As the pundits dissect the election, they will come up with a thousand reason why Romney lost his bid for the White House: Obama’s popularity, Republican gaffes about womens’ health, the mainstream media controlling the nation.
The real reason that Mitt Romney lost is that his candidacy was based on voting against something, instead of for him. His entire candidacy was based on voting against Barack Obama, not for his own agenda.
There is a long track record of losing because of voting against things.
In 2004, John Kerry lost his bid because it wasn’t about voting for him but against George Bush.
In 2012, after massive protests, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was reelected not necessarily because he is the right guy for the job, but because his opponents were voting against him, not for the other guy.
Mother Teresa once said, “I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.”
This is the essence of success in American politics. Americans don’t vote against things, but for things.
If you wish to defeat your opponent, you need to come with reasons why they should vote for you, not against the other guy.
Here in the State of Wisconsin, Representative Paul Ryan won his seat again against Rob Zerban, his Democratic opponent. The issue was that Zerban ran against Paul Ryan not for his own ideas. Late in race, he began speaking about what he had to offer, but by then, he was already seen as the guy running against Paul Ryan, not for a seat in the House of Representatives.
Every campaign includes some “why he is wrong for you” pitches, but if that is the basis of your campaign, you are far more likely to fail than succeed.
The moral of the story is a simple one: If you want to win, bring the people reasons why you are right and the other guy is wrong.