Putting politics aside for a moment, on a human level I do kind of feel bad for Mitt Romney. I mean, anybody who puts in that kind of effort to win something and then come up short, that’s really going to sting.
I’m quite happy that President Obama won re-election, but on a human level I do empathize with Romney’s piercing loss. And because the Romney campaign evidently believed its own bullshit — which coincidentally exists on the precipice of what Jon Stewart calls “Bullshit Mountain” — that means everyone involved in that campaign must have felt as if they were hit by a truck late Tuesday night.
Romney and his campaign had gone into the evening confident they had a good path to victory, for emotional and intellectual reasons. The huge and enthusiastic crowds in swing state after swing state in recent weeks – not only for Romney but also for Paul Ryan – bolstered what they believed intellectually: that Obama would not get the kind of turnout he had in 2008.
They thought intensity and enthusiasm were on their side this time – poll after poll showed Republicans were more motivated to vote than Democrats – and that would translate into votes for Romney.
As a result, they believed the public/media polls were skewed – they thought those polls oversampled Democrats and didn’t reflect Republican enthusiasm. They based their own internal polls on turnout levels more favorable to Romney. That was a grave miscalculation, as they would see on election night. – Adviser: Romney “shellshocked” by loss
Had the Romney campaign not believed its own bullshit and not believed polls were skewed, would they possibly have done anything different in the closing weeks of the election? Would they have changed their tactics? The election likely would have produced the same result, but we’ll never know. Maybe Romney and his campaign staff would not have been quite so “shellshocked” had they based their campaign and internal polling on cold hard facts instead of feelings and emotion.