Permalink to This Is What Winning Looks Like

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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Members have made 47 comments.

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  1. Profile photo of Pseudodionysius Inactive

    Well played, sir.

    • #1
    • November 7, 2012 at 9:08 am
  2. Profile photo of Adam Schaeffer Contributor
    Adam Schaeffer Post author

    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.
    • #2
    • November 7, 2012 at 9:22 am
  3. Profile photo of Adam Schaeffer Contributor
    Adam Schaeffer Post author

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

    • #3
    • November 7, 2012 at 9:23 am
  4. Profile photo of Crow's Nest Member

    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.

    • #4
    • November 7, 2012 at 9:23 am
  5. Profile photo of John Grant Contributor

    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!

    • #5
    • November 7, 2012 at 9:26 am
  6. Profile photo of Adam Schaeffer Contributor
    Adam Schaeffer Post author

    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.

    • #6
    • November 7, 2012 at 9:29 am
  7. Profile photo of Patrick Lasswell Inactive

    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.

    • #7
    • November 7, 2012 at 9:30 am
  8. Profile photo of Cal Lawton Member

    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.”

    • #8
    • November 7, 2012 at 9:31 am
  9. Profile photo of Adam Schaeffer Contributor
    Adam Schaeffer Post author

    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.

    • #9
    • November 7, 2012 at 9:34 am
  10. Profile photo of John Grant Contributor

    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

    • #10
    • November 7, 2012 at 9:34 am
  11. Profile photo of Tom Lindholtz Inactive

    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. 

    • #11
    • November 7, 2012 at 9:36 am
  12. Profile photo of Israel P. Member
    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.”

    • #12
    • November 7, 2012 at 9:39 am
  13. Profile photo of Patrick Lasswell Inactive
    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.

    • #13
    • November 7, 2012 at 9:53 am
  14. Profile photo of Leslie Watkins Member

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

    • #14
    • November 7, 2012 at 10:02 am
  15. Profile photo of The New Clear Option Inactive

    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.

    • #15
    • November 7, 2012 at 10:05 am
  16. Profile photo of DutchTex Inactive

    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
    • #16
    • November 7, 2012 at 10:20 am
  17. Profile photo of Crow's Nest Member
    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.

    • #17
    • November 7, 2012 at 10:36 am
  18. Profile photo of Pseudodionysius Inactive

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

    • #18
    • November 7, 2012 at 10:44 am
  19. Profile photo of Misthiocracy Member

    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.

    • #19
    • November 7, 2012 at 10:46 am
  20. Profile photo of liberal jim Inactive

    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. 

    • #20
    • November 7, 2012 at 10:47 am
  21. Profile photo of Essgee Member

    If only there were a election morning after pill……..

    • #21
    • November 7, 2012 at 10:52 am
  22. Profile photo of Misthiocracy Member
    DutchTex: 
    Leslie Watkins: Gee whiz! If that voting report card is considered doing it better, then, please, show me the way out. 

    Exactly. I find it exceedingly creepy. 

    Ah, but a generation raised on Facebook does not find data-mining creepy if it’s being done by someone they like.

    If conservatives were to use the same tactic with their base, older voters from the pre-Internet era, they would encounter a heck of a lot of pushback and privacy complaints.

    Similarly, the Facebook generation would complain loudly if they received this sort of card from a campaign they didn’t already support.

    I’m assuming that MoveOn didn’t send that card to all voters in every territory. I assume they sent them to targeted voters in targeted territories that they already knew were accessible to the “get out and vote” message.

    The fact that the card came from MoveOn rather than from the Obama campaign doesn’t hurt.

    Up here in Canuckistan, individual past-vote records are not public domain, but are given to candidates for their own use. As such, a candidate would not be able to use a third party to send out a similar card.

    • #22
    • November 7, 2012 at 10:53 am
  23. Profile photo of Misthiocracy Member
    Essgee:

    If only there were a election morning after pill……..

    Why would I want to consume my bourbon in pill form?

    • #23
    • November 7, 2012 at 10:54 am
  24. Profile photo of Nick Stuart Thatcher

    A majority of the American people have embraced Leftism in two elections.

    That can be the only explanation for why excellent candidates with no gaffes to speak of lost: Mia Love, Allen West (to be sure he’s continuing to fight), Josh Mandel, Scott Brown, Tommy Thompson to name a few.

    It’s now 12:30 a.m. on the Titanic. Adjustments to GOTV, messaging, candidate selection, appeal to minorities, etc. may delay the inevitable, help some more survive, and ameliorate the struggle of those destined to freeze or drown, but barring a miracle we are headed to the bottom.

    • #24
    • November 7, 2012 at 10:57 am
  25. Profile photo of Adam Schaeffer Contributor
    Adam Schaeffer Post author
    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.

    Creepy is government boards deciding your medical care. Creepy is government agencies deciding what your children learn in school and assigning govt. employees to teach them. Creepy is needing to check in with local, state and federal agencies for stickers, fees, and permission to do just about anything.

    Those things are creepy and truly destructive of everything we hold dear.

    This stuff is just communicating in a more effective way. It’s public record, and nobody has to vote in the first place. But people feel that they should, and rightly so. If they do not vote, they should be ashamed of themselves.

    These mailers are a modern form of community shaming, something traditionalist conservatives in particular should understand the value of . . . personally, I’d love for a conservative organization to publish a list of Republican voters who failed to show up this year in every local newspaper in the country so that their friends, family and children might have a chance to shame them into doing their duty next time.

    • #25
    • November 7, 2012 at 11:13 am
  26. Profile photo of Leslie Watkins Member
    Adam Schaeffer
    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.

    This stuff is just communicating in a more effective way. It’s public record, and nobody has to vote in the first place. But people feel that they should, and rightly so. If they do not vote, they should be ashamed of themselves.

    These mailers are a modern form of community shaming, something traditionalist conservatives in particular should understand the value of . . . personally, I’d love for a conservative organization to publish a list of Republican voters who failed to show up this year in every local newspaper in the country so that their friends, family and children might have a chance to shame them into doing their duty next time. · 17 minutes ago

    Oh dear. I am so not there.

    • #26
    • November 7, 2012 at 11:35 am
  27. Profile photo of Adam Schaeffer Contributor
    Adam Schaeffer Post author
    Leslie Watkins
    Adam Schaeffer
    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.

    This stuff is just communicating in a more effective way. It’s public record, and nobody has to vote in the first place. But people feel that they should, and rightly so. If they do not vote, they should be ashamed of themselves.

    These mailers are a modern form of community shaming, something traditionalist conservatives in particular should understand the value of . . . personally, I’d love for a conservative organization to publish a list of Republican voters who failed to show up this year in every local newspaper in the country so that their friends, family and children might have a chance to shame them into doing their duty next time. · 17 minutes ago

    Oh dear. I am so not there. · 17 minutes ago

    Why not? What’s it about “there” that you have an issue?

    • #27
    • November 7, 2012 at 11:55 am
  28. Profile photo of Adam Schaeffer Contributor
    Adam Schaeffer Post author

    Misthiocracy, I think Ricochet has a long and glorious future!

    And thanks for the front side of the mailer . . . look, I don’t like intrusive neighbors or government, but some things are public record and should be. Voting is a public act, and I think the records should be open and available to everyone. For the sake of security and transparency of elections if nothing else. This isn’t a record of your membership in some strange club or your medical records. It’s a public act of a citizen that I don’t see much claim for privacy on.

    Now, who you vote for is another matter. And I think privacy there is extremely important. But it’s worth remembering that the Australian, or secret ballot is a pretty recent phenomenon adopted in the US long after our founding.

    • #28
    • November 8, 2012 at 1:03 am
  29. Profile photo of George Savage Admin

    Reagan eschewed micro-targeting in favor of making the moral argument. Nearly every speech referenced the moral superiority of liberty. Reagan explained the the statist roots to the problem of the moment, the immorality of this approach, and then presented the free-market solution.

    Consequently, Reagan voters weren’t just voting economic self-interest. Supporting Reagan made you nobler; you were making the world a better place.

    More recent Republicans, including Mitt Romney, take dangerous shortcuts, as in: Too many people are out of work; let’s reduce tax rates and unleash the private sector.

    Say what you will about Bill Clinton’s truthfulness deficit–he takes the time to make a complete argument.

    Exhibit A of Republican fecklessness in this regard: “the last thing we can do is go back to the same failed policies that got us into this mess in the first place.” President Obama made this charge about a million times over the last four years–as if a 4% differential in the top marginal income tax rate caused the global housing bubble implosion–but Republicans never took the time to challenge the premise, or the morality of the underlying gov’t sponsored Ponzi scheme.

    • #29
    • November 8, 2012 at 1:55 am
  30. Profile photo of Hang On Member

    Reagan could never have microtargeted in the way that it is done now. The technology did not exist to do so. And Reagan did embrace technology. This would have been the latest technology.

    George Savage: Reagan eschewed micro-targeting in favor of making the moral argument. Nearly every speech referenced the moral superiority of liberty. Reagan explained the the statist roots to the problem of the moment, the immorality of this approach, and then presented the free-market solution.

     3 minutes ago

    • #30
    • November 8, 2012 at 2:23 am
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