The Boston Globe has a long piece out today telling the story of how Mitt Romney lost the presidential election.
Rich Beeson, the Romney political director who coauthored the now-discredited Ohio memo, said that only after the election did he realize what Obama was doing with so much manpower on the ground. Obama had more than 3,000 paid workers nationwide, compared with 500 for Romney, and hundreds of thousands of volunteers.
“Now I know what they were doing with all the staffs and offices,” Beeson said. “They were literally creating a one-to-one contact with voters,” something that Romney did not have the staff to match.
Republicans, as it happened, had lost track of their own winning formula.
Democrats said they followed the trail blazed in 2004 by the Bush campaign which used an array of databases to “microtarget” voters and a sophisticated field organization to turn them out. Obama won in part by updating the GOP’s innovation.
I was always very bearish about Romney’s chances of beating President Obama, but one of the things I took for granted was that I assumed his legendary management background meant that he’d have an incredibly well run organization that would get the nuts and bolts right. To be fair, Obama didn’t face a primary challenge and already had a 2008 organization he could build on, s0 he clearly had an advantage going in. At the same time, some of the mistakes recounted in this article — ad strategy, ground game and technological meltdowns — were pretty surprising coming from a candidate who ran on being a super-competent executive.