As I have been pointing out for days, there is a concerted effort based at best on speculation and at worst on malicious intent to have us assume the liberal narrative of why we lost the election by just under … drumroll … three percent, even less in the key battleground states.

But shouldn’t we understand just why we lost before succumbing to the Politico-BuzzFeed  story line that the age of conservatism is over?

As usual, Byron York has a good take:

“Obama won Ohio because he did what Bush did in 2004 — surprised pundits by increasing turnout in his base,” says Mark Weaver, a veteran Ohio Republican strategist. “Also, by demonizing the undefined Romney, he tamped down Romney’s ability to motivate weak Republicans to turn out.”

What does all this have to do with a conservative cocoon? Not much. The missing voters certainly weren’t in the cocoon, and there’s no evidence the Romney campaign ignored those voters because conservative media told them the election was already in the bag. Just the opposite; Romney chased them hard.

In the end, while Obama, with all the advantage of incumbency, soared with his base, Romney couldn’t fully connect with voters who might lean Republican. “My general impression is that the base, the activists — the people you need — never emotionally invested in Romney the way they emotionally invested in George W. Bush,” says a senior GOP operative involved in the campaign. Maybe not even as much as they invested in McCain.

Developing a clear idea of why Romney lost is important because it will help Republicans fix the things that need to be fixed — and not blow up the party if there are less radical solutions.

Yes. We. Should. Understand. Before. Jumping.