It's difficult to do an autopsy without ever seeing the body. Difficult, but not impossible. I didn't watch the RNC (I won't watch the Democrats either, so that's fair). I did read the coverage, including rightwing coverage. Also, to mix metaphors, the proof of the pudding is in the eating and in that regard the poll results are the only review that matters. Still,
1) Clint Eastwood was the wrong man on the wrong day. The best evidence is that all the professionals on Romney's staff were falling over each other to insist that they weren't responsible. I can't imagine how anyone would think an "angry old white man ranting insanely at an empty chair" would be a good optic at any time. But to use it as the lead in to Romney's "most important speech of his life" guaranteed a power surge as TVs switched over to Honey Boo Boo.
2) Not to mention that all everybody was talking about on Friday was Eastwood and not Romney. Romney's acceptance speech was ignored.
3) Paul Ryan's lying was so egregious even Fox News had to cry foul. Hell, even Ryan's brother called him out for lying about running a marathon.
4) Where's the momentum? After conventions there is always a whirlwind of activity. I didn't see that.
5) Every convention has one iconic image. In 2008 it was an attractive and energetic Sarah Palin for the Republicans and for Democrats it was Barack Obama. This is the iconic image for Republicans in 2012: