Mitt Romney’s campaign got its first hint something was wrong on the afternoon of Election Day
That’s when they got their first hint?
But it wasn’t until the polls closed that concern turned into alarm. They expected North Carolina to be called early. It wasn’t. They expected Pennsylvania to be up in the air all night; it went early for the President.
Nate Silver gave Obama a 98.6% chance of winning Pennsylvania.
“We went into the evening confident we had a good path to victory,” said one senior adviser. “I don’t think there was one person who saw this coming.”
He’s right, there wasn’t one person. There were dozens.
They just couldn’t believe they had been so wrong. And maybe they weren’t: There was Karl Rove on Fox saying Ohio wasn’t settled, so campaign aides decided to wait.
It seems pretty clear now that Karl Rove’s meltdown (or, as Romney’s people apparently thought, his “insightful analysis”) was the result of him clinging to every last semblance of putting a good face on a disastrous use of donor money. All those op-eds over the past year, in which Rove projected nothing but complete confidence in a Romney victory —those are just the political equivalent of Bernie Madoff newsletters ensuring the success of sucker investors.
“He was shellshocked,” one adviser said of Romney.
Romney and his campaign had gone into the evening confident they had a good path to victory, for emotional and intellectual reasons…. [T]hey believed the public/media polls were skewed - they thought those polls oversampled Democrats and didn’t reflect Republican enthusiasm. They based their own internal polls on turnout levels more favorable to Romney. That was a grave miscalculation.
This man’s fact-gathering abilities were so poor that he went into Tuesday certain he was going to win. He scheduled fireworks in Boston. He didn’t write a concession speech. He was so wrong. And there were a lot of people who knew better, and they were vocal and public, and they didn’t seem to make an impact on him. This man was almost President.