The Fix has an interesting piece that offers us What Mitt Romney did right. It dovetails nicely into Stuart Stevens’ WaPo piece, Mitt Romney: A good man. The right fight.

Romney wasn’t exactly the most popular horse around the Derby, but with most of the stories of the 2012 race now written, is there anything you think Romney got right?

A guest post from reader Edgar Harris

Now that the election is over and the results are in, the Republican Party is attempting to understand just what happened on November 6. It’s understandable if Republicans are at a bit of a loss. Going into this election season Obama looked like the underdog. The economic recovery has been anemic at best, and even Obama’s core achievement, Obamacare, remains largely unpopular. Obama was vulnerable, and yet he not only won by an electoral landslide, but Democrats also managed to pick up seats in the Senate and the House.

In trying to understand what happened, many Republicans are falling prey to their worst instincts. Many Republicans are concluding that Americans voted for Obama because they feel entitled to things. We can see examples of this in Bill O’Reilly’s election tirade, or Ann Coulter’s meltdown. This fits nicely with the Republican narrative of dividing the nation into givers and takers. However this narrative is not only wildly inaccurate (92% of Americans believe hard work is key to getting ahead), it’s also insulting to the rest of us. What’s worse, it keeps Republicans from understanding the real reasons why they lost the election. Until Republicans understand why they were rejected they cannot hope to recover from their predicament.

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In an age of sustained historic unemployment and economic malaise where the leader of the United States of America eschews responsibility for the economy under his watch, so do many Americans follow his example, refusing to take responsibility for themselves. Rather, the majority of Americans voted to continue the expansion of government, which, over the past for years, has been driven by the expansion of handouts, adding $5 trillion to the national debt, an increase of 45%. Therefore, the most significant thing we learned about American culture is a majority of people who were concerned enough to vote want things for free, they want reward without work, and they have realized they can vote it to themselves.

Let’s look at some numbers and attempt to quantify what this looks like.

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We were up until the wee hours of the morning until the Iowa Caucus was decided back in January, or at least until everyone believed it had been decided. Join us tonight until the election is called. Hopefully it isn’t called one way, then the other, then back the original way again, then subject to a recount followed by a Supreme Court challenge.

The first polls will close on the east coast within the hour. For Mitt Romney to win the Presidency, he must carry Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, and one of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, or Wisconsin with one of the smaller swing states. Otherwise, President Obama will have his second term.

The final PD Composite is largely driven by the 18 polls released over the past seven days. Of those polls, President Obama leads four, Governor Romney leads six, and eight are tied. All but three are within the margin of error, or a statistical tie, and of the three that aren’t, Obama leads in two and Romney in one and in each the lead is by one point or less outside the margin of error. In other words, all polls show the popular vote is a dead heat.


University of Virginia’s Larry Sabato in his final pre-election predictions says Obama will win re-election with 290 electoral votes. Is he right? Or does the water in Charlottesville flow too close to the Potomac?

Read the full analysis here.

Peggy Noonan’s column sums things up nicely:

It puts forth the reasons why the first debate performances fundamentally altered the race and illuminates some basic character traits in Obama that probably hinder his ability to realistically access a political situation. She further discusses Bob Woodward’s new book “The Price of Politics,” which goes into this angle even more deeply.

Any individual, from whatever ideological background, will likely have difficulty dealing effectively with unpredictable, challenging, random situations when most of what they’ve faced previously has been tightly-controlled, somewhat orchestrated for them, and they’ve been made to always feel (deserved or not, immaterial) that they’re “the smartest person in the room,” as the old saying goes.

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Here’s a great column by Krauthammer, as usual, on Obama’s handling of the Libya attack situation. Great tactical analysis and great tactical recommendations.

But Krauthammer misses the bigger strategic point, the real “narrative” of Obama’s failure (and inherent weakness) on this issue.

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Mitt Romney had now led President Obama in 10 straight daily Gallup Polls. Today he took his biggest lead at 52%-45%. With 19 days to go until the election, Romney appears to suddenly be the leader.

Edit: Real Clear Politics now has North Carolina moving to Romney, resulting in Romney’s first projected electoral college lead. However, the 131 electoral votes of 10 “toss up” states are not included in either candidate total.

1. Romney won. Seems like the most obvious take away imaginable, right? Consider this: presidential debates are usually “draws” with pundits and talking heads suggesting, at best, that one candidate might have had scored a slight edge over the other. This was not the case in the Denver debate. Romney won the first half hour, then the second and finished strong in the third. I don’t recall a debate where the winner was so obvious to so many across the political spectrum.

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The image below was posted today on the “Obama 2012 campaign’s official home on Tumblr”.

Following an immediate backlash, the campaign took down the image.

This leads us to pose a question to women, especially to the feminists who descended upon Political Derby in droves when we posted economist Don Boudreaux’s comments on ‘equal pay’, is being reduced as to to vote based on your ‘lady parts’ offensive or are you okay with that?

That first video is reminiscent of these people standing in line of “Obama Money” from “his stash” back in 2009:
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Obviously this is done to be funny and the clips are cherry picked, but if these people are actually voting, it’s no wonder we keep electing buffoons from both parties.

President Obama gave the keynote address to conclude the Democrat convention last night and there are several less than stellar reviews. How do you think the President did? Additionally, did former President Clinton overshadow the current President with his own 52 minute speech the night before?

Much was made about the “facts” spoken of by several speeches at the Republican convention. Several of President Obama’s comments have also come under scrutiny for their lack of accuracy.

Unemployment continues to be bleak as the number of new jobs added in the latest jobs report failed to keep up with population growth again and people continue to leave the workforce in droves, artificially driving the unemployment rate slightly down (which means it might be a good time to consult these two charts again). The AP reports:

U.S. employers added 96,000 jobs last month, a weak figure that could slow any momentum President Barack Obama hoped to gain from his speech to the Democratic National Convention.

The unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent in July, the Labor Department said Friday. But that was only because more people gave up looking for work. The government only counts people as unemployed if they are actively searching.

This is the last night of the Democrat convention, which has thus far been marked with controversy over “God” being taken out of the platform (which has already being been turned into a Republican ad) and a widely-acclaimed speech by former President Bill Clinton. Tonight President Barack Obama will officially accept the nomination in the 23K seat basketball area rather than the 70K seat football stadium, as originally planned. Will he again mark this election as the time when the oceans stop their rise and the planet begins to heal or will he provide more audacity of hope? But prior to the President, viewers will enjoy the pleasure of Vice President Joe Biden, one of the most gaffe-prone politician of our time. Will he stay on script or make headlines tomorrow?

Mitt Romney was campaigning in his birth state of Michigan today when he made a birth certificate reference.

You may remember that the Obama administration produced a chart by in January 2009 to demonstrate their view that unemployment would never rise about 8% if his stimulus package were passed. However, we now know that unemployment has in fact been greater than 8% for every single month of Obama’s Presidency. The chart to the left (click to enlarge) is an updated version of one we have reviewed here before by James Pethokoukis. It is the administration’s original chart with actual unemployment since the “recovery plan” was implemented with an additional dot added showing where unemployment would be if the labor participation rate were the same today as it was in January 2009.

However, what may be even more interesting is this chart below (click to enlarge) by Political Calculations. It shows what the unemployment rate would be from January 2002 until today if the labor force participation rate were the same as in January 2009:
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