Obama wins, but Romney wins the Popular Vote

There was some talk about the prospect of Obama's blue wall making it nigh-impossible for him to lose the Electoral College, but Romney potentially having an edge in the popular vote.

What if this had happened? Obama wins the Electoral College in 2012 but Romney wins the popular vote.
 
There was some talk about the prospect of Obama's blue wall making it nigh-impossible for him to lose the Electoral College, but Romney potentially having an edge in the popular vote.

What if this had happened? Obama wins the Electoral College in 2012 but Romney wins the popular vote.
No 47% comment or at least it isn't surreptitiously recorded.

The Romney campaign is more active in preventing Obama from defining Romney as not an inhuman, plastic candidate for president. I consider this to be ASB and I'm a conservative.
 
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There was some talk about the prospect of Obama's blue wall making it nigh-impossible for him to lose the Electoral College, but Romney potentially having an edge in the popular vote.

What if this had happened? Obama wins the Electoral College in 2012 but Romney wins the popular vote.
Getting rid of the Electoral College by any means possible becomes a rallying cry for Tea Party Republicans and the entire election is held up as an example of how the silent majority in flyover country is being dominated by big money corporate and entertainment liberal elites concentrated on the coasts.
 
Getting rid of the Electoral College by any means possible becomes a rallying cry for Tea Party Republicans and the entire election is held up as an example of how the silent majority in flyover country is being dominated by big money corporate and entertainment liberal elites concentrated on the coasts.
From OTL's perspective it'd be ironic.

Democrats would probably be more okay with the idea of moving to the popular vote though, given how they'd still have 2000 in the back of their minds. I think the OTL movements to adjust the Electoral College in various states so as allocate them by Congressional district might get some more wind in their sails though. There were proposals in Minnesota, Michigan, Virginia, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Ohio IIRC. It isn't a coincidence that they were all introduced in GOP-controlled swing states that Obama won.

Could Romney plausibly try running against in 2016?
 
Yes. He would most likely win in the primaries again and probably beat Hillary as even he would look more down to earth and human than her.
Winning the primaries seems like a maybe to me. The OTL right-wing reaction of "Romney was a moderate wimp" won't have as much strength to it if Romney wins the popular vote, but it will still sort of be there and be another challenge for Romney given how he had challenges in the 2012 primary OTL.

Jeb, Kasich, and Rubio might not run though, which would clear a lot of the establishment lane. Plus Jeb raised 138 million in the primary historically - somebody without the last name Bush getting that money would probably spend it a lot better. Trump could still jump in, but I wonder how he'd do against a Romney who is perceived as having been the rightful winner of 2012 by many in the GOP.
 
Getting back to 2012, does Romney get a majority or a plurality of the popular vote? In 2000 and 2016 Gore and Clinton won the popular vote but both still failed to win a majority of the voters. That nuance would probably get a lost on those screaming about a stolen election but IMWO it is important.
 
He doesn't lose the second debate. Post-first one, he was leading in Ohio and Virginia, as well as in general election polls; even with those two, he'd (just barely) come up short EC wise.
 
A stronger Republican campaign could've won outright in 2012, even with the "blue wall" staying blue. The states Romney won plus Florida, Ohio, Virginia, and Colorado gives you a slight electoral victory. All of those states went pretty narrowly for Obama in 2012, with Colorado giving him the largest margin (5.36%). What's more, the "blue wall" itself was never as solidly blue as it was claimed to be. A strong GOP campaign could've flipped a couple of the states that "surprisingly" (for some) flipped red in 2016.

With that in mind, the scenario in the title is definitely doable IMO. Romney gets a plurality of the vote, winning all the states that he won IOTL plus Florida, Ohio, and Virginia. Obama wins the electoral vote 272-266. Lots of drama ensues, with many Republicans demanding recounts in Pennsylvania, Iowa, and New Hampshire.

As for how to make that result happen, I think you have to have Obama screw something up. Preventing the leak of the 47% tape would help, but aside from that, Romney is just...well, Romney.
 
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