Tag Archives: Mitt Romney

End Of The “Meet And Greet” Era?


All politics is local … or is it?

Market Research Foundation has studied this issue in the past – and determined that local issues matter a great deal in statewide and national races.

But what about candidate visits?  Do these “meet-and-greets” – which offer candidates a chance to weigh in on local issues – really provide an advantage?

New data from Ohio State political scientist Thomas Wood suggests they do not.  According to Wood – who examined data from the 2012 election cycle – the era of the “meet-and-greet” is over.

“Campaign events probably don’t influence voters,” Wood told The (U.K.) Guardian.

Continue reading End Of The “Meet And Greet” Era?

GOP, Economic Populism and Ross Perot


|| By ROBERT ROMANO ||The National Review’s Quin Hillyer had a very interesting piece on May 11 pointing to the Republican voter turnout deficit in 2012 among people Sean Trende at Real Clear Politics described as “largely downscale, Northern, rural whites. In other words, H. Ross Perot voters.”

Here, Hillyer and Trende are pointing to the 2.5 million potential Republican voters who stayed home in 2012, probably costing Mitt Romney the presidency.

Hillyer explains the deficit by pointing to another one: “Romney was crushed, 81–18, on the question of which candidate ‘cares about people like me.’ Despite first appearances, this isn’t merely a touchy-feely ‘empathy’ question. It’s at least as much a question about cultural cues. The key part of the question isn’t cares, but cares about people like me.”

“The same sort of voters left cold (or at best lukewarm) by Romney were enthusiastic about the even wealthier Perot in 1992,” Hillyer added.

But why? Was it cultural differences? Or something else?

Besides the dramatic growth of the national debt, Ross Perot’s big issue in 1992 was opposing the pending North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  He was an economic populist.

In that year’s presidential debate, Perot famously said, “We have got to stop sending jobs overseas. It’s pretty simple: If you’re paying $12, $13, $14 an hour for factory workers and you can move your factory South of the border, pay a dollar an hour for labor … have no health care – that’s the most expensive single element in making a car – have no environmental controls, no pollution controls and no retirement, and you don’t care about anything but making money, there will be a giant sucking sound going south.”

That message was enough to garner 18.9 percent of the popular vote and bring 19.7 million people to the polls.  Perot’s run almost certainly cost then-President George H.W. Bush any chance at re-election.

That was also the year Pat Buchanan ran for president unsuccessfully in the Republican primary, promising to “stop foreign imports putting guys up here out of jobs.” Although Buchanan did not win a single primary that year, he did manage to garner 2.9 million votes.

Recall also that with the economy still reeling from the recession of 1991, and with unemployment averaging more than 7 percent throughout 1992, jobs were a key issue in the campaign.

So, perhaps, trade was an issue that showed to voters that Perot and Buchanan “care about people like me.” Illegal immigration would be another issue, too, that falls into this category.

In this context, we’re talking about a constituency deeply suspicious of unlimited immigration and trade deals based on past experience, whether it is the drop of manufacturing employment nationwide or the prior no-borders amnesty policies that have been implemented by past administrations.

These deals, then, pose a direct threat to the economic well-being of these voters, and politicians who present themselves in favor of them risk provoking a sense of betrayal that their own government is intent on importing in cheap labor and exporting jobs — to supplant them.

(To continue reading this piece, press the “Read More …” icon below).

Robert Romano is the Senior Editor of Americans for Limited Government.  This piece (reprinted with permission) originally appeared on NetRightDaily.com.


What Is Catalist?


In the 1996 science fiction film “Star Trek: First Contact,” USS Enterprise captain Jean-Luc Picard and his crew did battle with a cybernetic enemy dubbed the “Borg.”  With the goal of forced assimilation into its collective consciousness, the Borg perpetually expanded itself via overwhelming force and instantaneous adaptability – instructing its targets that “resistance is futile.”

According to former U.S. Justice Department voting section lawyer J. Christian Adams, “Democrats and the institutional left” have an electoral tool at their disposal that rivals the Borg when it comes to seamlessness and sophistication.

“Every Borg unit can see what all the other units see,” Adams wrote for PJ Media. “They share data and react in unison. Similarly, the data feeding the central Catalist database is coming from a wide swath of sources. Public records, pollsters, campaigns, nonprofits, activist groups, unions, parties, commercial data. For example, when an environmental group does neighborhood door-knocking for cash, the results of those contacts are fed into Catalist.”

According to Adams, Catalist’s ability to instantaneously collect, sort and disseminate this data gives Democrats a decided electoral advantage owing to the fact “Republicans don’t have anything even close to this sort of data.”

Not only that – the database is driving the ideological direction of the country by enabling Democratic candidates to veer further to the left without sacrificing votes.

“Catalist is rendering moderation obsolete,” Adams wrote.  “Steering a moderate (and cautious) course made perfect sense before Catalist. But now, failing to appeal to an activated and motivated political base spells doom, as the last two presidential elections have demonstrated.”

There’s also a cost factor associated with this ideological shift – as these active, motivated political bases require little investment to get to the polls.  “Moderates,” on the other hand, are a tremendously costly proposition.

“Catalist is also devastating to Republicans because it sends them on an expensive goose chase to spend gobs of money to target moderates and independents while Democrats turn out their base cheaper, and with more certainty,” Adams wrote.  “A ‘moderate’ voter costs more to persuade than a far fringe ideological leftist. Even a usually politically unmotivated welfare recipient is cheaper to get to the polls than a ‘moderate’ and ‘thoughtful’ undecided moderate who speaks in terms of ‘voting for the candidate on issues and not the party.'”

In 2012, GOP nominee Mitt Romney spent millions of dollars attempting to persuade these “thoughtful moderates” to turn out for him, while Barack Obama focused his effort on turning out his core constituencies in key swing states.  Romney’s rush to the middle not only failed to earn him the support he needed, it also alienated his conservative base – suppressing the very voters that should have been the most motivated to support him.

MRF’s Bill Wilson has written previously on how the left’s technological superiority and ability to turn out its base has continued to impact races beyond 2012 – most notably the 2013 Virginia gubernatorial race.  Count on us to continue following these developments as the 2014 midterm elections approach.