Why the media thinks the GOP lost
The media reporting about why the GOP lost the presidency and many down-ballot contests shows no sign of decreasing. Below is my two cents.
Since Nov 6, 2012 there have been many different explanations and analyses about the election results. New theories appear almost daily. Here are just a few: Women voted democratic in large percentages. Gay voters heavily favored Obama. Latinos, blacks, young people and other minorities also voted Democratic in big percentages. New theories posit that libertarians took votes away from the GOP. Add in too long of a campaign, too much pac money generating negative ads for nearly two years and people became numb to the message. Of course the WSJ thinks that the GOP didn't have ENOUGH money.
Then there is Citizens United. Rove, and his band of miscreants, gladly took bazillions of dollars from lots of really rich guys, and apparently guaranteed the rich guys that the GOP would win. But Adelson, Friess and others stepped in with their millions AND their own candidates and presto! the GOP national committees no longer had rigid central control of the primaries or the message. The ensuing primary circus has also been floated as a reason for the loss. On and on and on this will go.
Why the GOP thinks it lost
This is the really far-out part. Some on the right think that the GOP was not conservative enough. A "real" conservative would have done better. Romney wasn't severe enough so people voted for the "socialist-muslim-kenyan" instead? I'm still working on trying to understand the logic there.
A few Republicans think that Romney went too far to the right, that a more centrist campaign platform may have done better. At least I can understand and somewhat agree with that.
Paul Ryan has a theory too. He thinks "Urban Voters" (dog whistle for black) are responsible. Then there is Romney's "gifts" theory. Yeah Mitt, it couldn't possibly be you. The list goes on and on.
Why the GOP really lost.
Really, it is not that complicated, in my humble opinion. While some (or all) of the reasons above may be valid to varying degrees there is one overarching reason that enabled or enhanced the rest of the reasons.
Republicans really, truly believed their own BS. The GOP had, and still has, a problem with facts and objectivity. I find it really hard to believe that we are even talking about these actions and beliefs in the 21st century, but the US Republican party seems to be stuck thinking like people did several centuries ago.
Fox (Faux News), unskewed polls and the right-wing hot air factory of Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity and others contributed to the image of invincibility. Each cited others as "evidence" and disbelieved the "libruls" and the non-right media. The left and neutral media were accused of doing exactly what the right was in fact doing - manufacturing it's own reality. In one way this election was a referendum on reality, were Kos and Nate Silver right or Rasmussen, Gallup, Limbaugh, Norquist and Romney?
The GOP lived in a self-produced, self-reflecting, self-reinforcing bubble, which reflected only their views, promoted their own "facts." All this agreement was reinforced to the point that nobody questioned it and if anyone disagreed they were quickly and severely ostracized and excommunicated.
This was certainly evident in the GOP rejection of climate change. Huntsman and others never stood a chance as long as they believed in climate science or science in general. The GOP was about as objective as the Spanish Inquisition.
Believing this, the Romney campaign and Rove appear to have guaranteed their rich benefactors that they could not, would not lose. They banked (pun intended) on the win with the "fiscal cliff" agreement, which was made with a 100% belief that they could and would kill it after Romney was elected, after the GOP took back the Senate and picked up more house seats.
Their chickens were counted before the hens even laid eggs: Supreme court appointments, rolling back Obamacare, the Presidency again in 2016, cutting social spending, repeal of Roe v Wade, more gerrymandering in 2020. Rove's dream of the permanent conservative domination WAS THERE. It was going to happen. All the pieces were in place. It was guaranteed.
And then... the voters spoke. Objective reality was very different from what the GOP (along with the Tea Party and much of the conservative right in the USA) manufactured. Rove was so sure of his machinations that he disagreed with FOX analysts live on TV when Ohio was called for Obama. Fortunately this meltdown was broadcast for millions of people to see.
For once in my life I actually feel like my vote really meant something. This was truly a historic election. The right wing spin machine is still in high gear. Excuses and analysis ad infinitum.
Anything but the truth.