Instead, the Republicans found themselves divided and marching down two distinct tracks. The division apparently confused even the Republican presidential ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. The first track was the historic debate just mentioned, i.e. a debate that if won at the ballot box would have gone a long way toward realizing the Republican dream of staying the hand of government involvement in providing support for citizens that has been the cornerstone of the legacies of Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson.
It was, however, in the words of a number of Republican Party pundits the second track that proved to be the undoing of the Romney/Ryan ticket. Older white voters who, since the introduction of the Southern Strategy, had become the bread and butter of the national Republican Party continued to prosecute the old-fashioned campaign that had been so good to them in the past. This approach over the past four years, however, morphed into a campaign of hatred of Barack Obama the person more so than the policies of Barack Obama the President.
Republican David Frum, former speech writer for President George W. Bush, lamented afterward that the campaign of personal disdain for Barack Obama detracted significantly from the more important debate over two competing systems of government. More importantly, Frum laid considerable blame for this at the feet of conservative Republican-oriented news and entertainment media.