Here’s a very provocative analysis drawn off a RICOCHET thread:
The debates became the Republican’s Achilles heel this cycle. We let them consume us during the primaries and we let them dupe us in the general. Obama gave Romney a freebie in the first debate, and suddenly everyone on our side calling out Romney’s losing campaign suddenly started declaring a landslide victory. Yet, the same losing strategy continued apace, leading to Romney’s loss. The signs were all there, but we refused to acknowledge them.
It goes without saying this is a dramatic overstatement. But that last sentence is surely true (I’m not trying to be mean, only truthful) of most RICOCHET writers and readers.