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I don't know why I'm surprised by this, but I am: the Romney organization really thought they were winning. Up until the anvil of reality called Colorado and Nevada came crashing down on them, they really thought they were winning. Evidently the Ohio freight train of reality was not enough. They needed more (and we were happy to supply it).

Follow me beyond the celtic knot of kossitude:


Karl Rove's tantrum last night on Fox about Fox calling Ohio for Obama was nothing new-- there's a guy with only a nodding acquaintance with the facts-- but the Romney campaign, which apparently had no data people with any ability at all, went along. Consider the facts: with 75% of the precincts counted in Ohio, Obama and Romney were roughly tied.

In situations like that, if you know nothing more, you can't figure out who will win. Maybe the rest of the voters are Obama voters, maybe Romney voters. But we knew, and the Romney campaign also should have known, which areas were still outstanding. As it turns out, and as the Obama campaign already knew, Romney got less than 44% of the remaining votes. When the networks called the election, Romney had no chance of winning, none. It was over. Oops.

But they actually believed they were winning! Anyone with a laptop and an Internet connection could figure out they were toast, and indeed many Kossacks did figure out they were crispy and getting burnt around the edges, but there they were, in their little reality-free bubble, unburdened, apparently, by anyone who could operate a spreadsheet, or indeed count to 270.

Look at this:

“We just didn’t see the enthusiasm with their base,” he added. “We had enthusiasm on our side. So we thought, ‘Yeah, we’re gonna win this.’ … We hit our numbers in rural areas. When Fox called it, we still thought we had a chance based on what we could figure was in and what was still out.”
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They hit their numbers! Booyah. Apparently they didn't pause to see if the other guy hit his numbers too. Evidently they forgot the other side had a GOTV plan too. I'm just stunned by their complete lack of logic, math and rational thought. These guys were supposed to be the cold, calculating business folks, looking unemotionally at the facts. But not.

All along, they had the delusional belief that they were winning.  I thought they were lying, but they were just incompetent beyond belief. This is basic, simple data science for campaigns. Where was the Romney business expertise? Did they not use computers and data at Bain when he was there? Did Bain just make up numbers and pretend they were true? Unbelievable.

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