Wednesday, September 26, 2012

ANALYSIS: Romney’s Target Electorate

As I mentioned in a previous column, the Presidential Race is also a Marketing Management issue. I am sure Republican nominee Romney, a former Governor and a successful businessman, is treating and analyzing it as such.


RRR (Republicans Romney-Ryan) target the Independent Voters composing 5-10%


1.     RRR assumes that 43-48% right-leaning, loyal Republicans would vote their way no matter what;
2.     Romney also assumes that 47% of the electorate would vote for President Obama no matter what.

Romney described the 47% as people  “who pay no taxes” and “who are dependent upon government, who believe they are victims, who believe the government has the responsibility to take care of them, who believe they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it.” He also says in a video, “My job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

As soon as this promotional message to potential campaign contributors or in business parlance “investors” was leaked or discovered, it generated various reactions. His own running mate Ryan called him “inarticulate”.  Famous Republican writer Peggy Noonan called his campaign, “incompetent”. Romney himself described his remarks, “inelegant” but did not back down – fully convinced that as a matter of strategy, it is better not to waste his and his contributors’ money, time and effort to the 47% electorate as he described.

As a political animal previously involved in both U.S. and Philippine elections, Romney’s message and assumptions made me curious. As I have done previously, I usually satisfy this curiosity by looking at the numbers known to the public and the Romney campaign.


Indeed, 47% pay no Federal Income taxes but as discovered by the media the former is divided into: 28.3% who pay the payroll taxes that sustain the Social Security benefits; 10.3% are the elderly whose main source of income is the non-taxable hard-earned Social Security pension; 6.9% are those earning less than $20,000; and .9 others.


The Electoral College System changes the dynamics in the U.S. Presidential Race as compared to other democratic countries like the Philippines wherein every vote counts. In a winner takes all system, the former gets all the allotted electoral votes. In short, it is possible that you get more votes nationally but still lose because you obtained less electoral votes.

This is why both Presidential campaigns develop their strategies around the States. This is why they campaign based on what pollsters call the Blue States (Democratic-leaning), the Red States (Republican-leaning) and the Toss-Up States.

With Romney’s message and assumptions as stated above, it should be logical to many that the former is linked with the States strategy.


I decided to look at the poorest States in the United States ,which I thought Romney, based on his strategy, assumptions and message, determined they would go for President Obama no matter what.

Why? In these States, the average household income is $39,375 or less than $20,000 as average individual income. Those who live below the poverty line are averaging 19.5%.

These States are Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, Arkansas, West Virginia, and Mississippi.  Yet, according to the latest Rasmussen Electoral College Scoreboard, these poorest States are all going for Romney.

The richest States in the U.S. are Maryland, Alaska, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.  The average household income is $66,270.60 and those below the poverty line average 10.78.  Most of the voters pay taxes. They are Romney’s kind of people, right?

Wrong.  Except Palin’s State of Alaska, all of them, per Rasmussen, are going for President Obama by wide margins. Yet, he guaranteed Palin’s absence in the Tampa convention.


Romney is very critical of persons, (natural or juridical) who derive their income from the government.  This is part of the message that he delivered to a group of funders.

The U.S. Federal Budget is bloated but it is not primarily funding the bureaucracy.  A substantial portion actually goes to the private sector. Lockheed Martin, whose 2011 revenue was $46.30 billion, for example, derived $39.98 billion as income from the U.S. government; Boeing in 2011 got 21.45 billion; General Dynamics, $19.47 billion; Raytheon, $14.76 billion; and United Technologies, $7.90 billion just to name a few.

Let us look at the numbers that deal with small businesses, disadvantaged entrepreneurs, women-owned enterprises, and targeted industries; trade associations; NGOs; innovators; exporters; and others who are beneficiaries of market development programs, financing and investments, grants, subsidies, research and feasibility studies assistance programs and other various government support that actually end up in the private sector. Even foreign aid because of the “Buy American” Rule actually benefits  American contractors and consultants. They are billions and cumulatively trillions in dollars.

There are unemployment and Social Security benefits because there were insurance premiums and contributions respectively paid over a period. Beneficiaries, most especially the elderly, have earned a vested right.

Romney and his campaign staff might want to review their message, assumptions and strategy. Time is of the essence!

1 comment:

  1. It watching the Romney candidacy, I'm reminded of a kite that has lost its tail, circling wildly down, down, no place to go but crash. All the wind in the world from the rich and privileged and conservative extremists can't hold it up.