The best thing about math is that it’s a constant. The numbers are what they are. That’s why I’m a data guy; because as a person who believes in absolute truth, I have a tendency to like things cut and dried.
Leading up to the 2012 election, several lies and clever myths were postulated by the ruling class know-it-alls and the charlatans who act on their behalf; and you can bet they will continue peddling their wares this year in light of the results. But the beauty of real numbers is that they cut through all the horse puckey right to the real truth. To prepare you for the onslaught of misinformation between now and 2016 from both the mainstream media and the Republican Party establishment, I have prepared a handy guide of real information to arm you with the truth.
Lie and clever myth #1: Republicans lose elections because they’re too conservative, so independents side with Democrats.
TRUTH: Romney won independent voters in the crucial battleground states of Virginia and Ohio, two of the three states he had to win to win the presidency. In Florida, the other battleground state Romney had to have, he actually did 8 points better among independents than McCain did in 2008. In Colorado, Romney won independents by four points, which was 14 points better than McCain four years ago.
Lie and clever myth #2: Romney lost because of the GOP’s alleged “war on women”, so that means Republicans can’t be pro-life anymore.
TRUTH: What the GOP really has is a diversity problem. White voters in every demographic – including women and young voters – voted for Romney. Let me repeat that: a majority of white voters regardless of age and gender voted for Romney. For example, Romney won white women by 14 points. A massive turnout of racial and ethnic minorities – black turnout was equal to 2008 and the Hispanic turnout a little higher – determined the election and gave Obama the support he needed to win.
Lie and clever myth #3: The Republicans energized their base, but it’s just shrinking so the party has to move left.
TRUTH: Remember the promises of 17 million evangelicals going to the polls who didn’t in 2008? Or perhaps you were sold on that Catholic voter backlash to Obamacare and its threat to religious freedom turning out values voters in a way Romney was incapable? Well, it turns out that neither happened.
The reality is that 2.5 million fewer Evangelicals voted in 2012 than 2008. Fewer Catholics voted in 2012 than 2008 as well, despite the presence of two Catholic vice presidential candidates. 6.4 million Evangelicals actually voted for Obama. In the crucial battleground state of Ohio, Obama actually improved his white Evangelical turnout by 8% compared to four years ago. That’s probably because of the automobile bailout, but also pro-choice television ads Romney was running in Ohio that angered some pro-lifers. Romney also ran those pro-choice television ads in Virginia, and CNN’s exit polls found the Evangelical turnout declined by 7% compared to 2008.
Yes, Romney did get the same hefty percentage of Evangelical voters that George W. Bush got in his victorious 2004 campaign; but the turnout wasn’t as large.
Efforts to make Romney’s liberal record on social issues seem palatable in contrast to President Obama’s leftist social policies didn’t pan out, as yet again the social conservative base of the Republican Party proved it doesn’t turn out in full force unless it sees stark differences between the two candidates themselves—regardless of what a candidate’s proxies say. Apparently when Romney told the Chick-fil-a crowd last August you’re “not a part of my campaign”, they got the message.
But Christians weren’t the only social conservatives Romney failed to successfully turn out. Get this: Romney even did worse among his fellow Mormons than George W. Bush did in 2004 if you can believe that.
Romney lost the election in the end because his base wasn’t as energized as Obama’s was. All the so-called “skewed” polling that pointed to an Obama turnout of Democrats similar to 2008 turned out to be correct.
If you count the 2.5 million fewer Evangelicals who voted compared to 2008 and the 6.4 million Evangelicals who voted for Obama, a future Republican nominee has almost 9 million potential new voters in 2016 if he actually reaches out to them credibly and consistently.
Adding a majority of those 9 million voters to Romney’s 2012 coalition would make the Republican nominee virtually unbeatable in 2016. But to accomplish that feat, he or she will have to make them feel welcome in the party and assure them that he or she shares their courage of conviction.
These patriots want something to vote for and not just against.
Persistent future attempts to sell them on milquetoast while scaring them into voting against dastardly Democrats may profit those doing the selling but will likely result in even more of them staying home four years from now—and thus the GOP losing the popular vote for the sixth time in the last seven presidential elections.
The real numbers show that patriots are growing increasingly tired of being asked to cast votes they know they won’t be proud of later. Modernization of the Republican Party is one thing, but moderation is another.
The GOP leadership now has a choice: stand for something and win, or stand for nothing and lose. It appears its base won’t move left with it; so if the party moves left, it will need a new base.
To learn more about Steve Deace’s nationally-syndicated radio show, visit www.stevedeace.com or follow him on Twitter @SteveDeaceShow.
Photo credit: SS&SS (Creative Commons)