That is the subject of my latest post at Wonkblog. It focuses on three claims that will be familiar to Monkey Cage readers:
- Romney was supposed to lose the 2012, based on the underlying economic and political fundamentals.
- Romney was actually perceived as ideologically closer to the average voter than was Obama.
- Since Obama took office, public opinion has become more conservative, not more liberal.
The point of the piece isn’t to suggest that the Republican Party can change absolutely nothing and be guaranteed of winning the White House in 2016. The point is simply to complicate many of the storylines I’ve seen about what the GOP needs to do—most of which revolve around policy or ideology, and few of which acknowledge the role the fundamentals played in 2012 (in Obama’s favor) and could play in 2016 (in the GOP’s favor).