So, you wanna know the "why" of it all, huh?
Why or why did this happen?
For what it's worth, here are my top six reasons:
1) Needless GOP bloodshed. The long Republican primary battle was unecessarily contentious and no one epitomized the irrationality of this more than Rick Santorum who continued to take shots at Mitt Romney well past closing time. And Newt Gingrich wasn't much better. All of this simply set the stage for . . .
2) Obama's early negative blitz. The Obama team wisely decided to define Romney before he had a chance to define himself. So, they gambled and took a huge chunk of dough early on and invested it in a relentlessly negative ad campaign painting a picture of Romney as a selfish, disconnected corporate titan who cared only about the rich: self-centered, mean, uncaring and greedy. People say they hate negative ads, but people remember negative ads. Since Romney held back and didn't immediately answer the ads and forcefully counterpunch, this pre-emptive Obama effort worked.
3) The Democrats' trumped-up, phony "war on women" and the clueless (mostly single, mostly younger) women who bought this. All I can say is "shame on 'em".
4) The changing face of America. Demographics played a key role and resulted in bloc voting by blacks, hispanics and other minorities. Despite some noble efforts (particularly at the GOP Convention) Republicans never figured out a way to appeal to these groups. But some of the blame must still rest with the "one-way" mindset of the groups themselves. There is no true freedom so long as you allow one party to effectively own your vote.
5) Romney's "soft-touch" approach to the 2nd and 3rd debates. Romney came roaring back in the first debate but then he sorta went soft in the following two debates -- particularly the third debate, where he never really challenged the president on Benghazi. Maybe he was chilled by Candy Crowley's team-up with Obama on the "act of terror" statement in the second debate. Turns out both Crowley and Obama were wrong (as proven by the election-eve CBS tape release) but Romney never effectively fought back. He let it go.
6) Sandy and the Christie bear hug. It's hard to underestimate the effect of Obama's from-the-heavens October surprise in the form of Superstorm Sandy. The devastation allowed Obama to look presidential. OK, give Obama credit for seizing the moment one week before the election. But the president got a megasized boost from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who, in the midst of an all-consuming crisis (that seemed at times to shift him into what appeared to be an altered state of reality) journeyed from gratefulness to the world of gushing bromance. And then this became a kind of manage e trois when the president brought his campaign partner (and Christie's lifelong idol) Bruce Springsteen into the lovefest. Christie was so overjoyed, he cried. You could almost hear strains of Kumbaya. Who could have ever predicted this? Bottom line: Obama bounced back.