Several months ago I said there were 3 key group that Romney needed to pander to if he was to win the election. I was dead right, and this is why Romney lost.
1. First are hispanics. Romney got a significantly lower percentage of the hispanic vote than McCain and Bush recieved. Why? As I said months ago, Romney needed to reach out to hispanic voters and support comprehensive immegration reform, and stand for Christian values. Romney did none of this. Romney supported self deportaiton, laws unpopular with hispanics, and generally speaking, motivated hispanics to vote against him. This cost Romney CO, NM, and probably FL as well.
2. Second are federal employees. Romney should have reached out to them as Bush had done. Instead he put on his website that he planned to cut their pay by 30 - 40 percent. As a result, federal employees waited 4 hours and more in lines after polls closed in NOVA to give Virginia to Obama. It does not help to call about 10% of the Virginia labor force overpaid, and have plans to cut their pay. Federal employees in past elections voted mostly for Republicans and in this election went from majority republican voters to 70% Obama voters.
3. Third are unions. Romney opposition to the autoballout and to state empoyee unions cost him NV and OH, It also cost him the chance to compete in WI and PA.
These 3 mistakes are what cost Romney the election and the chance to be called Mr. President. This is not to say that he otherwise ran a good campaign. He did not. Romney managed to underperform even McCain with evangelical voters. Romney lost Catholics. Romney did horribily. His campaign was very poorly managed, poorly run, and he made mistake after mistake.
The fact of the matter is that had a strong Republican been nominated and had he run a good campaign, the GOP would have gotten about 350 electorial votes. Instead, the Romney team decided to run a campaign that made a point to reject a number of traditionally Republican voters. Romney did very poorly with the religious right and values voters. He did very poorly in terms of being viewed as presidentialy. He was never someone folks could trust. He was a horrible candidate, and appears largely seperated from reality.
Hopefully in 2 years, the GOP will shape-up and try to appeal to the voters it needs in order to win elections. This means:
1. The GOP needs to make it priority number 1 to appeal to hispanics. This means more than just putting hispanics in visible possitions. It means major outreach and renewed efforts to work with family values oriented hispanics to get their votes.
2. The GOP needs to stop scapegoating government employees and unions. This must end or the GOP will continue to lose. Putting forward 20 proposals to cut federal pay every year has cost the GOP over 20 points with federal employees and if this continues Virginia will turn as blue as Maryland. The real effort should be market based pay, not blanket pay cuts. Unions must be seen as a state issue and the GOP needs to stop efforts to change uninization laws. There is no reason to lose votes over the union issue. Until the GOP made it WI and Ohio efforts, union membership was falling. If the GOP just waits, unions will continue to fall in membership and become less of a player. In the meantime, fighting unions only loses votes. And my goodness, the auto ballout was something Reagan did in the 1980s as well. Attacking it only shows how a politician is different from Reagan. That was a horrible political move for Romney.
As a final note, the GOP needs to accept the loss and move on. This means those arguing that Obama has no mandate need to stop. It look petty and hurts the GOP. Be a good losers when one loses and good winners when one wins. Romney lost. The GOP lost the Senate battle horribily. There is a price to pay in lose, just as a gain in victory. The GOP needs to make the compromises for the sequestration and tax issues quickly to avoid looking like sore losers and taking blame for what will happen if there is no agreement. If nothing is agreed too, the democrats will win the House, and will be able to do whatever they want.
The House GOP must quickly reach agreement so it can focus on winning in 2 years; something that will require new efforts to reach out and expand the GOP --- without attacking and scapgoating and alienating key voting blocks.
Medicare is set to cost 2.7 trillion in 2016. The GOP needs to make trades to cut this amount..the number one priority of the GOP needs to be to address entitlement costs and spending. If the cost of this is a small tax increase on the top 1%, that is a great deal....the alternative of no deal is that ALL the Bush tax cuts expire and the ONLY way they will continue is with cutting a deal.
I repeate, ALL the Bush tax cuts expire if a deal is not reached. The GOP has NO HAND. The GOP hand is like a poker hand of 2,3,4,6 with no flush. The do-nothing result is sequestration and the restoration of ALL Bush tax cuts. Unless the House wants all Bush tax cuts to expire, it needs to compromise. Otherwise, Obama will be able to let them expire, blame the GOP, and win that arguement. Do not think for one second that Obama would not be perfectly happy with the biggest tax increase ever, and the blame being all on the GOP.