Skip to comments.Michael Barone: Obama's numbers went down, but Romney never inspired voters to vote
Posted on 12/26/2012 9:21:54 PM PST by neverdem
In combing through the results of the 2012 election -- apparently finally complete, nearly two months after the fact -- I continue to find many similarities between 2012 and 2004 and one enormous difference.
Both of the elections involved incumbent presidents with approval ratings hovering around or just under 50 percent facing challengers who were rich men from Massachusetts (though one made his money and the other married it).
In both cases, the challenger and his campaign seemed confident he was going to win. and had reasonable grounds to believe so.
In both elections, the incumbent started running a barrage of negative ads defining the challenger in the spring. And in both elections, the incumbent had at least one spotty debate performance.
In both elections, each candidate concentrated on a more or less fixed list of target states, and in both elections the challenger depended heavily on outside groups' spending that failed to achieve optimal results.
The popular vote margins were similar -- 51 to 48 percent for George W. Bush in 2004, 51 to 47 percent for Barack Obama in 2012.
The one enormous difference was turnout. Turnout between the 2000 and 2004 elections rose from 105 million to 122 million, plus 16 percent. Turnout between the 2008 and 2012 elections fell from 131 million to 128 million, minus 2 percent.
Turnout is a measure of organization but also of spontaneous enthusiasm.
In 2004 John Kerry got 16 percent more popular votes than Al Gore had four years before. But he lost because George W. Bush got 23 percent more popular votes than he had four years before.
Kerry voters were motivated more by negative feelings for Bush than by positive feelings for their candidate. They disagreed with Bush's major policies and disliked him personally. The Texas twang, the swagger, the garbled sentence structure -- it was like hearing someone scratch his fingers on a blackboard.
Bush voters were more positively motivated. Political reporters had a hard time picking this up. His job rating was weak, but Bush voters tended to have a lot of warmth for him.
He had carried us through 9/11, he had confronted our enemies directly, he had pushed through with bipartisan support popular domestic measures like his education bill and the Medicare prescription drug benefit.
His criticism of his opponents was measured and never personal, and he blamed none of his difficulties on his predecessor (who had blamed none of his on his).
This affection evaporated pretty quickly, in the summer of 2005, with scenes of disorder in the streets of Baghdad and New Orleans. But it was there in 2004 and you can see it in that 23 percent turnout increase.
The 2012 election was different. Barack Obama got 6 percent fewer popular votes than he had gotten in 2008. And Mitt Romney got only 1 percent more popular votes than John McCain had four years before.
In retrospect, it looks like both campaigns fell short of their turnout goals. Yes, examination of election returns and exit polls indicates that the Obama campaign turned out voters where it really needed them.
That enabled him to carry Florida by 1 percent, Ohio by 3 percent, Virginia by 4 percent, and Colorado and Pennsylvania by 5 percent. Without those states he would have gotten only 243 electoral votes and would now be planning his presidential library.
But the conservative bloggers who argued that the Obama campaign's early voting numbers were below target may have been right. If Mitt Romney had gotten 16 percent more popular votes than his predecessor, as John Kerry did, he would have led Obama by 4 million votes and won the popular vote 51 to 48 percent.
Romney, like Kerry, depended on voters' distaste for the incumbent; he could not hope to inspire the devotion Bush enjoyed in 2004 and that Obama had from a diminished number in 2008.
But, to continue this counterfactual scenario, if Obama had won 23 percent more popular votes this year than in 2008, he would have beaten Romney by 85 million to 69 million votes and by 54 to 44 percent.
In reality, Obama's vote and percentage went down. Considering what happened in Bush's second term, that suggests a course of caution and wariness for the re-elected president and his party.
Is this another Barone prediction?
In recent history and in both cases, if ya run a Massachusetts liberal as president, your gonna lose.
Romney never articulated a reason for the independent middle to support him. Obama, who had no message at all, won that segment with Sandra Fluke and free birth control pills.
Obama doesn't care. In his mind, he only needed to win by one electoral vote to get the win and a mandate to do whatever he pleases.
This country is full of morons who feel affection for politicians they don’t remotely know.
ORCA beached itself on election day, NARWHAL showed up for work. That was the difference.
Many of us said the Mormon problem alone was worth 3%, but we were ridiculed as bigots.
well we lost....
What are you talking about? The base turned out big time for Romney. He had record-smashing turnout from the religious right:
Evangelicals and Church Going Catholic Voters Favor Romney by Wide Margins
Frequency of attendance at religious services revealed a significant gap in support for the candidates, with those attending "weekly" at 39 percent Obama, 59 percent Romney, 'occasionally" at 55 percent Obama and 43 percent Romney and "never" at 62 percent Obama and 34 percent Romney.
A second national poll of those who cast ballots Tuesday commissioned by the Faith and Freedom Coalition reported that white evangelicals voted roughly 78 percent for Romney to 21 percent for Obama. Romney's performance among evangelicals represented a net swing of 10 percent over John McCain's performance in 2008. It also reported that white evangelicals had increased to 27 percent of voters.
Catholic voters who regularly attend Mass broke 67 percent for Romney to 32 percent for Obama, representing a swing of 35 percent in the direction of the GOP since 2008.
“Romney never articulated a reason for the independent middle to support him.”
—so that meant obama should win, then.
ORAC may not had help that much ...... Simply put, Romney couldn’t inspire people and the early negative attack ads with no response did him in. I told people repeatedly that ABO wasn’t going to work because hatered for a man wasn’t going to inspire enough people to the polls. Reagan inspired people as well as got people who hated Carter to vote for him but it wasn’t entirely on people tired of Carter that won it for him in 1980.
“More to the point, Willard never had the credibility to get the Conservative vote.”
and obama did?
Yeah, nice! After predicting a landslide ...
Let’s be clear though.
Catholics voted against Romney and for Obama, and the Protestant vote went for the Republican, as it always does.
“Reagan inspired people as well as got people who hated Carter to vote for him but it wasnt entirely on people tired of Carter that won it for him in 1980.”
I kinda thought obama inspired Republican people, whether they ‘hated’ him or mistrusted or just had a pretty darn good idea where obama would lead and do to The United States of America in these next 4 years!
Obama lost 5.6M whites votes in 2012. Romney gained 1.3M white votes over McCain.
Does anyone else thing that stat sticks out like a sore thumb? I don't hear it discussed much among the pundits.
Here’s what I find, Mike, you were 100% wrong and I’ll never read another word you write.
Yep! And who, the morons tend to think and express freely and often, "care about me!"
Romney had an absolutely massive turnout of evangelicals - more than Bush, more than McCain. Ralph Reed called it an astonishing result. He was right.
I’m saying if he had actual credibility as a Conservative instead of being a complete phony and a caricature of what the left lampoons Republicans for being, he would not have lost. Put up a piss-poor RINO and don’t act shocked when he loses. The election was over as soon as he was nominated. It was a total joke from jump street.
Michael is being cautious this time. This is nothing more than analysis-lite of numbers.
It was a Communist vs. a Socialist. How’d you like the major party picks ?
oops.....that didn’t come out right
I kinda thought obama inspired Republican people, whether they hated him or mistrusted or just had a pretty darn good idea where obama would lead and do to The United States of America in these next 4 years!
ADD in.... to not want obama anywhere near the White House.
That source seems to have gotten the numbers wrong, most sources, including Catholic sources, use the numbers of 57% of Catholics who go to church every week went for Romney, with 42% going for Obama.
How can you say that in the face of record-smashing support from the religious right? By some measures he had more support from the RR - such as % turnout of eligible voters - than Obama did from black voters.
Whatever reason for the loss was, it wasn't due to lack of conservative support.
Romney got 79% of the Evangelical vote, the same as Bush in 2004.
For crying out loud, Romney’s support was weak, you can see that at FR.
The fact that Evangelicals voted for him like they did in 2004, is about all that he had going for him, there is no denying that Romney was a weak candidate.
If he got that “landslide” of support, Ken, he would’ve won. I don’t buy those numbers. They sound as suspicious as the pre-election polls which turned out to be wrong. Even Barone, who is rarely wrong, was taken in (as were a lot of people). I have to say as well, again, that Willard was the most unmotivating figure put up by the GOP in some time. I refused to vote for him because I found him to be viscerally offensive and decidedly non-Conservative. Of course, it didn’t much matter as my state will vote for any Republican (no matter how offensive) for President. The Dems have had such a calamitous situation in this state that the last 3 election cycles have each been like 2010 (to wit: going from a tie in the legislature to GOP supermajority). There’s almost nothing left for the GOP to win.
Yeah, Romney was a weak candidate.
McCain was a lame candidate running against history the economy, the hated Bush and the first black president, in an election that he couldn’t win, Romney was in the opposite situation, an election that he couldn’t lose, against Jimmy Carter’s second term.
Did Romney win in what should have been a landslide, picking up many millions of disgruntled voters? No, instead he did barely better than McCain in 2008.
That is why people have to compare it to 2008 and point out the barely larger numbers, Romney was a disaster.
The evangelical vote in 2004 was 24% of 122.3M votes. In 2012, it was 26% of 128.8M total votes. Using the 79% figure, that works out to 23.2M evangelical votes for Bush vs 26.5M for Romney.
In a declining demographic, those numbers are very impressive.
The GOP establishment got their candidate. They like, no, they love, big gubmint left-wingers. The whole race was sooo Illinois/Chicago-style corrupt. Two “Combiners.” No matter who wins, the establishment wins and the people lose. How hillarious that after pretty much whoring after the Presidency for his adult life, Willard’s kid claims NOW that he didn’t REALLY want to be President. Yeah. Face it, guys, you suckers were hoodwinked. I’ll bet in private that Zero & Willard were probably high-fiving each other.
I said last Spring we should’ve gone to Tampa and run that Slick Willard out of town on a rail if he tried to buy the nomination. What a joke.
So Ralph Reed, as well as other exit pollsters, are all wrong?
They sound as suspicious as the pre-election polls which turned out to be wrong.
Some pre-election polls were dead on accurate.
So you’re saying that of the percentage of evangelicals who voted, more voted for Romney than Obama. Alright. How about in numbers of evangelical voters compared to George Bush in 2000 and 2004? Even if 100 percent of the evangelicals voted for Romney, it would do him no good if only a few of them came out to vote.
Percentage means much less when fewer people turn out to vote. The truth is that with the exception of Mormons, Romney did not light a fire under any group. Liberals, who run as republicans, tend to have that problem.
Evangelicals did their duty like they always do, but that isn’t much for you to cling to, Romney was a disaster, and even against Jimmy Carter, he couldn’t win over new voters, or Catholics, or much of anything, much of his base didn’t vote for him.
In a complete reversal of 2008, when we were on the verge of depression, running against Carter II, and with millions of his 2008 voters refusing to vote for Obama , Romney only beat McCain’s vote totals, by 925 thousand.
Romney was a disaster.
I would love to see the comparative numbers for Florida and Romney’s massive evangelical turnout. If he had been a conservative, there would truly have been an amazing turn out.
Polls can be spun any way one likes, Ken, especially for those who have commissioned them. Exit polls can be just as wrong as pre-election polls. I'll say it again, if there was this enormous swing and ultra-motivated religious Conservative base for Willard (which doesn't pass the smell test on its face, btw), then were was his victory ? I'm telling you, Ken, this was a depressed turnout. If we'd put up a non-caricature with a real record of accomplishment (Gov. Scott Walker), the results would've been different.
"Some pre-election polls were dead on accurate."
Unfortunately, it turned out to be the ones for the Democrats. Then again, we'll never just how high a % of the Dem totals were fraudulent. I think 5% of their overall turnout might be a conservative estimate. They only had to do so in a few key states, anyhow (namely OH & PA).
Truth time? I was not crazy for Romney, but that does not mean I would even think of not voting the Republican ticket. (I did once tho, I voted for JFK, my very first time to vote)
Obama lost 5.6M whites votes in 2012. Romney gained 1.3M white votes over McCain.
Does anyone else thing that stat sticks out like a sore thumb?
IIRC, Sean Trende had a similar analysis. I've been waiting for a more detailed analysis with the final vote totals.
I don't hear it discussed much among the pundits.
IMHO, we'll be reading about it more from Trende and Barone shortly. Barone's syndicated with a restriction on essay length.
See post #33 for turnout numbers. They were massive.
We voted. That wasn't the problem. Of course it was voter fraud.
Surely no one believes America voted to reelect the Marxist/Muslim usurper- the worst president in American history?
Can't you just imagine the above was the scene with Obama and his Commie staff after stealing the election through voter fraud- while Conservatives blame Romney, argue, point fingers, blather on about who to run in four years, 'starting a new party', and try to figure out how to suck up to minorities the 'next time'?
Next time? What makes them think the massive voter fraud in this last farce of an election won't be repeated? If we don't clean up our voting system, there may not be a next time. We may not see another Republican president in our lifetime
Map from Barack Obama Voter Fraud 2012
What most refuse to acknowledge is that it was unlikely that ANYBODY could have beaten the voter fraud planned and perpetrated by the criminal Obama machine. They seem to prefer pointing fingers, blaming Romney and blathering on about who to run in 2016 and how to suck up to the minorities.
>Polls indicated that Romney was going to win the election.
>The economy is close to Great Depression era conditions, and unemployment is almost as high as when Obama entered office.
>Economic conditions became so dire after Obama took office it prompted the rise of an entire new movement, the Tea Party.
>Presidents rarely win reelection when the economy is in the tank.
>Mitt knew it too, when he was met by several thousand in that parking garage cheering him when he arrived unannounced at that airport, and he put his hand over his heart and said, 'This is how you know you've won'.
So how did Romney lose a race that numerous reputable polls and pundits predicted would be an easy win, based on historical patterns?
Massive voter fraud.
That and no other reason
Almost every major Conservative website has put out an article charging voter fraud- Breitbart, American Thinker, Atlas Shrugs, WND, The Blaze, Front Page Magazine, Fox News, The Daily Caller, Town Hall, Human Events, Canada Free Press...
We cannot wait for 2014 and 2016 to regroup and figure out new strategies. By then it will be too late. The Marxist/Muslim usurper will have completed his planned distruction of America. That's what people fail to understand.
We must act NOW.
Start with the election. If we let the Rats get away with this massive voter fraud, we're no better than a bananna republic.
We must keep digging and pounding him every day, in every way we can- phony birth certificate, Benghazi, Fast and Furious, his hidden life, records....
Col Allen West; "I don't want to see America become like Zimbabwe where people dont trust their electoral process. If we cannot trust the integrity of the voting system then we are no longer a free republic".
Col West has opened the door.
We must fight election fraud.
It falls on We the People.
Silence is consent
The website,'Barack Obama Vote Fraud 2012' is keeping a running account of cases of voter fraud and what to do about it:
Visit the site- Here
Photo of SOMALIANS brought to Ohio voting stations by the busload, 95% of whom did not speak English, and told to vote for Obama, straight Dem ticket- Here
'Human Events', report pollwatcher eyewitness to busload of Somalians at Ohio poll, spoke no English, told to vote Obama Here
Republican pole watchers; busloads of Somalians brought in Here
THE JEWISH TASK FORCE makes a excellent case that Mitt defeated Obama in 2012, if not for fraud. Here
CANADA FREE PRESS: Here
Hannity and Col Allan West slam voter fraud on 'Hannity' after the election Nov 12- Here
Believe it or not, there ARE patriots out there who are going to FIGHT Obama's reelection- unlike the spineless Republicans who remain silent!
Visit the website; 'The Competent Conservative'
'These elections are NOT certified yet. The only way to get this investigated, much less recounted or overturned, is through the Secretary of State of each of the five key states: Florida, Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. EVEN IF YOU ARE IN ANOTHER STATE you can help. But it wont do any good to dilute our effort to challenge California or Michigan or other states. Until a major group gets involved to do more, here is the plan: Contact the Secretary of State of the state in question. See contact information below... '
Visit the website, 'Halt Voter Fraud':
'This election is not over - YET. Obama has not been elected by the Electoral College - YET. The Presidential election is being stolen from us with "Chicago Style" thuggery - and we can STOP the thieves in their tracks. But we do not have time on our side. This is our LAST chance. Don't give up. We must act now.
If massive voter fraud has occured as alleged by so many, and if the state vote counts include these FRAUDULENT votes, then is it logical to say that the entire state vote is COMPROMISED and can't be trusted? 59,000,000 Americans might agree!
The state vote is used to determine the allocation of Electors in the Electoral College which actually elects the President and Vice President.
If the vote count is FRAUDULENT, FLAWED, and CAN'T BE TRUSTED - and if the Electors have been FRAUDULENTLY allocated based on FLAWED vote counts - then WE CANNOT ALLOW THE GOVERNORS TO SIGN THEIR CERTIFICATES of ASCERTAINMENT on December 17th. We can stop this if we ACT IMMEDIATELY.
***** CALL TO ARMS ***** FIVE STATE CAPITOLS ***** SEVEN DAYS *******
Patriots must rally NOW in the State Capitols of Harrisburg,PA - Richmond, VA - Tallahassee, FL - Columbus, OH, and Madison, WI ****** MASSIVE RALLIES ** *** PATRIOT LEADERS ORGANIZE YOUR LOCAL EFFORTS NOW, coordinate with the other PATRIOT groups as they also rally, let us know who you are and how you will respond, how we can help.
Remember the Battle of Trenton?
We can make HISTORY TODAY.'
Obama Voter Fraud on FaceBook- Here
Sign this petition- almost 117,000 and counting -cards, email- Here
Sign the We The People petition. It has 60,000 signatures and counting- Here
Click and sign the petition for a recount Here-
Must watch videos!
VIDEO-- Programmer Testifies About Rigging Elections With Vote Counting- Here
VIDEO- Illegal Aliens Caught Voting and Stealing Elections In Florida In Vast Numbers- Here
VIDEO- MICHAEL SAVAGE: How Obama fixed the 2012 election- Here
VIDEO- Massive voter fraud discovered in April- Here
VIDEO- Whistle blower speaks out about voter fraud- Here
Voter fraud from Tea Party: Here
The American Dream- 22 Signs That Voter Fraud Is Wildly Out Of Control And The Election Was A Sham: Here
Town Hall : Obama Likely Won The Election Through Voter Fraud: Here
American Thinker: Was The Election Stolen:? Here
WSVN-TV Almost 1K Ballots Found In Broward Elections Warehouse: Here
Pundit Press; In Florida Obama Got Over 99% In Broward County Precincts: Here
Natural News.com: 19,605 to Zero IS Statistical Proof Of Outright Vote Fraud in 2012 Presidential Election: Here
Realville, USA: The Great Election Robbery of 2012? Here
WND: Here's How Touchscreens Killed Romney Votes: Here
The American Dream: Election Fraud? Obama Won More Than 99% Of The Vote in More Than 100 Ohio Precincrs: Here
WND: The Big List Of Voter Fraud Reports: Here
Nachum's List of Voter Fraud: Here
Newt Gingrich 360: Here
Appalachian Forums: Here
Before It's News: Here
Political Outcast: Here
True The Vote: Here
Fox News Insider: Here
Human Events; Here
The Will County News: Here
Fox News: Here
Accuracy In Media The Left's national voter fraud strategy exposed: Here
Thousands of military votes uncounted or missing: Here
Human Events: Here
Front Page Magazine: Here
The Blaze Here
The Daily Caller: Here
Front Page Magazine Here
Military Voter Protection Project: Here
Fox News Here
The Blaze Here
The best Obama Exposure site on the net, The Obama File: Here
The United StatesLibrary of Congress has selected TheObamaFile.com for inclusion in its historic collection of Internet materials Here
Why? Did you stay home believing his prediction, so you didn't have to vote? He wasn't alone in his prediction. Nobody predicted such a drop off in the white vote. He predicted 2010 fairly well.
I’d followed him for 18 years since his MA Senate race in 1994. There was a reason I was warning folks about him virtually every day on FR going back to at least 2006, and I was proven right. My basic benchmark is honesty and integrity, and he possessed neither. He’s lied in every race he has ever run. I don’t vote for liars. McCain was bad enough, but this was a bridge too far to cross and I valued my own integrity and conscience. My state voted for him in a landslide, so thankfully I didn’t have to worry about it.
While you guys are claiming all those huge numbers, just remember that Romney only gained a total of 927 thousand votes, while Obama lost almost 4 million votes from his total.
Turnout was down in 2012.
Romney was flat and unable to inspire voters.
Do you all at least agree that untapped white voters are the only realistic chance the gop has of winning?
No I don’t, we need a candidate who can run on a conservative platform, and win votes.
I think that when we eventually see the numbers, that we will find that Romney even did very badly with Protestant Hispanics, as he did poorly with whites and everyone else.
One of my aunts voted for Gary Johnson.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.