Republican hand-wringing misses the point

Instead of blaming everyone else for their lack of success in 2012 it is time for the Republican Party to have a period introspection and contemplation

by Andrew Ian Dodge on 13 November 2012 11:15

Republican hand-wringing, as you might expect considering the pasting they took on Tuesday (well they retained the House), is in full swing. There are a lot of people on the right who are truly upset that Romney lost the race for the White House, not surprisingly. What is most interesting is how similar some of the reaction is to the hand-wringing that occurred post-2010 UK election. 

In both cases the projection of blame is rife. In the UK Conservatives moaned about UKIP and ex-Tories who voted for that party. They moaned how about many seats were "cost" because of UKIP while it was rare that you read anything about how uninspiring David Cameron was for the electorate. It was only thanks to the coalition that Cameron became Prime Minister.  

In the US Republicans are lashing out at everyone but Mitt Romney. They have the cheek to claim that everyone who voted "third party" cost Romney the Presidency. It makes little sense as only one third party candidate took from the Republicans, that being Virgil Goode of the Constitution Party. Claiming that Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party), Jill Stein (Green Party), Rocky Anderson (Justice Party) and Rosanne Barr solely took from Romney is plain dumb. It is arguable that some of those that voted for Johnson were former Republicans, but not all, and it varied from state to state. The rest of them are to the far left and took votes from Obama.

What you do not hear often is that 3 million registered Republicans stayed home last Tuesday. Some have speculated that Romney was not conservative enough for these voters or even that they stayed home because he was a Mormon. Whatever the case, Romney got fewer votes than either McCain or Bush.  

Ultimately the Republican Party was unable (and at times it seemed unwilling) to reach out to new voters and demographics outside their comfort zone. Instead of blaming everyone else for their lack of success in 2012 it is time for them to have a period introspection and contemplation.

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