This blogger met his Karl Rove saturation point a long time ago but there's one thing that can be said for Bush's former brain; he knows his numbers. On many an election night, Rove has calculated, using his white board before the polls close and somehow gets it right far more often than not, even in tight races.
That's one reason why Republicans should take a serious look at this electoral map from Rove. Granted, the Obama / Romney campaign is just getting underway but the Republican establishment is staring at a very cold, hard reality that it repeatedly is unwilling to accept. That reality is that RINOs don't win general elections. Actually, calling Romney a RINO is an insult to RINOs who actually like to be perceived as being mildly conservative.
Four years of Obama should be a slam dunk for any Republican, unless that Republican is a liberal with an "R" next to his name, which is what we have this year.
That map is actually very similar to what the RCP electoral map from a couple of weeks ago showed. when you add up Rove's calculation of "Solid Romney" and "Leans Romney," you get 172; RCP shows 170. Rove's "Solid Obama" and "Leans Obama" is 284, actually worse for Romney than RCP calculated.
Another reason why RINOs don't win general elections has to do with inspiration. There are two critical motivations that drive voters to the polls. They need to be motivated to vote against someone and they need to be motivated to vote for someone. The election of 2008 demonstrated this perfectly.
Conservative voters didn't want Obama at all; they didn't want RINO McCain either but, hey, it was McCain's turn. Then, as now, the likely thinking was that the anti-Obama sentiment may have been strong enough to put a progressive Republican in the White House. Obama's campaign was very successful in tying McCain to George W. Bush, a president that tacked far left in his second term. See how destructive being a moderate Republican can be? It had the makings of an Obama blowout until McCain selected conservative darling, Sarah Palin. She gave conservative voters a reason to vote for McCain. If you remember, McCain rarely went to campaign stops without Palin because he knew she brought out the crowds.
In fact, the Palin selection actually put McCain ahead of Obama until the mortgage crisis reached critical mass in September; McCain suspended his campaign so he could go to Washington and show his leadership abilities; he threw up a goose egg. It was a miscalculation from which he would never recover because it made him look inept, as he did nothing of any real quantifiable value.
In 2012, both Rove and RCP show Romney getting 170 and 172 electoral votes, respectively. McCain got 173 in 2008. After four years of Obama, that number for any Republican nominee should be significantly greater. With Romney, it's no different right now. The reason is simple. McCain was a RINO and so is Romney. Again, remember, Palin made it closer than it otherwise would have been had McCain gone with a safe, establishment VP choice. Here's the electoral map of the 2008 results:
In 2012, the Republican Party doesn't really need to worry about conservative voters being motivated to vote against Obama but it should be VERY worried about those voters not being motivated to vote for Romney; they're not.
It's as if the establishment is banking on anti-Obama sentiment being so strong that it can compensate for the lack of inspiration for Romney while being able to prove all the skeptics wrong about moderates not being electable.
That's a dangerous game and it's one the establishment very well could lose... again.
In preparation for a possible Romney loss, you might as well start thinking about how to make lemonade.