Book Review – What Went Wrong

 Dr. Corsi presents the title of his book to us as a statement, rather than a question.  The implication appears to be that he has all the answers.  Perhaps he has a number of them.



Jerome Corsi is a controversial figure largely because of his association with World Net Daily and participation in “Birther” related news coverage.  But controversial or not, he always presents information backed by serious research and he cannot be written off out of hand. 


His recent work What Went Wrong is a detailed examination of the 2012 Presidential Election and the respective campaigns of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.  In it he provides significant detail on the tactics and strategy of both campaigns as well as other contributing factors including historical trends. 


Among the topics covered are polling, the ground game, changes in electoral behavior by the public, and demographic and religious impacts.  Each of the topics is discussed in detail with references to published interviews, polls, other publications and anecdotal references as well, which provide an excellent context for the author’s positions. 


After giving a generalized analysis Dr. Corsi goes into specifics such as analysis of the swing states including detailed numerical breakdowns for Florida and Ohio.  He also examines the rural vs. urban trends and the appeal of the celebrity over the establishment candidate.  This last leads into detailed comparisons with the 1948 presidential race in which Dewey, portrayed as an establishment candidate who ran on a “me too” platform, lost to the incumbent Truman.  In 1964 Phyllis Schlafly published an analysis of that campaign in which she called for the bright dividing lines that Ronald Reagan used years later.  


Dr. Corsi also deals with the role of the press, the duplicity in Obama rhetoric, voter fraud and what all this bodes for the future.  He includes in his conclusions a statement that a mad dash is on to make America a nation of Detroits.  He shows the unabashed socialistic policies and opinions that have been driving Democrat Party politics and the divide and conquer tactics that have split up a nation that was on the verge of finding its own way to post racialism and post classism, throwing a detour sign in the way to real social justice rather than redistribution based on guilt and theft based theories that have no basis in fact. 


Not all is positive for the Democrats, and Dr. Corsi spends a chapter on the problems that exist in present day America including the continued economic troubles, the war on religion and the simple fact that cracks are already appearing in their ideological walls.  This has been highlighted in recent news by the Democrat and Union rebellion against Obamacare.  But Dr. Corsi is very specific in his concluding chapter.  He states in no uncertain terms his opinion that the GOP cannot succeed using the model pushed by Karl Rove and others like him.  The base, he contends, has changed and the old guard can no longer count on being able to run the party as in the old days.  


Dr. Corsi’s analysis, while well reasoned over all, has some problems.  For example, he begins his examination of statistical analysis in elections by touting the “moneyball” approach in baseball as gospel of how to produce a championship team while ignoring the fact that Billy Beane, who devised it, never got anywhere near contention with the Oakland A’s or any other team.  In his journey into statistical analysis he appears to assert that the Obama campaign could, using statistics, predict the behavior of essentially every individual voter throughout the United States.  This is rank foolishness, as any good statistician will tell you.  It would be the same as predicting the exact numbers that would appear on any given throw of two dice; something that is impossible to do with any significant degree of accuracy.  It is possible to predict the behavior of sufficiently large groups of people, but never individuals. 


On the plus side, Dr. Corsi notes that the Romney Campaign seemingly pursued a corporate strategy in their information technology, rather than hiring oddball geeks.  This is likely to be correct, however, Dr. Corsi ignores this as a symptom of what was, in part, wrong with the Romney Campaign; its poor connectivity with anyone outside of Republican traditional old guard.  This can be shown by the large number of young people who supported Ron Paul, who was, in turn, treated with general disrespect by Romney, turning those people off as potential voters.  To be fair, Dr. Corsi does discuss the negative treatment of the Ron Paul delegates and the fact that it may have cost him between two and five states.   


All things considered this is a very thought provoking work that contains many excellent points worthy of serious consideration.  It is not a quick study or a pleasure read, although it is also far from tedious and can be covered comfortably, chapter by chapter, with time in between to think on what has just been discussed.


What Went Wrong is published by WND Books and is available from

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