‘In 2008, Obama rode the energy of hope and change into the White House,” says Andrew Bouchet, former national political director for Rick Santorum. “This year, he had no energy but he had spent the intervening years building an awesome Machine. Last night, he rode the Machine back into the White House.”
The Machine indeed won. “Starting months ago, Democrats began spending $350 million building a get-out-the-vote infrastructure that swamped us,” Ed Rollins, who served as campaign manager for Ronald Reagan’s 1984 reelection bid, told me yesterday. “Then they demonized Romney in the swing states, and by the time he responded his image was set with too many voters — especially blue-collar whites.”
Mitt Romney won white voters by 20 points nationwide, but in the swing states he dramatically underperformed. He won only 46 percent of whites in New Hampshire, 51 percent in Wisconsin, 47 percent in Iowa, and 54 percent in Colorado. Karlyn Keene of the American Enterprise Institute says it looks as if blue-collar whites disproportionately stayed home. Exit polls showed that Americans with only some college education were outnumbered at the polls by those who were college graduates — something that rarely happens in national elections. The brazenness of the Obama ads was breathtaking. One spot featured Romney as a heartless vulture capitalist who was responsible for killing the wife of a steelworker during his time at Bain Capital. Not only was the story false, but Team Obama denied responsibility for the ad only days after they had put the former steelworker on a conference call with reporters to convince them to write about his tale.