Republican Party apologists are working hard to find anybody to blame for Tuesday’s results besides the Republican Party. As usual the first target of Republican anger are the people who voted for third-party candidates. This accusation is absurd since Romney lost by more than the total of third-party votes:
Could he have picked up more Electoral College votes in other battleground states had there been no third-party candidates? In Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, New Jersey, Virginia and Illinois, third-party candidates were active — campaigning on a variety of issues, including the legalization of marijuana, which was approved by Colorado and Washington State voters.
However, third-party candidates drew only small percentages of the vote in those states.
In Virginia, it had been feared that former U.S. Senator Virgil Goode’s Constitutional Party candidacy would leach off enough conservative votes to give the state’s Electoral College votes to Obama. However, Obama won the state’s 13 Electoral College ballots by 54,924 votes. Only 51,802 Virginians voted for all of the third-party candidates combined — close, but not enough to matter.
What about the other states that went for Obama? Had there been no third-party candidates, would there have been 35 more Electoral College votes to put Romney over the top?
In California, the President won by 59.2 percent with 5,554,499 votes. Romney garnered only 3,613,339 votes. If he’d had every one of the Third Party candidates’ 219,425 votes, it would have made no difference. The same is true in all of the “battleground” states as well as smaller states which went for Obama: Oregon, Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maryland, Delaware and Minnesota.
Had every third-party voter voted for Romney instead Obama would still be president. What’s even more absurd is that Romney apologists somehow expect independent minded individuals to support a candidate that wasn’t liked by his own party. Romney received less votes than John McCain, who was also disliked by much of the Republican Party base:
As the national vote total began to solidify last night, one question on the minds of Republicans was: Where are the missing voters? Last night it looked like Mitt Romney had received something like 10 to 15 percent fewer votes than John McCain had in 2008, even though his percentage of the overall vote was at least two points higher.
I think this fact is the most telling piece of information regarding Romney’s loss. Even though Obama’s approval rating during his term as president is below 50% Romney wasn’t able to get enough votes to win. While a majority of the American public doesn’t approve of Obama they approve of Romney even less. Neither Republican voters or the American public liked Romney enough to vote for him.
Third-party voters didn’t sink the Republican Party, the Republican Party sank the Republican Party. They selected a candidate that wasn’t liked by their own base and expected to win the election. Here’s a pro tip for the Republican Party in the future: if your own voter base doesn’t like a candidate nobody else will either.