Looking back on the election it’s clear that whatever number crunching Republican strategists and the Mitt Romney campaign were doing, it was wrong. They were confident polls showing President Obama ahead in swing states were flawed and they were wrong.
But the confidence Republicans had left some Democrats second-guessing the numbers. Democratic Strategist Joe Trippi, who sat in as an analyst on Fox News’ election night coverage, explains it from his perspective:
The thing that was so different about this election was that no matter how confident [Obama Campaign Strategist David] Axelrod and [Campaign Manager] Messina were about all the swing states or I was about Ohio – Karl Rove and [Romney Campaign Political Director] Rich Beeson or whoever you talked to on the GOP side was just as confident about Ohio or Virginia or other key swing states for Romney. Both sides were convinced their model was right. About three weeks out from election day it hit me whoever was right was going to win over 300 electoral votes. The race was too close – if Romney’s model was right he wasn’t tied in all those states he was slightly ahead in them and would win them all. But I was sure Obama’s model was right. I knew something about the new metrics from the Dean campaign I managed in 2004 – politics had changed – undecided voters don’t break automatically to the challenger anymore, targeting is better, social networks have changed organizing and information flow and the demographics of the nation were moving away from the Republican party. If the Obama model was right he would sweep the swing states. Someone was wrong and I was pretty sure it was the guys in the Grand Old Party.