Well. The election is over. I've been wading my way through the vote results and exit polls in an almost unhealthy manner. If you want to know how many fewer votes Obama got vs 2008, I can tell you (6.3M as of now). If you want to know how many fewer Republicans voted for Romney vs McCain, I can tell you (346K as of now). If you want to know in which states Romney improved vs McCain in 2008, I can tell you (all but AK, LA, MS, NJ). And on and on.
So. Why did Romney lose?
After reading the post election analysis at Gallup, it just may be that a natural disaster played a prominent, if not deciding role.
Romney clearly gained as a result of the first debate in Denver, and he held onto at least a marginal lead position in our polling until the week before the election, when Superstorm Sandy hit. Obama gained five points on the gap between our last pre-storm polling and the final poll. It may be that he continued to gain on into Election Day.
If you want to know how Hurricane Sandy affected the election, well, here we go. Because, it's right there in the exit polls.
15% of voters said Obama's response to Sandy was "the most important factor" in their vote.
Of that percentage, 73% voted for Obama.
Now I don't believe that every person who said Sandy was the most important factor was a true on-the-fence-sitter who then decided to vote for Obama. Or a former Romney supporter who switched. Or a definite sitter-outer who decided to get off the couch and vote. Many of them were going to vote for Obama regardless.
But what is 73% of 15%?
I believe some number of those who said Obama's response to Sandy was the most important factor in their vote were lying. But what if those who were lying made up a little more than half of those who made such a claim. In other words, they were on Team O all along. That would leave us with just under half of them who made their decision on voting for president based upon a guy in a bomber jacket at an appearance with a fat Republican pretending to care about storm victims for a few minutes to get a photo op.
Could Obama really have won the election because of Hurricane Sandy? Gallup says that Obama gained five points after Sandy. The national popular vote ended up with Obama leading with less than three points.
And this nation is faced with another four years of Obama in the White House.