Blame

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  • #25714
    paulwalker
    Participant

    The final popular vote is in and if I am not mistaken, this is the largest popular vote margin by a losing candidate in U.S. history.

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/hillary-clinton-leads-by-28-million-in-final-popular-vote-count/ar-BBxnKPq?li=BBnb7Kz

    Which brings me to this conclusion…Hillary completely blew it in States she was projected to win. Pure and simple. Poor strategy. Yes, Bernie supporters who stayed home are to blame, but so is she.

    #25716

    It’s not the largest by percentage. In 1876 the loser won the popular vote by 3% vs Hillary’s 2%.

    #25719
    edselehr
    Participant

    Remember paulwalker, all the polls were telling Hillary (and all of us) that she *wasn’t* blowing it in those three key swing states. Sure it was close, but she was consistently ahead up until the last week or so…about the same time Comey released his unsubstantiated accusation of a possible reopening of her email investigation. That’s when her numbers started to dip. Was the Comey letter the thing that lost her the election? Or was the polling faulty, pretty much from the beginning of summer until October? Hard to believe that the latter was that bad, so one has to think the former made a difference.

    #25720
    Andrew
    Participant

    In such a close election, you can always pick a dozen things that were the “cause.” Take your pick. The Comey endorsement in the final week would certainly be on the list. And yes – there plenty of things Clinton did wrong. Hindsight is 20/20.

    As for the polls: rural turnout greatly exceeded what pollsters were expecting, in more than one state. For example, compare the turnout in rural counties in say, PA, between 2016 and 2012 – the one state I looked most closely at. Rural turnout surged in 2016. I understand Florida was similar – presumably the other states, too.

    #25723
    LurkingGrendel
    Participant

    I haven’t chimed in a great deal in the blame assignment. A great deal of the analysis I’ve read from others, in my own opinion, tends to give either too much or too little weight to specific contributory factors. And is often written through lenses of, largely unintentional, informational bias.

    For my own part, I’d characterize it this way.

    • There was nothing “wrong” with Hillary Clinton’s and the DNC’s electoral strategy. Had she won, and virtually everyone (including committed Trump supporters as well as the majority of the conservative leaning media) believed she was going to, no-one would be picking apart that strategy with the benefit of hindsight or using the loss to “prove” a critical assertion. I.e. not spending time (broadly speaking) in rural America was not an oversight or error; it was part of a strategic design. In this election, it simply didn’t pay out.
    • Democrats did not come out in numbers commensurate with the 2012 election. Had those numbers been at parity, Hillary Clinton would be the President. That’s an empirical based fact. As to that particular why:
    o A minority of Bernie Sander’s supporters either did not vote or voted for a third party candidate out of protest. Again, just looking at the math, the (incredibly narrow) margin of victory Donald Trump secured in PA, WI, and MI is well within the total vote total of those third party candidates. Had they not been on the ballot, or had the Sander’s campaign not become a scorched Earth endeavor in its latter stages, Hillary Clinton would likely be the President.
    o Thanks in part to the Russian government, our own media, and a largely credulous public, there was an unending stream of damaging reporting on Hillary Clinton’s e-mail “scandal” for months and months. Exit polling and post-election analysis suggests that a relatively small, but ultimately critical, number of Democrats bought into this nonsense which also contributed to depressed turnout. Which, of course, was the entire point of the exercise. The RNC and its surrogacy had admitted as much on more than one occasion.
    o There’s simply no way to characterize the Comey/FBI intervention as anything other than a brazenly political attempt to sway the election in Donald Trump’s direction. As has been widely reported, it was a (literal) nothing burger. As has been recently revealed even the pretext under which the investigation was continued, (the Anthony Weiner link) had incredibly flimsy legal standing. You’ll note this entire thing vanished like a soap bubble post-election. Interesting, that.
    • Donald Trump’s voters came out in record numbers. Rural America (broadly speaking again) came out in force to support their candidate. (Hurray, angry white people!) Couple the excellent Republican turnout with the (slightly) depressed Democratic turnout and there’s your smoking gun. It’s not rocket science.

    We needed the math, only available post election, to begin to put the Clinton loss into proper context.

    My, and any number of other people’s error, was in assuming that people (in general) were smarter than this. Apparently, “I saw it on Facebook”, (or the internet, in general) is all of the “news” a lot of people need to read. Including a dismaying number of Democrats and Independents.

    So, we’ve elected a dangerous buffoon whose views do not represent the majority of the electorate.

    Good times.

    #25726
    Andrew
    Participant

    Good post, LurkingGrendel – I agree with most of what you said.

    However, although I first thought the same about voter turn-out (Hillary not getting the same turnout that Obama got in 2012), if you look at Pennsylvania, you’ll see they had a big increase in turn-out over 2012. Hillary wound up getting almost the same vote total that Obama got in PA in 2012. But Trump got about 300,000 more than Romney. And Gary Johnson and Jill Stein – both on the ballot in 2012 in PA as well – combined polled about 130,000 more votes than they did in 2012.

    Hillary actually got more votes than Obama did in 2012 in some PA blue counties – but the rural turnout for Trump overwhelmed those numbers. So, the “her voters just didn’t turn out” argument doesn’t quite hold up at least in PA. Even if she had won Michigan and Wisconsin, she still would have lost without PA.

    (Wisconsin did see a fall in turnout thanks in part to successful Republican efforts to suppress the vote there. Michigan was about flat.)

    #25727
    Andy Brown
    Participant

    This election wasn’t a rejection of all things we believe in. This isn’t a country that no longer resembles the one we knew. This isn’t a country where hate trumps love. Some failures are big and systemic. Some are unpredictable and idiosyncratic. 2016 is much more the latter.

    •Hillary Clinton got essentially as many votes as Barack Obama did in 2012 and won the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes—winning by a margin greater than Kennedy’s successful race in 1960, Nixon’s in 1968 or Jimmy Carter’s in 1976, among others.

    •Democrats successfully reelected every Senate incumbent and even gained two seats. In fact, despite Republican control of the Senate, a majority of the members of the Senate didn’t even vote for Donald Trump.

    •Democrats actually gained six seats in the House despite facing gerrymandered maps and defying the historical norm of winning Congressional seats while losing the White House.

    Also, there hasn’t been a Democrat elected to succeed a two-term Democratic President since 1836.

    Do not fall victim to what Republicans are trying to do. They want us to forget what actually happened. That’s how they will build the perception of support for an agenda that voters rejected. President-elect Trump has already started to repeatedly claim a mandate for his agenda and a landslide for his win. Neither are true.

    Republicans have the right to govern but they don’t have a mandate for their policies. If we don’t start to make that point, each and every day, then we will wake up in a few months and find out Republicans have taken the country in a new direction. If we don’t fight back against unfounded claims of a mandate, or navel-gazing that this election was a total rejection of our party, we will be wondering why the Republican agenda has gained momentum in just a few short months.

    source: Time

    Also, bacon’s incomplete research must be corrected. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 2,864,974, which is 2.1 percent of the total vote. That is the second-largest margin (by percentage) by which anyone who lost the electoral vote has won the popular vote since the 1824 election, which was actually resolved by the U.S. House. The still-all-time champion among votes decided by the Electoral College remains the 1876 contest (wherein the “loser,” Samuel Tilden, actually won the popular vote by 3 percent), but that’s a misleading precedent since a bipartisan commission adjudicated disputed electoral votes and the whole thing was the subject of a vast bargain which, among other things, ended congressional Reconstruction of the South. Clinton’s margin significantly exceeds that of the most recent victim of the Electoral College, Al Gore in 2000, who won the popular vote by a mere 543,816. Whatever indirect assistance Trump may have received from a certain country where vodka is very popular, he did not need judicial intervention to prevail, the way George W. Bush did.

    In the end, Trump won by taking three key battleground states (Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin) by a combined margin of 77,744 votes. That, my friends, is crazy close in an election where more than 136 million votes were cast: just over one-twentieth of one percent of the vote. And that is why the debate over the reasons for the electoral-vote outcome may never end: It’s the kind of swing-state margin that could have been caused by any of the big things we have all been talking about, such as James Comey’s reminders of the email “scandal,” strategic leaks from Russian hacks, or a strategic error by the Clinton campaign about where its resources were committed. But it’s also small enough to be caused by tiny and remote things, like tactical decisions on the very last day, the weather, election-law decisions made years ago, or the tides of the moon. The calendar could also have been a factor: As the University of Pennsylvania’s Dan Hopkins points out, the fact that the 2016 election happened to be held on the latest possible date may have given Trump the opportunity to nail down just enough late-deciding votes.

    source: Daily Intelligencer

    Dwelling on and parsing of this election any further really makes little sense. It is what it is. drumpf is already on the way to becoming the worst president ever, but that is a discussion we will be having going forward. Going forward.

    #25730
    LurkingGrendel
    Participant

    Agree with both of you. I don’t really have a whole lot to add, there. I also agree with the assertion there’s nothing to be gained from endlessly parsing it all out, save to note there’s many Democrats and Progressives that are (in my supportable opinion) taking away the wrong lessons. Republicans as well, for that matter.

    Herr Drumpf is going to keep us busy in all kinds of ways. I doubt many of them will prove positive.

    #25731
    Andrew
    Participant

    Yes, that’s my worry too: that Dems take the wrong lessons from 2016 – namely, that there’s something horribly wrong with the party or something. In terms of winning presidential elections, there isn’t. If you want to win a similar election next time, nominate a stronger candidate next time. Simple lesson.

    But the loss of Congress (the House, anyway) every year since 1994 except for 2006 and 2008 should have provided Dems much more food-for-thought by now…

    #25732
    LurkingGrendel
    Participant

    Largely rural, majority gerrymandered, seats the GOP (literally) cannot lose. I’m not sure how much more thought can be dedicated to that problem.

    More people voted for Democratic House candidates than GOP candidates in the last midterms and they still lost seats.

    If there’s a viable solution to that conundrum, I haven’t stumbled across it just yet.

    #25733
    Andrew
    Participant

    Yet, Democrats won the House in 2006 and 2008, right? After losing in 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, and 2004.

    Gerrymandering isn’t new (and Democrats have done it too). Surely it makes the problem even harder for Democrats, but it’s not the only reason they have mostly lost the House since 1994.

    And you can’t explain the Dems’ loss of the US Senate or numerous governorships (MI, WI, MA, for example) with gerrymandering, which doesn’t affect those types of races.

    I do think the Dems need more “thought” over why they have lost so many seats in the House and in local state houses, not to mention US Senate seats and governorships. I think they need to find ways to win on issues like guns and economic issues.

    #25736
    Vitalogy
    Participant

    Dems need to figure out how to hoodwink stupid white mid west voters.

    #25737
    Andrew
    Participant

    I think Dems need to figure out how to persuade more people who don’t vote at all to vote for them (especially in mid-term elections) to make “stupid white mid west voters” irrelevant.

    #25743
    missing_kskd
    Participant

    That is simple. Run economic policy ideas they can associate with improved wages and more jobs paying those wages.

    #25749

    “Dems need to figure out how to hoodwink stupid white mid west voters.”

    Dems need to figure out how to be stop being so smug about people who don’t live on the coasts. They’re not as dumb as the Dems like to think they are. Limousine liberals are not going to inspire them.

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