"We went into the evening confident we had a good path to victory," said one senior [Romney] adviser. "I don't think there was one person who saw this coming."Thus, it was crushing when reality intruded their fantasy world.
Romney was stoic as he talked the president, an aide said, but his wife Ann cried. Running mate Paul Ryan seemed genuinely shocked, the adviser said. Ryan's wife Janna also was shaken and cried softly.Why were they so certain of victory? Because they unskewed their own polls.
"There's nothing worse than when you think you're going to win, and you don't," said another adviser. "It was like a sucker punch."
Their emotion was visible on their faces when they walked on stage after Romney finished his remarks, which Romney had hastily composed, knowing he had to say something.
Both wives looked stricken, and Ryan himself seemed grim. They all were thrust on that stage without understanding what had just happened.
"He was shellshocked," one adviser said of Romney.
[T]hey believed the public/media polls were skewed - they thought those polls oversampled Democrats and didn't reflect Republican enthusiasm. They based their own internal polls on turnout levels more favorable to Romney.And why did they think the public polls were skewed?
The huge and enthusiastic crowds in swing state after swing state in recent weeks - not only for Romney but also for Paul Ryan - bolstered what they believed intellectually: that Obama would not get the kind of turnout he had in 2008.So let's recap their logic:
1. They got big crowds, therefore,
2. people won't turn out for Obama.
3. If people don't turn out for Obama,
4. then the public polls are skewed.
5. If public polls are skewed,
6. then Romney is winning.
Of course, the size of Romney's crowds had absolutely no bearing on whatever turnout Obama would get. But apparently, that idiotic and fact-free assumption is what made them so confident.
And hilariously wrong.