Published on 11-09-2012 11:30 AM
I had a Republican friend of mine post the following on Facebook blaming Ron Paul for Mitt's loss:
I know, I know, if's and but's. But, if Ron Paul would have endorsed Romney/Ryan , would we have had a different outcome? How many republican votes were wasted on him, when he had no chance? Just sayin.
Here is my response to him:
When we lose a race, we first start out in a somber mood and then after thinking about the loss over and over we begin to rationalize how we lost and cast blame. We justify the loss by blaming someone or something else and most times we blame others when we shouldn't be. This is one of those times.
Ron Paul's supporters are one of the most missunderstood subjects for the general Republican. His supporters aren't the same as a Santorum supporter or a Newt supporter or even a Bachmann supporter. Those who support any of those three candidates are in the "general Republican" demographic, meaning they are a Republican who will support all Republicans regardless of who that Republican is. When Bachmann dropped out of the Presidential race, her supporters latched onto the Republican candidate that was their second choice, perhaps someone like Newt. This is how the general Republican's work. Steve, you fit in his demographic and that's not a bad thing, mind you. "General Republicans" tend to have a hard time understanding why Ron Paul's supporters don't do this and that's because they view the Ron Paul supporters as "general Republicans" when in fact they are not.
Ron Paul's supporters come from a variety of areas. I would break down his supporters into the following percentages:
25% General Republicans
25% Disenfranchised Democrats
These percentages explain alot. The general Republican assumes that Mitt Romney would have received all of the votes from the Ron Paul supporters IF Ron Paul had thrown his support and endorsement behind Romney and this is not true.
During this election, the 25% of Ron Paul supporters that were in the "General Republican" category ended up voting for Romney. This happened regardless of a Paul endorsement.
The 25% of Paul supporters that were Democrat went back to voting for Democrats, mainly Obama. They ONLY voted "Republican" because they liked Ron Paul and not because they had an epiphany and seen the light only to switch parties. These supporters would only vote for a Republican Presidential nominee if that nominee were Ron Paul. When that wasn't the case, they went back to the Democrat party.
The 25% of Paul supporters that were Libertarian, like the Paul Democrats, went back to voting for the Libertarian Party candidates. Paul brought them in and they were only going to stay if he were the nominee. In their eyes, Romney was so far left and nowhere near their Libertarian beliefs, that they would NEVER vote for him and they didn't. Those votes went to Gary Johnson. It is worth noting, the Libertarian Party and Gary Johnson both said they wouldn't run a Presidential candidate if the Republican's had nominated Ron Paul.
Now the other 25% of Paul supporters are a mix of disenfranchised Green Party voters, Constitution Party voters, etc. They, most likely, went back to voting for their Party's candidates, although I'm sure a few voted for Romney, Obama and Gary Johnson also.
The reason I point all this out is because Ron Paul brought in ALOT of potential voters to the Republican Party and when Romney won the nomination, close to 75% of those voters left the Republican Party.
It's easy to blame Ron Paul for Mitt Romney's loss but this is a wrong. The one person we should blame for Mitt's loss is Mitt himself. This is proven by the losses the Republicans suffered in the lower races. In Presidential election years, the top of the ticket tends to influence how the rest of the ticket does. Meaning, the stronger the Presidential candidate, the more votes the lower candidates get because they ride on his or her coattails. Mitt was not a strong candidate and thus didn't bring in a lot of enthusiasm to the party so there wasn't any enthusiasm to carry over into the congressional races, senate races and state races.
At this point, those of us that are "general Republicans" need to step back and assess our Party's future and plan for two years from now and four years from now. My first suggestion is to stay away from nominating moderates and nominate a conservative.