It is becoming clearer. Romney's concession speech was as weak as it was because it was impromtu, written only minutes before he appeared on stage, and while his wife Ann and Ryan's wife were crying, and Ryan himself sat muted and stunned. So confident was he in victory, it hadn't occurred to him that he might very well have to give a concession speech, and quite early on in the evening at that!
Whence Romney's confidence? Do he and his staffers not read? Of course they do, but only selective sources that belong to the right wing echo machine. Objective sources -- credible pollsters, Nate Silver and Princeton Election Consortium, among others -- gave ample evidence that Romney was going to lose by over 100 electoral votes. Silver gave Obama a 92% chance of victory; Princeton gave Obama a 100% chance of victory. The latter projected 332 electoral votes for Obama, and a 2.4% victory among the popular vote.
Silver and Princeton are well respected. They do science and have no identifiable political bias. Prior to the election approx 1/2 million people were clicking onto Princeton's site each day. We must assume some of Romney's staff were familiar with the sites and their scientifically based projections of a resounding Obama victory, a victory that would ring out even truer than his first of 2008, as voters now were going to elect him based upon his record, not simply his soaring rhetoric.
So? What were Romney, Ryan, their wives and their staff thinking? What was Rove thinking? What were optimistic Republicans, some who had donated tens of millions to Romney's cause, thinking?
Well, they weren't thinking very well at all. Just as so many Republicans deny the science of evolution, the science behind warnings of global warming, so here they denied the science of defeat that was projected confidently, with scientific backing (Princeton feeds over a quadrillion variables into its computer scheme), by qualified scientists who have spent decades perfecting their science. But rather than heed the science, they chose to believe Rasmussen instead, unable to recognize that over the entire election cycle Rasmussen, ARG, and several other partisan pollsters were lying with statistics in order to create the illusion of Romney momentum and victory. Both Silver and Princeton took Rasmussen's polls into account, but in so doing, both automatically subtracted 3-4 pts from Romney and added 3-4 points for Obama. You see, those who really think about these things, objectively, know that Rasmussen systematically skews its results and has done so for years. (What would you expect from a pollster who also writes opinion pieces in rightwing rags about 'Obama's disasterous policies and how the American public must reject them'.)
In short, the Romney team and its supporters chose to deny science, deny math, deny reality. They chose instead to believe the spinmeisters at Fox, and their own propagandists such as Krauthammer, Coulter, Rasmussen. (George Will predicted a victory for Romney ... in MINNESOTA.) Increasingly they have come to live in their own bubble, which permits them to exclude considerations of science, math, reality. (See George Will above.) And so, in this election, the American public not only resoundingly rejected a Republican presidential candidate, but rejected a deficient way of thinking that has increasingly over the years proved disasterous for those who continue to cling to it in the face of fact, in the face of a glaring reality that they cannot come to acknowledge. The election was a great victory for Obama. It was a great victory for the American people. It was a great victory for rational thought.