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This is What Winning Looks Like

Voting is a social activity. Voting is a social activity. Voting is a social activity. And repeat until the next election.

Voting is not an act born of cost-benefit analysis but of primarily social motivations. And, as I’ve written here before, with great anxiety, the Progressives understand this, have studied this seriously, and have worked hard to perfect the arts of persuasion and turnout.

Robo-calls are worthless. And most mailers are too. Romney and allied groups flushed hundreds of millions down the drain and sentenced this country to an entrenched ObamaCare and the rest of our own “lost decade” because they don’t take social science as seriously as the Left.

We got our rear end handed to us for one very simple reason . . . They do it better.

Here’s what winning looks like:

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  1. Pseudodionysius

    Well played, sir.

  2. Adam Schaeffer
    C

    Thanks Pseudodionysius . . . unfortunately, Caveat #1 came through, even more so . . . Romney lost because:

    My caveats: · · 23 hours ago

    1. Although I think it is unlikely, Romney could lose the election by losing in Ohio due to Obama’s dominance in the ad wars (both in terms of number of ads aired and their effectiveness in moving the vote), as well as the far more sophisticated and effective GOTV efforts on the Left.

  3. Adam Schaeffer
    C

    Of course the situation was even worse than I allowed myself to admit . . .

  4. Crow

    The graph is startling, although probably shouldn’t be surprising when you compare the popular vote totals this year to 2008.

    In any event, the pundits and consultants got this one very wrong. Sounds like the party has some serious work to do here if we’re going to prove Ruy Teixeira wrong.

  5. John Grant
    C

    The Democrats don’t dominate through a mastery of social science. They win because they make claims about justice. Obama says his vision of the redistributive welfare state is just. Romney and other establishment Republicans agree that the welfare state is just, but they believe it needs to be managed more responsibly.

    The Democrats look like idealists; Romney et al. look like half-hearted idealists/Democrats.

    The Republicans have also gone along with measure after measure which vitiates the moral character required for freedom. Medicare/Medicaid, Food Stamps, Medicare expansion, and No Child Left Behind come to mind. And let’s not forget the Immigration Act of 1965, which put us on a course to invite millions of people from countries where despotism is the norm (and hence client/patron politics is the name of the game) to our shores.

    The social science ignored by Republicans are the facts relating to who votes for them!

  6. Adam Schaeffer
    C

    I don’t buy the whole “the Hispanic sky is falling” schtick.

    Obama lost 7 million votes and Romney over 1 million from the 2008 totals, so the electorate, for all racial groups, was most likely different in significant ways. It is quite possible that many Republican-leaning Hispanics stayed home and proportionally more liberal Hispanics turned out.

    We’re looking at apples to oranges comparisons right now with just the exit poll data and a shrunken electorate. Republicans destroyed the gender gap in 2010 not because women on the whole became so much more Republican, but because a different mix of female voters turned out in the midterm compared with the Presidential, as we unfortunately confirmed lat night.

  7. Patrick Lasswell

    In my front yard is a sign that reads “Benghazi #7HoursofHell Paid for by the Multnomah County Republican Party” It has been up for almost a week in Portland, Oregon.

    The media created social proof ignoring Benghazi so strong that the thugs didn’t know to knock down my sign. If I’d had a Romney/Ryan sign, it would’ve been down in hours. The limitation of that social proof is that it is based on a bad lie. There is a gap there we can exploit with quick-run issues signs to outflank the media with different kinds of social proof in our neighborhoods.

    We have to be careful about not going crazy with this, or allowing ourselves to be dismissed as crazy. But issues lawn signs are faster and cheaper than ever. I paid five bucks to MCRP for a sign that cost two bucks to make.

    Ricochet has a team that can develop this method well.

  8. Cal Lawton

    The first image is document personalization through variable printing. Usually found in your credit card and utility bills to pitch other goods and services based on your buying behavior as found in those respective records. This example is, honestly, brilliant.

    My immediate reaction to the graph was “Well, no wonder.”

  9. Adam Schaeffer
    C

    And while we’re on that topic, how is it even possible for Mitt Romney’s campaign to lose 2% of McCain’s voters?

    That is just a terrible, terrible performance. Simple awful, especially considering the reservoir of energy and enthusiasm among the core of Republican supporters.

    The fact that they couldn’t translate that into even a match of McCain’s numbers is a simply stunning failure.

  10. John Grant
    C

    Obama won 70+ percent of the Hispanic vote, and 75% of the Asian vote. Of course he won 93% of the African-American vote.

    The Hispanic sky is not falling. The situation is basically is the same as it has been for some time. I predicted that result, and I am not a pollster.

    The gender gap can only be understood in light of the marriage gap.

    Adam Schaeffer: I don’t buy the whole “the Hispanic sky is falling” schtick.

    Obama lost 7 million votes and Romney over 1 million from the 2008 totals, so the electorate, for all racial groups, was most likely different in significant ways. It is quite possible that many Republican-leaning Hispanics stayed home and proportionally more liberal Hispanics turned out.

    We’re looking at apples to oranges comparisons right now with just the exit poll data and a shrunken electorate. Republicans destroyed the gender gap in 2010 not because women on the whole became so much more Republican, but because a different mix of female voters turned out in the midterm compared with the Presidential, as we unfortunately confirmed lat night. · 0 minutes ago

  11. Tom Lindholtz

    The graph shows the telling difference:  Reps see elections as an every four years event. Dems understand elections are a daily activity. 

    Edit for further thought: Elections as a daily activity is the impact of “community organizing”.  I heard someone say last night that in some of the urban areas of swing states, Obama had never closed his ’08 campaign offices.  That means the operatives were there, in the ‘hood, helping people get things done and building relationships with them.   That is a strategy we need to learn from. Partly because its good politics, but mostly because it is the right way to make government responsive. 

  12. Israel P.
    Cal Lawton:

    My immediate reaction to the graph was “Well, no wonder.” · 2 minutes ago

    Mine was “What is this and why should I waste time trying to understand it.”

  13. Patrick Lasswell
    Tom Lindholtz: The graph shows the telling difference:  Reps see elections as an every four years event. Dems understand elections are a daily activity. 

    That’s because we see elections as a distraction from useful work and they see them as the only useful work.

  14. Leslie Watkins

    Gee whiz! If that voting report card is considered doing it better, then, please, show me the way out.

  15. The New Clear Option

    Appropriate as I read this, the (government) storm warning sirens sounding. It’s the monthly test of the system, but still. Storm sirens should’ve been blowing two years ago for the GOP establishment, if not a full four years ago.

  16. DutchTex

    Exactly.  I find it exceedingly creepy.

    Leslie Watkins: Gee whiz! If that voting report card is considered doing it better, then, please, show me the way out. · 4 minutes ago

  17. Crow
    John Grant: The Democrats don’t dominate through a mastery of social science. They win because they make claims about justice. Obama says his vision of the redistributive welfare state is just. Romney and other establishment Republicans agree that the welfare state is just, but they believe it needs to be managed more responsibly.

    Definitely agree here that many of the foot-soldiers and the people who turn out to vote for Democrats have absorbed the ideology of fairness that their politicians spread, and that they passionately believe they are doing the right thing.

    We should be making a more fervent argument about the justice of our own case.

    But, that doesn’t mean that taking a look at the social science–which is not a virtue, like justice, but rather merely a somewhat lowly art or a tool–is worthless.

    The GOP turned out in fewer numbers this year to vote than in 2008–a fact quite surprising to me given our hatred of the current administration. If small GOTV efforts can help contribute to making up that gap, or if we should be redirecting resources to newer media, then go to it, I say.

  18. Pseudodionysius

    This has a disturbing smell to it: the way that Athenians rolled over for the Macedonians. Nigel Farage for podcast guest, please.

  19. Misthiocracy

    QUESTION: If Romney had had as many campaign field offices as Obama had, would he have had enough volunteers to staff them?

    Technology isn’t enough for a good ground game.  You also need boots on the ground.

    Democrats are generally able to get more enthusiastic young people who are willing to volunteer longer hours and knock on more doors, partially because they have more energy and partially because they are looking to pad their resumes and college applications. They tend to be more idealistic, and therefore may be more likely to follow the directions of campaign team leaders.

    Conservative volunteers tend to trend older.  They often cannot volunteer the same number of hours because they either have full-time jobs, or they have family obligations, or they’re simply getting older and don’t have the same energy. They’re also less likely to take orders from younger campaign team leaders, even when the team leaders know more about political tactics, so leaders end up arguing with their own volunteers.

    As such, conservative campaign are forced to spend money on tactics that may be less effective, because they don’t have the volunteer manpower for the more effective tactics.

  20. liberal jim

    Romney ran a campaign that spent f0ur times the money McCain did and got one million fewer votes.  Perhaps it is a good thing this bozo is not going to run the country.