Two More Myths About Clinton’s Defeat in Election 2016 Debunked

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Here is a second post debunking common talking points by Clinton loyalists and Democrat Establishment operatives; the sort of talking point you might hear on Twitter, without caveats or context. For both talking points, I’ll give an especially egregious version of the myth, followed by a rebuttals. (Three previous talking points are debunked here.)

Talking Point: The Clinton Campaign Was Well-Managed

Here are two examples of the talking point. From the Washington Post (November 10, 2016):

At Brooklyn headquarters on Wednesday, Podesta expressed his gratitude and support for the team, and for Mook. “We have the No. 1 campaign manager,” he said, in a staffwide gathering in the afternoon. “I’ve been doing this since 1968, and I’ve never seen a culture and a spirit like we created in this campaign.” On the conference call with thousands of staff across the country, Clinton also called in [how kind] and thanked her team for their dedication.

Mook tried to end the campaign on a high note.

“What you’ve created is going to live on,” he told his troops. “Leaders all over this country, local networks around the nation, future candidates who are going to step forward. Someone in this room is going to manage a presidential campaign one day.”

The subtext here is that Clinton’s 2016 Democrat strategists did nothing wrong, and we should expect to see the same operatives and power players hanging around election after election after election (rather like eight-time loser Robert Shrum after the Democrats brought on the Reagan era by running Dukakis). In fact, liberal Democrats in 2016 were out-strategized, out-organized, and out-hustled by people they regarded and still regard as their intellectual and moral inferiors, and in election where they framed the stakes as a government takeover by fascists. That said, there are three reasons this talking point is false.

First, the Clinton campaign was a technical and managerial debacle. WaPo, in a storyline that seems to have dropped from sight:

Ada is a complex computer algorithm that the campaign was prepared to publicly unveil after the election as its invisible guiding hand. Named for a female 19th-century mathematician — Ada, Countess of Lovelace — the algorithm was said to play a role in virtually every strategic decision Clinton aides made, including where and when to deploy the candidate and her battalion of surrogates and where to air television ads — as well as when it was safe to stay dark.

The campaign’s deployment of other resources — including county-level campaign offices and the staging of high-profile concerts with stars like Jay Z and Beyoncé — was largely dependent on Ada’s work, as well..

According to aides, a raft of polling numbers, public and private, were fed into the algorithm, as well as ground-level voter data meticulously collected by the campaign. Once early voting began, those numbers were factored in, too.

What Ada did, based on all that data, aides said, was run 400,000 simulations a day of what the race against Trump might look like. A report that was spit out would give campaign manager Robby Mook and others a detailed picture of which battleground states were most likely to tip the race in one direction or another — and guide decisions about where to spend time and deploy resources.

So where did Ada go wrong?

About some things, she was apparently right. Aides say Pennsylvania was pegged as an extremely important state early on, which explains why Clinton was such a frequent visitor and chose to hold her penultimate rally in Philadelphia on Monday night.

But it appears that the importance of other states Clinton would lose — including Michigan and Wisconsin — never became fully apparent or that it was too late once it did.

The 2012 Romney campaign’s tech debacle was Orca, a vote tracking and GOTV system that crashed on election day. The Ada[1] tech debacle is far worse, since as WaPo points out, Ada informed every strategic decision the Clinton campaign made from day one to November 8.

Even worse, Ada was a management debacle as well: Clearly, a campaign with multiple staffers approving individual tweets either didn’t check that Ada’s simulations bore any relation to what was happening on the ground, or Ada’s parameters and algorithms were tuned to the strategists’ confirmation biases, which checks by those same strategists would also have been subject to. (This reminds me of the management dysfunction in the ObamaCare launch debacle, where nobody told Obama the program was in trouble.)

Second, the Clinton get-out-the-vote operation contributed to Trump’s success by targeting Trump voters (!). Sanders organizers Becky Bond and Zack Exley write[2] in HuffPo:

[A]n examination of the mechanics behind the Clinton’s get out the vote efforts ― reaching out to Clinton voters in key states at the door, on the phone or by text messages ― reveals evidence of what appears to be a pretty shocking truth. Clinton volunteers were inadvertently turning out Trump voters. Possibly in significant numbers.

Volunteers for the Clinton campaign in Pennsylvania, Ohio and North Carolina have reported that when reminding people to vote, they encountered a significant number of Trump voters. Anecdotal evidence points to anywhere from five to 25 percent of contacts were inadvertently targeted to Trump supporters. This is a big deal because when voters are engaged by a volunteer they are significantly more likely to cast a ballot in an election. To make matters worse, because Republicans had a non-existent ground game in many areas this cycle, this powerful reminder from a Clinton volunteer to get out and vote might have been the only personalized GOTV communication these Trump voters received. The campaign’s text messaging GOTV effort may have been the worst offender. Volunteers reported as many as 30% of the replies they received from voters they were urging to get out were Trump supporters.

Granted, this is anecdotal data (and that may be all we have for awhile. Can any readers confirm?) but if we make the easy assumption that the call lists were generated by the Ada algorithm, the anecdotes rapidly scale to a default setting.

Third, the Clinton ground game ignored key swing states and swing counties that Trump won. The Wall Street Journal:

For all their analytical prowess and muscular ground game, the Clinton campaign didn’t spot the rebellion brewing in states they largely took for granted: Wisconsin and Michigan. So confident were they, they seemed focused at the end on a landslide victory that would reshape the map for years to come. Less than a week before Election Day, Mrs. Clinton showed up in Arizona, a state that Democrats hadn’t won in 20 years. She made repeated trips to North Carolina, a state that wasn’t necessary to reaching the 270 Electoral Vote threshold. On the weekend of Oct. 22-23, she said she was done responding to the latest provocations from Mr. Trump and devoted chunks of her speeches to helping Democratic Senate candidates. She appeared to be looking beyond Nov. 8, envisioning her presidency.

Had she never stepped foot in North Carolina and instead blanketed the longtime Democratic strongholds of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan, the path to 270 might have stayed intact. One longtime Democratic donor describes Mrs. Clinton’s approach as tantamount to “malpractice.”

Bill Clinton seemed to grasp the threat. In early September, he spent part of a day campaigning in largely white counties in southwestern Pennsylvania, trying to peel away Trump supporters and limit the damage. He told crowds that Mr. Trump was offering no real answers to the anxieties of disaffected white voters – the heart of the Trump coalition. It wasn’t enough.

Mrs. Clinton wound up losing both counties her husband visited that day – Fayette and Washington – by far larger margins than President Barack Obama did in 2012. She went on to lose Pennsylvania, a state that Mr. Obama won twice.

Here’s more detail on Pennsylvania. From the Allentown Morning Call:

In recent elections, Democrats have won Pennsylvania in presidential years by piling up huge margins in the urban centers of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, as well as the state’s suburban counties, while leaving the sparsely populated rural counties to Republicans.

Democrat Hillary Clinton executed that strategy well. She came out of Philadelphia with a 450,000-vote margin, won all four of the suburban counties surrounding Philadelphia and carried Allegheny County by 8,400 more votes than President Barack Obama in 2012.

But there is another ingredient in that winning formula. Winning Democratic candidates pad their lead with votes from counties whose cities were former industrial powerhouses, onetime union strongholds such as Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Bethlehem and Erie.

“They didn’t finish the job,” said Mark Nevins, a Philadelphia Democratic political consultant. “If you want to point to one county where it really fell apart it would be Luzerne — this Wilkes-Barre, coal area, blue-collar county.”

… Trump visited the area multiple times during the general election campain, holding two rallies in Scranton and one outside Wilkes-Barre.

“He talked about how the system is rigged against them,” Nevins said.

Trump won Luzerne County by more than 25,000 votes, a 30,000-vote swing from 2012, when Obama won the county by 5,000 votes. Trump also trimmed 23,000 votes off Democrats’ 2012 advantage in Lackawanna County, home to Clinton’s childhood summer home of Scranton. Trump lost Lackawanna by a slim 3,500 votes.

So, for this talking point to be true, we have to believe that betting a campaign on closely held and poorly tested software is a good idea, that getting your opponent’s voters to the polls is a winning strategy, and that a narrow focus on urban and suburban counties has very little tail risk.

Talking Point: The Clinton Defeat Had Nothing To Do With Economics

Here’s an example of the talking point. From, naturally, Amanda Marcotte (November 11, 2016):

Because this anger is so real and so palpable, there’s been an unfortunate tendency in much of the media to assume that this anger must also be valid. The entire election cycle was a clusterfuck of articles demanding empathy for Trump voters, insisting that their rage must have some rational rootsperhaps economic insecurity?

The persistence of the “economic insecurity” angle in the face of overwhelming evidence against it was a testament to the power of hope over reason.

(The subtext here is usually that if you don’t retweet approvingly, you’re a racist yourself, and possibly a racist Trump supporter.) There are four reasons why this talking point is false.

First, the swing from Obama to Trump was greater in counties that were economically stressed. FiveThirtyEight:

Instead, to understand what drove Trump’s victory, we can look at how Trump’s margin against Clinton in 2016 compared with Romney’s against President Obama in 2012. Sure enough, the swing toward Trump was much stronger in counties with a higher share of routine jobs; the swing toward Trump was also stronger where unemployment was higher, job growth was slower and earnings were lower. It is clear that the places that voted for Trump are under greater economic stress, and the places that swung most toward Trump are those where jobs are most under threat. Importantly, Trump’s appeal was strongest in places where people are most concerned about what the future will mean for their jobs, even if those aren’t the places where economic conditions are worst today.

Notice that job crapification (“routine jobs”) is part of economic stress.

Second, economic optimism among Black voters was much lower than in 2012. WaPo:

“Pre-election research showed that among African Americans, their feelings of economic optimism were precipitously lower in this election than in 2012,” said Geoff Garin, a pollster for Priorities USA who conducted this research independently of the super PAC. “And their feeling that Clinton’s economic policies would help people like them were substantially lower. “Those kinds of things affect people’s willingness to come out to vote.”

Third, primary counties with high Case-Deaton death rates voted for Trump. WaPo:

In every state except Massachusetts, the counties with high rates of white mortality were the same counties that turned out to vote for Trump.

We’re focusing on middle-aged whites because the data show that something has gone terribly wrong with their lives. In a study last year, economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton pointed out that mortality rates for this group have actually been increasing since the ’90s.

Economic struggles have likely contributed as well. Case and Deaton also found that the increase in the death rate has been driven by people with less education. For those without a college degree, the economy in recent decades has been increasingly miserable. This may explain why some have turned to self-destructive behaviors, such as drug and alcohol abuse.

The people I’ve been describing — this distressed, dying demographic slice of America — are similar to the people who tend to vote for Trump, according to phone and exit polls. Trump supporters are mostly white; skew older; and are less likely to have college degrees than other Republicans.

(“Less educated” is a proxy, for “working class.”)

Fourth, the swing from Obama to Trump was greater in counties that where housing costs were high. WaPo:

According to the analysis, respondents in hundreds of surveys were more likely to view Trump favorably if they lived in Zip codes with heavy mortgage-interest burdens relative to local incomes, after taking into account a range of socioeconomic factors.

A less neutral response would read “…where people were more likely to lose their homes,” as opposed to “… where housing costs were high.” (It would be interesting to see if these counties also had experienced foreclosure problems after the crash.)

As a sidebar, employment and housing costs bring me to this study by Thomas Ferguson of another Democrat debacle: The 2010 race between Scott Brown and Martha Coakeley[3] that cost them control of the Senate. Ferguson writes:

Two distinct economic factors clearly propelled the Brown vote. Measuring from November 2008 to De-cember 2009, for each 1% unemployment rose in towns, the Democratic share of the vote fell by about a quarter of 1%. That may not sound like much, but the average rise in unemployment was about 4% across the state as a whole, with many towns hit much harder, including some that experienced double digit rises. Declines in single fmily house prices also depressed the Democratic share of the vote. Here variatons across the state were even wider. For each 1% prices dropped, the Democratic share of the vote fell off by about a fifth of a percent. Many towns saw price drops of 5% to 9%, with values in one towntalling 14%.

And Ferguson presciently concludes:

If, as many expect, the U.S. is facing years of slow job growth coupled with a prolonged housing crisis, then our re-sults raise the possibility that the Tea Part in Massachusets may look like a tempest in a teapot compared to what’s coming in at least some elections in other states.

So, the general in 2016 is a replay of Massachusetts in 2010. It’s the economy, stupid. As Talleyrand does not quite say of the Bourbons, the Democrats have learned nothing and forgotten a lot.

In any case, for this talking point to be true, we have to believe that economic stress, loss of economic optimism, excess deaths, and housing costs affect neither turnout nor the vote.


Clinton, in a conference call with donors, blamed Comey. Vanity Fair:

“There are lots of reasons why an election like this is not successful,” Clinton said on the conference call. But, she added, “our analysis is that Comey’s letter raising doubts that were groundless, baseless — proven to be — stopped our momentum.”…

Clinton told her donors, “we dropped, and we had to keep really pushing to regain our advantage, which going into last weekend we had. We were once again up in all but two of the battleground states, and we were up considerably in some that we ended up losing. And we were feeling like we had to put it back together.”

To be fair, Clinton is correct that “there are lots of reasons,” in an election this close. However, to me, blaming Comey is like blaming the last pebble in an avalanche of #FAIL. Sanders asks the right question. Talking about the Comey letters, Sanders said:

“It’s not a question of what happens in the last week. The question is that she should have won this election by 10 percentage points.



[1] The story doesn’t say where Ada was developed. Since it would be irresponsible not to speculate, my guess would be it came from Google squillionaire Eric Schmidt’s The Groundwork, “the Clinton campaign’s top technology vendor, earning more than $600,000 in fees since the campaign began, according to federal campaign finance disclosures.” And then there’s this, also from the WaPo story:

The algorithm operated on a separate computer server than the rest of the Clinton operation as a security precaution, and only a few senior aides were able to access it.

Oh. “A separate computer server.” Maybe there needs to be a moratorium on campaign software with two-syllable names that end in A. Knowledge of Orca and Ada was also closely held. Perhaps more eyes on the code would have prevented hubris.

[2] The whole article is worth a read; it describes the effects of “a complex and ultimately toxic stew that includes professionalization of politics, attempts by the liberal establishment to channel radical impulses of working class people and people of color into incrementalist politics, and the ascendancy of a bipartisan technocratic elite in both parties that has been accelerating the concentration of power in the hands of an increasingly small number of mega corporations and institutions. ”

[3] I remember the Coakely/Brown race very well. Coakely had sued Goldman-Sachs for $20 million dollars and won; surely a populist talking point in a populist year; but she didn’t run on it. I’m assured by a Washington insider that the DSCC punishes candidates who don’t stick to its talking points.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. flora

    Great post. Thanks.

    About DSCC punishing candidates who don’t stick to its script: sounds right.

    About Ada: Did Dems let Google use the DNC and the election as a beta test?
    sorry I can’t resist…

    “Good Morning,” said Deep Thought [computer] at last.
    “Er..good morning, O Deep Thought” said Loonquawl nervously, “do you have…er, that is…”
    “An Answer for you?” interrupted Deep Thought majestically. “Yes, I have.”
    The two men shivered with expectancy. Their waiting had not been in vain.
    “There really is one?” breathed Phouchg.
    “There really is one,” confirmed Deep Thought.
    “To Everything? To the great Question of Life, the Universe and everything?”
    Both of the men had been trained for this moment, their lives had been a preparation for it, they had been selected at birth as those who would witness the answer, but even so they found themselves gasping and squirming like excited children.
    “And you’re ready to give it to us?” urged Loonsuawl.
    “I am.”
    “Now,” said Deep Thought.
    They both licked their dry lips.
    “Though I don’t think,” added Deep Thought. “that you’re going to like it.”
    “Doesn’t matter!” said Phouchg. “We must know it! Now!”
    “Now?” inquired Deep Thought.
    “Yes! Now…”
    “All right,” said the computer, and settled into silence again. The two men fidgeted. The tension was unbearable.
    “You’re really not going to like it,” observed Deep Thought.
    “Tell us!”
    “All right,” said Deep Thought. “The Answer to the Great Question…”
    “Of Life, the Universe and Everything…” said Deep Thought.
    “Is…” said Deep Thought, and paused.
    “Forty-two,” said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm.”

    ― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

    1. sgt_doom


      The most interesting percentages to me are:

      42% of eligible voters didn’t vote

      60% of protesters arrested in Portland, OR either didn’t vote or weren’t even registered to vote

      37% of whites who voted, voted for Clinton

      Most telling of all is that it was the lowest voter turnout in 20 years, last one was another Clinton, this time Clinton v. Dole.

      But the very first Clinton national election, Bill only won with 38% to 40% of vote, while the majority of the vote, 60%, was split among Bush and Perot.

      Clintons are not, nor have they ever been, popular — and it was suicide to run any of them!

      The Democratic Party is over!

        1. Arizona Slim

          ISTR reading that 42 percent of American voters call themselves Independent. Democrats finish a distant second at 29 percent. Republicans? Well, they’re in third place at 26 percent.

      1. Felix_47

        Really good point Sgt Doom. The Clintons never were very popular and time has not helped them as they made massive fortunes from people buying their government services. Losing to an incredibly incompetent candidate with a terrible organization says a lot. Bernie commented that she should have won this by 10%. He was right. That being said this Trumpian crowd of white septuagenarians is probably the last episode of the story. In 10 years the old whites will have aged out and we will have largely minority candidates at all levels. Hillary was nothing more than a female white septuagenarian. The Democratic party is not over……it is just taking a break while the elderly whites have their last gasp……and leave quite a mess behind. The US will go on with whites as a minority becoming more and more minor every decade. Same thing in Europe. Germany will be a largely Muslim/African dark skinned nation in 60 years. And these are the people that will determine the future development of individual nations and the human race. So just put your head down and wait out the next eight years. The democratic party or its equivalent will come back. What will not come back is a white dominated western world.

        1. Diane Stewart

          You bring up a perspective I have not seen elsewhere,. I thank you.
          As a 75 year old white woman and a Bernie supporter I feel sad that this is our legacy. In the Sixties and Seventies it seemed that we were really going to make the world a better place.

        2. XR

          ” In 10 years the old whites will have aged out and we will have largely minority candidates at all levels.”

          I respectfully disagree with your statement but in a nuanced way.

          What is occurring here in the US and in much of the world is a natural generational shift. The demographic make up varies country by country, but here in the US your 10 year demise of the white demographic is questionable.

          However, there is indeed a sizable minority component for America’s upcoming leadership generation. That is because Boomers are aging, and Gen X is next.

          More than that, in a crisis season, or turning, it is always the same most powerful generational “constellation” or combination, that has to walk together in the shadow of the valley of death, survive, and reach the new dawn, renewed.

          Gen X have not participated in politics much because they have been under attack since they were children, and have been cynically truthful regarding obvious crumbling of institutions social and economic. We are Independent.

          Gen X has been ignored up to now. But Clinton’s “Basket of Deplorable’s” comment got our attention. We have been crushed economically, and even life expectancy has suffered mostly in our social cohort. We have had enough.

          This non participation is what has begun to change, and will accelerate for the next 20 years and beyond. For us, it is simply necessary, not a power trip.

          Demographically speaking, with analysis of the numbers right now are approximately…

          GEN GI and Silent Gen – 22,265,021

          Baby Boomers 50,854,027

          Gen X 90,010,283

          Millenials 62,649,947 18 Years to 34
          25,630,521 (12-17 Years old)
          Total 88,280,468

          Artist Gen 48,820,896 and growing…

          * Using the Fourth Turning Cultural Demographic Measurement vs. the politically convenient, MSM supported, propaganda demographics. “They” would NEVER do such a thing, right? Sure.

          GI 92–114 Silent 74–91 Boomer 55–72 Gen-X 35–55 Millennial 12–34 Homeland 0–11

          * Source Demographic Numbers (Approximate)

          We are in the Fourth Turning, the Crisis. Gen X will take it on – with all of you.

          There is a scholarly longitudinal study that tends to agree with my opinions.

          I think their demographic number is a bit low, but close enough. Whatever ;-)

          “Generation X refers to American adults now 30 to 50 years of age,
          born between 1961 and 1981. The naming of generations and the
          assignment of age ranges stem from a 1991 book by William Strauss
          and Neil House called Generations.

          . The book examines generations across centuries and their characteristics, and provides a definition of Generation X that has been used widely in both popular and academic literature.

          The 84 million Americans who are included in Generation X are the parents of today’s school-aged children in the U.S. and members of Generation X will become the members of Congress and the occupants of the White House over the next two or three decades. ”

          I would like to let you folks know we are actively seeking solutions for this predicament.

          For right now, I must get to my generations version of meditation.

          Isn’t nature wonderful?


        3. Barry Fay

          @ Felix47: Predictions are the lowest form of analysis but so attractive because there are no facts to disprove them. Old Malthus is laughing in his grave when he sees the same types of stupid assumptions being made all over again in the 21st century!! I fear that wishful thinking might be at play here.

    2. flora

      adding: about the economy, the housing foreclosure crisis, the vanishing manufacturing jobs and downward mobility that went unaddressed by Team Dem. This has been in their playbook, to judge from a 1995 DLC magazine cover story titled “Beyone Repair: The Politics of the Machine Age are Hopelessly Obsolete.”

      from “Listen, Liberal”:

      “…the reader learns that, “Thanks to the near-miraculous capabilities of micro-electronics, we are vanishing scarcity.” The reign of plenty that was to come meant that “the venerable politics of class warfare…is dying,” but also that lots of people in society’s lower ranks were going to get nowhere in the future. The insufficiently educated, it was said, would eat the dust “like illiterate peasants in the Age of Steam. ”
      -Thomas Frank

      The neoliberal New Dems, who are running the party now, foresaw the economic misery their programs would cause… and embraced that outcome. Now faced with the reality of the destruction of people’s lives they pretend there’s no just reason for people to be angry. Marcotte sounds like a perfect Muffy.

      Appropriate that the Dems lost the election in part by relying on the digital wizardry of Ada.

      1. Vatch

        I had to look up “Muffy” at urban dictionary dot com. Then I had to look up “Vera Bradley”.


        1. flora

          ” (1) A preppy female, quintessentialized at St. Lawrence University. The Muffy can be spotted with her Vera Bradley bag, coordinating accessories, and her upturned collar. ”


          1. petal

            I’m dying laughing at the “Muffy-SLU” thing. I went to Clarkson 10 miles up the road from there. They were the ..well, Muffys, and we were blue collar/lunchpailer types. They always made sure to let us know. Even 15+ years after graduating, the SLU grads I know are still Muffys in every way. Too funny!

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        At least In the cases of Marcotte types, are they ever going to find an audience with anyone beyond Hillary fanatics at this point? They might as well double down and hope to gain favor of a cracked donor to the Clintons.

  2. Morgan Phillips

    Beyond Massachusetts being dark blue, when it comes to the heroin/opioid nightmare we’ve been a lot more humane and proactive in our response. A lot more is obviously needed, but there is significant government involvement in treatment and prevention programs. I think we’re the only state where Narcan (also called Naloxone, the anti-overdose nose spray) is available to non-medical professionals which has let friends and family members of addicts save countless lives already. Also, we’ve adopted sanctuary procedures so that fellow addicts won’t be prosecuted for personal amounts if they call in an overdose and remain at the scene for help to arrive. It’s not perfect, and huge parts of the state still feel rightfully abandoned and deserve so much better, but the abandonment on the heroin issue hasn’t been as disgusting here as other places. I know just over the border in NH they still beat the drums of moral hazard when the distribution of Narcan is brought up, which is blood-boilingly stupid.

    1. Northeaster

      Narcan is already having dimishing returns in The Merrimack Valley. It is now taking two to three doses to revive and that is slowly starting to not work either. One of the area police chiefs was very clear about this. The unabated supply of fentynal from outside our borders to meet the insatiable demand continues to grow, while The State Legislature simply allocates more funding for treatment. Not sure there is a way to limit the supply, outside of sealing our land, sea, and air entry points, but the really bad stuff continues to pour in our country at record pace.

      1. Morgan Phillips

        Yeesh. I hadn’t even considered the possibility of developing a tolerance to anti-overdose medication. That’s horrifying. I know opioid prescriptions are everywhere, but do you have any idea where the flood of fentanyl is coming from?

        1. different clue

          China, perhaps? I have heard that something called carfentanil which is far stronger than fentanyl has been coming from China.

      2. BradK

        I spent a good deal of my childhood in the MV in the late 70’s (Andover, North Andover, Methuen), then fhe last two years of high school in Pelham, NH, just over the border.

        In Methuen we were exposed to the government approved anti-drug propaganda. This was conveyed by a gym teacher, an oxymoron if ever there was one. Nobody believed a word of it. Most of the time were were stoned.

        But in NH at that time, the state mandated a course for all HS students plainly titled “Drugs, Alcohol, and Venereal Disease”. Colloquially referred to as “Sex, Drugs, and Rock n’ Roll”. It was a long course (much longer than the few weeks in Methuen) and very explicit. The content was factual, not propaganda, and was relayed in such a fashion as to not be condescending or preachy. After all, there is no better way to entice a teenager to do something than to wag a finger at them and tell them not to do it.

        The curriculum delved into the medical classifications of various drugs, both legal and illegal, such as stimulants, depressants (never combine the two, Egon, that would be bad) and hallucinogens. It covered both the intended and actual effects of each, the dependencies, and the withdrawal symptoms. I came out of that class not only educated but feeling like someone thought I was capable of making responsible decisions regarding drug use.

        But the drug war wiped all that out and out now children are once again bombarded with what they know full well is bullshit. D.A.R.E. comes to mind. Is it really all that surprising that drug use, and especially highly addictive opioids, is up?

        Add to that another dimension. In the 70’s the economy sucked for just about everyone. Contrast that to today where it all depends upon where you fall in the U-shaped economic picture that is 21st century America. Those on the good end of the U are always looking back at the steep, steep decline should they lose even a small bit of footing.

        Ignorance, combined with fear and hoplessness, are a perfect platform for the self-destruction of the needle.

    2. a different chris

      > which has let friends and family members of addicts save countless lives


      > the drums of moral hazard

      Jesus (note, funny, looking at that: an atheist like me using the phrase, whereas the people that claim a literal belief in Jesus are generally the moral hazard drum beaters).

  3. Greg T

    I read all of these points and conclude that Bernie Sanders would have defeated Trump in the general election. Sanders would have held all of the Democratic strongholds, and he would have beaten Trump in the Midwest. Of course, the DNC was too busy trying to blow the Sanders campaign to smithereens and Hillary decided that comforting the Democrat Party’s donor base was more important than attracting working class voters in the Rust Belt.
    This is evidence that the elites in the Democrat Party would rather lose with a ‘ made ‘ candidate than win with an outsider.

    1. John k

      Leis not forget she wanted to win with reps rather than progressives and thought the narrative ‘let’s screw those traitor progressives that didn’t vote for me some more’ would resonate with reps, explaining why they reminded reps to vote.

      1. Greg T

        The major stakeholders in the D Party want it both ways. They want the mix of identity politics without any corresponding economic sacrifice. They can’ t have it both ways anymore.

      2. Bev

        Now Hillary doesn’t owe anything to the right-wing. What worked for her during the primary, worked against her in the general election…as planned by the right-wing. To all those protesters, signs should address election integrity/election results at protests. Hillary Won. Republicans lost. Republicans purged legal voters. The voting machines owned by the right wing have code to control votes counts. We need to save Democracy.
        The Election was Stolen – Here’s How…
        Before a single vote was cast, the election was fixed by GOP and Trump operatives.

        Starting in 2013 – just as the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act – a coterie of Trump operatives, under the direction of Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State, created a system to purge 1.1 million Americans of color from the voter rolls of GOP–controlled states.

        The system, called Crosscheck, is detailed in my Rolling Stone report,
        “The GOP’s Stealth War on Voters,” 8/24/2016.

        Crosscheck in action:
        Trump victory margin in Michigan: 13,107
        Michigan Crosscheck purge list: 449,922

        Trump victory margin in Arizona: 85,257
        Arizona Crosscheck purge list: 270,824

        Trump victory margin in North Carolina: 177,008
        North Carolina Crosscheck purge list: 589,393

        On Tuesday, we saw Crosscheck elect a Republican Senate and as President, Donald Trump. The electoral putsch was aided by nine other methods of attacking the right to vote of Black, Latino and Asian-American voters, methods detailed in my book and film, including “Caging,” “purging,” blocking legitimate registrations, and wrongly shunting millions to “provisional” ballots that will never be counted.
        RED SHIFTS in the Presidential race & in nearly every Senate race in states with exit polls
        By Jonathan Simon

        This data calls into question whether or not Trump really won in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida, and Michigan. These six states have a total of 108 electoral votes.

        We’re told that Trump won the Presidency with 290 electoral votes over Clinton’s 228.

        If the exit poll findings are accurate, the numbers should show a Clinton electoral college landslide to go with her popular vote victory. We’d be looking at Trump with 182 electoral votes and Clinton with 336!

        As for the Senate, in three states — Missouri, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, the discrepancy is enough to indicate the wrong candidate may have been declared the winner.

        Reversal of these three elections would change the majority in the Senate from Republican to Democratic.

        What can you do about it?

        Help more people get access to this information. Share these two blog posts of mine:
        Exit Polls from November 8 Election Show Patterns Indicating Possible Electronic Election Rigging in Favor of Republicans
        19 Big Myths About Our Elections That the Government and Media Want You to Believe

        • Sign and circulate this petition from (My Note: even though they mention the Russians) demanding an audit of the 2016 Presidential election:
        BREAKING: Ballot Protection Software On Ohio Voting Machines TURNED OFF!

        This is almost too incredible to believe. The Ohio voting machines now have ballot protection software on every machine. It allows an image to be collected and stored for every ballot cast. New York Times best-selling author Greg Palast is reporting that the protection software has been TURNED OFF on every single Ohio voting machine! After all the chaos that has gone down in Ohio elections, why in God’s name would they turn off the protection software?! Well, you might think, “Maybe it’s an accident.” …NOPE. In fact they were taken to court over it by Bob Fitrakis, and according to Palast, the Republican Secretary of State argued that it would take a MASSIVE effort to turn on the software.

        …But in fact, it’s a simple drop-down menu. The judge ruled in the Secretary of State’s favor. Apparently protecting our vote from fraud is just TOO MUCH TROUBLE.

        To watch my interview with Greg Palast, go here.

    2. Arizona Slim

      Bernie Sanders had something like five rallies in AZ. I went to three of them. First was in Phoenix. 11,000 people. Second and third were in Tucson, and they drew 13,000 and 7,000, respectively.

      I don’t think that Clinton’s attendance figures came anywhere close to Bernie’s.

      1. Code Name D

        Did she even speak in Arizona?

        I know for a fact she never spoke in Kansas. Bernie did one, and I was able to attend.

        1. Steven

          Not to my knowledge – at least in Tucson. I remember attending that mere 7,000 person rally at the Tucson Convention Center and being somewhat disappointed at the turnout. A few weeks later IIRC Bill spoke in Tucson – to an audience of several hundred in a local high school gymnasium.

          P.S. Hillary might have appeared just before the election.

      2. Vatch

        Clinton attended private “rallies” with the important people. Remember George Clooney’s fundraiser for her? Couples had to pledge $353,000 to be able to sit at the grown ups table.

        1. Minor Heretic

          A party that claims to serve the common people and has $353,000 per couple fundraisers is lying. That goes for the GOP as well, with its $100,000 donation bundlers.

          I knew the Dems were lying and voted for Clinton because her social policy views match mine. I would bet many people knew Trump was lying and voted for him on the same basis. A lot of people are so far down the s–thole that GOP vs Dem policy issues are irrelevant to them. They were either part of the 46% who stayed home or they voted for the guy who made them feel good about themselves.

    3. Greg Taylor

      Probably. But Bernie’s primary campaign made many of the same management mistakes cited in the post and relied on H-infested DNC staffers to coordinate state-level efforts. His volunteers contacted likely H supporters just as frequently as younger folks – by design. In states he lost, those volunteers undoubtedly encouraged more Hillary supporters to vote than Bernie supporters. It’s not clear that he wouldn’t have relied on the same systems and made the same mistakes as Hillary in the general. In addition, DNC infrastructure wouldn’t have been nearly as committed to the Bernie campaign as they were for Hillary. Trump overcame these same difficulties with the Rs so Bernie could have transcended them as well – especially against a weak opponent.

      1. pretzelattack

        she wasn’t a weak opponent in the primaries, and the dnc may well have worked for sanders in the general if clinton bit the dust. remember, he had to agree to some crap just to run as a democrat. trump faced a scattered field of nonentities, who didn’t have the advantages of support from an incumbent president. sanders didn’t have time to build his own organization from the ground up, he had to rely on the dnc to some extent.

    4. HotFlash

      Hillary courted, and got, large donors. Bernie courted, and got, voters. Faced with a news blackout and some dubious calls in caucus states, eg Nevada, but mainly the superdelegates, the Clinton DNC machine ate his lunch.

      Conclusion: Hillary would rather have money than votes.

      And that is what she got.

        1. Steven

          Anyone remember this?

          Hillary: “That time in 2009 when Honduran military forces allied with rightist lawmakers ousted democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya, and I as then-Secretary of State sided with the armed forces and fought global pressure to reinstate him?”
          Trump: “No, the other one:”
          Hillary: “I give up! … Oh wait, I think I’ve got it! When I stole the White House furniture and silverware when Bill left Office?”
          Trump: “THAT’S IT, THAT ONE”

          Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton walk in to a bar

      1. Pavel

        This is the most damning part of the whole HRC and DNC fiasco. Recall how many times Hillary was out at high-plate ($28000 per head or so) dinners in NYC, the Hamptons, Hollywood, etc while Bernie and Trump were out at actual rallies with 10K, 20K, even 30K enthusiastic crowds.

        Near the end, the Clinton team was spending $500k *per day* on advertising, while Trump hardly did any at all. So much for that “billion dollar campaign”!

        After seeing HRC and her pals defending their hapless, dishonest, arrogant campaign these last few days, blaming everyone but themselves — what more evidence do we need that they would have been a disaster in the White House?

        I see there is a fuss about Trump sneaking off to have dinner without the press. How about when HRC disappeared off the radar for 3 hours after a mysterious and alarming medical event on 9/11? And after that she was rarely seen on the campaign trail whilst Trump was racing around the country to sellout crowds in big arenas.

        For me the enduring image of this miserable political year will be the photo of Hillary on her plane on Election Eve, signing the Newsweek “MADAME PRESIDENT” cover for her aides. What hubris!

        Newsweek BTW printed 100,000+ copies in advance with that cover. They claimed they also had a Trump cover… but “inadvertently” didn’t print any of those in advance.

        Brian Lehrer on WNYC had a podcast/show the day before with a bunch of liberal guests. “Assuming Clinton wins (laugh), what can we expect from a Hillary administration.” They all just had blinders on!

  4. hemeantwell

    Very useful, thanks.

    Volunteers for the Clinton campaign in Pennsylvania, Ohio and North Carolina have reported that when reminding people to vote, they encountered a significant number of Trump voters. Anecdotal evidence points to anywhere from five to 25 percent of contacts were inadvertently targeted to Trump supporters

    How much of this might be accounted for by formerly Dem voters swinging to Trump? Had they been sorted in this election? How recently prior to the reminder?

    1. Arizona Slim

      When I volunteered as a Sanders phone banker, I worked with much better lists than the Clinton campaign’s. I don’t recall reaching a single Trump supporter.

      OTOH, I did reach a lot of Ds who were going to vote for Hillary, come hell or high water.

    2. Left in Wisconsin

      Yes, my guess is that these were Obama voters who were not about to vote Clinton.

      The ONE TRUTH the Dems fail to recognize is that she was a particularly awful and compromised candidate. Maybe better targeting, more appearances, etc. would have made a difference. OTOH, I have also heard that her campaign appearances were structured to minimize contact with actual voters because she was so poor on the stump.

    3. AnEducatedFool

      I am in Pa. I’ve worked on political campaigns (D) and was voted into a local dem position. I am rarely contacted in elections BUT this cycle Clinton’s campaign contacted me by phone and in person. I told them both times that she should be in jail and that I am voting for Trump if Pa tightens. On Election Day I received two phone calls. My girlfriend, an identified Stein voter, received multiple phone calls including leaving a voice mail and text messages. We were identified Trump or Stein voters.

      I told her that the Clinton team royally fucked up and should have never called either of us. Contacting your oppisition in GOTV is anam not surprised she lost Pa. Her ground game was terrible

      1. Tvc15

        I also like her happy birthday to this future president tweet she sent on 10/26 with a picture of herself as a child.

        1. aab

          That was astounding.

          It’s a like a Greek tragedy come to life, except she’s significantly less likable than any classical protagonist I can think of.

    1. pretzelattack

      oh my.
      4. The latter group generally feels that their activism fails not because of anything they’re doing wrong, but “the system is rigged.”

      hmm (coughs) putin did it that’s why we lost (cough).

    2. salamander

      What you have to know is that Al Giordano had made public his interest in challenging Bernie Sanders for his seat in the Senate in 2018. With that knowledge, one can best understand this little bit of twitter pablum as a naked attempt to kiss the brass ring of Ms. Clintonette. Giordano was trying to hitch his wagon to Hillary the Great’s locomotive, and Bernie’s reward for meekly accepting the DNC’s knife in the back was to be facing a Democratic challenger in 2018 backed by party and president.

      Oops. It’s a shame karma is so rarely this swift and certain. We must enjoy it to the fullest.

      1. aab

        I doubt Bernie was worried about Al Giordano, even before Hillary’s electoral repudiation. More people wrote Bernie in for the general election than would vote for Al Giordano for Senator, I’m sure. Bernie’s the most popular political figure in the country now, and has something like an 87% approval rating in Vermont.

  5. Vatch

    Good analysis. Your rebuttal of the second talking point that The Clinton Defeat Had Nothing To Do With Economics can be augmented by an article in today’s Links section:

    A significant number of the swing states that Trump won are states with high levels of mortgage foreclosures. Examples: Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida. There are exceptions: Clinton managed to win the swing states of Colorado and Nevada, despite high levels of foreclosures. And the level of foreclosures in Pennsylvania, which Trump won, are not as high as I would have expected. Perhaps many of the Pennsylvania foreclosures occurred in earlier years, so the state’s current level is low?

    Based on the maps in this article, if Illinois and California had been swing states, Trump might have won there as well.

    1. Oregoncharles

      There is no real evidence that Slick Willy is some sort of political genius, unless he has Ross Perot splitting the vote. Both times.

      Again: he won the first time with only about 40% (I thought it was 42%). No wonder the Republicans treated him as not legitimate: they had a point (morally; he won legally, of course, because the system is such a botch. So did Bush II.)

      1. pretzelattack

        don’t agree re bush 2–the voter suppression, the sup ct. decision that had no precedential value.

        1. Oregoncharles

          I was thinking of his losing the popular vote. You point out further examples of legal (SCOTUS decision) vs. moral.

          1. Myers

            He didn’t lose the popular vote he won the plurality of the votes , nearly 6 million more than George I. Big difference, since we all know that the electoral college is who makes the ultimate decision.
            George II and Trump both lost the popular vote and W would have lost the electoral college vote too, if the supposed states rights SCOTUS five, weren’t a bunch of hypocritical authoritarian ,fascist, partisans, with their ,one off, decision in Bush v. Gore, which wouldn’t pass the smell test if they were first year law students.
            “No wonder the Republicans treated him as not legitimate: they had a point”
            Is that the same reason they claim mandates when they don’t win the popular vote?
            They treated him as not legitimate because that is what they do.
            As best as I can remember,
            Obama won both the popular and electoral college and
            it took seven years for Trump to stop questioning whether he had a legitimate claim to the presidency.Note: Trump never actually admitted Obama was born in the USA, just that he couldn’t prove otherwise.

    2. Pat

      I saw that earlier today, and yes it is also telling that they were ignoring real world experience for advice from an algorithm.

    3. LT

      They sidelined Bill because they were running a dirty character campaign, focusing on Trumps treatment of women instead of focusing more on the trail about economic issues. They didn’t want to portray the economy as bad because of Obama’s legacy and I guess they felt they owed him one. Rumor has it he talked Biden out of running.

  6. JustAnObserver

    An algorithm, like anything else in the scientific/tech space, is only as good as the assumptions (axioms) built into it. So … did someone explicitly build in something along the lines of:

    `Now we have totally pissed of a large swathe of the 18-40 voters as by our (incl. the media’s) vicious treatment of Sanders we can only win by converting Republicans’

    Would explain why so many GOTV efforts ended up targeting (potential) Trump supporters. In other words this was a feature, not a bug.

    1. LT

      Agreeed, GIGO. Garbage in, garbage out.
      Isn’t that taught in Programming 101? Don’t people learn that even if they don’t become programmers?
      If the algorithims were at the point of the ability to deliver a political election, where emotions have been proven to override fact/reason, about 50% of the population working would be out of a job (just hyperbole, not a stat).
      These are the people going around telling people they need to be more “educated.”
      The Democrats are dead.

  7. RMO

    I’ve read a fair amount on Ada Lovelace – first coming across this remarkable woman as a result of my interest in the history of technology wandering into the area of development of the computer. I’m just quoting from Wikipedia for convenience here but it appears to be accurate in this statement going by the published work on Lovelace:

    “an ambitious attempt in 1851 to create a mathematical model for successful large bets. This went disastrously wrong, leaving her thousands of pounds in debt”

    One should always be careful when selecting a name for something in order to avoid things like this.

  8. Paid Minion

    “…..Trump’s appeal was strongest in places where people are most concerned about what the future will mean for their jobs…..”

    LOL. And where might those places be? How about the whole country, minus the Klepto-technocractic Squids in the Acela Corridor, and the SF Bay area.

    And please……enough of this looking down noses at people who didn’t graduate from college.

    A huge portion of “Blue Collar” Americans were/are smart enough to get college degrees, but didn’t, or weren’t able to, for lots of reasons. Most of them related to money, or lack of it.
    Or lack of knowledge about how to jump thru the hoops to get “free money”.

    Finally, to answer the question “How do these hacks keep their jobs after doing such a crappy job?” How about “Too tied-in to fail”?

    Admitting you were wrong implies you need to review your though process. Something a bunch of people seem to be totally incapable of doing.

    1. rd

      Sitting in school and doing homework/exams is a very different skill set than doing manual labor or service jobs. I have a graduate degree in engineering but think that university degrees are over-rated for many people. Much of the work that needs to be done can be taught on the job or in a one or two year tech/CC program. Corporate America has abdicated its responsibility to do training of its own staff and is instead constantly moaning about how workers can’t do the jobs inside their companies. During the golden years of economic growth 50-60 years ago, IBM/GE etc. were taking people out of high school and teaching them to do what was needed to be done.

      1. Pat

        This, plus you can find a whole lotta people with degrees who are not financially secure. Many having been aged out of their jobs, others in the first wave of professional jobs being outsourced, then there are those who are getting paid a lot less to do that job than was expected or not finding that type of job ever.

        Education is an excuse for not doing what should be done.

  9. Minnie Mouse

    “Ada is a complex computer algorithm” –no, Ada is a high level structured programming language developed for DOD in the 1980’s for large complex safety critical systems. Perhaps should have been written in Ada.

    1. Yves Smith

      Yes. Ada was also the name of a specific program:

      So did “Ada,” the Clinton algorithm named for Ada Lovelace, the 19th-century British noblewoman who did some of the early thinking behind computers. Every day, Ada spit out not just the status of the race in every state but which candidates and surrogates should be dispatched to which counties. Ada—and the aides slavishly devoted to her—was at least partly responsible for Clinton not visiting Wisconsin even once during the fall campaign. Both Ada and Clinton lost there.

    2. sgt_doom

      No, they were calling their election program Ada – – movie titles, book titles and computer program titles cannot be copyrighted, I believe – – many products out there named Ada!

      Also, Trump was obviously accessing a superior model (since he won in electoral votes) by using Cambridge Analytics firm.

  10. rd

    My wife did some GOTV canvassing on the Sunday before election day for the local Democrat House candidate. She came back very surprised at how many of the houses that she went to told her that they were voting for Trump and the Republican House candidate.

    BTW – the part that has always baffled me about the Clinton e-mail debacle was that apparently nobody ever stood up and said “Hillary, using Bill’s server while you are Secretary of State is a mind-boggling stupid idea.” The Democrats are supposed to have all of this support from young techies and Silicon Valley, yet the Democratic politicians appear to have less knowledge about computer systems than my 78 year old mother. They need to make sure that they hire staff for their campaigns, their offices, and their government departments (when they have them) with solid knowledge of modern systems and who are empowered to put their hand up in meetings to challenge their political coworkers.

    1. Synoia

      Hillary, using Bill’s server while you are Secretary of State is a mind-boggling stupid idea

      Would that invoke the “shoot the messenger” response?

      Or would Hillary, and her aides, accept the advice calmly and reward the person delivering the message?

    2. aab

      People did say something. They were scolded and told to shut up. My impression from reading bits of the FBI report and such is that the “she’s too stupid to use a computer” is actually false. Yes, they’re sloppy and lazy and entitled. But she had numerous devices, and she had staff smash them with hammers, when she didn’t just lose them. So she knew what she was doing was illegal, and it wasn’t that she wanted only one device or couldn’t adjust to different operating systems. She was sending and receiving emails on both Blackberries and iPads, at the very least, IIRC. Those are very different interfaces.

      This wasn’t a knowledge problem. This was just typical Clintonian behavior. They’d been doing it for decades and getting away with it. Why would they stop now?

  11. JohnnyGL

    I wonder how much of the problem of Clinton’s GOTV calling Trump voters had to do with the whole campaign strategy which was convinced, seemingly at all levels, that there was a substantial never-Trump wing of the Republican Party that could be persuaded to come over to camp-Clinton.

    For all the talk of Republican ‘disarray’, which is somewhat true at the elite level, the based stayed more or less intact, as seen by the similar vote totals for Trump and Romney 2012.

    The real disarray is in the Democratic Party, which is united, at the elite level on following a strategy of driving into a ditch and is focused on pushing the gas pedal harder next time! It’s the base of the party that’s fractured and managed to drop around 7M votes combined over the last two elections (since 2008). You can’t drop your vote totals that much and still expect to hang on for a win!

    There’s a lot riding on Sanders’ crew righting the ship, and fast. First, they have to get control of the steering wheel.

    1. a different chris

      >Strategy which was convinced, seemingly at all levels, that there was a substantial never-Trump wing

      Remember that they are at heart never-Trump Republicans. People are easily convinced of something that reflects their own feelings.

    2. AnEducatedFool

      GOTV calls are made to identified voters. These voters either told a person at their door or on the phones hat they were Clinton voters. Making cold calls or misidentified calls are rookie mistakes. The people handling this for Clinton’s campaign shit the bed.

    3. Bold'un

      I agree: Trump’s strategy was to “steal” part of the core Democrat voter base, and her response, which was sensible, was to go for “core” Republican groups, retirees, perhaps, who generally do go out and vote and have plenty to lose from another “irresponsible” round of boom-and-bust economics. I am sure Ada had taken on board HRC’s “surprising” loss to Sanders in the Michigan primary. So I can see why the campaign was trying to make converts of Republicans in such states as Florida and North Carolina.
      So the real question is not why HRC lost votes in the MidWest but rather why Floridians and North Carolinians, both reasonably prosperous seaboard states, voted so differently from say Californians or Virginians. I have no idea, but it may be that the lure of lower taxes won it for Trump. It is never easy to win as a semi-incumbent, and whenever Democrats are “honest” about needing to raise tax, it’s curtains!

  12. RUKidding

    Agree completely with this analysis, Lambert. Well said.

    Not to pat myself on the back or something (tee hee), but pretty much that was the conclusion I was coming to since the end of the Democratic convention. As with the stupidity of Clinton using a private email server while SoS (WHY did she DO that???? even if no critical info was revealed), I watched in amazement at Clinton’s idiotic campaign which mainly only was focused on the elites and the college educated mostly white crowd with passing stabs at attempting to appeal to minorities based mainly on “I’m not Trump.”

    I kept hearing about what a fantastic campaign she was running. I guess from the Elites perspective – and their slavering lapdogs in the M$M – it looked that way or something. I thought she did a shit rotten job at campaigning, and she most definitely did not focus on the economic issues. Trump did. Trump is a lying con man, but he went out to the rural poor and, hey waddaya know, he TALKED to them face to face. And this was no deep dark secret. Geez.

    I’m no political smarty-pants, but I couldn’t believe it, esp given how Bill, for all of his many failings, mainly won on the basis of him going out and talking to the rural poor – recall “I feel your pain.” Maybe cheesey but it worked to a certain degree.

    Hillary’s apparent disdain – brought forward by her deplorables comment – was very evident to these people. Clinton may well have had a much better plan of action to deal with the rural poor (of all races), but simply having something on your website is not good enough. I heard enough clips from Trump’s rallies, where he kept pointing out that Clinton simply wasn’t coming out to talk them, but he was.

    Hey, I happen to feel these people were conned by Trump, as I doubt he’ll do almost anything he promised them. I hope I’m wrong and that he actually does one or two meaningful things to help them. I won’t hold my breath. But Clinton apparently couldn’t be bothered to go talk to rural areas. She didn’t even visit WI, fer gawd’s sake, and she only went to major cities in MI. DUMB.

    If the Democratic party doesn’t wake up and smell the coffee, they’re dead doggo. This is just really fricking tiresome and beyond annoying.

    1. a different chris

      >conned by Trump

      Not sure of that. You can broadcast two messages, “A” or “B”. If you agree with “A”, even if you are pretty sure the guy you voted for won’t do anything different than the girl that is associated with “B”, why not vote for “A” anyway? Better than not voting at all. At some point somebody might say “hey we’d better actually do A”, and if not what did you actually lose? Well a few paid hours off if you are blue collar but that’s another stupid issue with our supposed democracy that seemingly can’t be helped.

    2. Oregoncharles

      “(WHY did she DO that????”

      Because she had stuff to hide. Turns out, some of it was the wedding emails, because Chelsea used Foundation money for that and that’s illegal. The IRS may well come after them, too. Trump’s threat to put Hillary in jail wasn’t necessarily idle or dictatorial – there’ve been some laws broken.

  13. Oregoncharles

    “the longtime Democratic strongholds of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan,”???
    Both Wisconsin and Michigan, famously, have right-wing Republican governors. Anybody remember Walker? And the Dems’ attempt to recall Walker, just as famously, went badly awry.

    So why are they “longtime strongholds?” Certainly, why would a Democratic campaign assume that they are?

    1. Alice

      The recall failed because the Wisconsin “Democratic” Party is just as clueless as Hillary’s campaign was. The candidate who ran against Walker wasn’t even supporting the people (union people) who were working to get him elected. He wouldn’t even promise to undo all of what Walker had done. The WI Dems are completely hopeless.

      We went strongly for Bernie in the primary, and fury at Hillary’s tactics then, plus her bloodlust (WWIII for fun), and her likelihood if supporting the TPP, sent a lot of former Democrats to Trump.

      1. philnc

        So it did. Then there was the bitter Kennedy revolt after the D majority Congress had all but cut Carter off at the knees. Carter was no great President, his administration spun up the anti-Soviet fighting force in Afghanistan that would morph into Al Quaeda later — in the process betraying the focus on human rights that should have been his legacy, but he’s also a classic example of a well-meaning outsider who gets played and then chewed up by an establishment always ready to burn its own village in order to save it.

  14. Synoia

    About some things, she was apparently right. Aides say Pennsylvania was pegged as an extremely important state early on, which explains why Clinton was such a frequent visitor and chose to hold her penultimate rally in Philadelphia on Monday night.

    But it appears that the importance of other states Clinton would lose — including Michigan and Wisconsin — never became fully apparent or that it was too late once it did.

    Oh dear, you have broached my particular Bete Noir, and large amounts of my income in the IT field.

    There is one question for computer models: How is it kept calibrated?

    And expecting a computer to project the future is as wise a hiring a psychic with a Crystal ball.

    One suspects hard work on the ground in every precinct in all 50 states is the only sure path to success.

    And finally I question the desire of Democrats to win the reigns of government: They can play earn large amounts of money, become important, and blame others for all failures. Winning the reigns of govern involves much risk of receiving blame.

    One only has to look at Obama’s record to understand the benefits of being able to blame an opposing part for all misadventures.

    1. Jim Haygood

      “Clinton was such a frequent visitor and chose to hold her penultimate rally in Philadelphia on Monday night.”

      Philadelphia was the blue corner of a mostly red state. Map:

      Showing up In Philadelphia is not going to convert any rural Pennsylvanians, any more than a gig in San Francisco is going to win any converts in California’s drought-stricken, down-and-out Central Valley.

      Hillary wasn’t interested in getting out of her comfort zone. Now she finally has time to stay home and bake cookies for Mooky. :-)

    2. Synoia

      reigns = reins, I’m getting my monarchs and horses confused – although sometime it is difficult to tell them apart. :-(

  15. Berial

    You keep harping on what the Democrats did wrong, or more specifically Clinton.

    What are the Republicans doing right, that is earning all these votes INCLUDING all the downticket wins?

    And I’m not being trollish here. I REALLY don’t see what the Republicans are offering that is worth spit.

      1. Berial

        Total numbers aren’t really my question. It’s more why go with the Republicans overwhelmingly at the House, Senate and Presidential level? What are they offering policy wise that is actually better than the Democrats?

        But if you want the numbers: All numbers from the FEC.Gov site except this year, which it doesn’t have numbers for yet. This years numbers I got from CNN.

        Bush (R) 50,456,002
        Gore (D) 50,999,897

        Bush (R) 62,040,610
        Kerry (D) 59,028,444

        McCain (R) 59,948,323
        Obama (D) 69,498,516

        Romney (R) 60,933,504
        Obama (D) 65,915,795

        Trump (R) 60,838,675
        Clinton (D) 61,797,598

        1. pretzelattack

          i’ve seen it argued that the most important factor in this election is the lack of turnout of the dems. in this context, you see the republicans more or less holding steady on the presidential numbers, but losing a few, and the dems losing 4 million votes roughly the last 2 elections–this while the number of voters is presumably increasing. so the focus on what the democrats are doing wrong is useful.

    1. Yves Smith

      The “Republicans” did nothing right. They fought Trump tooth and nail even after the convention and many are fighting him now. If you were following him, he adopted a number of bog standard R positions (like being way louder about law ‘n order, wanting to spend more on the military) right after the convention. These were not previous positions and appeared to be calculated to appeal to more of the traditional R base.

      Trump made himself seem to be a credible anti-elite candidate. He held rallies in the boonies. He was willing to say uncomfortable truths mixed in with all his “great” blather: that trade deals lost Americans jobs, that our infrastructure sucked, that our wars in the Middle East had cost trillions and made the US less safe

      And he apparently had a well funded social media operation in addition to his personal tweeting.

      1. aab

        I suspect Conway played a significant role in identifying and getting him to those places the Clinton machine overlooked. I realize her values and preferred policies would probably make me shudder, but she seems to be EXTREMELY good at her job, and her job was getting him elected.

        As far as I can tell, Mook was hired because he stole Nevada for Obama, so Clinton brought him in to steal for her. Understanding how to use polling to identify, reach, and turn out actual voters doesn’t seem to have been considered an important skill to her campaign.

      2. Berial

        The part of that narrative that I don’t get though, is that if Trump was winning as an ‘anti-establishment’ candidate why did so many ESTABLISHMENT CANDIDATES win in the down-ticket races? If you want change in Washington why send the same SOBs back in the house and senate?

        Thanks for the reply.

        1. aab

          Because There Was No Alternative. Both parties worked to protect their status quo elected officials, and undermine any non-corporatist outsider who might be trying to slip through. I read that the Freedom Caucus guys all got well-funded primary challengers, but I don’t follow Republican party stuff as closely, so I can’t offer up a link or any more information. That’s definitely what the Democratic Party did, very aggressively. And the two parties work together to leave races all over the country without an opponent.

          You can’t vote for change if it’s not on the ballot. Remember, the parties intended to offer Bush vs. Clinton redux.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Voting is tribal. Republicans, especially, vote for their leaders. It’s not that complicated. John Dean had a pretty good book about the subject.

      Mittens, McCain, Shrub, and a host of Republican congress critters have problems, but their voters always show up. No, the Democrats were never going to win the votes of “moderate suburban republicans.” One suburban republicans are basically fascists, and two “moderate republicans are harder to find than unicorns. The entire Democratic strategy was based on fantasy.

      If you want to really get into it, elite Republicans don’t call their voters deplorables. They listen to people who go to their offices. Their constituent outreach is way better than Team Blue’s feeble efforts. Then of course, the GOP largely maintains a continuing 50 state operation with support for candidates from the RNC. One result is a long term Republican organization at the community level with permanent block captains who do the organizing. They maintain extensive lists which can be shared through the internets. IT types are very Republican. Republicans try to find and support potential candidates who will energize their voters.

      This can’t be replicated over night, but Dean’s 50 state strategy was basically a bunch of people who said let’s do the positive things the Republicans do when it comes to organizing.

      1. Berial

        From the numbers I posted above it looks like the Democrats are losing votes while the Republicans are holding steady. The D’s lost votes AREN’T going to the R candidates though, so it seems they just stayed home (or voted 3rd party I didn’t record those numbers so I can’t tell). If the Democrats stayed home was is because of laziness, lack of enthusiasm, voter suppression or a combination of all three?

        I do not understand why the DNC DOESN’T have a 50 state strategy. Unless they are very money constrained it seems a losing prospect not to compete in all 50 states at the county and state levels.

        Thank you for the reply.

        1. aab

          Remember that the 50 state strategy delivered massive majorities to Obama. So he got rid of the guy who did that, and put in Tim Kaine and Robby Mook (!) who oversaw massive losses in 2010. Tim Kaine was rewarded by being made VP nominee, and Robby Mook was rewarded with the top job on the Clinton campaign.

          This isn’t complicated. The current Democratic leadership only cares about protecting its donors and its own power and wealth. It’s fun being on top in an unequal society! Their donors did not want universal health care or the other things the base wanted. So Obama, Pelosi and Reid had to work very, very hard to manufacture obstacles to passing them. That’s why Kaine and Mook were rewarded. There’s a clear, easy-to-understand explanation for Barack Obama’s presidency and Hillary Clinton’s campaign decisions. Some people just don’t want to accept them, because they can’t face the reality that Obama, like the Clintons, is a con man. To give him his due, I don’t think he has ever broken the law as a private citizen, which is better than the Clintons. They don’t care about us. At all. If you accept that, the rest is easy to grasp.

  16. Feelintheberninwi

    I did data entry for two days on the GOTV, 10 days before the election. It is absolutely correct that they were canvassing Rep voters. My estimate, at least 25%. I also did GOTV canvassing on the Saturday before the election. Lots of outright refusal to talk. I’ve never had that before. Think you know who they were voting for? 87% voter turnout in my city.

    I actually was shocked to see them GOTV canvass a sitting city council person who is a known Republican and she talked to them and told them she was voting straight Republican! Actually she had voted, we had early voting that started a month before.

    This whole campaign was a joke. They send in young folks from the coasts to Work in WI and they just don’t understand the culture and they upset the people who live here…and they try to boss around people who are kind enough to give their time.

    I tried to get ours to go out and do some doors with me because she said she loved doing doors. I want to see her persuasion technique. That never happened. Then there was how it was all about telling the voter about your “personal story with HRC.” Yikes! Clueless, just didn’t get it is about them, not you. But I think that sums up what was wrong about this campaign.

    One more thing. The local county party had to buy HRC yard signs. I was told the HRC campaign doesn’t believe in buying them to give out. The organizer insisted that they don’t work and she hated them, yet she wanted the county party to buy them because so many people came in asking for them.

    I threw a fit about that, but gave up in the end because I didn’t want us saying no to motivated supporters. Just one more way that HRC expected us peons to pay for her campaign. And I kept getting those give $3 emails, day after day, after day….I’m all mad again.

    Bernie would have won. We canvassed republicans during the primary who liked Bernie, they would have voted for Bernie over Trump. HRC lost this election. The Clintons need to GO AWAY.

  17. Katharine

    There’s a quaint old-fashioned idea that GOTV is supposed to focus exclusively on individuals already identified as strong supporters. Did the Clinton campaign simply dispense with that nicety?

    I would suggest that any politician hoping to win in the next couple of cycles should reject all resumes claiming experience high up in the Clinton campaign.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      It’s likely they never had the resources (willing volunteers, not college Republicans. ..young Hillary supporters) to identify voters over the Summer. Wasn’t the message to activists to buzz off?

  18. oho

    ‘Notice that job crapification (“routine jobs”) is part of economic stress.’

    what the peeps at the DNC don’t get….the US manufacturing base has been decimated over the past 8 years and yes, a lot of those people are have been rehired elsewhere, keeping the headling unemployment up.

    but instead of being a master welder or a electrician, those folks work the aisles at the local Mega Lo-Mart

    Mission accomplished. Heck of a job, Barack, Valerie, Ben, Tim and Janet!

  19. Another Anon

    Craig Murray has an interesting take on the election

    This is particularly interesting:

    “…The Wikileaks releases of DNC and Podesta emails revealed the extreme cynicism of Clinton manipulation of ethnic group votes. Still more blatant was the promotion of the idea that Hillary being a corrupt neo-con warmonger was outweighed by the fact she was female. The notion that elevating extremely rich and privileged women already within the 1% to top positions, breaks a glass ceiling and benefits all women, is the precise feminist equivalent of trickle down theory.

    Trickle Down Feminism. Perfect, I think we have here a powerful meme.

  20. stockbrokher

    Yes, yes on the GOTV – finally somewhere to confirm this.

    AZ here. Despite being female homeowner in zip almost guaranteeing me to be white
    ( i.e. one of their highly coveted potential “disaffected R females”) nothing until GOTV.

    Then, three communications (text, phone, text), two after they were informed I was voting Stein (all responses were accompanied by a few comments re my 26 yr old son the Bernie/Stein supporter making $200,000 as a lawyer in NYC – i.e. NOT living in his parent’s basement – the Banks and Obamacare).

    Repeat: After my first response and highly negative comments they still contacted me twice more on GOTV.

    It was clear there was no mechanism to process feedback. Not to mention, I should have been contacted long before to identify my voting preference. The Arpaio campaign had called me in August (to be informed I would be voting for whomever was his opponent even if it was Micky Mouse).

    I remember thinking when I got the first GOTV text ( never mind the subsequent phone call and second text) that the much – vaunted ground game might not be performing as expected.

    1. meeps

      –It was clear there was no mechanism to process feedback.–

      That’s the impression I got. I returned multiple surveys clearly articulating what I perceived to be severe disconnects in the campaign. I admonished the hippie punching, questioned the choice of Kaine for VP, said priorities were out of whack, etc. I figured they opened the return envelope and shook it, hoping a check would emerge and when that didn’t happen, they tossed the survey directly into the shredder. That was the feedback they were looking for.

  21. Sublimejah

    Who do you all support, not Clinton, not Trump? Are you all Democratic Socialists and for Bernie? You all don’t seem to have much but the same critique of Clinton that the white male establishment whipped up. Wow really embarassing to see that picking her apart is more important that destroying the orange man.

    1. economicminor

      Can’t fix what’s broke if you have no idea what went wrong. Just ignoring it isn’t such a great answer either.

    2. flora

      I voted against neoliberal economic policies. Hillary was just the latest Dem estab candidate to run on them. If you like neoliberalism don’t worry, the neoliberal Dem estab is still in control and will no doubt run on a neoliberal economic platform (maybe by stealth) the next couple of cycles, too. It will take more than one defeat of a very inept candidate to oust neoliberal thinking from its dominant economic position in the Dem party. I’m just glad it was defeated this time out. I’m glad TPP and TTIP have been stopped, for now.

    3. pretzelattack

      there is an ongoing struggle between people who want to reform the democratic party, and people who want to continue along the neoliberal/neocon/identity politics path.

    4. Patricia

      Why do you want to avoid looking at failure? Everyone’s doing the blame game right now; might as well get it right so we can move forward effectively.

      ‘Looking forward not behind’ has worked so well for the Dems. gah

    5. Otis B Driftwood

      Some of us are progressives and voted for Jill Stein as the only genuine option. Not many of us out there given the election results. I don’t know who to blame for that. Can you help?

    6. aab

      White male establishment? Did you look at who was funding her? Did you look at who her policies benefited?

      She rode to power on the back of a serial sexual abuser of women and girls, and then she herself worked to murder brown people all over the globe, to benefit patriarchal capitalism, which — hint, hint — primarily benefits men, and in America, those men are disproportionately white.

      Find better information sources.

    7. different clue

      The orange man suggested pursuing better, or at least normal, relations with Russia. Whereas Clinton wanted to raise the risk of war with Russia.

      So I voted for the orange man to lower the chances of war with Russia, and to lower the chances of a Clintonite no-fly-zone in Syria ( designed to help the Islamo-terrorists), and in general to stop the Clintons before they killed again.

      The White Male Establishment all opposed the orange man and all supported Clinton. Didn’t you know that?

    8. Lambert Strether Post author

      > picking her apart is more important that destroying the orange man.

      Let me help you:

      picking her apart is more important that destroying the orange man

      Fixed it for ya. Although, to be fair, you may think that reinforcing failure is good doctrine. Many Democrat loyalists do.

  22. Fastball

    Perhaps it might have been a good idea as well to ask the opinion of the public of Bill Clinton. Clinton supporters spent the entire campaign sticking their fingers in their ears and lambasting everyone who had a poor opinion of Bill Clinton or even dynasties in general. As a leftist third party neutral, the thought of the Clintons being in the White House again even made my stomach turn.

  23. readerOfTeaLeaves

    Sanders nailed it.
    Come is not blame for this debacle.
    Anyone who blames Comey is in a state of deep denial, and it’s refreshing to see that Sanders is not wallowing in delusion.

  24. Patrick

    Here’s another anecdote:
    The Clinton campaign had an online phone bank that allowed anyone online to make calls for the Clinton campaign. Trump supporters on 4chan found this website and made a lot of calls. They posted the results in threads online. Needless to say, the people being contacted didn’t leave the call feeling positive about the Clinton campaign. After the calls, they’d report pretty much the opposite of whatever happened. (Trump supporters were marked as Clinton supporters & vice versa.) I can hardly imagine how the static introduced by this trolling undermined Ada.

  25. Skorn

    The Clinton campaign sent texts with a frequency of 2 per day to a dataset targeting FL residents living in the important I-4 Orlando to Tampa corridor for about 5 days before the election. This former FL resident since 2011, Jill Stein voter, and registered independent currently living in MA, was very annoyed. I gather the faulty targeting in other areas hooked Trump leaners in. A well deserved loss.

  26. VietnamVet

    This is an excellent rebuttal to the Clinton’s rationalizations. The root of the problem is the new democrat’s acceptance of corporate campaign funding meant that they had to accept the neo-liberal ideology that if it makes money it is blessed. They agreed to throwing 80% of the people under the bus for the benefit of a few connected families and their servants. But, if they acknowledged this, they wouldn’t be elected dog catcher. So, the democratic political class and “liberals” in the 20% who doing okay are in a state of shocked denial caused by the Deplorables revolt.

    In addition, a few million didn’t vote Hillary Clinton because of her corruption, the restart of the Cold War 2.0 with Russia, and the obvious wholehearted corporate media propaganda campaign for her.

  27. Bob Swern

    Lambert, this really is an outstanding factual and anecdotal compilation and analysis. Kudos! Combined with a few other stories I’ve read (Washington’s Blog–of all places–is outdoing themselves in this regard, right now and over the past few days, as you’re probably aware, since they cited your work, among others, in some of their posts over the past 72 hours), we’re seeing a virtual 360-degree picture of the Clinton campaign’s fail.

    And, then there’s Thomas Frank’s “Listen, Liberal,” and his ongoing, journalistic color commentary, follow-up/analysis (consistently, in The Guardian and elsewhere), for over a year, which puts the icing on what may only be described as, collectively, the most objective and accurate review of the Clinton campaign’s historical fail, last week.

    Again, kudos to you!

  28. integer

    In fact, liberal Democrats in 2016 were out-strategized, out-organized, and out-hustled by people they regarded and still regard as their intellectual and moral inferiors, and in election where they framed the stakes as a government takeover by fascists.

    I enjoyed watching this interview with Kellyanne Conway on CNN. The look on the hosts’ faces while Conway is explaining the Trump campaign strategy is priceless and illustrates the above point.

    1. jrs

      maybe it’s not about brains but about the political winds always shifting between parties etc.. Now it might be different if either of the two parties were capable of giving anyone anything they want, maybe there might be more loyalty, but they aren’t.

    2. TheCatSaid

      Thanks for that link–what an amazing interview. I never saw any Clinton staffer give such upfront, clear, comprehensive information. She was a great hire. I hope Trump makes equally wise choices for government positions.

  29. Temporarily Sane

    Ok, so it’s established that the bought and paid for media’s talking points about Clinton’s defeat are bogus. Now what? There is no indication the Hillbots got the message or even want to hear it. These people are hyper-allergic to criticism and think the “blame” for the country rejecting the Wall St. + identity politics formula lies with anyone and anything but their own clique of brainwashed morons.

    I don’t see much hope out there. On one side are people who seriously believe a capitalist, a billionaire businessman will reverse the damage neoliberalism has wrought and bring the jobs back….and on the other side are people who have thrown reason out the window, people who wail and moan about racism but stand behind their Democrat deity as she or he bombs and drones brown Muslims in far away lands. (If Trump actually follows through on backing off on Putin and Russia these idiots will protest that too. Yay for WW3!) That’s a tad simplified and leaves out a lot but the other stuff is even more crazy.

    The root cause of this insane state of affairs is America’s and increasingly the rest of the West’s anti-intellectual “culture” that has no need for critical-thinking and facts. This isn’t much mentioned but the level of crazy engulfing this country, virtually without opposition, would not be possible if people could still, you l know, think.

    1. Ben Groves

      I don’t think it matters if “hillbot” got the message. She is irrelevant now. This post represents pure slop. Why never bring up Trump’s direct financing via de Rothschild and what they really want? There is a large conspiracy there you just look over. Maybe you are the problem.

  30. Even more liberal now

    We know neoliberalism has failed, but Trumpism is going to be worse. It’s going to be up to the few people who are smart enough and capable enough to organize and keep this moving forward. A good friend of mine is trying to organize people to keep up the pressure that we’ve seen over the last few days:

  31. GregoryA

    Sorry, but the abortion/supreme court vote did matter Smith. This was a very “little here” and “little there” campaign like seen in other post-recovery elections.

  32. optimader

    Lambert –this is a screenplay outline for a film

    The campaign’s deployment of other resources — including county-level campaign offices and the staging of high-profile concerts with stars like Jay Z and Beyoncé — was largely dependent on Ada’s work, as well..

    No matter how f-ed up Trump turns out to be, this Country dodged a bullet, a large caliber bullet…. make that a German 88

  33. H. Alexander Ivey

    So where did Ada go wrong?

    Get wrong!?! That is like asking what did your hammer get ‘wrong’ when you hit your thumb with it.
    Ada got nothing ‘wrong’. It is a tool, a machine. The only way that Ada was wrong would be if it predicted, based on its inputs, a victory for Hillary. Since the quotes don’t say if Ada was predicting a Hillary win, we don’t know.
    In any case, we can see why the elites like ‘AI’ machines, code as the law, and Ada. No one is to blame or held responsible for failure.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      No. It seems that Ada’s output was being used by the campaign to allocate resources. That’s different from a prediction of victory.

      To your larger point on elite impunity, I agree.

  34. FedUpAndAngry

    I find the information in the post and in the comments to be helpful (for the most part). There are many “do differentlys” here for the future. What interests me in this whole string of information and speculation is the minimal discussion about the impact of misogyny.

    While Hillary Clinton certainly made mistakes in her career (the email mess being front and center), she has been relentlessly pummeled by the GOP, the Tea Party, Bill haters (he deserves some of it), the FBI and the Press. She was also ridiculed, derided, and totally disrespected by many on the far left (I consider myself far left but respect HRC as yet another long-term public servant with failings).

    I have no doubt that fixing the problems you raised in this post might well have won HRC the election. I am angry about many things. One of them remains the nasty, arrogant dismissal of HRC by the Bernie or Bust and Jill Stein crowds who either didn’t vote or threw away a vote. Or god forbid, gave a present to Trump just to see if blowing everything up would make the country finally “bottom out”.

    Since many of you seem to have no respect for Hillary Clinton, will you be happier with Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, Loretta Lynch, or Michelle Obama if and when they run for President? Or will you dismiss them, too, because they “aren’t Bernie Sanders”, who I guess never made a mistake and ran a perfect primary campaign. I’d like to see a little more respect here.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Er, speaking of respect, did you read the first post in the series? See talking point two.

      I’ll have to look into the Bernie Bros myth; thanks for reminding me of that canard myth. Of course, again speaking of respect, “Bernie Bros” was an outright smear by Clinton supporters, who surely must have known that Sanders’ support from women and PoC was substantial (though varying by the state), and especially so among younger voters, the future of the party.

      I guess I’m old-fashioned, but I prefer not to vote for a corrupt warmonger no matter their gender, and I don’t regard grifters who use public office for private gain as “public servants” with “failings.” I like Zephyer Teachout, Nina Turner, Kshama Sawant. Warren is good on banking. Loretta Lynch was about as good as Eric Holder. And I can’t believe that people are seriously proposing Michelle Obama for public office; having cleared away two family dynasties (we hope) this season, I’m gobsmacked that we seem to be proposing a new one; there must be more authoritarian followers in the Democrat Party than I thought.

      Sorry for your loss.

  35. ewmayer

    “Volunteers for the Clinton campaign in Pennsylvania, Ohio and North Carolina have reported that when reminding people to vote, they encountered a significant number of Trump voters. Anecdotal evidence points to anywhere from five to 25 percent of contacts were inadvertently targeted to Trump supporters. This is a big deal because when voters are engaged by a volunteer they are significantly more likely to cast a ballot in an election. ”

    While the GOTV conclusion may be true for one’s own voter base, it smells iike BS in the case of engaging with the opponent’s likely voters, especially when said opponent is a populist outsider in a backlash year, i.e. whose self-identified likely voters will be highly motivated to turn out and stick it to the establishment to begin with.

    [Amanda Marcoote] “Because this anger is so real and so palpable, there’s been an unfortunate tendency in much of the media to assume that this anger must also be valid. The entire election cycle was a clusterfuck of articles demanding empathy for Trump voters, insisting that their rage must have some rational roots — perhaps economic insecurity?

    The persistence of the “economic insecurity” angle in the face of overwhelming evidence against it was a testament to the power of hope over reason.”

    Wow – just wow. Talk about living in an elitist bubble. I guess Ms. Marcotte’s “facts” differ wildly from Case-Deaton’s facts. But I’m sure her facts are different in that they’re valid, by which she appears to mean “establishment-approved”. The predominance of such people in the MSM and the HRC campaign is exactly why they failed to see what happened on election day coming. Just like the highly credentialed professional economists who never see bubbles except in the rearview mirror, and then cry “whocouldanode?”

    [Lambert] “Perhaps more eyes on the code would have prevented hubris.” — Perhaps more attention on what has actually been happening on the ground in flyover country would have prevented hubris. But how appropriate is it that a bunch of elite technocratic grifters should be done in by overreliance on their own confirmation-bias-riddled techno-prowess?

  36. Fiver

    Re Myth 1 – Clinton campaign well managed, and the arguments presented to refute that claim.

    Even if horribly managed, it was nevertheless a huge, experienced, professional, expensive, highly-organized operation vs effectively zero opposition from that perspective – one man and a Twitter feed. Advantage, Clinton.

    Also, I just don’t think I can buy into the claim Clinton and the campaign were in cruise mode in the final days – I seem to recall first, a Clinton surrogate and media flaying of Comey for several days from his Friday bombshell followed by a much weaker positive response to Comey’s re-closing the case. The energy was gone. All of this of course was accompanied by continued stunning, reckless almost hysterical claims, assertions and warnings regarding Russian/Assange interference in the election, culminating with Clintons telling everyone not to believe some new ‘wild’ story on the Net, and news the country’s entire ‘security’ apparatus is placed on watch for a cyber-attack.

    That is not ‘cruising’ to victory. This was a candidate/campaign that had become much more concerned with a fatal leak than winning.

    Re Myth 2 – It wasn’t the economy. And Lambert’s piercing of same.

    Hard to know what to say to people like those referenced who apparently have never looked beyond national data like GDP, ‘jobs’, inflation, or the stock market as barometers – as if the US was economically homogenous, as opposed to deeply structured by geography, climate, demographics, regional culture, etc., as well as terribly skewed in favour of the already-advantaged. Of course the economy was important – but not in the ‘headline’ numbers favored by algos, but in structural expectations. I would also point out that the near-collapse of fracking and related economic activity was largely ‘red’ State, but also in Pennsylvania and a couple of other ‘swing’ States. This would’ve certainly played to Trump. The economy was not decisive. Advantage Clinton.

    I found the story about older people dying in ‘red’ States alarming – my mind immediately jumps to workplace/environmental hazards (fossil fuels, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, etc.); diet (sugar); health coverage as in how many people in the ‘red’ States found Obamacare either outright too expensive or insufficient. And how many were steam-rolled by the Financial Crisis, never recovered, and it killed them?

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