Yes we have to run a campaign like american idol.
The real group that was important to include are hispanic voters and young, single women. Hispanics that come to this country have a very high incidence of small-business ownership and small-business participation. There's common ground there. As I said elsewhere George W Bush managed to pick up 40% of the hispanic vote... Romney only picked up 20%. This is to Bush's credit.
I highly doubt young single women actually care about whether the government picks up their $15/mo birth control tab. Republicans just have to stop using dumbass/insulting language when talking about the issue.
You know, Reagan wasn't some magic prophet. He was just a really sincere guy who considered liberals his "friends" and worked with them where there was common ground, and had a "I strongly believe in my convictions, but reasonable people can disagree" approach where there wasn't. Reagan didn't demonize other Americans. He didn't insult people's intelligence. Romney (and lets expand this to the RNC beltway elite crowd) on the other hand couldn't even work with people who were supposed to be in his own party. His campaign considered other Republicans his enemies, but still demanded their vote. It doesn't work like that.
Newt when he was speaker worked with a Democrat president to balance the budget. All the politics aside, when it came down to the wire, Newt and Clinton worked together on economic issues where they could agree (aka... we have to balance this budget, somehow). Romney worked together with democrats when he was Governor and was quite successfully, so I had high hopes in the early primaries. But he seriously burned some important bridges throughout his campaign. And those bridges had voters on them.
"Campaign Mitt" was like the worst of both worlds -- a moderate that couldn't reach across the aisle, or even deeply appeal to anyone other than a narrow segment of Republicans (coincidentally, the Republicans that are the beltway elite crowd).
Just my take.
With the hispanics I don't know if it was the Brother from a different mother complex that helped Obama and hurt Romney.
As shallow as it seems I do believe the female vote was more emotional than intellectual.
I don't see not kissing someones ass as demonizing them, it's just more of the "I'm special so what you got for me"
I think there are way to many "Republicans" insisting they are standing on principle while they insist others abandon theirs.
In many aspects of life are instances calling for give and take, this can be done without compromising principle, those not willing to give are takers. 10% of something will always be more than 100% of nothing.
Politicians the likes of Reagan , Tip O'Neill or a Gingrich will not be elected in today's political atmosphere.