Why Hillary lost

Lots of stuff.  That said, if James Comey was not either incredibly stupid or incredibly reckless, she’s our president right now and we’re not dealing with the daily travesty of a Trump.  This chart has been making the rounds and rightly so.  Here’s Drum, with his commentary:

Once again: Clinton did nothing particularly wrong in her campaign. She didn’t ignore working-class whites. She wasn’t too cautious on policy. She didn’t overestimate the impact of educated voters. She wasn’t complacent. What happened was simple: 12 days before the election, the FBI director released a letter saying he had found a brand-new trove of emails and implying that this might finally be the smoking gun about her private email server. That’s it.

We’ll never know for sure if James Comey did this because he’s terminally stupid and didn’t realize what impact it would have, or if he did it knowing full well what impact it would have. But he did it. And that’s why Donald Trump is president.

Now, I do think Clinton could have done better on some of this stuff.  No campaign is perfect.  And if she were closer to perfect, the Comey letter would not have ultimately mattered.  That said, the preponderance of the evidence is clear: given the state of the campaign, Comey’s actions were a proximal determinant of Trump’s win.  And that’s just wrong.

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About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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