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Election Analysis – Why Obama Won and Romney Lost

November 10, 2012

Ok, so I am not really an authority on politics, but I have a few ideas as to why the election went the way it did.

Why Obama won re-election

Obama was Obama

I know this is obvious, but Obama didn’t try to be someone he wasn’t.  He didn’t try to embrace fossil fuels or champion the cause of the unborn.  He remained the ultra-liberal he has always been.  The significance of this is that he didn’t confuse his supporters.

Obama is good at portraying only a part of himself at any given time

It was amazing over the last couple of weeks how Obama could be the saviour of the auto industry when he was in Ohio and Michigan but be the leader of the environmental movement in other places.  The two groups are totally against each other, but he appeared to be the champion of each.

It is worth noting here that the media neglected to call him on this double message.  I cannot give an authoritative comment as to why this was ignored, but the conclusion seems rather obvious to me.

Obama was able to define both the issues and his opponent

Much has been made in the last couple of days of the fact that Obama was able to define his opponent in a very harsh manner from the beginning of the campaign.  According to the national media outlets, this did not constitute “negative campaigning”, but was merely a natural part of a healthy campaign.

It doesn’t matter what you call it.  The ability to define issues and define your opponent is a major victory in any campaign.  These were key advantages Obama enjoyed.

Obama was a major beneficiary of Hurricane Sandy

While I in no way blame Sandy on our President or his administration, one cannot deny that he benefited tremendously.  When we began to prepare for Hurricane Sandy, Obama was under fire for his poor handling of the recent Benghazi affair.  The hurricane gave him a welcome reprieve from the scrutiny that he truly deserved.

The hurricane also gave him a chance to look “Presidential.”  The images we remember are very frequently the most recent ones.  This opportunity was invaluable for the Obama campaign.

Why did Mitt Romney loose the election?

There are two big reasons why I think Mitt Romney lost the election.

Mitt Romney lost the election because he wasn’t different enough

While the pundits will try to tell you that Mitt Romney lost because his message was too strong and two conservative, I must disagree.  Many of the conservative base were turned off by his attempts to appeal first to one group and then another.  He effectively confused many, which encouraged some to defect to various third party candidates.

Mitt Romney lost the election because he couldn’t just be himself

While Obama did a good job of being himself and being real, Romney was just the opposite.  He made many efforts to combat Obama in areas that were Obama’s strengths and failed to sufficiently use his own.  In his attempts to move out of his area of strength, he also lost some of his appeal and failed to connect with many Americans.

These two together combined to make him look uncomfortable and unreal to many, traits that wouldn’t inspire confidence in any of us.

While I am no expert, I do think that these are some of the major factors which contributed to the outcome of our recent election.  Perception, in our current society, is everything.  Being able to craft a good image for yourself is vital.  Being able to define your opponent is a major breakthrough.

Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts,

Dave

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