Why Angle Lost

3) Lack of experience in the middle. The campaign was littered with friends of friends who were very enthusiastic but lacked basic campaign experience. They shunned experienced activists (and advice), creating an “us against them” attitude in the GOP community. Even groups who were active in helping Angle win the primary were given the stiff arm once the general election started. Coalitions happen in the middle space of a campaign, and the Angle campaign squandered that space. Much of the Angle GOTV operation was by spontaneous activists who were frustrated by the lack of response from the Angle campaign. Although enthusiasm was at a high point in Vegas, Angle didn’t exploit the “most-est” enthusiasm gap.

4) Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The campaign had a poor working relationship with the press, fostered by the fear that Angle too often got off-message. The press, Angle likely felt, “had no business to report [her remarks] so verbatimly,” to use Mark Twain’s apt phrase. Angle, then, rebuffed the press, which is always a mistake. Yes, it feels good to rebuff us. But the rebuff created a loathing by the press, which was returned by the campaign. Angle would have been wise to see the press as a delivery mechanism that is better managed than challenged. While this failure doesn’t necessarily fit into any “first-est with the most-est,” category, it might have been the dumbest thing the campaign did. It made the campaign look like it lacked confidence in itself.

"Victory in the next war will depend in execution not plans," Patton wrote to Eisenhower in 1926. The next war was World War II. That war was won by overwhelming the Axis powers by logistics, not strategy.

It’s a lesson all candidates should study when they prepare to take on the Axis of Evil.