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What Republicans can learn from Pope Francis - The Washington Post

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Too many Republicans fall short on that last count, and they are paying for it at the polls. Mitt Romney did not lose the presidency because he opposed same-sex marriage.  He lost because he dismissed 47 percent of the country as a bunch of moochers. He lost because he declared, “I’m not concerned about the very poor.” He lost because he was seen as out of touch with Americans who are struggling to keep their heads above water. An Economist/YouGov poll last April tells the story: Only 38 percent of Americans said they believed Romney cares about the poor, and 33 percent said Romney “cares about people like me.” You can't win the presidency when two-thirds of the country thinks you don't care about their struggles.

Beating a retreat on marriage and abortion will do nothing to solve that problem. To the contrary, it would cause a rift in the Republican Party and alienate the GOP's most dependable voters — Christian conservatives, for whom these are nonnegotiable moral issues. But a conservative campaign against poverty could enlist and energize these same voters and broaden the party's appeal beyond its conservative base.

It's an interesting premise: Mitt Romney lost because a majority of voters believe that super rich people do not understand the struggles normal people go through.

Taking on poverty would improve how the Republican Party is perceived.

I would expect a retreat on marriage and cannabis, but not on abortion.  But what would a conservative campaign on poverty look like, if not the current bromides and dog whistles on tax cuts?

And I think Romney lost more than anything b/c the campaign was simply outclassed on the ground.  47% was definitely fatal but having an equivalent ground game would have made it as close, imo, as their assumptions were going into the vote.

The ground game problems were mainly technology problems, right?

That was part of it.. However, I think the bigger picture was one more of culture... Team O centered their efforts on social while Romney Corp relied on the marketers (and why not? It worked fantastically in 2000 and 2004).

better message too?

Social was the better message in 2012, but as Jason points out there was no way to know that the marketers wouldn't work this time.

It's really quite amazing that Obama won. All the odds were against him since the economy was sluggish.

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