In any election campaign, if you want to avoid it becoming just a popularity contest based simply on personality- note to Mitt, you wanted to avoid that- it’s very important to bring some real policy contrast to your campaign. For every Obama policy that was an equal or worse Romney policy. The animatronics that make up the Mitt Romney mechanism are good, but they aren’t gonna win too many popularity contests or act as a substitute for real conservative ideals.
Change needs to start happening at the state and local level where top-down party central committees have refused to create coalitions at the grass roots level.
Hence, in the ground game too the GOP is kind of old fashioned, missing critical components that allow the Party to drive the must win contests, like Allen West’s.
It’s great to the ride wave years, but you have to be able to win the close elections. The Democrats aren’t beating Republicans by virtue of ideology so much as mechanics and logistics.
There is a trend at the grassroots level with get-out-the-vote that demonstrates the Democrats’ ability to precisely micro target an additional 4-to-6 percent of the vote, some of which escapes the polling until late in the race.
Simply put, the models that the GOP relies upon, including those relied upon by myself, have failed to adequately account for this. Again, it makes no difference in a wave election, but we pay dearly for it in close contests.
The grassroots on the other side has spent ten years in community organizing, going door-to-door, creating coalitions of issues-driven, ideologically-funded third party groups that can do a lot of heavily lifting for GOTV. The GOP on the other hand has eschewed groups like the tea parties, seeing the grass roots as a hindrance to our chances at being the cool kids at school.
You saw it the results on Tuesday.
The progressive activists worked for it, while GOP worked their top-down magic and expected to ride the wave.
The results in too many cases have been disappointing.
As my friend Greg Graves once explained to me “You gotta win the ones you are supposed to win, and you have to pick off a few you weren’t supposed to.”
The GOP, as usual, picked off the one we were supposed to win.