Why Did Romney Lose?
- Romney never had the lead to begin with
- Growth of minorities created an unassailable demographic shift
- Romney's 47% Comment
- The "Legitimate Rape" Debacle
The worst excuses I've see are:
- The GOP was outspent
- The polls were deliberately skewed, in order to demoralize conservatives
- 47% of the electorate voted to keep living off of the government
- The poor GOP "ground game"
I don't buy the "demographic shift" argument, and here's why: White people elected FDR, Truman, JFK, Nixon and Reagan. Being white doesn't determine who you'll vote for.
What I do believe is that the GOP's coalitions have become more extremist, and it's working against them in securing moderate votes. Conservatism has taken a very rigid, no-compromise mindset, which doesn't work well against a landscape of 300 million people. The NRA, for example, no longer fights gun control, but instead fights for unrestrained open and concealed carry. This is a significant shift in gun control policy for the US, and they fund candidates heavily based on their position on that one issue. While the Democrats suffer from this with the unions and the pro-choice crowd, I don't believe it's as extreme or extensive.
In other words, to be a successful conservative candidate, you must endorse a wide slate of controversial, "wedge" issues which don't appeal to moderate voters. And amongst these are issues which reject the findings of modern science. Since any one of these positions can turn moderates away from you, it's a difficult position. The best example is gay rights. The Right has not become more conservative on this issue. In fact, they've become more liberal, but clearly not liberal enough. While gay rights used to be a safe issue for conservatives, young gay people are no longer closeted. People in their teens and twenties have gay friends who are open with their homosexuality. This is causing a demographic shift in attitudes towards homosexuals which the GOP needs to reckon with. Among young people, being anti-gay just isn't cool anymore. As I've stated previously, it's a foregone conclusion that America is moving in the direction of legalizing gay marriage -- it's a demographic certainty -- and the GOP is standing against an aging electorate which is against one of their keystone social issues.
But there's nothing permanent here. America continuously swings between Democrat and Republican. Four years ago, the Democrats swept in, two years ago, the Republicans swept back, and this week, the Democrats swept in. Thinking that it's game over for the GOP is ridiculous.
Another problem the GOP faces is that their media outlets, such as Rush Limbaugh and Fox News, vilify Barack Obama. I know many conservatives who have bought into this; they believe that Barack Obama has a goal to destroy the nation. But after four years of his leadership, moderate Americans don't buy it. The GOP has tried constantly to discredit Obama with a constant barrage of alleged scandal claims, from his birth certificate to Benghazi. These claims were all phony to begin with, and moderates again saw through the attack. The GOP mainstream, blinded by their hatred of Obama, couldn't understand how others couldn't buy into their claim. What moderates have seen is a scandal-free administration, lead by a President who is always cool, respectful, and dignified. So conservatives painted the picture of Obama that they wanted to believe, but it simply wasn't true, and moderates could plainly see this.
There's a lot of hope for the GOP. For starters, in the past two elections, they've nominated the most moderate Presidential candidate they had. Whether the party extremes can become more moderate, I don't know.