Romney’s Loss: The Ron Paul Factor
by Adam McIntosh
As expected, I’ve already seen numerous Facebook posts blaming Ron Paul supporters for Romney’s defeat on election night. Since the majority of Paul supporters abstained or voted third party, it is concluded that they swung the election in Obama’s favor. How ironic, that after being marginalized and cheated during the primary process, now they supposedly decided the election! Yes, there were those who tried guilt-tripping Paul’s base to vote for Romney, despite all of his shenanigans. But not even Rand Paul’s endorsement could convince Paul supporters to seal the deal for Romney.
The question must be asked: if Paul’s supporters are so large as to swing an election, then why wouldn’t Romney reach out to them? It’s as though Romney thought he could beat Obama with the evangelical vote alone, while running on Obama’s weaknesses alone. Neither strategy is beneficial to winning an election. Romney refused to reach out to Paul supporters, independents, third party voters, and anti-war voters. He never positioned himself as different from Obama in any significant sense. If blame is to be placed anywhere, it is with him and his campaign.
Obama’s re-election is no surprise to Paul supporters. Since the beginning of the primary season, they had been saying that Paul was the candidate most likely to beat Obama in a general election. Fox News panelists agreed that the GOP couldn’t win without Paul’s supporters (see here and here). Romney never cared to heed that advice.
So, would Romney have won with the Ron Paul vote? We’ll never know. But it’s a fact that he was unelectable without it.