Clinton Was A Bad Candidate – Period.

December 25, 2016

A friend called me out on his Facebook page because I said Hillary Clinton was a bad candidate. I stand by the statement and believe the following information will support my position.

The core of the Obama coalition was an alliance between black voters and Northern white voters. In this past election the Obama coalition fell apart.

Obama won in the Iowa countryside and the industrial belt along Lake Erie. Obama did well among white voters across the Northern US and drew 34% of the white vote without a college degree

He excelled in a nearly continuous swath from the Pacific Coast of Oregon and Washington to the Red River Valley in Minnesota, along the Great Lakes to the coast of Maine. In these places, Mr. Obama often ran as strong or stronger than any Democrat in history.

In 2016, Mr. Trump made huge gains among white working-class voters. It wasn’t just in the places where Democratic strength had been eroding for a long time, like western Pennsylvania. It was often in the places where Democrats had seemed resilient or even strong, like Scranton, Pa., and eastern Iowa. Trump’s win was a break from recent trends, white voters without college degrees deviated from the national trend and voted Republican.

For the first time in the history of the two parties, the Republican candidate did better among low-income whites than among affluent whites, according to exit poll data and a compilation of New York Times/CBS News surveys.

Clinton showed a profound weakness among Northern white working-class voters. She was thought to be fairly strong among older white working-class voters who were skeptical of Mr. Obama from the start. Most of Mr. Obama’s strength among white voters without a degree was due to his gains among those under age 45.

Trump expanded Republican gains among older working-class white voters, while erasing most of Mr. Obama’s gains among younger Northern white voters without a degree.

Trump, showed a gain among younger working-class whites were especially important in the Upper Midwest. Young white working-class voters represent a larger share of the vote there than anywhere else in the country. Mr. Obama’s strength among them — and Mrs. Clinton’s weakness — was evident from the beginning of the 2008 primaries.

The Clinton team knew what was wrong from the start, according to a Clinton campaign staffer and other Democrats. Its models, based on survey data, indicated that they were underperforming Mr. Obama in less-educated white areas by a wide margin — perhaps 10 points or more — as early as the summer.

The Clinton campaign contacted voters from 2012 and found a large number of working class voters who had backed Obama were not supporting Trump. Turnout was not the problem voter data in N. Carolina showed that turnout among white Democrats and Republicans increased by almost the exact amount, about 2.5%. Nationally there was no relationship between the decline in Democratic strength and a change in trunout. Trump made gains in white working-class areas, whether turnout surged or dropped.

Trump took former Obama voters Trump won 19 percent of white voters without a degree who approved of Mr. Obama’s performance, including 8 percent of those who “strongly” approved of Mr. Obama’s performance and 10 percent of white working-class voters who wanted to continue Mr. Obama’s policies. Trump won 20 percent of self-identified liberal white working-class voters, according to the exit polls, and 38 percent of those who wanted policies that were more liberal than Mr. Obama’s. Trump won large numbers of white, working-class voters who supported Mr. Obama four years earlier.

Possible Reasoning for Trump gains was that Obama campaign team Mr. Romney as a plutocrat who dismantled companies and outsourced jobs. The implication was that he would leave middle-class jobs prey to globalization and corporations.

Trump owned Mr. Obama’s winning message to autoworkers and Romney’s message to coal country. He didn’t merely run to protect the remnants of the industrial economy; he promised to restore it and “make America great again.” Trump caricatured Clinton as a tool of Wall Street, bought by special interests. She, too, would leave workers vulnerable to the forces of globalization and big business, he said.

Trump said free trade was responsible for deindustrialization, and asserted that he would get tough on China, renegotiate Nafta and pull out of the trans-Pacific Partnership — two trade agreements that Mrs. Clinton supported or helped negotiate (she later rejected the trans-Pacific deal).

Like Obama, Trump ran against the establishment — and against a candidate who embodied it far more than John McCain or Mr. Romney did. The various allegations against Mrs. Clinton neatly complemented the notion that she wasn’t out to help ordinary Americans.

The turnout problem Clinton had was among black voters in Georgia, the black share of the electorate fell to 27.6 percent from 29.9 percent, and in Louisiana it fell to 28.5 percent from 30.1 percent, according to the
completed state turnout data. The data is not yet final in North Carolina, but the black share of the electorate looks unlikely to reach 21 percent of voters — down from 23 percent in 2012. The data is even less complete in Florida, but there too it appears that black turnout will fall by a similar amount — perhaps to 12.7 percent of voters from 14 percent.

Young black voters appear to be a key driver of the decline. They registered at a lower rate than they did ahead of the 2012 and 2008 presidential elections, causing the black share of registered voters to dip. And those who were registered turned out at a far lower rate than black registrants did four years ago. Turnout dropped by 8 percent in the majority black wards of Philadelphia, while rising everywhere else in the city.

Turnout in Detroit fell by 14 percent. Turnout fell in other industrial centers with large black populations, like Milwaukee and Flint, Mich. It’s hard to know just how much of this is lower black turnout instead of black population decline — the census can struggle to make population estimates in places with a declining population — but the turnout certainly dropped faster than the reported population decline. Taken in totality, it appears that black turnout dropped somewhere between 5 percent and 10 percent — with few exceptions

The decline in black turnout was consistent across the country. If the black turnout had matched 2012 turnout levels Clinton would have snatched wins in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Florida and North Carolina would have been extremely close.

According to the exit polls, Mrs. Clinton fared a tad worse among white voters — but much worse among Hispanic, Asian-American and black voters than Mr. Obama. And those polls said she didn’t win well-educated white voters, as many pre-election polls indicated.

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