Down to the Nut Cutting

I got an email from one of our loyal lurkers about this piece, which claims that the Romney strategy is to “cut the nuts off” of Obama by running up the popular vote in uncontested states, using ads, to get a popular vote win even if Obama takes the electoral college.

Even if you live in a blue state, it’s stupid not to vote. There are probably a couple of down-ticket races that could use your vote, even if it “doesn’t matter” for the Presidential race. We covered protest voting ad nauseum this morning. If you’re thinking about a protest vote in a “safe” state, it’s probably worth contemplating the possibility that Obama will win the electoral college and Romney could win the popular vote in a close race. Presumably, the thousands of voters who won’t or can’t vote because of Sandy will make this a more likely possibility, even though it is a long shot.

That said, I’m not convinced that the money spent on the ads is commensurate with the possibility of an electoral/popular split. First, the math is against it. Second, there’s a huge incentive for Rove and the other grifters who’ve taken a ton of Republicans’ money to spend it anywhere they can, and spin a bullshit story about why it makes sense to run Romney ads in Tennessee or Oregon. If the PACs are paying for ads the same way that Republicans run ads in Congressional races, the consulting firm placing the ads takes a commission based on the number of ads they run. In other words, Karl Rove, or one of his buddies, gets paid more if his PAC runs more ads. And even if I’m wrong and he doesn’t get a cut, he wants to be around to pick up the pieces after Obama breaks Republican hearts. If he doesn’t “spend” every penny he gets, he’s less likely to get donors in ’14 or ’16. He needs to be able to show the donors how hard he tried, and spending money on sure losers is “trying”.

Finally, for those of you were decrying the lack of an Obama 50 state strategy in this morning’s thread, consider this. The Obama campaign ran about as close to a 50 state strategy as they could in 2008. They had serious resources devoted to South Dakota during Spring and Summer, and to North Dakota almost to the end. Both of those states haven’t voted for a Democrat since LBJ. It’s hard to fault them for taking a hard look at the 2012 race and deciding that they can’t do that again. Unlike Karl Rove’s last minute Hail Mary, that was a real try, and it failed.

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101 replies
  1. 1

    Hah if Romney is going to “run up the poplar vote” he’d better stop treating his existing supporters like caged animals.

    Absofreaking unbelievable.

  2. 2
    mclaren says:

    I already voted for Elizabeth Warren via write-in. So suck on it.

  3. 3
    Some guy in Austin says:

    I’ve seen a couple of Crossroad’s Romney ads in Austin. I can’t really see the point, but the ad runs once an hour at least.

  4. 4
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @Southern Beale: The question is, will this shake their faith in voting for Mittens? Curious minds want to know, but the smart money guesses probably not if they were dumb enough to go in the first place.

  5. 5
    Chyron HR says:

    @mclaren:

    Great! We love Elizabeth Warren, and so does the President.

  6. 6
    Joel says:

    Looks like *knock on wood* it will be Romney giving the Palin-style middle finger concession speech this time. What a dick.

    If Romney fails as the White Horse, does that mean the Mormons send him to the glue factory?

  7. 7
    Another Halocene Human says:

    Is it staying indoors all day and the overcast weather that makes Mass libs so darn grouchy?

    I hear there are these things called light boxes.

    Cheers, from Florida

  8. 8
    MeDrewNotYou says:

    In an earlier thread, I mused about voting for Jill Stein in my safe Romney state(while still supporting Dems in winnable races). I was convinced that the good my vote would do for Obama outweighs any good that would come from voting for a 3rd party. This is just icing.

    If you’re in a state where the President or Romney is pretty much a shoo-in and you’re thinking about voting for Stein or another 3rd party candidate, take a look at the arguments I was given in the previous thread. Other commenters, Aimai especially, convinced me that the warm fuzzy feeling of supporting the leftiest candidate around isn’t worth the damage, real or potential, that come with not supporting Obama. If you want to support the left, do it in the Dem primaries and at the local level; right now the situation is too dangerous to do anything but stop the GOP.

    ETA- To sum up my situation, I’m in Indiana which is almost certainly going to Romney. Although I like much of what the president has done and respect him a great deal, I thought about voting for Jill Stein as a way of showing support for left-wing policies. However, I’d still vote for the Dems in any race where they had a decent shot.

  9. 9
    the Conster says:

    Rick Perlstein’s timely article about the Republican Party being Amway writ large explains everything. Romney Republicans won’t win until he they love winning more than they love money. It’s not the same, thanks to OFA (fingers crossed, and very, very hopeful)!

  10. 10
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    To those who still want to vote 3rd party I honor your dedication with this. And if the FSM and the Ceiling Cat is with us I want this to happen to the Republicans especially the Tea Party.

  11. 11
    lamh35 says:

    @Southern Beale: yep, this sure ain’t gonna win him PA.

    Ya’ll gotta check out the tweets compiled by Dems on Romney’s rally in PA. First of all he was like an hour late, and it is call as balls out there.

    http://www.democrats.org/news/.....o_disaster

  12. 12
    PeakVT says:

    AFAIK the grifters take their cut based on the dollar amount spent, not the quantity of air-time purchased. If that’s the case, there’s no real incentive to spend the money effectively. So airing a few very expensive ads in blue states is the easiest thing for the grifters to do in the waning days of the cycle.

  13. 13
    Patricia Kayden says:

    So apart from the Repubs celebrating a popular vote win, what else happens? The bottom line is that if President Obama wins the Electoral College, he’s re-elected. The election is probably going to be contested if President Obama wins period — popular vote or not.

  14. 14
    dr. bloor says:

    Romney strategy is to “cut the nuts off” of Obama by running up the popular vote in uncontested states, using ads, to get a popular vote win even if Obama takes the electoral college.

    Even if this works, I don’t think Obama or Reid are going to be in the mood to play nice next term. Whatever else he might be, Obama is a smart guy, and the campaign suggests that he’s (finally) learned from experience. Has he even uttered the word “bipartisan” this season?

  15. 15
    karen says:

    That’s what I figured if Obama wins the electoral college and Romney wins the popular vote, there will be so much pressure by the right wing and the media about how “America has voted for Romney” and “Obama only won by a technicality” and more of the bullshit about how Romney is the only one who will can keep the GOP House in line…

    Just you wait. Of course, even if Obama wins both, unless it’s a blow out, or even if it is, I don’t see Romney conceding. There is something ugly in him and the people who are supporting him and I really think they’ll do anything short of murder to be sure Obama does not win.

  16. 16
    Mary G says:

    I saw my first pro-Romney ad here in California at like 3 a.m. on MSNBC. What a bunch of wankers.

  17. 17
    Robin G. says:

    @Southern Beale: Holy shit. Seriously, these people are sociopaths. (Not new, I know, but sometimes it’s still staggering.)

  18. 18
    Another Halocene Human says:

    Finally, for those of you were decrying the lack of an Obama 50 state strategy in this morning’s thread, consider this. The Obama campaign ran about as close to a 50 state strategy as they could in 2008. They had serious resources devoted to South Dakota during Spring and Summer, and to North Dakota almost to the end. Both of those states haven’t voted for a Democrat since LBJ.

    Had Team O come in with a bigger lead, I think they would have tried picking off red states again. Unfortunately, due to the Republicans “Kill the Economy!” 2 Year Plan, they had to play defense–and did so brilliantly.

    If I have a gripe it’s all the focus on Texas, which I don’t think is softening up as much as people think (the corruption-fu there is strong) and ignoring the wobbling going on in Tennessee. Because it’s not just about racial demographics. Urbanizing, smart growth, public transit (NC… although things look bleak right now)–people who live in communities are more likely to vote Democratic. Libbertearianjism, Bircherism, goldbuggery are for the rural and the isolated.

  19. 19
    DanR2 says:

    The cut the nuts off strategy works both ways–not just in blue states, but in hopelessly red ones too. We’ve been hounded by our local GOTV effort, and it’s alive and well in Kansas (at least in Douglas County). Rock chalk, go vote, all you Kansas dems–stick it to the Koch brothers.

  20. 20
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @MeDrewNotYou: A good point to remember is that if there is a close point spread between O and R in your county or congressional district or if your district even goes blue, that will determine if Dems can even get funding to run a challenge against an R in 2014 and 2016.

  21. 21
    Highway Rob says:

    @Mr Stagger Lee: I accidentally wound up with both of those clips running at once. The combined soundtrack was the most metal thing I’ve ever heard.

    ETA: Except not really.

  22. 22
    karen says:

    @Some guy in Austin:

    You’re lucky. I live in the DC area and see Crossroads ads every fucking commercial break, one right after the other – probably because of Virginia. Even though of course I want Obama to win, I want Crossroads to lose and all that money they shoved up our asses lost.

  23. 23
    General Stuck says:

    Obama, by about every historical standard of the this country of short sighted voting on economic conditions, should be losing this race handily. Only idiots complain about a 50 state strategy for an incumbent bucking that trend of bad economy/lose. They did it by growing noodles and disemboweling the Romney campaign and Romney himself early on. And by using presidential snark to its fullest from a pretty good practitioner of that dark art.

    The O team did what was necessary to win, so screw the whining from the left, and double screw the nutters if they want to bring this country to its knees, then we will just have to clean our muskets and have at it. Again.

  24. 24
    Highway Rob says:

    @Some guy in Austin: I’m another guy in Austin, and I haven’t seen anything from Romney. I only see national buys for the President. You’d think my steady diet of football would have me drowning in any GOP ads that might be running here.

  25. 25
    PeakVT says:

    The Obama campaign ran about as close to a 50 state strategy as they could in 2008. … It’s hard to fault them for taking a hard look at the 2012 race and deciding that they can’t do that again.

    I don’t really see it as Obama’s responsibility to run a 50 state campaign. However, I do think the party as a whole, under the auspices of the DNC, needs to take a broad view and make sure there are viable candidates in every important race. Situations where an Alvin Greene or Mark Clayton get nominated just shouldn’t happen. You never know when a Republican might act like Scott DesJarlais.

  26. 26
    Joel says:

    @Patricia Kayden: I imagine that campaign finances work like many other things of this nature: what you don’t spend, you have to refund somehow. If there’s one thing the Romney people know, it’s not letting go of a single dime of other people’s money.

  27. 27
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Mr Stagger Lee:

    Important disclaimer: this video isn’t meant to promote communism or something. It’s made only for entertainment.

    Ah, that’s what they all say!

  28. 28
    peorgietirebiter says:

    @Some guy in Austin:

    I’ve seen a couple of Crossroad’s Romney ads in Austin. I can’t really see the point, but the ad runs once an hour at least.

    We’re getting the same ads here in North Texas. Today they were running in both games on CBS and Fox. Pretty slick and fairly generic so they may have been part of a national buy.

  29. 29
    Rosie Outlook says:

    As I stated before, I wasn’t thrilled with either candidate (or with the whole [bleep]ing system), but the heartfelt pleas from sick people that I read here persuaded me to vote for Obama.

    After the election, can we resume cute pet stories?

  30. 30
    JPL says:

    @Southern Beale: Michael Barbaro is correcting the story. It might not be true. Several people did leave because they were cold.

  31. 31
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    If Romney fails as the White Horse, does that mean the Mormons send him to the glue factory?

    Or dog food. Call it “Seamus’ Revenge.”

  32. 32
    Democrat Partisan Asshole says:

    This is nothing but a last-minute grift session, plain and simple. There’s still money on the table and in this game you do not leave money on the table, period.

  33. 33
    karen says:

    If Romney does win, I hope that the Dem controlled Senate gives him as much cooperation as the GOP controlled House gave Obama. Yes, it’s vindictive and immature but the truth is, I’m tired of Dems being the mature ones, the sensible ones, that’s the reason why the Brooks and Frum and Des Moines Register endorsement of Romney is saying it’s ok, the Dems will compromise with him and he can tell the House to compromise. Fuck that!

    Mature and sensible the way those people are using it is another word for “doormat.”

  34. 34
    Napoleon says:

    @MeDrewNotYou:

    Ignore this fucking moron/romney plant.

    I hope you die in a fire.

  35. 35
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    Nate Silver’s take on Romney’s play for Pennsylvania:

    That is probably a reasonable strategy, even though Mr. Romney’s chances of pulling out a victory in Pennsylvania are slim. What makes it reasonable is that Mr. Romney’s alternative paths to an Electoral College victory are not looking all that much stronger.

    So, contrasted to the Romney surrogates claiming that it makes sense because the PA race is tighter than people realize, Silver’s take is basically that Romney is so far behind in places like Ohio that PA makes as much sense as anywhere now.

  36. 36
    Joel says:

    @karen: I don’t even think they got the national polls in their favor anymore.

    Of the last 10 national polls, here are the margins (from Obama’s perspective): 0, +1, +1, +1, 0, +3, 0, +3, +1, +2

    That’s an unweighted average of +1.2

    If you do the margin PEC style, the medians of the last polls are O-49 R-47 (for O+2).

    Either way, it’s looking more and more like Sam Wang was right and the national polls are chasing the state polls (PEC has O +2.8 right now).

  37. 37
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Joel:

    If Romney fails as the White Horse, does that mean the Mormons send him to the glue factory?

    Or dog food. Call it “Seamus’ Revenge.”

  38. 38

    @MeDrewNotYou:

    Although I like much of what the president has done and respect him a great deal, I thought about voting for Jill Stein as a way of showing support for left-wing policies.

    Well, I live in a safe Romney state too, Tennessee isn’t going to vote for Obama even if Jesus Christ rides in on a cloud with his personal endorsement. But I feel like the popular vote matters. If Romney wins the popular vote and Obama wins the electoral vote that will be a cloud over Obama’s second term. I want a fucking mandate and while I may not get that (hell, some RWers would never concede “mandate” if their lives depended on it, even if Jim Cramer’s crack-enduced 440 electoral vote win is correct), I would hate to see a popular/electoral vote split.

  39. 39
    Rosie Outlook says:

    P.S. My choice was not between Obama and Romney (whatever else one may say about Obama, at least he’s not holding his fellow citizens hostage at his rallies), but between Obama and a protest vote.

  40. 40
    PreservedKillick says:

    IF Romney wins the popular vote and loses the electoral college (doubt he will – unless you believe Gallup, and I do not), the precedent is clear – Bush II after 2000. I rather expect things to go about the same way.

    Look, let’s be clear. None of these guys has ever, even for one minute, accepted a dem president as legitimate – never mind Obama. And they’ve been running a nationwide PR campaign on that basis since 2008. (And with Clinton for that matter.)

    So they’ll do it again? And this is news?

  41. 41
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @the Conster:

    Rick Perlstein’s timely article about the Republican Party being Amway writ large explains everything.

    It’s a fantastic, detailed exposition of something that I’ve had a pretty strong gut sense about — that the “what the elites are keeping from you” patter maps the shadowy back-world of wingnuttia with the Great American Grift.

  42. 42
    LD50 says:

    running up the popular vote in uncontested states, using ads, to get a popular vote win even if Obama takes the electoral college.

    …’cause that worked so well for Al Gore.

  43. 43
    lol says:

    @PeakVT:

    And who was responsible for House recruitment in 2006?

    The nefarious RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHM!

  44. 44
    sharl says:

    @JPL: Yeah, that ‘Rmoney-preventing-freezing-people-from-leaving’ story appears to be changing now, according to the (apparent) original source.

    Beware real time twitter-reporting…

  45. 45
    jheartney says:

    Are Adelson and the Kochs smart enough to figure out what chumps Rove and the rest of the Grifter Brigade have played them for? Did they really aim to piss away their millions on CYA ad buys in no-hoper and in-the-bag-already states? Are they going to ever start seeing Rove the same way we see Bob Shrum?

    More seriously, we need to get rid of the Citizens United ruling. They may have looked like the Keystone Cops this time, but eventually they’ll figure it out with practice.

  46. 46
    mclaren says:

    As a practical matter, this election is not going to be close. I contended initially and still assert that Mitt Romney was a disastrous candidate because as a Mormon, he’s so repugnant to the fanatical evangelical fundamentalist Christian base of the Republican party that many movement Republicans have said “If it takes 4 more years to expose the Mormon cult, then let’s do it,” which is what I heard from an acquaintance who is a far-right Republican but nonetheless plans not to vote in this presidential election.

    So all the exhortations for Democrats to vote have little substance. It’s all just kabuki by the Obama campaign to create the illusion of drama where there is none. Obama is going to win this one, and not by as small a margin as the mainstream press thinks. Obama’s electoral college majority will be huge. It won’t be close.

    That leaves aside the dire issue of how to push back against Barack Obama’s remorseless embrace of the military-police-surveillance-prison-torture complex once he’s re-elected.

  47. 47
    mclaren says:

    @jheartney:

    Krugman contends that Rove isn’t a chump, just a grifter. If you view Rove’s goal as extracting max cash from the top 1% with the bogus promise to elect toadies who’ll further the oligarchic agenda, then Rove is a genius — he’s a genius at conning the top 1%. If you view Rove’s goal as actually creating a “permanent Republican majority,” of course Rove is a miserable failure.

    But Rove himself is rolling in more cash now than he ever was. Rove is doing great. It’s just his “permanent Republican majority” that’s a field of smoking ruins as far as the eye can see.

  48. 48
    Chris T. says:

    I live in Utah; our EVs are going for whoever has the “R” label, no matter what I do here. It’s still worth voting, because my vote could be the deciding vote for city council, school board, and possibly (but much less likely) even county mayor or treasurer.

    (I don’t know why things like “county treasurer” are partisan here, but they are. Apparently book-keeping is political here.)

  49. 49
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    The 50-state strategy that Dean wanted wasn’t really “run for president in all 50 states” — it was more “make sure that there’s somebody for Democrats to vote for in all 50 states.” No uncontested House races, a good slate of state and local candidates, provide financial and moral support to local recruitees — just get people back in the habit of campaigning in places that too often have been written off.

  50. 50
    karen says:

    @mclaren:

    You’re wrong mclaren, this is why I’m worried:

    True The Vote will challenge hundreds of thousands of votes

  51. 51
    jheartney says:

    Although I don’t expect it, I’d welcome an electoral college-only win for BHO. What are the wingers going to do that they wouldn’t have anyway WRT delegitimizing the outcome? Not only would it make delicious payback for 2000, it’d perhaps dawn even on Greater Wingnuttia that this ridiculous cobbled-together system we now have could use an overhaul, because its problems can end up biting the GOP too.

  52. 52
    Keith G says:

    The AltNY story has skeezy sourcing. I stopped after the 3rd graph. I’ve seen more substantial reporting written on a restroom stall.

  53. 53
    jheartney says:

    @mclaren: Did you even read my comment? I didn’t say Rove was a chump, I said that he was playing Adelson and the Kochs for chumps.

  54. 54
    lol says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    What the netroots has never really understood was that the 50SS was more talk than action.

    The fantasy version of 50SS that exists only in their heads was expansive and pervasive. So naturally, OFA 2.0 couldn’t compete with a dream and they bitch about Obama dismantling a program that never actually existed… when in reality, OFA has done faaaaaar more than 50SS ever did.

  55. 55
    MeDrewNotYou says:

    @Napoleon: lol What? Did you even bother to look at the other thread?

    ETA- Hell, for that matter, did you even bother to read my post in this thread?

  56. 56
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: @Joel built said that.

  57. 57
    mamayaga says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: Thanks for pointing this out. The 50 state strategy was a DNC operation started by Howard Dean that predated Obama’s candidacy by several years and existed to provide continuity of local Dem activity outside of presidential elections. It probably had a positive effect in 2006 and 2008, but Howard Dean was replaced after Obama’s election and as far as I know a 50 state DNC strategy was abandoned.

  58. 58
    MeDrewNotYou says:

    @Southern Beale: The PV/EV split was one of the factors that I hadn’t considered that carried a lot of weight. And that was before reading the article mistermix linked to.

  59. 59
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Napoleon: Well, that was mature.

  60. 60
    CaliCat says:

    I have a childhood friend who has never voted. I got in a big argument with her back in 2000 (we were both in our thirties by then) after she flat out refused to consider voting that year. I tried to explain to her what a Bush/Cheney presidency would be like but she was having none of it. Surprisingly, she comes from a liberal family and is liberal minded herself but just can’t be bothered to register and vote. She doesn’t seem to get that the stakes are really high now and participation is critical. Fast-forward to present day, she now has a three-year-old daughter and still expresses no interest in voting for president. Her child’s future reproductive freedom (a right mom has always had) is on the line and still she has no sense of urgency. It’s gotten to the point where I’m tempted to walk away from our 30+ year friendship. I find her selfish indifference that contemptible.

  61. 61
    lol says:

    @mamayaga:

    50SS was replaced with the FAR more expansive OFA 2.0.

    And the 50SS, as implemented, was frankly kind of shit. Most people defending it are defending a fantasy land version of it, not the one that was actually being implemented.

    But it’s a useful cudgel to bash Obama with so the usual suspects continue to peddle the lie…

  62. 62
    Narcissus says:

    I thought Bush v. Gore wasn’t to be used as precedent.

  63. 63
    catclub says:

    Is Paul Ryan completely invisible? He has completely dropped off of all media. Or is he out riling up the base and being unreported.

    Bill Clinton is probably getting more coverage than Biden, but Biden at least is not hiding.

  64. 64
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    Yeah, sorry, caught it but not in time for FYWP.

  65. 65
    lol says:

    @catclub:

    They exiled him to red states for appearances.

  66. 66
    catclub says:

    @jheartney: I also really want to tell some of them: ‘get over it’ when they whine about the unfairness of the EC.

    Of course, if they try to change it due to the ‘illegitimate results’, it will probably make it worse. We might think that various 3/5 rules for urban dwellers are a joke. They will take them as suggestions.

  67. 67
    goblue72 says:

    @lol: Actually, Dean DID pursue the 50-State strategy as chairman of the DNC during the 2006 mid-terms, providing resources across the entire map – which wound up in turn making sure there were far more Democratic candidates on the ballot when the 2006 election turned into a wave election, creating a larger Democratic Congressional majority in 2006 than would have been possible if Democrats had pursued their previous losing strategy of only spending resources on swing districts.

  68. 68
    scott says:

    @catclub: I noticed the Ryan thing too. He was supposed to bring to the fore this huge philosophical argument about the role of government, but after a mediocre convention speech and a (charitably) weak debate performance he hasn’t made much of a splash.

  69. 69
    LD50 says:

    @karen:

    That’s what I figured if Obama wins the electoral college and Romney wins the popular vote, there will be so much pressure by the right wing and the media about how “America has voted for Romney” and “Obama only won by a technicality” and more of the bullshit about how Romney is the only one who will can keep the GOP House in line…

    And things will be different from the last 2 years how?

  70. 70
    Randiego says:

    Whelp – CNN National poll is tied at 49% – Wolf Blitzer just creamed his pants.

  71. 71
    blingee says:

    Oh shut the hell up with your stupid conspiracy theories mistermix. You lost all credibility when you obsessed about Palin2012 for months!

    They are gonna whine for 4 years saying he stole the election and he doesn’t deserve to be there and blah blah blah and call for impeachment every time Obama gives an interview. That’s just what they do.

  72. 72
    blingee says:

    @Randiego: So? Obama is way ahead in the electoral college. So what is your point other than the fact you seem to have bought into the completely bogus horse race meme?

  73. 73
    Randiego says:

    @blingee: just that CNN has been notoriously been flogging clear leads by Obama as tied.

  74. 74
    Tom Q says:

    @lol: I think alot of people confused the positive outcome in the ’06 midterm with the Dean 50 State Strategy, but they really weren’t the same. Dean’s goal — and I think it had its merits — was to build up state parties where Dems have been non-existent in recent times. This was meant to be a years-long effort, and didn’t strike everyone as being an ideal allocation of resources in the moment.

    The ’06 midterm wasn’t such a smashing success for Dems because of the Dean strategy. Nor was it solely to Rahm Emmanuel’s credit (though he took it). Rahm had done the standard Dem “pick your 50 best seats and do as well as you can in flipping them”. The GOP in fact fought off quite a decent percentage of those challenges; limited to those 50, Dems probably wouldn’t have made Pelosi Speaker (or at least by such a margin). The reason the Dems picked up 33 seats is alot of outside groups — including the nascent netroots — got behind other, less obvious challengers (like Porter in NH, and McInerny in northern CA), and those challengers won while Rahm’s blue dogs in KY were losing. I’d say no individal strategy was responsible for the full outcome.

    It seems to me OFA is combining the best elements of all those approaches. When they’re successful — as in ’08 — they have serious coattails. When they fall victim to unstoppable waves (as in ’10), they’re accused of not trying. But the effort is always out there.

    The jury is still out on how well they’ve done at it this year. Maybe there are some Carol Shea-Porters out there waiting for us Tuesday night.

  75. 75
    lol says:

    @goblue72:

    This is what I’m talking about. You have no fucking clue what the 50SS actually did. Just buzzwords about competing everywhere.

    Let me explain to you what exact resources it provided: Each state party was given about 100-150K to hire staff as they saw fit.

    That was it. The rest was rhetoric.

    Some states hired good people, some states hired incompetent hacks, some states merely used it to pay the salaries of people they already had on staff. If you think 100-150 people spread out nationwide turned the tide in 2006 or 2008, you don’t understand the scale of campaign organizations very well.

    There was no plan and no accountability. Clearly a game plan for the future worth emulating.

    And you have Rahm Emmanuel to thank for candidate recruitment in 2006 since that was his job as chairman of the DCCC.

  76. 76
    Roger Moore says:

    @General Stuck:

    Obama, by about every historical standard of the this country of short sighted voting on economic conditions, should be losing this race handily.

    Except that isn’t really true. People who have looked carefully have found that what matters most is not the absolute state of the economy but the direction it’s moving. Despite the Republicans’ best attempts, the economy is gradually improving, and that improvement ought to be enough to make Obama the favorite. For example, early in the year, Nate Silver suggested that if the economy could create 150K jobs/month this year, that would be enough to make Obama a slight favorite. In fact, the job creation has been a bit faster than that- somewhere between 157K and 162K jobs/month, depending on the details you use- and Obama is leading in the polls.

  77. 77
    blingee says:

    @Randiego: Wang at PEC has a reputation for nailing the outcome and he has it at 303/235 EC right now and that is all you need to know.

  78. 78
    lol says:

    @Tom Q:

    The problem with the 50 State Strategy was that the state parties in a lot of states are a big problem and giving them a blank check is a bad idea.

    OFA 2.0 has the right idea of putting staff (same number as 50SS at a minimum) in all states but keeping control of the hiring and purse strings while imposing accountability.

  79. 79
    Roger Moore says:

    @jheartney:

    Are Adelson and the Kochs smart enough to figure out what chumps Rove and the rest of the Grifter Brigade have played them for? Did they really aim to piss away their millions on CYA ad buys in no-hoper and in-the-bag-already states? Are they going to ever start seeing Rove the same way we see Bob Shrum?

    The bigger question is what they could do about it even if they do realize that they’ve been played for chumps. If they want to spend their money on politics, they need some way of putting it in play. Short of trying to become expert political campaigners themselves, that means hiring somebody to do the campaigning for them. As long as they’re hiring loyal Republicans to do their dirty work, the odds are overwhelming that they’ll wind up giving their money to grifters.

  80. 80
    LD50 says:

    @Roger Moore: Also don’t overlook the big fact that most of the time incumbents get re-elected.

  81. 81
    Tom Q says:

    @Roger Moore: Yeah, I meant to reply to the General earlier, and will piggyback on you here. By the standard the General suggests (and the one that’s been touted by the DC press all year), Reagan should have lost in ’84 with 7.4% unemployment on Election Day, and FDR should have been slaughtered in ’36 for 16.1%.

    Rather, as you suggest, the direction of the economy is paramount, and the unemployment rate dropping a full point in the last year, plus job creation every month this year (including solid numbers the last several months) means the short-term economy is a positive, not a negative for Obama (though long term economy does hurt him, as it did Reagan).

    Obama, in fact, should have been — based on all fundamentals — a solid favorite for re-election, as he has been most of the year except for a week or two after the Denver debate, and as he appears to be now from the direction of basically all polls.

  82. 82
    mclaren says:

    @karen:

    Time will tell whether I’m wrong. We’ll know in two more days. Incidentally, if Romney and his thugs do succeed in scamming the vote sufficiently to overturn Obama’s big electoral college lead (which I doubt), then you Obots will have to start to deal with the fact that the murderous unconstitutional torturing endless-war-loving policies you’ve applauded like trained seals when coming from Barack Obama will soon come from sadistic lunatic Republicans.

    Suddenly all you assholes will discover that the presidential power to murder American citizens without even charging ’em with a crime (that you swoon over when Obama uses it) is a horrible unconstitutional atrocity when wielded by a Republican president.

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  84. 84
    LD50 says:

    @mclaren: COOL STORY BRO

  85. 85
    General Stuck says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I will grant you, that to a surprising degree, many voters and indie voters do not hold Obama completely to blame, and realize the serious nature of failure he inherited, that to a degree they lay onto GWB. Polling has shown this the past 4 years. But ours is an impatient and short attention span citizenry and voter. As well as ravenous consumer types.

    There is not a doubt in my mind that a better GOP candidate would win this election over economic conditions, together with the race factor. But luckily the GOP base is not ready to nominate a viable candidate, as they are immersed in some kind of inorganic purity reaction that won’t allow for that quite yet. It should allow for it by 2016 when they have been out of power a while longer, but I think they are going to have a nasty civil war first.

    The surreality of this election is the GOP nominee who, while shiny on the outside, is a case study for political multiple personality disorder, and now that the witching hour is near, this fact will at least lend pause to all but the 27 percenter class of republican voter, and hopefully a few indie voters as well.

  86. 86
    Roger Moore says:

    @General Stuck:
    The thing is that you can’t have it both ways with voters’ attention spans. Either they can remember what things were like four years ago or they can’t. If they can, they’ll know that the recession was Bush’s fault and Obama has been working to fix things. If they can’t they won’t remember what things were like before the recession and will pay more attention to the fact that conditions have been improving recently. Obama will only get the blame for the absolute unemployment rate if voters have selective attention spans, so they can remember what it was like when the economy was good but can’t actually remember who was President when things went to shit.

  87. 87
    General Stuck says:

    @Tom Q:

    Rather, as you suggest, the direction of the economy is paramount

    I don’t disagree with this. But I don’t know about being paramount in this day and age. You can’t really compare the times with the 30’s or even the 80’s. The past 30 years, we have seen cheap credit and malignant consumerism go crazy under the republican laisse fair doctrine. That sets a different tone, like never before. But like I said in my last comment, the public isn’t completely clueless to what has gone on, and are giving Obama a break, likely due to the trend, though a trend much much slower in job growth than any recent period. As well as the bad parts of globalization on the quality of jobs these days. Plus they personally like PBO. But there are an awful lot of people out of work for a long time, and 7.8 percent ciphers out to a lot more people from a larger overall population.

  88. 88
    General Stuck says:

    @Roger Moore:

    The thing is that you can’t have it both ways with voters’ attention spans. Either they can remember what things were like four years ago or they can’t. If they can,

    It is not an either or when you are counting votes. It is some will and some won’t, and if enough fall on your side of the question, than not. you win. And I am not saying that economics is the only parameter for voting. It can be trumped by the other side running someone just plain unacceptable as a matter of character to be president.

    Romney has a history of rapid ups and downs in the primary especially. He looks pretty, but only idiots and sociopaths see the man as president. imo

  89. 89
    Original Lee says:

    I can hardly wait for this shit to be over. I was on the phone with my 80-year-old mother for over an hour today, as she was nearly hysterical after hearing all of the poll results with Rmoney neck-and-neck with Obama. I did my best to reassure her, but since her stroke, her understanding of statistics has gone right out the window, so the MSM spin of the polls upsets her multiple times every day. She is literally terrified of Rmoney winning and possibly of a repeat of 2000.

  90. 90
    General Stuck says:

    @General Stuck:

    Oh, and one more thing. I likely don’t have any idea what I’m talking about on this thread. Saving grace is likely no one else does either. Hurry up Tuesday. Crazy times.

  91. 91
    jheartney says:

    It should allow for it by 2016 when they have been out of power a while longer, but I think they are going to have a nasty civil war first.

    Don’t see this at all; the party’s been taken over by unreconstructed theocratic authoritarians and plutocrats. They have no path back to sanity. If the country is lucky enough to keep them out of the White House long enough, the Money will dump them, and they’ll go the way of the Reform Party.

  92. 92
    Elie says:

    @General Stuck:

    Well said, Stuck. well said.

  93. 93
    Fair Economist says:

    The 2008 strategy resulted in surprisingly big gains in the Senate and House, which are not expected this year. It’s particularly disappointing since the Ryan budget should have resulted in a catastrophe for the House Republicans. So I still say the swing state focus was a mistake.

  94. 94
    General Stuck says:

    @jheartney:

    Don’t see this at all; the party’s been taken over by unreconstructed theocratic authoritarians and plutocrats

    You are probly right.

  95. 95
    JoyfulA says:

    @lol: The 50SS was fabulous in my GOP environs, and we even managed to elect a congressman. The best part was always something happening, with other Dems, going doorknocking, being a background crowd for a speech, day trips to help in other areas. I really miss our DNC rep, a real fireball.

  96. 96
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    Really stupid poll question on CNN: Will the economy do better if [candidate] is elected:

    Obama: 34%
    Rmoney: 43%

    My first thought was that one reason the Obama number is low because is that the person being questioned knows that Obama will still be dealing with nutso Republicans. It’s a shitty question because the answers as to why or why not are for various reasons yet CNN is using it as if it shows that voters view Obama as worse for the economy and Rmoney as better for it. Regarding polling numbers, Gergen says that those don’t matter because what really matters is what happens election day. King says that college students are down on Obama and there’s no enthusiasm on college campuses like there was in 2008. Cooper is just blathering along, as usual. Bash is going on about how the Rmoney enthusiasm among Republicans is so much better than the Obama enthusiasm among Democrats.

    That’s CNN, a Faux Nooz sister station.

  97. 97
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: John King is unbelievably stupid. He’s my least favorite allegedly nonpartisan media figure by far.

  98. 98
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: Oh, and, for fuck’s sake, there is no enthusiasm for Mitt Romney anywhere among anyone. There may be enthusiasm for getting rid of Obama, but, let’s get real, everyone hates Mitt Romney, and everyone has always hated Mitt Romney, and the warmest positive feeling anyone has ever had about Mitt Romney is a kind of lukewarm blankness, like if you’re really thirsty and you find a long-uncapped 2-liter bottle of Slice.

  99. 99
    Barry says:

    @Joel: “If Romney fails as the White Horse, does that mean the Mormons send him to the glue factory?”

    He’ll always be their first real candidate for the presidency, and his religion was a minor issue, so he’s probably very popular and will remain so.

  100. 100
    rumpole says:

    If the PACs are paying for ads the same way that Republicans run ads in Congressional races, the consulting firm placing the ads takes a commission based on the number of ads they run. In other words, Karl Rove, or one of his buddies, gets paid more if his PAC runs more ads.

    This. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/...../cron.html

    Note the extensive history in conservative direct mail–e.g., scamapalooza. And a little work reveals close ties with abramoff, reed and the like who would gladly turn one client against another so long as they profited off of the conflict. This “popular vote” nonsense is a cover for them to collect cash and have an answer to the question “Where’s my money?”

  101. 101
    C Weathers says:

    @Keith G: Say what you want about the sourcing, but I know the fundraiser (mostly by reputation) and the former donor, who is a credible source I’ve used for another story about the NY GOP in the past (picked up by the MSM later). One of my reasons for not publishing her name is her extremely litigious and scarily aggressive nature. As far as the donor is concerned, he worries about being “outed” to his peers and compromising his career, and I’m worried about losing him as a possible future source and as a friend. Had I the time or opportunity to find secondary sourcing such as another person the fundraiser said this to (I had been dealing with a post-Sandy power outage for five days), I would have published her name. I had a tough choice, run a timely piece with a single anonymous source out or just sitting on it. What call would you have made in this situation?

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