That’s what Sean Trende from Real Clear Politics has concluded. As we speak, Mitt Romney has 58,237,566 total votes. In 2008, the Republican ticket garnered 59,934,814 votes, or nearly 1.7 million more than Romney-Ryan. Yes, there are still some votes to be counted, but very few at the time of this posting. See for yourself here. All but a handful of states have reported 100% of the vote.
Included in those 58 million Romney votes are likely millions who voted for Obama in 2008. According to exit polls, Romney won the Independent vote by 5 percentage points. In 2008, Obama won this demographic by 7.
This data points to several million 2008 McCain-Palin voters staying home on Tuesday – not just the 1.7 million difference in the raw vote totals. Trende has prepared the following graph to illustrate who the “missing” voters are.
Assuming the above data is correct, Romney-Ryan did not lose because of Latinos, black voters, Chis Christie, Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock, Hurricane Sandy, or any of the other scapegoats who have been identified by Romney loyalists, and by many in the Republican Party who are will soon be urging Republicans to moderate in advance of future elections. Romney-Ryan lost because the base did not turn out. Period.