areas — and it showed a slight Romney lead.


Romney was, in fact, leading before Sandy and that his chances blew away in the storm with its famous bipartisan photo of Governor Chris Christie with Obama. And there was no way to measure the impact of Sandy since there could not logistically be any polling. Why was I wrong? I’m a pollster, not a meteorologist!


But the real question is why the support for Romney among whites was so shallow that the winds of Sandy blew it away. The answer lies in the fundamental strategic mistake the Romney campaign and the super PACs made in June and July — of not answering Obama’s Bain Capital attacks.


These withering attacks undermined Romney’s standing among white voters and led directly to their diminished turnout. The Romney campaign and the Super PACs were so wedded to their attack ads that they failed to realize that Bain posed a mortal threat to the credibility of their candidate. Many other consultants joined me in pleading in vain for a reply to the Bain attacks, but none was forthcoming.


There is a very good story to be told about Bain and it was masterfully captured in an ad produced by Romney media guru Stuart Stevens but was aired for only limited times and there was no follow up. Had that very ad been run more, Romney would, in my opinion, have been elected president!


The Republican consultants are so enamored of negative ads that they do not appreciate the impact of rebuttal media and its capacity to wipe away negatives and trigger a backlash against the candidate who airs them. But the doctrine of always attack — reminiscent of the French and British generals in World War I — does not permit rebuttals, only new negatives.

And we paid the price.

This post was modified from its original form on 07 Dec, 6:24

This post was modified from its original form on 07 Dec, 6:25
5 years ago

As I said, it is no easy task unseating an incumbent, even one as blemished as Obama.

His oppoponent was very bruised and beaten up and there was no strong fight back and I am going to agree with Morris on that fact.


Being painted as a vulture capitalist and elitest was very harmful to Mitt's image.  he never overcame this perception free and clear to be really strong.  He was always borderline and that is never a good thing. 


There were many factors and we all cited them on Political Derby and as far as I am concerned now; the republicans learned a valuable lesson from all of this.  They need to pay attention to peoples' perceptions of the candidate selected to run.


The weak line-up was the initial problem which never went away.

I believe the GOP will offer strong new talent in 2016 and the democrats will have the old hackneyed faces of socialism on their menu.. 

5 years ago

As long as the Party realizes that it is time to slim down the potentials and not overwhelm the voters with too many; quality is much more important in 2014 and 2016 than quantity.

5 years ago

It has been said that there are 16 interested in POTUS for 2016; way too many.


I do believe this move with DeMint at Heritage is done for a reason.

He will be ready to define the conservative platform of the GOP, bring all people together as he is well respected.  Even disspeakable Harry Reid praised him because the man has integrity and no one doubts that.


That was the factor lacking with the political nominees this year.  There was no strong integrity of word, beliefs, idealogy.  The candidates talked both sides of their mouth, all of them.

We need to be careful and be selective on the very best and whittle away double talkers more effetively.  Long winded politicians and those that had many dual platforms of being both liberal and conservative simultaneously does not wash with the electorate.


Men of strong convictions and those that live by their words are the men who will be revered. 


A lot of white voters were never convinced and they did not see the strong contrast of the parties and I also blame Ron Paul because he said "there  is no difference  between Romney and Obama"   that was a very demonizing slant to Mitt and I am afraid many white voters believed Ron Paul.  They stayed home as they bought into this, in fact, there was a big difference because Romney believed more in building jobs but it is hard to convince the many nay sayers who take the word of Ron Paul. 

5 years ago

Oh Sheila, I respectlfully disagree with you on that comment that integrity was lacking from the political nominees this year and I do think you might want to rethink that comment.  Mitt Romney is a man of impeccable integrity and that was one of the biggest problems, maybe too much so.  There was nothing about his personal character that could be found to crush him so they had to attack Bain Capital, the fact that he was wealthy, etc.  

I do think that the worst thing any of us can do is "hero worship" any candidate. They are human beings and they all have their flaws, DeMint, Romeny, all of them.  What we have to do is determine if those flaws are serious enough to undermine their ability to perform the job for which they are being considered by the voters.  I do agree that DeMint is a person of real integrity, as is Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.  There are others, too.  

I am not sure that the problem is that we first need to become unified in just what we see the Party represent and what we feel is the platform of the Party.  Once that is done it is easier to determine who can best represent this platform.  This is where the "bickering" in the party comes from and trust me, the Democrats are having the same struggles and more than likely even worse as I am certain that there are many in that Party that do not agree with the direction that Obama (and Reid/Pelosi, etc) are taking the Party.  

More than likely it is just time for the people of this Country to determine just what they want and where they want the Country to be.  I think that the main difference is still the same; conservatives want a free Country that lives up to the Constitution and continues to provide the freedoms therein, and the government following the direction as it is laid out.  The liberals want socialism and to one degree or another and that is where their differences lie; Obama and many want Marxist-Socialism and the rest just want a more "Eurpoean" form of socialism.  Major differences in some areas, but in the end socialism does not work and Russia and China already know this and Europe is discovering it, too.

5 years ago

Linda:  I used the wrong word:  it should have been strong conservative convictions.


I am not doubting Mitt's integrity. 


Ron Paul did say on numerous occassions to his crowds that there was no differences between romney and obama and many believed him.


I did not and fought hard.  Romney was not a true conservative and that is what I am trying to say and I think many people did not bother to vote as they did believe Ron Paul.  I am too old and too wise to idolize anyone today.  I do know the differences on how people govern though.  Romney did govern in MA as a liberal and my friends who are conservative democrats who did vote for Romney when he ran for governor would not vote for him as POTUS because of his actions on many issues in MA.


He put in the most radical liberal progressive judge on the MA supreme court who changed the laws here on gay marriage and then feigned he did not know the outcome.  

I overlooked this but many here did not and he did not get a strong show of support in MA.

Many stayed home and would not vote.   

5 years ago

That's the real question is why did many stay home and not vote.   Until we know the answer, and your views are very interesting on this, we need to nail down precisely what the conservatives want in a candidate in 2016.    Hopefully DeMint will show us the way.

5 years ago

Diane:  there is a schism within the GOP between the party line republicans, the tea party republicans and the libertarians and I think Heritage under DeMint will address these issues.

Basically, they are more the same than different and I believe they can come together in unison and then the strength in numbers begin and the march to spread the message and bring on more troops start.


It can be done, because we are fighting for our life, our country, what the founding fathers stood for and the meaning of the Constitution.  Obama and the progressives have no respect for these foundations and want a living constitution.


America is great because of our forefathers and the principles of freedom and liberty which many today have no respect for whatsoever.   I am so thoroughly disgusted with the mentality that elected Obama.  They are ignorant and God forgive me, I have no respect for them because they are takers.  How do you ever reach this class of people.    You bet Obama opened up class warfare; he made a whole underbelly of parasites who want to suck off government and everyone else and the number is growing unless we do something fast.  We cannot go on like this for a few more decades as it will be destructive, America will be Greece.  This is not who we are; these people who want to be supported are so unAmerican; they don't like the American spirit of picking yourself up from your bootstraps and producing something on your own.  


I am fearful about these people as I do not identify with them at all.  I hope these young college kids understand more than I do because they have to live with it and support them for a very long time, unless there is change. 

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