Stuart Stevens, chief strategist for Mitt Romney's failed presidential bid in 2012, gave a very candid interview with Political Wire in which he discussed what worked and what went wrong.
A few takeaways from the discussion:
1. The press completely missed the health care story and dismissed Romney's criticisms of ObamaCare even though many later proved to be true.
2. Despite the campaign's public optimism and suggestions that Romney himself thought he would win on Election Night, the campaign's internal polling was actually very good and never showed Romney leading.
3. Hurricane Sandy completely changed the dynamic of the election in the last week and swept away any last chance Romney had to win.
4. The Clint Eastwood debacle at the Republican National Convention, while fun to talk about on cable news, didn't change any votes.
5. "Campaign narratives" are often factually wrong and a crutch reporters use to tell a more interesting story.
Listen to the whole thing. It's really eye-opening.