While it is true that Dick Morris swung and missed (by a wide margin) on this past election, he touches upon a wise strategic critique of the Republican Party. The GOP needs to get far better, and far faster, at responding to negative ads put forth by rivals. Our new motto should be, as Morris puts it, “ANSWER.”
There was a common belief throughout the campaign, that these negative ads weren’t having any real lasting effect. The evidence seemed to show that the race was tight, and with the conventional wisdom that late voters generally break for the challenger, as long as Romney was within striking distance he was in good shape. Well, that was “fighting the last war.”
Jim Messina, David Plouffe, and the rest of the Obama machinery, new that winning purely on their record was a long shot. Even those in the left leaning media, were surprised that Romney was not comfortably ahead given the status of the economy and unemployment rate. The negative ads proved highly effective in suppressing the GOP base. As a result, Romney’s campaign ultimately faltered.