I know a lot of you won't agree with me, but here it goes;
1. No candidate is perfect. When you have a big, heaping plate of shit in front of you to eat, but are then offered a skirt steak, don't complain and cry because it isn't a filet mignon. Eat the skirt steak. Because if not, you'll be eating shit. Republicans need to learn if they piss and moan because their exact guy wasn't nominated, or a candidate isn't Ronald Reagan Incarnate, they will keep losing. Same thing for right-leaning Indies. The Democrats have no problem voting for a lesser-candidate; all the Hillary supporters who hated Barack got out and voted for him to keep a Republican out, both times.
2. Early voting is an instrumental necessity now. Democrats know that a large portion of their electorate can't be trusted to get out and vote on election day, so they spend the month prior stuffing absentee ballots in the faces of whomever they can the month before election day. Republicans MUST adopt a similar tactic with early voting, or they will keep being overwhelmed whenever their turnout falls short of perfect.
3. When it comes to the fundamentals of campaigning, the dickhead always wins. When Obama said McCain was out of touch because he couldn't type due to war injuries, people didn't think Obama was being an insensitive asshole, they though "hey, McCain can't even write an e-mail". Same thing with Romney and Obama; playing the nice guy doesn't work.
If anyone has anything to add, feel free.