No doubt who the big winners were on Nov. 6. Two years ago, he was considered toast. But President Obama scored a decisive victory: winning the popular vote by 3 and a half million, racking up a 126-vote margin in the Electoral College, locking up eight out of nine battleground states – and losing North Carolina by less than 100,000 votes. Give that man a mandate.
If Obama was a winner, so was the Democratic Party, which, once again, demonstrated its advantage in presidential elections. Over the last 20 years, the Democratic Party has expanded its base in big states with greater diversity, while the Republican Party has focused more and more narrowly on smaller, less-populated, white-bread states. And the results are dramatic.
As reported by Chris Cillizza in the Washington Post: "In the past six presidential elections, including 2012, the Democratic nominee has averaged 327 electoral votes while the Republican nominee has averaged just 210." Since 1992, "… the most – repeat most – electoral votes a Republican presidential candidate has won is 286, when George W. Bush claimed a second term in 2004." Barack Obama solidified the trend, winning 332 electoral votes to Mitt Romney's 206.
Advertisement - story continues below
There's no doubt who the big winners were. There's also no doubt who the big losers were. Mitt Romney, number one. Did anybody honestly think he'd win? He was a mediocre candidate with no message, no strategy and no organization. Romney only won the nomination because he faced such a bunch of clowns in the primaries. He only looked good compared to Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry.
Another big loser, long before 2012, but now even more so: the darling of Fox News, Dick Morris. Why's he still on the payroll, after being wrong about everything? Among other goofball statements, Morris predicted that Sherrod Brown would have to find a new job, that George Allen would win in Virginia and that Bill Nelson would lose in Florida. He also insisted to the very end that Mitt Romney would win in a landslide, picking up 326 electoral votes. On Fox News (no other network would have him), Morris told Greta Van Susteren: "It will be the biggest surprise in recent American political history. It will rekindle the whole question on why the media played this race as a nail biter where in fact Romney's going to win by quite a bit."
But even Dick Morris must take a back seat to the biggest loser of all: Karl Rove, who may have finally earned the nickname bestowed on him by George W. Bush years ago: "Turd Blossom." Except he's not blossoming anymore.
Rove has a reputation for being a brilliant political strategist. Based on what? Certainly not on his record. Sure, he claims credit for getting George Bush elected in 2000, but Bush didn't win that election. He lost it to Al Gore by more than 500,000 votes. Bush was not elected; he was appointed president by the Supreme Court. Rove then famously interpreted results of that election to predict an American political "realignment" with permanent dominance of the Republican Party. How'd that work out, Karl?
Advertisement - story continues below
Still, Rove's reputation was intact enough this year for GOP fat cats to entrust him with up to $390 million to spend on behalf of Mitt Romney and Republican House and Senate candidates. And he bombed worse than Rick Perry. With former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie, Rove heads up two Super PACs: American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS. Each made a disastrous showing on Nov. 6.
Crossroads GPS targeted nine Democratic Senate candidates: Claire McCaskill, Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown, Jon Tester, Joe Donnelly, Tim Kaine, Bill Nelson, Heidi Heitkamp and Shelley Berkley. Eight out of nine Democrats won; only Nevada's Berkley lost. American Crossroads poured money in against eight Democrats. Six out of eight won. And, of course, both PACs spent heavily against President Obama, to no avail.
Worse yet. After failing so miserably, Rove refused to admit he was wrong. He first tried to convince Fox News not to declare Obama the winner. Then he blamed his poor showing on a combination of "weak candidates" and Hurricane Sandy. And he accused President Obama of "suppressing the vote" by pointing out that Romney's policies favored the 1 percent. Would you buy a used candidate from this man?
In the end, Karl Rove won one contest. He proved himself the biggest horse's a-- in American politics. Considering his competition was Donald Trump, that's really saying something.