'Shocked' Romney 'Hastily Composed' Concession

Why the campaign really thought it was going to win

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 9, 2012 6:38 AM CST | Updated Nov 9, 2012 7:57 AM CST

(Newser) – Mitt Romney's surrogates weren't bluffing when they said they thought he would win; they expected Pennsylvania to be close, North Carolina to be a blowout, and Florida to be a comfortable win, they tell CBS News. When none of that happened, Romney "was shellshocked," one adviser reveals. It was Romney who finally declared the patient dead. As his wife cried, Romney stoically called the president, then delivered a concession speech that CBS describes as "hastily composed, knowing he had to say something."

The Romney camp made three crucial miscalculations:

  • They assumed Democratic turnout would be lower than in 2008, and GOP turnout higher. The reverse was true.
  • They overestimated the importance of Romney's lead among independents. Turns out, many people polled as "independents" were ex-Republicans, which is why polls appeared to undersample Republicans.
  • They believed undecided voters would break for him late; instead exit polls showed they broke for the president.
There was one last dagger for Romney on election night, though he might not have known it at the time. Chris Christie personally called Barack Obama to congratulate him, Bloomberg reports. He gave his condolences to Romney via email.

Mitt Romney stands with his wife Ann, Paul Ryan, and Ryan's wife Janna after Romney gave his concession speech at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, Nov. 7, 2012.   (AP Photo/Rick Wilking, Pool)
Mitt Romney arrives to his election night rally, Nov. 7, 2012, in Boston.   (AP Photo/David Goldman)
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There's nothing worse than when you think you're going to win, and you don't. It was like a sucker punch. - An anonymous Romney adviser

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