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Allen West./ The Shark Tank

Why Allen West Lost In 2012

Allen West./ The Shark Tank

Allen West/ The Shark Tank


The Palm Beach Post has tweeted that former Congressman Allen West is “second guessing the volume of negative ads he ran in 2012 loss” to Democrat Congressman Patrick Murphy.” The tweet links to the Post’s premium website (paid), where West supposedly admits that perhaps his campaign should have pulled back on the negative ads against Murphy.

West’s campaign against Murphy unnecessarily beat Murphy’s past arrest record to death, turning a 2 week negative “hit” into one that was perceived to have taken over the entire campaign’s message.

Towards the end of the 2012 congressional race between Murphy and West, West enjoyed a comfortable lead over his opponent, leading his campaign to feel comfortable enough to release Murphy’s mugs hot and arrest record, a move they felt would been the dagger through the heart needed to claim victory.

The move was the dagger through the heart, but someone decided to give it a couple turns into the open wound, leaving a bad taste in the mouths of many of West’s constituents, leading quite a few to start sympathizing for Murphy.

Several of these constituents expressed that they started to feel bad for Murphy, because they too had done dumb things in their past, as well as know family and friends, who have also moved past their youthful transgressions.

Some of these voters admitted that it was overkill by West, stating that they would not be voting for either man in the race-some went as far as to say that West lost their vote. At the end of the day, a non-vote in that race was a vote for Murphy.

In early January 2013, I found myself on a flight back from Washington,D.C., with Murphy’s 2012 campaign manager and current chief of staff, Eric Johnson.

Johnson, who knew Murphy may have had an outside chance of beating West, believed that Murphy beat West because of a sympathy vote the campaign never imagined could exist, which stemmed from West’s over-the-top mug shot and campaign against Murphy.

Johnson admitted that the mug shot hit was above board, and well-timed, but the mistake the West campaign made was to drag it out past a 1 1/2-2 week period, which created the turning point Murphy’s campaign needed.

Yeah, yeah, you will here the talk of voter fraud in the Murphy-West race, especially as one of Murphy’s 2012 consultants was caught committing absentee ballot voter fraud down in Miami. While you can’t rule out that fraud did or did not occur in this race, the fact is that West campaign didn’t help itself by losing themselves enough votes to make a difference.

With lessons learned, West is said to be eyeing a possible U.S. Senate run in 2016 (depending on what Rubio does) or possibly 2018. West will one day be back in elected office, the question is, which office? Read more on a possible comeback here.

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About author

Javier Manjarres
Javier Manjarres

As the managing editor of The Shark Tank, Javier was awarded the 2011 CPAC Blogger of the Year. Countless videos and articles from the Shark Tank have been featured on Fox News, The Hill, Wall Street Journal, and other national news publications. Javier has also appeared on Univision’s “Al Punto” and numerous radio shows, including being the weekly 92.5 Fox News' DayBreak with Drew Steele political contributor, as well as one of NewsmaxTV's conservative commentators. Javier has also authored "BROWN PEOPLE," which is a book about Hispanic Politics. Learn more at

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Why Allen West Lost In 2012

time to read: 2 min