Tuesday, December 20, 2016

How Hillary Actually Lost

Now that the Electoral College has done its job without changing their votes last minute and flipping the election, we can take a serious look at how Hillary Clinton managed to blow one of the easiest layups in political history.  Politico.com examined one battleground state--Michigan, which had been one of the bluest of the blue states for over twenty years, and yet went for Donald Trump last month--to see exactly how that happened.  Their reporters didn't find much in the way of Russian influence--but they did find that Clinton's campaign acted with sheer arrogance and ignorance in the face of concerns raised by local Democratic party members who could see that things were not going well.

Having been involved in a campaign of my own once--albeit on a much smaller scale--I was shocked to see how little effort the Clinton machine put into trying to win the race.  In Michigan, no flyers were printed up for people to take door to door in neighborhoods months before election day.  People who wanted to show their support for Clinton were told they could not have yard signs.  Clinton herself, Vice Presidential nominee Tim Kaine and the multitude of surrogates willing to campaign on her behalf--including President Obama--were never sent to Michigan--even when they were specifically requested by local party leaders concerned about bleeding support--until the very last days of the campaign, when many voters had already made up their minds.

The Clinton camp also relied very heavily on polling data that had already proven itself to be wrong.  In the primary, Clinton had a lead over Bernie Sanders in the Michigan polls--but ended up losing the state.  Yet when those same metrics repeated themselves in Michigan before the general election, the same amount of trust was put into them--with the same losing result.

And speaking of Bernie Sanders, his supporters in Michigan say there was absolutely no effort from the Clinton campaign to reach out to them after the primary was decided.  That is the same sentiment shared by Sanders backers here in Wisconsin--where he also won the primary.  They were never given reasons to back Clinton in November--and were never asked to join in the campaign in meaningful ways.

The irony in the closed-minded, do it my way or no way attitude of the Clinton campaign is that so much was made of how "good a listener" Hillary is--that she "makes you feel like she really understands your problem and wants to help you".  Apparently that didn't apply to those who wanted to get her elected President--twice.

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