A score of people this past week have asked me about the three million Republicans allegedly "missing" at the polls this year. For starters, if the Washington Post is to be believed, Mitt Romney received 1.3 million fewer votes than John McCain did in 2008, not 3 million. For the record, Obama received 7.5 million fewer votes in 2012 than he did in 2008.
More than 1.1 million of the Republican votes were "lost" in California. It is not that California Republicans turned against Romney. His percentage of the vote was higher than McCain's in 2008. It is just they know their votes were in vain in that increasingly absurd state. The same is likely true in New York State where Romney fell more than a half-million votes short of McCain's totals. Excluding these two states, Romney received 300,000 more votes than McCain.
That much said, the results in several states do raise eyebrows, most notably Ohio and Pennsylvania. Romney received nearly 100,000 fewer votes than McCain in the former and 35,000 fewer votes in the latter. In all the other battleground states, Romney improved both on McCain's raw numbers and his percentage of the vote. This includes Florida despite the fact that every vote south of Palm Bay down Florida's I-95 corridor is suspect.