Before Nov. 6, I thought only governments could spend so much money to such little effect. Republicans spent about $1 billion on the Election 2012 presidential campaign. For bupkes.
If fewer than half a million votes in Florida, Virginia, Ohio and Colorado had switched, Mitt Romney would be taking the oath of office Jan. 20. When you lose so narrowly, defeat can be blamed on many things. Mr. Romney might have won if:
• Project ORCA, his campaign’s new, high-tech get-out-the-vote operation hadn’t blown up on Election Day. Votes will trickle in for weeks, maybe months more, but at present, Mr. Romney has about 2.1 million fewer than John McCain got. If Mr. Romney had gotten as many votes as Sen. McCain, he might now be president-elect.
• He’d responded sooner and more forcefully to the hundreds of millions of dollars of ads Democrats ran early attacking him for his work at Bain Capital. The ads were slimy and false, but they “defined” Mr. Romney for millions of voters.
• Mr. Romney had attacked President Barack Obama for his broken promises, half-truths and outright lies (especially about Benghazi), his cronyism and his poor work habits. Instead, Mr. Romney pulled his punches.
• Republicans had done more to appease, less to offend, Hispanics. In 2004, President George W. Bush got 44 percent of the votes of Hispanics, who were then 8 percent of the electorate. Hispanics now account for 10 percent of the electorate, and Mr. Romney got just 27 percent of their votes. They were the difference in Florida, Colorado and Nevada.