So what the heck happened? Four things:
1. Hurricane Sandy. If the election were held the week before Election Day, Romney would have won. Sandy gave Obama the needed breathing space to snap people out of the spin room and remind themselves that they may disagree with Obama… but the economy is so bad, and things so unstable, that it’s better the devil you know…
2. Third Party Cash. The Dems spent it on grassroots, the Republicans spent it on air attack. ‘Nuff said.
3. Define your opponent before they can define you. Obama ran probably one of the nastiest, most negative campaigns in modern history. Guess what? Negative campaigning works.
4. You can’t beat something with nothing. Obama had Obamacare. Romney had…. ?
…and that’s it. Big Bird, Binders, and Bayonets (and Benghazi) may have been enough to seal the deal against Obama, but Romney didn’t have that exciting alternative that captured the imaginations of Americans.
This was the GOP’s Kerry ’04.