The Problem Is the People
In a democratic republic, the primary obstacle to righteous governance is unrighteous voters--voters whose beliefs, affections, or wills are disordered.
I'm all for making better policy choices and promoting better candidates and finding better ways of selling both.
I'm also all for becoming better advocates of conservative ideas.
By all means, let's develop better arguments and better messages, let's develop a more sophisticated ground game, and let's be as winsome as possible.
That said, let's also keep in mind that life in a democratic republic means that the wise, the virtuous, the intelligent, and the informed share sovereignty with the foolish, the vicious, the stupid, and the ignorant. There is probably a gentler, kinder way of saying what I just said, but I'm not addressing the general public here; I'm addressing my fellow conservatives.
Whether we win really isn't under our control. Surely we can do better than we have done in 2012, but we're limited by our fellow citizens. The best policies, arguments, and campaign strategies cannot be guaranteed to win a majority vote; we can't make people see or embrace the truth.