Explanation of Romney's defeat #97
Over the past two days, I've seen more explanations from the right and left for Romney's loss than I care to go into.
But I've actually read this one a couple of times. From the Romney campaign:
A Romney adviser partly blames last night's defeat on a weak message. "Turnout was the big problem, since we didn't get all of McCain's voters to the polls, but we really should have been talking more about Benghazi and Obamacare," an adviser says, speaking on the condition of anonymity. "Those are major issues and Romney rarely mentioned them in the final days."
The adviser expects Stuart Stevens, Romney's chief strategist, to bear the brunt of the blame, but not all of it. "There is a Boston clique that will stick together," the adviser says. "But blaming Stuart and the other newcomers means blaming Romney, so they will be careful. They know Romney always gave Stuart his complete confidence."
Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, the adviser adds, is persona non grata in Romney's inner circle. "He went out of his way to embrace the president during the final week of the campaign," the adviser says. "It wasn't necessary and it hurt us. Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock, and Chris Christie undermined the Republican message."
Benghazi? Ask 100 Americans to describe the issues surrounding Benghazi and 50 won't know what you're talking about and another 20 will only pretend they know. Benghazi was not an issue that lent itself to 30 second soundbites or one minute ads. The idea that failure in messaging in this case led to Romney's defeat is simply grasping at straws.
What more could have been said about Obamacare? The polls have been pretty consistent for more than a year - about half the country doesn't want it while about 40-45% do. Hard to see how the dial could have been moved by bringing it up more than it had been.
I like Chris Christie's explanation:
At a press conference in Harvey Cedars, the normally-outspoken Christie was blunt on Romney's chief failing: "He didn't get enough votes."
Sounds about right.