How to win an election: Plan ahead -

How to win an election: Plan ahead


I’m a bit fascinated by this Obama campaign video from 10 months ago. Campaign director Jim Messina describes five different geometries for a 2012 victory, each building on the states John Kerry won in 2004, which the Obama camp took as given (ouch). Of the nine states Messina names in the video, Obama won seven, and Romney must have spent a mint holding Arizona and picking up North Carolina.

It’s not really the voodoo it seems: Obama did not gain any states last night over the ones he held in 2008, and he let North Carolina and Indiana slip to Romney. Basically he won 2012 on the 2008 map. But it’s a demonstration of the Obama camp’s eerie confidence: before the year began, before the GOP had held the Iowa caucuses, Obama had a plan. He spent 2012 executing it.


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How to win an election: Plan ahead

  1. Does Messina discuss how to get the Repubs to nominate someone who wasn’t even capable of matching McCain’s vote total after four straight years of declining incomes?

    Wells I somewhat agree with your earlier post that Repubs do need to think about their ideology and strategy but it does take a certain amount of incompetence to lose last night’s election. Romney was hated by Repub base, they didn’t want him as candidate, while Repub establishment thought Romney was the best option. Both McCain and Romney were disliked by their own base of voters and you don’t win elections by nominating people your peeps dislike.

    Mike Allen’s Playbook:
    POPULAR VOTE, per AP: Obama 50% (58,779,121 votes) . . . Romney 48% (56,518,209)
    In 2008, Obama got 53% (69,498,215 votes) and McCain got 46% (59,948,240)
    WSJ Sept 2012:
    A report from the Census Bureau Wednesday said annual household income fell in 2011 for the fourth straight year to an inflation-adjusted $50,054.

    • Then why was he trailing so badly in the (highly accurate, it turns out) polls until he became Moderate Mitt in the first debate?

      By the way, sorry the hope-for MSNBC implosion didn’t take place last night. The one on Fox sure did make up for it though!

      • Repubs lost out on their entertainment but I was watching ABC feed and I am pretty sure D Sawyer was drunk or on meds or something because she was odd. Rove interview is entertaining as well.

    • Maybe it’s not the candidate but the base that’s the problem? Essentially it forced Romney to turn himself into a pretzel something that to his discredit he threw himself wholeheartedly into] in order to somewhat placate the tea party crowd, before he morphed into moderate Mitt. [ which obviously caught the Obama team off guard] Even so not enough swing voter bought his flip floppery, despite Obama’s vulnerability on the economy. So, yes it was an epic failure on Romney’s part but the real fault lies with the wing nuts who have hi jacked the GOP.

  2. It’s amusing to hear Republicans and apparently ill informed pundits talking about the popular vote and how close it was and how divided the country is today.
    Thanks to Wells for putting up this video which shows what pundits didn’t talk about much. It’s only about the 270! If it was about the popular vote, the campaign would be conducted in a totally different way. Swing states OUT; high population centres IN.

  3. Did Jim also plan for debate prep time?