A New York GOP fundraiser told a past Romney campaign donor in a phone call that “Mitt has a plan should he not win the electoral vote,” according to the donor.
“We think we can make a compelling case to the American people,” she reportedly said. The fundraiser then said “we’ll throw everything we can in the way” of a second term for President Barack Obama.
The donor asked if this was the strategy of the Romney campaign, the fundraiser replied that she “got it directly” from people working for the former Massachusetts governor.
NYaltnews will not reveal the name of the past donor or the fundraiser, according to the donor’s wishes.
The donor works as an officer at a Wall Street private equity firm, and has donated to Republican, Independence, and Democratic Party candidates for New York City Mayor, and New York Governor, State Senate, Assembly, and Congressional races in the past. He was a 2008 McCain supporter in addition to supporting Mitt Romney in the 2012 Republican primary season. He informs us he is not supporting Mitt Romney in Tuesday’s election, however.
The phone call was reportedly made for a banking-industry PAC that is supportive of Romney, not the Romney campaign. The donor who contacted NYaltnews says the fundraiser had previously contacted him on behalf of the Romney campaign, as well as the campaigns of two New York Republican members of Congress in the past year.
The Electoral College is widely considered an artifact, and was considered effective in times when three or four political parties dominated the political landscape and campaigning was often conducted regionally, with cross-country campaigning not yet workable. However, the Obama campaign strategy is to win the electoral vote by waging a swing-state strategy to complement larger “safe” Democratic states such as New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, and California.
Curiously, Romney has began airing commercials and ramped up campaigning in states not considered battlegrounds such as Pennsylvania and Oregon. Some political observers say this is being done to gather stray undecided voters in these states and increase the chance and margin of a popular-vote victory.
There is also speculation that Romney may apply a strategy reportedly considered by George W. Bush’s campaign in 2000 if he lost the electoral vote to Vice President Al Gore, but won the popular vote–the opposite of what actually happened in the election.
Romney may be preparing a set of talking points that the Electoral College is essentially unfair and back this argument with a massive Fox News and talk-radio blitz that would fuel doubt in the legitimacy of an Obama win. The goal is to turn public sentiment against President Obama with a message that the President’s campaign thwarted the majority of the people. It is has also been speculated on the Democratic-leaning blog, DailyKos, that Romney might be the first presidential-race loser to refuse to concede the election.
A strategy to make a second-term for Obama appear illegitimate would also use prominent business leaders who will be urged to lobby their customers and clients, prominent members of clergy who will speak to their flocks about “the will of man,” and even a fake grassroots movement of Democrats speaking out against the Electoral College result. In fact, Bush’s campaign advisers in 2000 contemplated creating a “Democrats for Democracy” group to make this point, if necessary.
Some polls now suggest that Romney is in the lead with the national popular vote, but most polls in swing states are suggesting an almost impossible path to the 270 electoral votes he needs to be elected. Nate Silver of The New York Times FiveThirtyEight blog runs against the speculation of a Electoral College/popular vote split. He now projects Barack Obama to win 306 electoral votes and win 50.6 percent of the popular vote.
No incumbent president seeking a second term has ever won the electoral college and lost the popular vote. And a win in the electoral college for Barack Obama that is not accompanied by one in the popular vote could cast a shadow over the president and his ability to govern. Republicans have already been fussing about perceived voter fraud to this end, but a popular-vote victory for Romney will further support this cause.
“This is the point she was trying to make,” said the donor who declined to give to the PAC. “I don’t think they want to steal the election by saying ‘the popular vote should be counted instead of the electoral vote,’ I think they want to cut the nuts off a second term for Obama.”
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