Friday, December 14, 2012


I never bought the line that the 2012 elections signaled the death of the center-right nation or any of the other apocalyptic interpretations of the results.

Republicans got outworked, outspent, and our messaging and candidates didn’t resonate.  Sometimes you lose elections. It happens.

Jim Geraghty of National Review wrote a few weeks back that Mitt Romney really lost the presidency by about 407,000 votes, or roughly three-tenths of one percent of the total votes cast.

Here in MN Republicans lost the State House by a similar margin: 3,811 votes.  Or, 0.1%, if you prefer.

Going into the election the GOP had a 72-62 majority in the House.  After the election, the numbers basically flipped: 73-61 DFL.  We needed to keep 8 additional seats to retain control.  There were 8 seats that were decided by fewer than 1,000 votes each in favor of the DFL.

DistrictName%Margin of Victory56BWILL MORGAN50.3217048AYVONNE SELCER50.3420212AJAY MCNAMAR47.4925510BJOE RADINOVICH50.6932311BTIM FAUST51.2348827ASHANNON SAVICK47.765317BMARY SAWATZKY48.380851BLAURIE HALVERSON51.88912

Note also, that in three of these races the winner obtained less than 50% of the vote.  In each of those instances there was an Independence Party candidate on the ballot.  The IP candidate got more votes than the margin in all three.  So it’s good to see that third-party spoiler effect is still in action.

Yes, we lost in November, and we do need to perform the requisite soul searching that comes after a major defeat.

But we also need to make sure that we keep some perspective, and that we’re learning the right lessons.

(h/t Paul Carlson)