A week after the New York State primary, I wrote, "A Sign of Things to Come?" which prominently featured this billboard that the leftist owners of Manhattan Mini Storage posted on their West Street/9A and 44th Street storage facility for months. The article was negative toward Romney and his primary competitors, but that is not the point. I noticed a trend that could have proven fatal to Romney’s election: low voter turnout. In "Sign," I wrote about how Romney won New York State with less than 6% of the GOP base voting. Other states had similarly low turnouts. I concluded that poor turnout numbers in the general would result in Obama’s reelection. Unfortunately for us, that billboard became a self-fulfilling prophesy. Mitt Romney couldn’t beat Obama.
At least two articles suggest that poor turnout indeed was the death knell of the Romney campaign. Associated Press reporter Josh Lederman in Turnout shaping up to be lower than 2008, which was syndicated to the Kentucky Post, among others, said turnout in this 2012 general election – one so critical to the future of our country – was lower than in 2008. It gets worse. According to Lederman, the turnout was less than 2004 levels in many states! Conservatives4Palin‘s Editor Doug Brady expounded on how polling samples work and why turnout was fatal to Romney in: It’s the Turnout, Stupid!
"A comparison of 2008 election results and 2012 election results indicate Obama received about 9 million fewer votes yesterday than he did in 2008. But the data also indicate that the Romney-Ryan ticket received almost 2.3 million fewer votes nationally than the McCain-Palin ticket did in 2008. (Incidentally, that 2.3 million voter deficit is only marginally less than the number of votes by which Obama beat Romney in the popular vote.)," Brady wrote.
Brady wrote about how he listened to Rush Limbaugh yesterday while driving. I happened to also have been listening while driving between job sites. Limbaugh said this was a classic "turnout election." That is, Romney’s success or failure would be decided by voter turnout.
Gov. Palin did unite behind Romney and called upon her supporters to do likewise – multiple times. She supported him in no uncertain terms since June and our community – in the main – followed her lead. SarahPAC gave his campaign $5,000. Gov. Palin kept her support low-key and chose not to speak at the convention or brag about the donation. She said she "wanted to help, not hurt and helping sometimes means stepping aside." Many Palinistas, myself among them did step up to the plate, put our misgivings aside, and united behind the ticket. We made things very uncomfortable for those who refused, both in and out of our community.
But, Romney apparently did not close the deal with enough people to motivate their votes. Most Romney supporters were voting against Obama, and that is simply not a recipe for success. Was there voter fraud? There certainly were naked attempts at it in multiple venues that were well-publicized. But, Romney chose to concede the race and not pursue the matter of voter fraud. Whatever voter fraud did occur, Romney’s concession forever closes the book on voter fraud claims.
Christian Whiton, Fox News concluded that this election was a damning indictment of the Republican establishment and moderates such as Romney, Bush, McCain, and others. Whiton wrote, "Recovery begins with saying goodbye to this Beltway GOP establishment." Whiton wrote that Romney and the party establishment took the conservative base for granted. Sounds familiar?
Gov. Palin’s brother, Chuck Heath, Jr. posted "Sarah 2016" on his Facebook Page today. I think I can safely speak for all Palinistas when I say we enthusiastically support her running and would do all we can do to help get her elected. I dare say, we’d go to Hell and back to get her elected. On that level, I share in Chuck Heath, Jr.’s support of his sister.
But, I am not at all comfortable in building and pushing a "Sarah 2016″ narrative that originates from anyone other than her. "Palin 2012″ was born November 4, 2008 when Obama got his last electoral vote. Almost immediately, we forgot the narrative was ours, not hers. When Gov. Palin announced she was not running, it devastated our community because we invested so much in "her" narrative that was never hers.
Yes, I think "Sarah 2016″ absolutely must originate from Sarah Palin, and absolutely must not originate from us. Certainly, the Obama win creates a circumstance far more favorable to a "Sarah 2016″ run than a Romney win would have. But, latching onto and pushing the "Sarah 2016″ narrative as our own could set ourselves up for more hurt and disappointment. We’ve been there, done it and even got the T shirt. Gov. Palin running in 2016 or any other cycle is her decision to make, not ours and no amount of encouraging, egging on, or trying to force the issue is going to change this fundamental fact. Also, things are little different now that we are established supporters as opposed to four years ago, when many of us were wet-behind-the-ears fanbois and girls. Gov. Palin knows the support is there – we don’t have to prove ourselves by screaming "Sarah 2016″ everywhere we go for the next three years.
I think "Sarah 2016″ and the onus for pursuing it or not rests with Gov. Palin. She’s got 20 years of experience in politics. She knows how to file FEC paperwork and organize a campaign. As seasoned veteran supporters, let’s defer to Gov. Palin’s professional judgment and wisdom on this. Let’s support what she is doing and how she does it and learn the lesson that 2012 should have taught us.
Bold Colors Candidates
Gov. Palin’s final endorsement success rate for 2012 is 64.28% based on nine out of 14 candidate having been elected for either a primary or the general (two endorsements were made after the primaries in their respective states).
In my numbers, I count Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Gov. Palin said she was not using the words "I endorse" for him, because she wanted to draw attention to his Lieutenant Governor, Rebecca Kleefisch. Gov. Palin, however, reaffirmed her staunch support of Gov. Walker and explained why she avoided the use of endorsement phraseology in reference to him. Those who insist Gov. Walker not be counted are free to use 13 as the number of endorsed candidates. Gov. Palin’s 2012 endorsement success numbers improve to 69.23% overall with 13 candidates counted as endorsed.
Of the nine successful endorsements, seven went on to win the general, resulting in an endorsement success rate of 77.77% for this subset. These winners did not just eke it out. They won by landslides. This is as much vindication of Gov. Palin’s Reagan Conservatism as Romney’s loss is a damning indictment of the establishment which must be consigned to history’s dustbin. Most politicians would kill for Gov. Palin’s endorsement success numbers: 64.28% (or 69.23% if you don’t count Gov. Walker) overall; and 77.77% of her primary winners going on to win a general.
The 2014 mid-term election cycle gives Gov. Palin another round in which to purge, cleanse, and rebuild via candidate endorsements. So does 2016 and the off-cycle elections in 2013 and 2015.
Let’s Build a New First Party…
During this time, we need to root out the party bosses at every level. We need to begin the war against Rule 12 in earnest.
We need to be better about sharing things on social media. Don’t ask! Just share! That’s what the leftists do. We need to push Facebook to fix their mobile setups and their smartphone apps to enable sharing. Our devices are crippled from effective sharing. We should be able to share on our iPhones/Droids just as we do on our desktops. Social media is about sharing, not just admiring our own musings.
We need to leave our comfort zones. We’ve been too myopic and preached way too much to the choir. Having the "best" Palin site, the Palin site with the most traffic, or being the "most famous Palin site" means nothing if the larger world does not read our content or even know we exist. We’re just kidding ourselves if we think we have the Internet all wrapped up. We don’t. Not in the least.
We need to stop wasting our time on mindless conspiracy theories of all stripes and the toxic debates that surround them.
We need to work more and complain less. How many among us called for Romney/Ryan? Put up a sign? Shared campaign material? Live-Tweeted campaign tweets during the debates? Convinced at least one person to vote the ticket? How many of us did these things for Gov. Palin’s Bold Colors candidates?
Obama’s win and our failure to retake the Senate is our call to arms. So what are we going to do?
The time to rebuild is now. You do not need a title to make a difference. Leadership is not about the position you hold. Leadership is about what you do.
"Let’s have a new first party – a Republican Party – raising a banner of bold colors – no pale pastels – a banner instantly recognizable as standing for certain values which will not be compromised."
-President Ronald Wilson Reagan,
1975 Address to Young Americans for Freedom
Let’s build that new First Party together…
Our work continues…