What went so wrong for Hillary Clinton’s campaign?
Just over 24 hours out from the most devastating blow to the Democratic establishment in decades, some are starting to sift through the data to see where the bottom fell out.
Despite President Barack Obama’s 52.1% approval rating on the eve of November 8, higher than Ronald Reagan’s at the tail end of 1988, Clinton was unable to turn out the now mythical Obama coalition: droves of millennial, African American and Latino voters.
Clinton fell behind Barack Obama’s 2012 turnout levels in all three crucial demographic groups, and barely made up a point or two among women.
Obama won 93% of African Americans in 2012 -- Clinton succeeded in getting just 88% of that vote. Latinos voted for Obama in 2012 by a strong 71%, whereas 65% voted for Clinton. Millennials also had a six-point gap between their support of Obama and Clinton, with 60% supporting Obama in 2012 and 54% voting for Clinton.
In retrospect, the Clinton campaign may have been aware of this potential shortfall. In the weeks leading up to November 8, Barack Obama embarked on one of the most active campaign schedules we’ve seen from a sitting president.
Commentators (not that it appears they’ll have much clout going forward), kept likening Obama to Hillary Clinton’s running mate, or even at times flipping that around. It was as it felt many hoped Obama was the candidate again, and Clinton the running mate.
Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, so those devastated by the results can briefly comfort themselves in knowing that the majority of the American people, in fact, do NOT want a bigoted, misogynist, xenophobe in the oval office. Not much consolation, though, when Donald Trump will become president of the United States on January 20, 2017.
In the end, the projected numbers were off, and the invisible Trump vote, misinterpreted by the pollsters, materialized in the South and the Rust Belt. On the morning of Election Day, when Hillary and Bill Clinton voted in Chappaqua, New York, she didn’t look like a candidate who had a sense the numbers were against her.
Conversely, Donald and Melania Trump could barely fake a smile when they voted in New York City.
Probably most telling: Reports say iinternal Republican polling numbers had Donald Trump losing the election on the eve of November 8.