Friday, November 09, 2012

Mitt Romney's three miscalculations

Polls never lie, eh?

Seems they can make you see things that aren't there, as the Romney team did big time:

They made three key miscalculations, in part because this race bucked historical trends:

1. They misread turnout. They expected it to be between 2004 and 2008 levels, with a plus-2 or plus-3 Democratic electorate, instead of plus-7 as it was in 2008. Their assumptions were wrong on both sides: The president's base turned out and Romney's did not. More African-Americans voted in Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida than in 2008. And fewer Republicans did: Romney got just over 2 million fewer votes than John McCain.

2. Independents. State polls showed Romney winning big among independents. Historically, any candidate polling that well among independents wins. But as it
turned out, many of those independents were former Republicans who now self-identify as independents. The state polls weren't oversampling Democrats and undersampling Republicans - there just weren't as many Republicans this time because they were calling themselves independents.

3. Undecided voters. The perception is they always break for the challenger, since people know the incumbent and would have decided already if they were backing him. Romney was counting on that trend to continue. Instead, exit polls show Mr. Obama won among people who made up their minds on Election Day and in the few days before the election. So maybe Romney, after running for six years, was in the same position as the incumbent.

The campaign before the election had expressed confidence in its calculations, and insisted the Obama campaign, with its own confidence and a completely different analysis, was wrong. In the end, it the other way around.

The article says Romney really really really thought he was going to win and was shellshocked when Obama's firewalls held.


  1. Huh 3 mistakes? Try about a million!

    But obviously one or more:

    yeah Mitt it’s the women’s body and if she and her health care provider choose to discontinue gestation then it’s her choice,

    Yeah Mitt the choice to use contraceptives don’t make a women a s*** and should be covered by a publicly managed health care system providing equal access for everyone,

    Yeah Mitt you and your rich cronies should pay a HECK of a lot more taxes then you do,

    Yeah Mitt immigrants, even if illegal, should not “self-deport”. They only come to America seeking a better life, which BTW is a basic human right!

    SO yeah Mitt it looks good on ya loser!!!!

  2. On point #3, though the "perception" is out there that undecideds break for the challenger, it has been proven time and again that it is nothing more than a myth. This year, as in 2004 with Bush, undecideds to a degree swung toward the incumbent.

    But even more important, what has been shown time and again is that late undecideds mostly tend to split their vote. The truth is that "undecideds" aren't some monolithic group with one mind. Like the general electorate, they make individual decisions. In most cases, the pollster would do just as well assuming the undecided vote splits 50/50 in a 2-way race, or simply ignores them at all since a large number of undecideds one day out will simply fail to vote.

  3. Mitts nomination process proved to be part of his undoing. He had to spend a lot of time fighting the hard right challenges from Gingrich, Bachman etc. His victory was more due to the implausibility of the other candidates than his own ability as a campaigner. To anyone even remotely familiar with his candidacy it must have been surprising to see his pivot to the centre in the fall.

  4. Anon 6.09 - that was my understanding: the idiots who cannot make up their mind until the end break the way the population as a whole breaks ....

    Tincase, Romney showed flexibility that would make a circus contortionist proud. A real pro politician, US-style. Just give him a cue card, and he will do a Reagan any time, any place. Reality is just this in the moment sound bite ...


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