Posted by: Ann Corcoran | November 15, 2012

York: So where were all the Ohio white GOP voters?

The ones John McCain and Sarah Palin got in 2008!

That is the question Byron York, writing at the Washington Examiner, asked on Tuesday.

Here is York:

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.

I think that the “cocoon” issue may have had a slight impact on turnout, but I do believe it had much to do with the level of mourning many were feeling when Obama was re-elected relatively early on election night.  We were all feeling pretty sanguine having heard the ruminations of the likes of  Karl Rove and Dick Morris for weeks—O’Reilly, Hannity and the others were all pretty confident in the final weeks as well.

York continued:

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.”

Before the voting, Romney officials said constantly the race in Ohio would be close. It was. President Obama won Ohio by 107,259 votes out of about 5.3 million votes cast, according to the Secretary of State’s office — 50.18 percent to Romney’s 48.18 percent.

Republicans faced two big problems. The first is that a lot of black voters turned out. The second is that a lot of white voters didn’t.

On his first point in the previous sentence—that Obama voters turned out big-time, there is an excellent analysis yesterday at the Wall Street Journal by Daniel Henninger on that  (hat tip: Judy).  The simple answer is that Obama’s people have been ‘community organizing’ for the last four years, AND, as Rush said as well—giving gifts to certain voting blocs.

Byron York goes on in his piece to give some ideas why white voters didn’t come out including this important one—voters couldn’t get excited about Romney.  I don’t think we are ever going to get THE definitive answer and I think it’s more likely a combination of reasons.  One anecdotal one I heard recently (locally) is that some citizens were so lulled into a sense of security by Fox News etc. (that cocoon thing!) that they didn’t think they needed to bother to vote.

Ron Paul effect.

But, I would be less than truthful if I didn’t mention the fact that many people, most notably Ron Paul supporters and some others who saw the GOP in action in Tampa, simply said, NO MORE!  They weren’t going to hold their noses and vote for the establishment Republican one more time.  Now, you can scream and shout that that was stupid, but a party cannot survive if it can’t keep its disparate parts together.  Here is just one article about how the Ron Paul effect worked in New Hampshire.

That Tampa travesty engineered by Romney lawyer Benjamin Ginsberg (with help from at least one of the Maryland delegation) also played a role in Romney’s defeat.  I told you about it here in “RNC death wish.”  They all thought they were so clever and we all (rank and file observers) couldn’t figure out why on earth the GOP threw the Tea Party and the Libertarians over a cliff  BEFORE THE ELECTION.

Last night I went back to my RNC death wish post to have another look at that Youtube clip from the Convention floor, the one where Boehner declares the Rule Change while reading from a teleprompter as the floor resounds with boos.  I can’t find it now, it had over 100,000 views within a couple of days.

I did find this lesser quality version of the same event.   But, it’s the comments from two months ago that I was most interested to see!

It’s very rare that a camera captures the exact moment a political party loses 25% of it’s people thru blatant corruption. Good job GOP, you just ensured very few Ron Paul backers will vote for Romney, or any republican candidate for that matter.   (Jeremy)

We just witnessed the suicide of the GOP. (Tony)

If you think those are all “Paulbots” you’re in for a wakeup call come November. (Stacy)

Remember in January Sarah Palin warned the GOP—don’t marginalize the Paul voters.  She might well have been saying, don’t marginalize Tea Party-minded grassroots either.  Did they listen?

Bottomline, it was probably a combination of factors that kept white McCain voters away from the polls, but the arrogant GOP establishment only has itself to blame.

So, the GOP answer is now to embrace the amnesty lobby after having thrown out their conservative wing—does that make sense to you?


  1. Another big factor: Negative Advertising. It works and Team Obama employed it early and often. Team Mittens started late and kept it all record related when they should have devoted a slice to radical associations. Team Obama successfully won a war of attrition that the country club dining room wing of the GOP was never suited for.

    • Good point. McCain also made the mistake of not going after Obama’s radical associations and then “Mittens” doubled down. Also, Mitt really blew the second and third debate by not going for the jugular.

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