The latest post-election question is whether Republicans were blind to the defeat headed their way because they chose to live in a cocoon in which they paid attention only to Fox News, conservative talk radio and right-wing websites. Listening to outlets that told them what they wanted to hear, the thinking goes, left them with no idea what was in store for them on Nov. 6.
Out in the field, the Republicans actually involved in the election are talking about different things. For example, in Ohio — the most hotly contested state in the entire race — Republicans are asking why a large group of voters, carefully cultivated through personal contacts and putative supporters of Mitt Romney, just didn’t show up at the polls.
In 2008, John McCain got 2,677,820 votes in Ohio. In 2012, according to a still-unofficial tally from the Ohio Secretary of State, Mitt Romney got 2,583,582. If before the election you had said to any politically involved Ohio Republican that Romney would receive fewer votes than McCain, you would have gotten a blank stare in return. “I would not have believed that,” says Alex Triantafilou, head of the Republican Party in Hamilton County, a critical swing area that includes Cincinnati. “I would have argued strongly that that was not going to be the case.”
Why Did Three Million Republicans Stay Home?
RUSH: So three million Republican voters stayed home on Election Day. Three million predominantly white voters stayed home. The media is all over the place with the fact that the Republicans lost “the white vote.” They can’t get the white vote. They did lose the white vote, but Democrats didn’t get it. They just didn’t show up, and it wasn’t voter suppression that didn’t turn ’em out.
What would be the reason that three million voters didn’t show up? Let’s go through the possibilities. It could be that there are a number… We’ve talked to ’em. We’ve had ’em call. We got ’em, in fact, on hold. A number of Republicans are tired of moderate nominees. They’ve sent the Republican Party money for years and said, “To hell with it. If you’re gonna eschew conservatism, I’m not giving you any money, and I’m not voting for you.”