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The Story of the 2016 Elections is That Republican Voters Voted Republican

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trump_n_mitt

Steve Schale’s Florida post-mortem is must-reading. First of all, let’s look at the factors that weren’t decisive in Florida:

Base turnout: Both Broward and Dade county had higher turnout rates, and the Miami media market had a higher margin for Clinton than Obama. And even with Palm Beach coming in a little short, she won her two base markets by about 75K more votes than Obama 2012, and won a slighly higher share of the vote. Broward and Dade alone combines for a 580K vote margin, and honestly, I think around 600K is pretty close to maxing out.

The Panhandle: True, Trump did win the “I-10 corridor” by more votes than Romney, but it wasn’t significant. His 345K vote margin as slighly better than Romney’s 308K, and pretty much in line with Bush 04’s 338K North Florida vote majority. And frankly, Clinton succeeded in the major North Florida objective: keep #Duuuval County close. Trump’s 6,000 vote plurality in Duval County was the best Democratic performance in a Presidential election since Carter won Duval in 1976.

Hispanics: It is true that Hispanics under-performed out west, but here in Florida, she did considerably better than Obama in the exit polls — polls that are reflective in the record margins she posted in the heavily Hispanic areas of Miami-Dade, Broward, Orange, and Osceola.

SW Florida: This was the GOP talking point during early vote: SW Florida was blowing up for Trump. And they were right, it did. But SW Florida typically has exceptionally high turnout, and high GOP margins, and in the end, Trump’s total was only about 40K votes bigger than Romney.

Clinton got her base out, and generally held her own among most demographics, despite lacking Obama’s level of political skill and lacking Obama’s advantage of being an incumbent president. So what put Trump over the top?

It was rural Florida: Trump did very well in rural Florida, but so did Romney. If you take all the counties with less than 250,000 residents, he increased Romney’s vote share by 125,000 votes — enough to make up the Obama 2012 margin — except, Clinton increased Obama’s margin in the counties with more than 750,000 residents by over 100,000 votes. In other words, rural and suburban cancel eachother out. What doesn’t cancel out — midsize suburban/exurban counties, places with 250,000-750,000 residents — Trump won them by 200,000 more votes than Romney.

[…]

So, where did he beat her? Simple: I-4, and more specifically, the 15 counties that make up suburban and exurban I-4.

Quick recap: The I-4 corridor is roughly defined as the Tampa and Orlando media markets. If you are a Democrat, win here, and you win. If you are a Republican, win big here, and you win. Given that the rest of the state in 2016 generally looked like 2012, Trump needed to win big here.

A few points:

  • One thing the Clinton campaign got wrong — and I’m not saying it was unreasonable to think this, because I, like most people, thought the same thing — is its assumption that enough suburban Republicans and Republican-leaners would find Trump distasteful enough to put Clinton in the White House. This just didn’t happen. Trump maintained Romney’s base and picked up enough additional white suburbanites to win. In Florida, at least, Trump didn’t win because Clinton failed to get the Democratic base out, and in general initial reports of low turnout appear to have been greatly exaggerated. Political science took a (justified!) beating during the primaries, but 2016 was, despite all of the assumptions, pretty much a fundamentals-and-partisanship election. Trump did underperform (or Clinton did overperform, or some combination of the two) the fundamentals to a small extent, but because of the Electoral College won anyway.  But the significant Republican defections that might have been expected from an unusually dishonest and scandal-plagued candidate just didn’t happen.
  • And, of course, a key factor is that amazingly enough voters considered Trump more honest than Clinton, which is why I have less than no patience with people who deny that the obsessive media coverage of EMAILS! had a significant effect on the election. (And, just to preempt the most common line of trooferism, election results have more than one cause. It’s possible that Clinton could have done something to overcome the grotesque media malpractice that normalized Trump. Feel free to propound your theory that Lena Dunham appearing on a panel cost Clinton 25 points or to use the phrase “bad messaging” or whatever you like. It doesn’t change the fact that the Both Sides Do It But Clinton Is Worse coverage pretty much eliminated the disadvantages one would assume would come from electing Trump.)
  •  Another key point: “2016 marked the 4th straight statewide election (two Governors, two Presidentials), where the victor’s margin of victory was roughly a point.” It was reasonable, in other words, for Clinton to contest Florida hard — she lost by barely more than 100,000 votes — and arguments about bad resource allocation just aren’t going to get you anywhere unless you can draw up a map of Clinton winning that doesn’t include Pennsylvania.
  • The biggest mistake Obama made for the 2016 elections was putting James Comey in charge of the FBI. But given that the Orlando and Tampa suburbs and exurbs won Florida for Trump, I wonder if Obama’s failure to provide substantial relief for people with foreclosed houses and failure to punish the malefactors had an important effect.
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  • Murc

    Ugh.

    This is actually pretty bad.

    I was honestly really, really hoping that this was a low-turnout, white working class thing. Because we actually have an answer to that: turning out our base and flipping back those lost working class votes with a refocus on economic security.

    But if this is a middle-class white suburbanite thing we don’t actually have an answer to that, because those guys love them some white supremacy and/or plutocracy and it turns out they actually do have the numbers to outvote us even in a high-turnout election. They apparently will only vote for a Democrat after Republicans wreck up the joint for eight years and if the Democrat doesn’t make them feel all bad about themselves. Say what you will about Barack Obama, but he was relentlessly inoffensive to a lot of those soft-racist fucks.

    The one saving grace is that Trump’s margins were so thin this might just have come down to wishy-washy political undecideds who will vote for whichever candidate speaks to their lizard hindbrains. That we can manage.

    • Srsly Dad Y

      I gather that this is why political scientists have rained on the Democrats’ Theory of the Missing Voter for so many years. We have little evidence that the electorate as a whole is any better than the half of the electorate that votes.

      • Davis X. Machina

        Everyone knows that there are tens, if not scores, of millions of potential voters who do not participate in electoral politics specifically because the Democratic party has never offered them, in the course of the presidential nominating process, an out-and-proud progressive alternative to the usual product that speaks to their innately social-democratic souls.

        If such a candidate were ever on offer, the result would be a tsnuami in the primaries, and a Landonesque blowout in the general election.

        And nothing you can say can convince me otherwise.

        • Srsly Dad Y

          Aw man I just caught the Landon thing within the edit window.

        • The Lorax

          Snark like this is why I keep coming back to LGM.

          • Davis X. Machina

            It’s not snark. As Holmes said “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.”

            Hence those tens of millions of missing voters are, nay, must be, as real as the tens of millions who show up.

    • Rob in CT

      The one saving grace is that Trump’s margins were so thin this might just have come down to wishy-washy political undecideds who will vote for whichever candidate speaks to their lizard hindbrains. That we can manage.

      3rd terms are hard, too.

      But there really was a substantial shift in non-college educated whites toward Trump. I know that’s not exactly the same as “working class.” I don’t really care about the terminology anyway. Point is, there really was a big movement in a particular group and it cost us in the upper mid-west. Those voters might swing back, particularly if Trumpolini fucks up hard like we expect.

      • Those voters might swing back, particularly if Trumpolini fucks up hard like we expect.

        That’s the hope. Mostly we’re talking about huge chunks of the Midwest that did okay-ish under Bush until the housing crash, then struggled for all of the last eight years. I certainly don’t expect Trump to make things any different, but as much as the economy’s been better under Obama, there’s no getting around the fact that it’s never recovered from 2008. Are they gonna be stoked for a Democrat after four more years of suffering? Or will it take eight? A lot of them voted Obama twice, after all.

      • Ghostship

        What might have triggered that shift. My suggestion, FWIW, was the “deplorables” speech which seemed to me to be very stupid. As a candidate, insulting your opponent and her policies is acceptable and expected. Insulting the other candidate’s supporters is not as its likely to piss off many who might not have voted and instead persuade them to vote.

        • Little Chak

          Sadly, yes, the price to pay of being on the side of justice is that you must always live up to the highest of your ideals.

          And really, all that speech required was a little (but also big) tweak: “basket of deplorables” vs. “motivated by a basket of deplorable ideas”.

          But it’s also sad that Donald Trump told all of his supporters that they were absolutely deplorable when he told them that he could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue, shoot somebody, and not lose a single voter, and exceedingly few of them took any offense to that. Instead, they rallied behind it, and proved that most Republicans will literally vote for *anyone* and defend *anything*, even if they feel that someone is woefully unfit for the office, even if that someone mocks a reporter’s disability or brags about sexually assaulting women; just as long as he preaches hatred of Democrats and tells them that they couldn’t possibly be racist.

          Witness the aftermath of this election: even when people go out of their way to say that whether or not Trump supporters are racist is immaterial to the fact that they voted for a racist who espoused a racist ideology, they will themselves go out of their way to take up the mantle of the victim and say that there is no difference between telling someone that yes, your vote supported racism and actual racists who are going to enact racist policies that do real harm to minorities, and calling someone a racist.

          They want to be victims. They are consumed by it. Retail stores saying a friendly “Happy Holidays” so as to be inclusive of Jews, Muslims, Atheists, etc. becomes a “War on Christmas”. Churches being allowed to marry gay couples, instead of other churches being allowed to dictate to them who they are allowed to marry, becomes an “assault on religious freedom”.

          Yes, we must always be vigilant and attack the ideas, not the people who hold them. We really do need to come to terms with the fact that otherwise good people can believe some really nasty things. But there also must be a reckoning with the fact that so many of these people have built their lives around considering themselves the persecuted. We must expect that attacking the ideas will be construed as attacking the person. And we have to hope that if we continue to say, “No, the idea absolutely is horrible, but that does not mean the person is”, eventually, enough of the so-called “soft racists” will come around.

          • FWIW “basket of deplorables” was a response to a question, not part of a speech. She was being asked more or less the same question we’re all asking now: is it possible to appeal to Trump voters without endorsing Trump’s hatred?

            Her response was that there were two “baskets” of Trump voters: people who were invested in hatred, and people who were suffering and as a result willing to seize onto whatever help they thought they could get. The former group she referred to as the “basket of deplorables”, and she explicitly described that group as overt racists, sexists, homophobes, etc. They’re unreachable because the Democratic Party is fundamentally opposed to their values. The latter group she suggested could be reached with a populist economic message.

            So, you know, what she said should have been uncontroversial. White supremacists, antisemites, and such are deplorable. Some of the people who voted for Trump were those people. It was a bad soundbite, but for dishonest reasons. I don’t think it had much of an effect on the election, though.

        • rewenzo

          I don’t really see this at all. I can see how this would piss off someone voting for Trump or leaning that way, but if you’re thinking “I don’t know whether to vote for Trump” or “I don’t like Trump,” how could hearing that Trump voters are bad make you want to be one? If you’re one of those “people who are called racist are the real victim types” you really should have already been on the Trump train.

          Consider the reverse. Have the Democrats ever gained votes by Republicans insulting Democratic voters?

          • gmoot

            Keep in mind, too, that Donald Trump had by that point publicly stated, and I quote, “Americans are fucking stupid.” The media, in its endless pursuit to create a horse race, ignore this and furthermore allowed the republicans to dominate several news cycles with fake outrage over what was really a fairly benign comment about *some* of Trump’s supporters.

          • Ghostship

            or leaning that way,

            Someone “leaning that way” would almost certainly have made the effort to spite HRC as a result of the “deplorables” speech. The other group affected was the working class across the Rust Belt who have suffered most as a result of Clintonite globalization even though they’ve fairly consistently supported the Democratic Party in the past. The characteristics that HRC defined of the “deplorables” applies to many of them and she suffered for that.

            Consider the reverse. Have the Democrats ever gained votes by Republicans insulting Democratic voters?

            Probably. Racist remarks by Republican candidates have probably encouraged blacks and latinos to vote, if they can, Democratic in the past. The problem this time around for the Democratic candidate was her “super-predator” remark and her support for the attack on welfare under WJC, and the expulsion of 2 million or so illegal latino immigrants diluted the effect enough. The lesson is you can’t afford to ignore part of your constituency after the election too often.

    • ThrottleJockey

      I’m going to quibble with you. Yes by all metrics this was a white middle class thing (Clinton won the under $50,000 in income electorate; and something like 65% of white males with a college degree vote Trump).

      So question: Why did the white middle-class ignore over-the-top racism and sexism to vote for Trump?

      Answer: Because even in prosperous sectors of the economy middle managers have been getting raises in the area of ~1%. This was economic resentment at the top 1 percent taken out on Hillary Clinton.

      Quibble: We know the economic message and formula to win back this class–Obama ran it. Unfortunately Clinton did not…My guess: After 4 years of Trump these guys will be even more pissed than they were last week.

      • Slothrop2

        Yup

      • postmodulator

        Meta comment:

        Since the election, the “intelligent but disagreeable” portion of the commentariat — probably best exemplified by TJ and Dilan — has gone all in on…reasonable and thoughtful engagement.

        • XTPD

          Noticed and approved. Wish joe from Lowell would come back, though.

        • ThrottleJockey

          Calling 2 time Obama voters “deplorables” seems like a poor come back strategy and not a good read of the data… I’m ok calling 90% of his voters that but while the swing voters have questionable judgment and ethics I’m not calling them deplorable.

          • Ironically, the entire point of the “deplorables” comment was arguing that not all Trump supporters were motivated by racism/xenophobia/misogyny/etc. The question she was answering was about whether there were Trump supporters who could be convinced to switch without making offensive appeals; her answer was yes.

      • eclare

        Forgive my obtuseness and/or lack of memory, but what was the economic message and formula that Obama ran on but Clinton didn’t

        • Quaino

          “Make American Great Again” … errrr … “Hopey/Changey”

          Clinton really couldn’t run on the “you’re sad and the other guy has been there for 4-8 years, so vote for me!” platform.

          • ColBatGuano

            She somehow had to thread the needle of “Things are great, everything needs to change.” Any disagreement with Obama’s policies would have created a media shitstorm.

            • Scott Lemieux

              “Obama won, therefore he had good economic messaging. Clinton lost, therefore she did not.” –50% of election postmortem commentary

              “Candidate X lost because he/she did not campaign on a platform identical to my ex ante policy preferences.” –the other 49.99%

              • MDrew

                Did Obama have good economic messaging in 2012, and make it the central message of his campaign?

                Did Clinton in 2016?

                • (((Hogan)))

                  How would you tell?

        • brewmn

          Thank you. Revisionist history is bad, but rewriting history that only happened eight years ago is unforgivable.

        • liberal

          Agreed.

        • Jackov

          Obama in 2012, campaigned in the Rust Belt explicitly on saving manufacturing jobs with the GM bailout and Romney being a plutocrat who gutted companies to make a quick buck. See his steel mill ad. His team had an explicit SunBelt/RustBelt strategy with different messages for each.

          In 2008, the paragon of virtue spoke often about renegotiating NAFTA. Obama also slammed McCain on the economy after Lehman collapsed and corporate tax breaks
          while ‘American families got nothing.’ The DNC was also up with ‘Are you better off than you were eight years ago’ ads.

      • Jackov

        it was the BernieBros
        it was the muscle workers
        it was the hillbillies
        it is the middle managers

        It’s angry white dudes all the way down.

        Perhaps some day in the future, Democrats will lose an election because of angry Latinas, or pissed off African-Amercans, or upset Asian men or livid multi-racial youngs. It would not be a bad thing.

    • Sly

      Also: Late deciding voters broke for Trump, and I don’t think its a stretch to believe that this was due to the preponderance of E-MAILS! stories in the last week.

      So I guess the biggest takeaway is, when protecting incumbency, make sure you save your biggest oppo research dump for the monday after Halloween.

      • SausalitoSurfer

        I think the late-deciders will be tough to get to. If, a week before the election, they still didn’t find Trump disgusting, I don’t know what it would take.

    • Timurid

      This is kind of very disgusting, but probably one of the biggest reasons that Obama could make any kind of connection with middle class whites… is that he is half white.

      • Thom

        I don’t know if this is true or not, but it is the case that we still await the breakthrough of electing a descendant of slaves (among others that we await).

    • twbb

      (ok, I said I wouldn’t come on LGM for mental health reasons and have gotten better at not compulsively typing out the address, but will try to make this my really-last post for a while)

      Is it that bad? We ran a historically unpopular candidate and were demographicked out with a razor thin margin in like two states.

      I don’t know if this has been discussed here, but according to this guy if we get the same demographic and state breakdown in 2020, with 2020’s demographics, we win:

      http://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2016/11/15/13629814/trump-coalition-white-demographics-working-class

      Here’s what all this means concretely, applied just one election ahead. If we assume that the support patterns from 2016, with their astronomically high white-working class support rates for Trump and relatively weak minority support rates for the Democratic candidate, hold in 2020, projected demographic shifts in the electorate would still, by themselves, produce a very different outcome.
      The Democrats’ advantage in the national popular vote would bump up from a little more than 1 point to 3 points. Critically, this change would flip the Rust Belt trio of Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin — plus Florida — back to the Democrats, producing a 303-235 victory for the Democratic candidate, even with the white working-class surge toward Trump replicated in 2020. In addition, Arizona, Georgia, and North Carolina, already very competitive in the 2016 election, would become even more contestable under this scenario.

      • Murc

        I don’t know if this has been discussed here, but according to this guy if we get the same demographic and state breakdown in 2020, with 2020’s demographics, we win:

        Do we also win if the Republicans shave off some more whites?

        • twbb

          Maybe not. But the Republicans could lose whites, too. Do you think Trump is going to fulfill any of his insane promises? Do you think our next candidate isn’t going to be much stronger than either Hillary or Bernie? We have no idea what will happen, but just like we shouldn’t have just assumed demographics would have saved us, we shouldn’t assume now that they doom us now.

          • Brett

            The Democratic primary in 2020 should be really interesting, although it’s unfortunate that we have a much smaller supply of Democratic governors, Senators, and so forth to draw upon than in 2004 and 2008.

            • twbb

              We still have a decent bunch.

              • The Lorax

                Whom do you have in mind?

            • Heron

              The night after the election, Erik(I think? Might have been Lemieux) made the point that Charisma is must more important in elections than previously thought. So why, in the aftermath of a Trump win, go with pols? Friggin Throw Clooney out there(well probably not; he’s got a pretty high condescension quotient), or hell some Ex-Wrestler who votes Dem. Get somebody who can give good, sincere-sounding speeches, who has a built in fan-base, and who looks good. Honestly, The Rock’s political career ain’t far off and he’s a party-line Republican from what I understand, so we really ought to think about beating them to the punch.

              • mds

                I nominate Stone Cold Steve Austin.

        • MilitantlyAardvark

          Do we also win if the GOP apply vote-suppression on steroids, backed by a compliant supreme court and a house and senate crammed with racist thugs?

      • liberal

        We ran a historically unpopular candidate…

        HERESY!

      • ASV

        I feel like I will be pointing this out for the rest of my life, but Clinton’s favorability was 48-42 when she announced her candidacy, and 63-32 the last previous time was in office (end of tenure at State). Her rating was even or net positive for nearly every poll during the 2008 campaign cycle and Obama’s first term. She was in plus territory continuously from March 2008 to May 2015.

        [Gallup ratings here, but names helpfully embedded in images so you can’t search on the page.]

        • Interesting to note that Bill still had a slightly positive net approval (+3) in August 2016, and a huge one (+21) in May 2015. Hillary was -19 in August 2016 and +4 in May 2015. So Bill’s been 20 points more popular than Hillary, roughly. I think that’s unsurprising (retired political figures tend to be much more popular) but it should also inform any arguments about the cause of her unpopularity.

      • Redwood Rhiadra

        We won’t have 2020’s demographics in 2020. Not with the Voting Rights Act being a complete dead letter by then.

    • vic rattlehead

      Our long national nightmare is only beginning.

      • Thom

        That is probably what Gerald Ford meant to say.

    • DrDick

      Frankly, this has been pretty obvious all along.

  • Also, we should have had a final debate the week before the election. It was amazing to see the poll bounce for Clinton when people saw her in the same room with Trump, and very sad to see the polls converge again within a few days.

    • Just_Dropping_By

      The schedule for the debates was announced on September 23, 2015, i.e., long before it was clear that Trump would be the GOP nominee, and I’m pretty sure the tradition is that the last debate takes place no closer than two weeks or so prior to the election (I definitely can’t remember a presidential debate taking place in the last week of October).

      • Rob in CT

        Sure, but screw tradition, no harm in (going back in time and) trying to bait him into another debate (now that we know things went badly). ;)

        • MDrew

          He barely got himself through the three. He suffered in the polls every time. The only reason he was there was to avoid the prestige hit of ducking a general presidential election debate.

          Why would he have shown for an add-on that Clinton would have looked desperate seeking?

    • Nobdy

      I don’t understand this at all. The debates were one of the reasons I went from tepid support of Clinton to very enthusiastic before the election. She was so poised and together under fire I was like “This is a woman you want leading you! This is who you want in charge when the going gets tough!” And I felt like America saw it too, or at least saw how bad Trump was in comparison. But then the effect went down.

      Are people really so dumb that they swing their opinions on the last stimulus? Did they really respond to yet more coverage of the SAME dumb email scandal with absolutely no more substance?

      How do you talk to those people? They’re vacuous. It’s almost like a satire but it is horrifyingly real.

      • Rob in CT

        Are people really so dumb that they swing their opinions on the last stimulus? Did they really respond to yet more coverage of the SAME dumb email scandal with absolutely no more substance?

        How do you talk to those people? They’re vacuous. It’s almost like a satire but it is horrifyingly real.

        Yup.

        Also: GOP voters showed themselves to be morally bankrupt (again, I know). Only a small % peeled off and voted Johnson/Weld (let alone HRC).

        • cleek

          Only a small % peeled off and voted Johnson/Weld (let alone HRC).

          which is so weird because literally every ‘conservative’ i talked to about this insisted they’d never vote for Trump.

          it must be that all my GOP acquaintances are in that 3% of honorable never-Trumps. must be.

          • Rob in CT

            Right?

            Fuckin’ bullshit.

          • Just_Dropping_By

            How many of them just said they would “never vote for Trump” versus how many of them affirmatively said they would vote for Johnson or another third-party candidate? I voted for Johnson, but I know several Republicans who said they just didn’t vote for president or wrote in a name because they were distressed over the Aleppo incident, pot legalization, or some other issue with Johnson.

            • Rob in CT

              I voted for Johnson

              Why?

              What the fuck?

              • MilitantlyAardvark

                Some people have a taste for lazy, ignorant, thin-skinned grifters who did nothing as governor and think they should coast through life amid a haze of weed, self-aggrandizement and petulance when questioned.

      • lunaticllama

        You should read Democracy for Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government by Achen and Bartels. I was waiting until after the election, because I was too scared to read it before. Basically, it marshals together quantitative proof that the average voter knows nothing about politics or policy, and that voting is tribal and random.

        • DamnYankees

          This has basically been my main takeaway from the election. Fundamentally in this country (and maybe others, but I only know mine) there just appears to be zero reward for good governance, and zero reward for bad governance. People don’t care, it makes no difference. Genuine bad faith opposition doesn’t hurt you, and trying to help people doesn’t help you.

          *Saying* you will do these things, and campaigning on it, might matter on the margin. But actually doing them just doesn’t. So there’s just no reason to not utterly lie about your platforms.

          I don’t know if this is solveable. But I can’t tell you how many times over the past 8 years we have heard the idea that “the fever will break” or that Obama being “the adult in the room” will pay off. It just doesn’t. That idea has proven to be utterly, utterly wrong. Unfortunately Barack Obama himself seems to have believed it, and it ended up being the undoing of his legacy.

          • Bufflars

            The problem is, can you see the media letting a Democrat just lie lie lie about their platform? There are plenty of examples of Democrats not benefitting from having coherent, realistic policies and there are plenty of examples of Republicans not losing any votes for being 100% obstructionist assholes, but I can’t think of too many examples of the opposite situations being true.

            • DamnYankees

              I can’t think of that many examples of Democrats even trying this tactic, to be honest, so its a bit untested. Can you?

              • SatanicPanic

                Maybe we should?

                • Rob in CT

                  This is the sickening thing that I can’t argue against.

      • Are people really so dumb that they swing their opinions on the last stimulus?

        Is this a trick question?

      • Just_Dropping_By

        Are people really so dumb that they swing their opinions on the last stimulus?

        Data regarding the effect of short term changes in gasoline prices on automotive sales would suggest, “Yes.”

  • Warren Terra

    As long as we’re looking at factors that swayed the vote in suburban Florida, how about a name from suburban Florida: Trayvon Martin.

    I think we often fail properly to appreciate how many Trumpards are convinced by the media they imbibe that there is an epidemic of violent Black youth, an incipient race war is in the offing, liberals are irrationally on the side of disorder, and the police are angels. These people see Black Lives Matter demonstrate for dignity, justice, and survival – and the only message they seem to derive is a need to further militarize and immunize the cops.

    And they vote their delusions …

    • BiloSagdiyev

      These people see Black Lives Matter demonstrate for dignity, justice, and survival – and the only message they seem to derive is a need to further militarize and immunize the cops.

      Yes. I felt like a dope – several days after the election,I realized that the Baltimore riots probably meant a lot to those voters. They didn’t mean a whole lot to me – I understand the anger and frustration, I wish that wasn’t the reaction, but it happens, I hope nobody gets hurt, and I know, long term, the state will win, if not by police department, then National Guard. It’s not the end of the world.

      But for other people it’s just full panic and fury that the blacks are out of control and Obama’s enabling them and they need to be put in their place/under control now now now now now. Just sheer lizard brain gut thinking race panic. Why I had forgotten about white people thinking that way, I have no idea. Like I said, I felt like a dope.

    • Srsly Dad Y

      Ultimately the reason they oppose even mild gun control is because they believe this.

    • I think we often fail properly to appreciate how many Trumpards are convinced by the media they imbibe that there is an epidemic of violent Black youth, an incipient race war is in the offing, liberals are irrationally on the side of disorder, and the police are angels.

      I try to listen to the FOX News Radio headlines at least once a day. They find a cop who got shot to talk about at least twice a week. This is especially true if there’s been another video shooting of a black guy. That way it’s balanced.

      • msmarjoribanks

        This is true. My parents watch FOX 24/7, and even though I think they would vote Republican these days no matter what (I don’t even try to talk politics with them) they say stuff that makes it clear that they are soaking up this message and think that the Dems (and Hillary and Obama before her) are soft on crime, want to wave away crime committed by black people, that Obama is somehow at fault for the increased crime in Chicago, so on. In that it’s been much more of a topic recently, I can see that as explaining some portion of the “willing to support Obama, not Hillary in ’16” thing.

    • Peterr

      Both White and African-American working class folks are worried about the economy and jobs. Why did the former believe Trump had the answer and the latter Clinton?

      I think you’ve nailed the answer.

    • tomscud

      Also too Colin Kaepernick.

      • tomscud

        As in, I have a colleague who I strongly suspect voted Trump because of Kaepernick’s “disrespect for the flag” or whatevs.

        • postmodulator

          At least Kaepernick cancelled your colleague’s vote out.

          What? Oh.

      • Warren Terra

        Oh, sure. As a non-sports-fan I don’t see so much of it, but it seems vast swathes of the country are seething with hatred for Kapernick. But I didn’t mention him because he’s not from suburban Florida (or isn’t identified with suburban Florida, all I know is that he plays for San Francisco, I don’t know where he previously was)

        • MilitantlyAardvark

          I’ve seen evidence that the NFL audience skews older, white and male, so I am not surprised that they dislike Kaepernick punching their prejudices in the dick on national teevee.

    • Nobdy

      It is bizarre how many country bumpkins seem to vote on “crime is out of control in the cities!” Even when statistics say otherwise. People who live in cities can tell that crime is very much under control.

      When I was a kid in New York there were places you didn’t go and even the ‘safe’ places could be dangerous. I was robbed on Broadway at 6pm and on Fifth Avenue at 1pm. Now it’s like walling through disneyland. You can stroll through once rough neighborhoods holding a $700 phone and (mostly) nothing happens.

      Yet there is a delusional vision of out of control crime, and people who HATE cities vote based on it! Insane!

      • BiloSagdiyev

        Read a good essay by Sam McPheeters the other night about the clean and shiny new NYC, and the anarchic old ones, and nostalgia for it by some.

        http://www.vice.com/read/survival-of-the-streets-137-v16n9

        It’s long. First 80% is about B movies based on NYC-as-hellscape, last 20%, detailed bargling of the history of NY city hardcore punk of the 80’s. But CTRL+F for “125th street” for an amusing anecdote.

      • Donna Gratehouse

        I grew up in Silver Spring, MD, right outside of DC and back in the 70s and 80s when I was a kid if you were in downtown Silver Spring past 7pm you were buying drugs. It’s unrecognizable to me when I go back now.

      • Dilan Esper

        Yep, same experience here. I was mugged a couple of times in my 20’s in LA. There were hookers walking the streets of Hollywood when I was 12 and taking the bus to my art classes at Barnsdall Park. Someone pulled a knife on the bus back from the LA Coliseum when I was returning home from the 1984 Olympics.

        Nowadays, I can shop in Compton at night. It’s way, way, way down.

        • Vance Maverick

          Did we have the same childhood? Barnsdall Park and knives on the bus, even!

        • I find it rather touching that the hookers took the bus with you to go to art classes. Only in California, no doubt.

          • Dilan Esper

            No, they were at the bus stop at Vermont and Prospect and along Hollywood Blvd. The bus came in from Glendale. No hookers on the street there.

          • TheoLib

            If you read it just the right way, it sounds like 12-year-old Dilan was conducting the art classes, teaching the hookers! :)

            • pseudalicious

              That was my favorite of Tween Dilan’s many outreach programs back then, surpassed only by Teaching Endangered Rainforest Wildlife To Rollerskate. Ah, memories.

      • rea

        I know rural people who tell me that they never go to downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, for fear of crime!

        • Srsly Dad Y

          I have Facebook “friends” from rural Western New York who basically think cities are what happens WHEN WE LET CHRIST GO OUT OF OUR LIVES

        • liberal

          I recall reading a few years ago about some nutjob woman in TX or something who makes sure she brings her gun every time she walks to her mailbox in what was a pretty suburban or rural area.

        • ASV

          I would be shocked at this, except I have a lot of family in the GR suburbs and they are largely the same way. It’s such an oppressively stultifying place. Whenever I’m there I’m thankful for the Kendall College kids keeping some semblance of life in the city.

      • Rob in CT

        This is entirely media driven, I believe. If it bleeds it leads, first of all. Second, the conservative media outlets push this stuff even more cynically. Result: tons of people believe things that just ain’t so.

        I tell anyone who will listen that crime is dramatically lower (like 1/2) of what it was when I was growing up. Some people, it just bounces right off. I’m like, don’t you remember the late 80s/early 90s? It’s SO MUCH better!

        Granted, there still too much crime and we shouldn’t be complacent. But there’s no justification whatsoever for a freakout (unless you are in a particular area that saw a major spike, and there are a couple such areas. Not too many GOP voters live there though).

      • SatanicPanic

        The other side of it I think is that they don’t understand the fear of police because they’re from areas where they know cops. I grew up in a small town and we knew all the cops, and in my case the police chief’s daughter was in my grade. So I never feared interaction with police (and was probably a rude little twerp) until I moved to the city.

    • Scott Lemieux

      Good point.

    • ASV

      This is an incredibly underappreciated point. Obama conspicuously played down race; Clinton conspicuously played it up in both the primary and the general. She could have tacked right on protesters, or guns, or any number of symbolic “I’m not a racist but” issues. She didn’t. Morally that was the right choice. Politically, such a move might’ve gotten her some of those Obama voters who were happy that he didn’t press race often, but might’ve also lost her some non-white voters who will be needed as part of the base for decades to come.

    • MAJeff

      From the NYTimes, and an Iowa voter:

      When Obama was elected, she hoped he would “bridge race relations, to help people in the middle of Iowa” see that black people “are decent hardworking people who want the same things that we want.” She said people in rural Iowa often don’t know many black people and unfairly stereotype them. But Obama really turned her off when after a vigilante killed a black teenager named Trayvon Martin, he said the boy could have been his son. She felt as if Obama was choosing a side in the racial divide, stirring up tensions. And then came the death of Michael Brown, shot by a policeman in Ferguson, Mo.

      “I’m not saying that the struggles of black Americans aren’t real,” Douglas told me, “but I feel like the Michael Brown incident was violence against the police officer.”

      The Black Lives Matter movement bothered her. Even as an Ivy League-educated, glamorous black couple lived in the White House, masses of black people were blocking highways and staging die-ins in malls, claiming that black people had it so hard. When she voiced her discomfort with that movement, she said, or pointed out that she disagreed with Obama’s policies, some of her more liberal friends on Facebook would call her racist. So, she shut her mouth — and simmered.

  • Gregor Sansa

    A priori, it wasn’t crazy for Obama to think that Comey wouldn’t grossly ignore rules and cost the Democrats an election. But failing to help the foreclosure crisis, “moral hazard” be damned, was Obama’s biggest misplay. Any other issue, either his hands were somewhat tied, or his goals were different from mine. But HAMP was just a fuckup.

    • Joe_JP

      Before this whole thing, who really thought Comey — putting aside the general principle that it is wrong to rely on Republican daddies in tough jobs — would do something like this?

      Given the range of balls Obama had to toss in the air, I don’t really blame him for following a misguided norm here.

      • Denverite

        Never, ever trust someone that went to law school at the University of Chicago.

        • eclare

          Hey! I’m pretty damn trustworthy. (Ignore the fingers crossed behind my back.)

        • wjts

          For what it’s worth, I trust them slightly more than I trust the bastards from the B-School.

          • Ithaqua

            Hey! I’m pretty damn trustworthy. (Ignore the fingers crossed behind MY back!)

        • rea

          where they studied under Professor Obama?

      • Gizmo

        I don’t think it’s about the republican daddies issue. The fundamental error is promoting somebody who played a role, even peripheral, in a political witch-hunt. Comey was a player in the whole Whitewater debacle.

        This really is a one strike and you’re out situation. Participation in these things needs to be bad for your career. Thats the only way to build institutional resistance to this chicanery. See also: NY FBI office.

        • Scott Lemieux

          Comey was a player in the whole Whitewater debacle.

          Yup, that really is what makes it unforgivable.

    • Scott Lemieux

      A priori, it wasn’t crazy for Obama to think that Comey wouldn’t grossly ignore rules and cost the Democrats an election.

      Right. There was a general problem with falling back on the Republican daddy, but I don’t claim that Obama should have known exactly what Comey would do. It was certainly a huge blunder in retrospect.

      But HAMP was just a fuckup.

      Yes. And maybe it didn’t impact the election outcome but it was still wrong on the merits.

      • Dilan Esper

        There was a general problem with falling back on the Republican daddy, but I don’t claim that Obama should have known exactly what Comey would do. It was certainly a huge blunder in retrospect.

        Maybe a good analogy would be to Democratic support for independent counsels in the 1980’s. Didn’t seem bad at the time, huge blunder in retrospect.

        • Scott Lemieux

          When Scalia’s right, he’s right.

    • FlipYrWhig

      But failing to help the foreclosure crisis, “moral hazard” be damned, was Obama’s biggest misplay.

      Except the desire to help the foreclosure crisis was exactly what precipitated the original Rick Santelli “tea party” rant.

      • Rob in CT

        And the response should probably have been “we welcome Rick Santelli’s hatred.”

        • FlipYrWhig

          Sure, but what I mean is that helping foreclosed people is not likely to have been a prescription for _avoiding_ rousing Republican backlash. We’re talking about people who want help and also hate anything that smacks of “welfare.” It might have been better policy to go big on foreclosure, but I highly doubt it would have been better politics. The automaker rescue sure didn’t win over the Rust Belt permanently.

          • Linnaeus

            The automaker rescue sure didn’t win over the Rust Belt permanently.

            It didn’t, but the automaker rescue plus a foreclosure rescue might have made a difference. Connect each of them to a larger program rather than treating them each in isolation.

            Even in Michigan, there was a discernable minority of people who opposed the auto rescue for a lot of reasons: they felt they gained nothing (because the industry may not have a big presence in their community), felt it was a waste of money, or felt that it was a handout to specific Democratic interest groups (hence the “where’s my bailout?” reaction). A mortgage rescue, besides being the right policy, would have had the political benefit of widening the scope of Democratic economic corrective efforts as well as solidifying the image of Democrats as committed to a program of economic justice among voters who may not have much inclination to see Democratic policies as benefiting them specifically. It might have also served to blunt arguments that the Democrats talk economic justice, but aren’t serious about it (I don’t buy those arguments, of course, but they are out there).

            Maybe it would have had no effect at all, but I don’t think the possibility that it could have should be easily dismissed.

            • FlipYrWhig

              I just don’t know — YOU’RE TAKING MY TAX MONEY AND GIVING IT TO LOSERS is pretty much the mating call of the Republican Party for the past 40 years. And it works even on losers!

              • Linnaeus

                It does work, sadly. But you don’t need to win over everyone who feels that way.

                • ColBatGuano

                  Yeah, we didn’t need to get every Michigan, Wisconsin or Pennsylvania Trump voter, Just enough of them.

              • liberal

                (deleted)

  • Joe_JP

    I look at Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and see two people that some sliver of Republicans either might vote for or not be overall that excited about voting against. At least at the time.

    There are so many things to toss in here, so it’s hard to figure, but in a vacuum that seems useful when choosing candidates. You simply aren’t going to get ideal candidates all the time & Hillary Clinton had various skills as is. But, honestly, she wouldn’t be the person I’d choose for this election.

    But, there was no fantasy candidate out there that I could tell. Sanders to me wasn’t a better option. And, I really thought before the bunch they tossed out there & Trump getting the nomination that this very well was a Republican year. Sadly, not enough voters (to be careful, Clinton barely won a few places too) in the right places voted like a sane person with morals would.

    • Denverite

      Biden

      • Rob in CT

        I think this is delusional, but then I was wrong about plenty of stuff.

      • Joe_JP

        Eh. People love him in the position he has but when he ran for President, he repeatedly got basically no votes. Him being a veteran insider in an anti-Establishment election cycle didn’t help. At least Sanders had some more outsider cred. Anyway, he had personal reasons for not running. That factors in. And, he would have had to strongly challenged Clinton. Don’t think he has the stomach for that.

        • Rob in CT

          Yeah, if we’re going to play the counterfactual game with real people, you gotta roll the dice with Da Bern. I shared many people’s reservations about him as a general election candidate, but he’s a guy who got ~45% in the primary *and* clearly demonstrated he hand Indy appeal. It’s entirely plausible that the propaganda machine would’ve shredded him, but we know it sunk Clinton. Biden’s kind of a joke.

          • XTPD

            Sanders most likely would’ve done worse.

            • Rob in CT

              I’m really not taking a strong position on this. And yeah, it’s totally possible he’d have been worse. I’m saying that if you’re going to concoct some hypothetical you don’t go with Biden, you go with Bernie. Or magical fantasy candidate X who has no negatives, of course ;)

              • nixnutz

                If we could just reload our saved game then of course I’d want to try again with Bernie. Thing is, it seems at least as plausible that Jim Webb would have done much better with the suburban asshole vote and I still can’t imagine ever voting for him in a primary.

                • Rob in CT

                  Right?

                • If it came down to a loss with Clinton vs. a loss with Sanders, though, I’d prefer a loss with Clinton, just because of how harmful the latter would be for the left wing of the Democratic Party. We’d be out in the wilderness for a long time after that.

            • Jackov

              An almost unprecedented 12 point victory is better not worse.

              Bernie gets all the EVs.

              • (((Hogan)))

                Did you say Gravis Marketing?

                • Jackov

                  You don’t need much to counter a man who is very confused by laptops. He’s got the specs but also doesn’t know the specs but it is definitely about specs.

    • StellaB

      The rationale for choosing John Kerry in 2004 was that he was the most likely to win. He was a war hero so they couldn’t attack his service record.

      • Philip

        An argument for running Duckworth next time? Pretty hard to swiftboat her successfully, you’d think…

        • rea

          Kirk sure tried.

        • lornix

          … and then you would look at the Max Cleland vs. Saxby Chambliss Senate race, and realize that they can impugn the patriotism of almost anyone.

          • ASV

            Yep. “They’ll never be able to smear this candidate!” is a mug’s game.

            • (((Hogan)))

              And yet “They can smear this candidate” seems to be a dealbreaker.

          • TheoLib

            A little humor from a 1996 Washington Post article:

            During [the 1996] campaign, the 54-year-old [Max Cleland] sometimes recounted a “true incident of an eyeball-to-eyeball talk” with a voter 26 years ago [1970]. The man finally said he’d back Cleland “because you’ve got only one hand to put in the till, and if you put it in there, you can’t run very far with it”.

  • Steve LaBonne

    We really needed to win this because Trump of course. But if there had been a “normal” Republican candidate and Clinton had eked out a win, what would we have won? More stalemate and drubbings in 2018 and 2020. The party somehow has to find a way to break out of this box, and no I’m not smart enough to know how to do that. But if we just wait passively for demographic change very little will be left standing by then.

    • Murc

      We might, quite simply, not have the votes.

      • Steve LaBonne

        I fear you may be right.

    • Joe_JP

      State legislatures and statehouses (though Democrats have had some success — see LA, NC [knock on wood] etc.) are a big deal.

      Looking back, the presidency goes back/forth — look at the elections since Eisenhower. Big picture, state races is my biggest concern. 2018 looks to be a bad cycle [cynically, Trump might help there], but the US Senate has showed some fluidity.

      • eclare

        Is it worth calling/writing to the new DNC chair to ask that they put more resources into state parties?

        • Joe_JP

          I’d think so. Simply don’t know enough about how best to approach it, but seems logical. Might also be a matter of doing it the right way. Those state-wide wins show there is room to grow here. It shouldn’t be as unbalanced as it is.

      • Connecticut Yankee

        The North Carolina legislature is so incredibly gerrymandered that Dems can’t win it, period. Winning the popular vote by ten wouldn’t even be close, and that’s already impossible

    • TopsyJane

      We really needed to win this because of the Supreme Court and the social safety net. Trump is horrible but his party is just as bad.

      And the drubbings may well be coming anyway.

    • DrDick

      I think this is generally true. It is clear, that while Clinton successfully turned out “the base”, she did not motivate a lot of lukewarm Democratic voters, who often do not vote and under performed Obama. Like you, I am not sure how to overcome that, but I suspect not fielding a moderate centrist campaign would help.

      • liberal

        Like you, I am not sure how to overcome that, but I suspect not fielding a moderate centrist campaign would help.

        Yes. For some strange reason, this eminent idea gets lots of pushback on blog comment sections.

        • Rob in CT

          Well, to be fair, there’s a perfectly plausible counter-theory: it’s not about agenda at all. It’s entirely about charisma.

          Especially since Hillary actually ran a very progressive campaign, it’s possible.

          • The claim that Hillary Clinton would have done better if she had run on a more progressive platform is essentially the American version of the thought process that resulted in Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader.

            I don’t think it matters from an electoral perspective if the 2020 candidate runs on a more or less progressive platform. There isn’t really any evidence that either moderates or liberals were driven away from Clinton based on her policy positions. From looking at the third party vote, it looks like at least as many Clinton leaners defected to Johnson as did to Stein. That doesn’t suggest that they were upset about the insufficient socialism of Clinton’s platform.

            And, look, let’s be serious here. Clinton 2016 ran to the left of Obama 2008 and 2012. ESPECIALLY Obama 2008, who stumped on being a post-ideological unifier, breaking down partisanship, spoke highly of Reagan and said that in the ’80s he’d be a moderate Republican, etc. People ate that shit up. Liberals ate that shit up. When polled, liberals fucking love bipartisanship and consensus and the like, far more than conservatives do.

            Despite the sincere hopes of white male left-wing political junkies (“stepped pyramidses”), there is no evidence whatsoever that the political prescriptions of stepped pyramidses are the secret to electoral success with anyone other than stepped pyramidses, and if every stepped pyramids in the country went back in time, moved to Michigan, and voted for Clinton it might just barely win her that state.

  • JKTH

    I wonder if Obama’s failure to provide substantial relief for people with foreclosed houses and failure to punish the malefactors didn’t have an important effect.

    That’s an OK theory, but why would it have hurt Clinton enough in 2016 but not hurt Obama (whose failure it actually was) in 2012?

    • The causal link isn’t that tight. Foreclosure hurt a lot of people, but mostly didn’t get blamed on Obama himself, even though HAMP was a shoot-yourself-in-the-foot disaster. The generalized pain that it caused, however, didn’t exactly make people enthusiastic about four more years of the Democrats.

    • BigHank53

      Obama inaction on Wall St malefactors + Clinton taking big speaking fees from Wall St = nothing good for the little guy

      Trump will be worse, of course. But eight years after the housing bubble collapsed, you can count the people who went to jail on your fingers. Not a warm and fuzzy feeling if you got dicked by the collapse, which in Florida would be…everybody.

      • Jackov

        Republican success at turning the Bush failure into the Democrats’ bailout fucking sucked. Blow up the economy, vote against TARP and then scream about some undeserving getting help with their mortagage.

  • Crusty

    I am not a political scientician, but I think one of the things to remember and not lose sight of is that the election was very close. Near the end of the night when democrats were still telling themselves, ok, this could still be alright if she just wins, this one, that one, that one and also that one. Well, she didn’t, she lost them all, but if I recall correctly, by rather thing margins. And she won the popular vote by quite a lot (which I know, counts for zip), but we’re still talking about turnout at the margins and the white house can be won back in four years with a little better allocation of resources and the absence of one or two unlucky bounces and/or sabotage by the FBI director.

    What will it mean if congress and governorships are still republican, I don’t know.

    • guthrie

      We have the problem here that dfespite the Europe referendum being very close, and actually only 37% of eligible voters voted out, the politicians on all sides have decided that this means they must pander to right wing xenophobes at all cost, even although that turns off the 48% that voted to stay in Europe.

    • Dilan Esper

      I am not a political scientician, but I think one of the things to remember and not lose sight of is that the election was very close.

      This is ALWAYS helpful to remember. In a close election, all sorts of things can happen and have outsized importance. 2000 was the ultimate example of this. But also 1968 with Nixon interfering in the Paris peace talks, 1960 with alleged election improprieties, etc.

      It’s important to talk about all these things, but it’s also important not to kick ourselves too much either. It’s not like Trump won by 6 points.

    • Quaino

      2020 is pretty simple: did Trump shit the bed? Democrats win. Are things going pretty alright? Trump probably wins.

      • NBarnes

        I’m really not on board with this. Trump’s support does not appear to be sensitive to things like ‘terrible at the job’. If they cared about that, would they have voted for him in the first place? What votes does he stand to lose if he does shit the bed?

        • Crusty

          Agreed. To some extent, a certain shitting of the bed is what they’re after. I think the question is will the bed shitting be so horrible that it excites sufficient turnout against him. Or, we can assume he’s going to shit the bed, I mean, he kind of almost has already. Will the other candidate have enough charisma to inspire people to come out to get rid of him.

        • Trump loses the “fuck the man, burn it down, can’t be any worse” factor in 2020. He won by a huge margin among voters who identified “change” as their primary desire from the next president.

    • Redwood Rhiadra

      “the white house can be won back in four years with a little better allocation of resources and the absence of one or two unlucky bounces and/or sabotage by the FBI director.”

      Nope. The GOP is about to go whole hog on voter suppression. Wisconsin and North Carolina proved the courts cannot enforce what’s left of the Voting Rights Act. Trump will have a “popular” landslide in 2020. (Popular in scare quotes because it will be a 90% white electorate.)

  • anonymous

    The lesson isn’t just that Repugs vote Repugs, it’s also that a White Nationalist Repug arouses rather than repels Repugs on a net basis.

    Furthermore it probably caused some old White Democrats to flee to the Repugs and thus accelerating White Flight from the Democrats.

    The Democrat’s message of inclusion and “stronger together” is never going to work ever again. It’s just the ugly reality that we all have to accept.

    • Murc

      The Democrat’s message of inclusion and “stronger together” is never going to work ever again.

      Well, we don’t actually have any other options that are both likely to be more effective and aren’t morally repugnant.

      • Steve LaBonne

        Yeah, even if you are willing to take a completely amoral attitude (I’m sure as hell not), we have zero chance of winning a Presidential election without the Obama coalition.

      • “anonymous” has been popping up in threads since the election making the same claim over and over again: this election proves that Democrats need to embrace white supremacism, people of color need to take a back seat, etc. I suspect it’s one of our recurring racist trolls.

      • Jackov

        Bribery. Jobs. Not being viewed as joined at the hip of Wall Street. More free college. Unions. Shared prosperity. Shared marijuana. Drug addiction. Free dental and vision care. Jobs

        Tons of options that do not repeat the 90s era ‘fuck the blacks
        and the poors and especially the black poors’ in order to win suburban whites tactic.

    • dalew

      what else do we have other than truth and decency. And packaging those in an emotional bundle that has a chance of resonating.

      • Crusty

        Free stuff?

        • ColBatGuano

          Yep. Quit trying to make the budget add up when promising things. No one really cares except the DC media.

    • mongolia

      the solution is to run a contentless campaign about how terrible the other side is – with the proof of the prior 4 years.

      in the end, republicans voted “not the democrat” – hopefully they are horrified by the next 4 years enough to just not show up, or say “eh, i’ll vote for the not trump guy”

      • eclare

        We also need a charismatic candidate that makes people feel all tingly and on whom they can project their own policy preferences.

        • Lev

          The thing is, it’s sort of true. Clinton definitely had her enthusiastic supporters but going forward a candidate that doesn’t inspire millennials needs to be a non-starter. Cory Booker is an obvious one, potentially also Sherrod Brown, who is not only a plausible carrier of the Bernie flag in 2020, but also would inspire fewer hangups with Dem establishment and knows how to appeal to WWC to boot.

          • eclare

            Oh, I was being completely serious, although I realize my language was dismissive.

            Do we have any good Governors on deck? Obama aside, they seem to do better than “Washington Insiders.”

          • efc

            Where is all this Booker love coming from? He was the guy who said Obama attacking Romney’s time at Bain was “nauseating” and compared talking about Bain Capital to gop attacks on Obama’s “connection” with Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

            ““This kind of stuff is nauseating to me on both sides,” Booker said. “It’s nauseating to the American public. Enough is enough. Stop attacking private equity. Stop attacking Jeremiah Wright.””

            • eclare

              Agree on this. I don’t see Booker as the answer, his Super Hero antics aside. Also, isn’t he the one that brought Michelle Rhee to Newark?

            • lunaticllama

              Booker is a genuinely inspiring speaker. That’s where the hype comes from. But he is the worst Dem on financial regulation (way worse than Schumer.) He’s bad on charter schools, too, but seems to have changed a bit since becoming a Senator (and trying something new for Newark’s schools wasn’t that crazy, since they have been dysfunctional for decades.) I think he should only be considered (as he was this year) for the VP slot.

            • Scott Lemieux
              • Warren Terra

                He was rather a POS when tone-trolling Obama on behalf of banksters in 2012. And the anti-education-reform partisans hate him with a burning passion (I haven’t taken the time to understand that fight and stay out of it).

                Good to hear his voting record is better than I’d have guessed from those features!

          • mds

            Would people please stop it with the Sherrod Brown thing? The only way he stays relevant enough to get any traction in 2019 is for him to win in 2018. Which brings us back to not giving up even more Senate seats to the GOP. Unless or until the rest of the Ohio Democratic Party demonstrates that they’re something more than a bunch of hopelessly stupid fuck-ups, we don’t take away anyone who can still win a statewide election there.

            Booker at least holds a seat in a state where Dems are still competitive, especially if they’ve finally had enough of corrupt greasy Republican shitbags in the governor’s mansion for a while. He’s going to have to show he’s willing to not be a complete tool on Rheeism and Wall Street, but I’m hoping his own ambitions would take care of that.

            • lunaticllama

              NJ will have a Dem governor next year (for some reason we have our governor’s election on these random years.) Even my Republican family members hate Christie and basically all Republican politicians are associated with him somehow after being governor for two-terms. There’s a real sense that when his approval ratings tanked after Bridgegate that Christie stopped caring about the state and was running around the country trying to be president or helping Trump. He even signed the Democrat’s transportation legislation that raised the gas tax (a supposed third rail in NJ politics) with minimal fuss this year. Plus, we just kicked the only Tea Partier in the state out of office (Josh Gottheimer beat Scott Garrett in NJ-5 this month.) The NJ Democrat party is not in bad shape and I think is looking forward to complete control of the state next year.

          • FlipYrWhig

            Sherrod Brown is a good guy. Sherrod Brown is not “a charismatic candidate.”

            • eclare

              I kind of disagree. I don’t know if his is the type of charisma that wins national elections, but he has this odd way about him that people gravitate toward. Maybe it’s the friendly, sincere, “aw, shucks” thing? I dunno. I have no political instincts and I don’t really understand what other people find attractive.

              Nonetheless, the husband of Connie Shulz ain’t winning a Presidential election.

              • FlipYrWhig

                Tim Kaine has a friendly, sincerely, aw shucks way about him, but I don’t think anyone would call him the presence the party has been waiting for.

                • eclare

                  Agreed. But I’ve seen people react to Sherrod Brown in a way that I can’t account for. The most cynical political operative I know holds him in something like awe.

          • Redwood Rhiadra

            Cory Booker is a HORRIBLE candidate. Far more corporatist than Clinton, and is *actually* corrupt (bribery was *rampant* in his administration when he was mayor).

            Seriously, what the fuck is it with people thinking Booker is some Great Progressive Hope?

        • ericblair

          George Clooney to the blue courtesy phone please. I don’t think I’m joking.

          • eclare

            My money’s on Oprah.

  • lawtalkingguy

    Still a lot of missing Democrat voters — who didnt switch to Trump — in the Upper Midwest though. In PA she might have campaigned hard but Obama ’12 margin still enough to win there. In MI its like 13,000 and WI its 30,000 all in states where Democrats suffered 100,000+ less voters AND Trump barley caught up to Romney (Except PA where Trump really did beat Romney’s total). In NC, the AA turnout was bleak because the GOP made it bleak. But in general I am still waiting to see breakdown in PoC voting.

    Its a pretty important question that needs to be answered: Why did more white people as a % vote for Romney over Trump? Or put it another way, if an odiously offensive racist like Trump could peel of the tiny sliver of PoC votes that he did (and his margins in battle ground states he won was large enough for those) then what the fuck?

    A smaller ditto with the millenials (but there we knew they were treasonous whores, NeverBerner/Michale Tracey types, so its less shocking some of them didnt vote/voted 3rd party)

    • altofront

      Or put it another way, if an odiously offensive racist like Trump could peel of the tiny sliver of PoC votes that he did (and his margins in battle ground states he won was large enough for those) then what the fuck?

      Because he was running against a woman.

      • Rob in CT

        And Obama (who is not only a PoC but younger & cooler) wasn’t on the ticket.

    • Rob in CT

      A smaller ditto with the millenials (but there we knew they were treasonous whores, NeverBerner/Michale Tracey types, so its less shocking some of them didnt vote/voted 3rd party)

      Oh, Christ.

      I’d happily argue with a millennial 3rd party voter and tell them they made a poor choice.

      But that rant about millenials is just vile. First, most of them voted D. Second, epecially if we’re talking about people voting in their first election, young & dumb (not actually dumb, but lacking in some experience and therefore wisdom) is a thing. It doesn’t make them history’s greatest monsters.

      Meanwhile, 45+ white people voted overwhelmingly for Trump. That’s where the primary blame should go.

      Stein voters *might* have saved 1 state (MI, off the top of my head). They fucked up, no question. But damn…

    • Origami Isopod

      Yeah, no, the millennials voted more progressively than older demographics like mine. And thanks for throwing around a slur like “whore,” too. It’s not like sex workers are shit on enough already.

      • q-tip

        Yup on both counts.
        Also, “treasonous whores” is exactly wrong in context – the tiny group this person’s complaining about didn’t “sell out.” (Not that using the slur right would be better, exactly, but cmon haters: you had one job.)

    • Jackov

      Perhaps my opposition to Ryan’s Social Security and Medicare privatization is misguided.

      Anyone know the electoral math for this?
      Number of old people millenials need to murder to a) counteract the turnout disparities between cohorts and b)while also off setting the imprisonment of a portion of millenials who are voters

  • altofront

    unless you can draw up a map of Clinton winning that doesn’t include Pennsylvania.

    You can, of course: she wouldn’t have needed PA, MI, IA, or WI if she had won NC and FL. I’m not suggesting poor resource allocation this time, but this may be a more viable path for the Dems in the future.

    But given that the Orlando and Tampa suburbs and exurbs won Florida for Trump, I wonder if Obama’s failure to provide substantial relief for people with foreclosed houses and failure to punish the malefactors had an important effect.

    In 2000 Orange and Hillsborough counties (metro Orlando and metro Tampa) were both less than 20% Latino; now they’re both around 30% Latino. I’m guessing that the white suburbs and exurbs just really liked what Trump was selling.

    • Rob in CT

      I can imagine a future where NC + FL, plus clawing back PA works out better than trying to flip back WI & MI (let alone, sigh, OH).

      • Denverite

        Texas, too, if we’re extrapolating out more than a decade.

        • Rob in CT

          If we flip TX we’re in a political landscape I can’t quite wrap my mind around.

          FL and NC have gone blue in recent memory.

          But then so have MI & WI, so…

          • Linnaeus

            FL and NC have gone blue in recent memory.

            But then so have MI & WI, so…

            MI and WI have gone blue a lot longer than in recent memory, though.

            • altofront

              I definitely wouldn’t suggest giving up on the Midwest; the margins were very small, except in OH. But NC and FL are trending our way, demographically speaking, while the Midwest is not. It wouldn’t surprise me if WI and IA and OH end up looking like MO in the near future; MI and PA are likely to be contestable for some time because of their big cities.

              • mds

                It wouldn’t surprise me if WI and IA and OH end up looking like MO in the near future

                Especially the first two, yeah. Joni Ernst as the face of the future, Steve King in a safe House seat forever, state government finally entirely in Republican hands … and Dems couldn’t even get Bruce Braley’s old House seat back. And we’ve already seen that WI apparently wants to turn itself into Kansas, as long as the filthy hippies and darkies finally get their comeuppance. Hell, even Missouri had a Democratic governor and Attorney General going into this election … and the GOP ran the table there, too. I keep hearing so much about this great demographic wave a comin’, yet blue states somehow get redder, and red states get redder, too. Did we really just get crazy lucky for a couple of years?

                • Denverite

                  I think a lot of the demographic issue is that the demographics that would have turned the Midwestern states blue(r) largely picked up and moved to blue states on the coasts or Colorado.

                • Linnaeus

                  I think a lot of the demographic issue is that the demographics that would have turned the Midwestern states blue(r) largely picked up and moved to blue states on the coasts or Colorado.

                  Yeah, I’m one of those folks, to be honest.

            • NeonTrotsky

              They also only went red by an extremely tiny margin.

            • rea

              MI and WI have gone blue a lot longer than in recent memory

              But, you know, the Republicans have managed to completely dominate the state government in those two places for most of the last decade.

      • Philip

        We should really be able to make AZ competitive too, although god knows

    • Scott Lemieux

      You can, of course: she wouldn’t have needed PA, MI, IA, or WI if she had won NC and FL.

      Well, but then there’s no resource allocation argument because she competed hard in NC and FL.

      • altofront

        Yes, I agree. Given how small the margins are, I’m not especially interested in figuring out what Clinton should have done; it seems likely that she lost because of events largely beyond her control. I just wanted to note that PA is in fact replaceable, and if (as seems to be the case) it’s trending away from us demographically there will probably come a time where we limit how much we spend there.

    • Amanda in the South Bay

      What’s ironic is that the electoral landscape is shifting to that of the early 2000s, but in reverse-the GOP as the party of the ageing rust belt, the Dems as the party of the (coastal) south and south west.

  • Crusty

    I live in a blue state and watch a lot of MSNBC. (Actually, I haven’t watched it since the election, but did leading up to the election). That was pretty much the only place I saw Hillary commercials. Why were they spending money on MSNBC in a blue state?

    • q-tip

      I live in Southern California (LA County, no less) and never watch cable news, though I watch a decent amount of TV (don’t judge). I saw quite a few Clinton ads from convention time on, and a decent number of Trump ads in the last 2-3 weeks.
      The explanation I’ve heard is that these are national ad buys? No idea if it’s true or not.

      • mongolia

        i’m in the sfba, and the only times i saw clinton commercials were during national sporting events and every once in a while on cable news. have to figure those were national ad buys – and i saw trump ones a *lot* more on those channels, including nra and the crazy greatamericapac ones

    • (((Hogan)))

      Turnout.

  • libarbarian

    The Democrats need to fight all attempts to help deal with the Opioid crises in rural America.

    I don’t want to help junkies who voted for Trump.

    • q-tip

      :( have a heart homie.

      • mongolia

        so we should show compassion to those who have no issue kicking us out of our homes, putting us on national registries, banning us from expressing our love in our own ways, eliminating health care coverage, and filling our lungs with poison?

        i mean, sure, we should help those in need, but (a) is it too much to ask for them to be *minimally* informed about anything, and (b) why should we rubber stamp a package to deal with white peoples drug issues when black and brown peoples drug issues go unaddressed? only way dems should accept an opioid bill is if it’s a general anti-drug-addiction and recovery bill, and not some whites-only grift (which is what it will be, unfortunately)

        • q-tip

          Besides what I consider to be the ethical high ground here, I’m pretty skeptical that actual opioid addicts went to the trouble of voting for Trump in significant numbers. (Maybe the exit polls have data there, LOL.)

          I dislike the “fuck the red states / fine, let ’em secede, then” sentiments that crop up on our side, however understandable the anger behind them is, because – again, setting aside the overall ethics of punishment vs rehabilitation – there are a lot of people in these states who didn’t vote GOP (or just plain didn’t vote) and still need help. And picking up sticks and moving is not an option for them.

          All that said,

          only way dems should accept an opioid bill is if it’s a general anti-drug-addiction and recovery bill, and not some whites-only grift

          is something I broadly agree with. I was reacting to this:

          The Democrats need to fight all attempts to help deal with the Opioid crises in rural America.

          Not signing into a bill is different from fighting it.

          I’d like more details on bills that are in the works or likely to be – sounds like you are following this issue.

          • mongolia

            Besides what I consider to be the ethical high ground here, I’m pretty skeptical that actual opioid addicts went to the trouble of voting for Trump in significant numbers. (Maybe the exit polls have data there, LOL.)

            fair point there, but what about those that care for them, i.e. their friends and family? clearly, they thought trump was better than hillary for them, which gets to the points i made earlier – either they are completely ignorant about which side has material interests in mind, or they want to scapegoat people ala paul lepage (https://www.boston.com/news/politics/2016/08/25/maine-gov-paul-lepage-most-drug-dealers-arrested-are-black-hispanic) – in either case, i hope they do well and recover, but it’s hard to feel any sort of sympathy for those that literally don’t want to acknowledge the legitimacy of half the country

            • q-tip

              Playing normal political hardball is fine, but punishing people based on what their family members did – or what their neighbors did -… I don’t want to go down that road. I don’t think it’s a winning strategy, and even if it were, I don’t think it’s worth it.

              • mongolia

                well, no matter what, even if we get to implement our policies that help them materially, they’re going to move further away from us. konczal makes this point well in a pre-election article he wrote trying to bridge the “economic anxiety” divide (though i personally remain on the “economic anxiety” = racism side, for the most part): https://medium.com/@rortybomb/would-progressive-economics-win-over-trumps-white-working-class-voters-43f78cc7f005#.j24ov411i

                the way i’d personally bridge the divide is, like i said, to be for the concept of helping in theory and making sure that when we say “no” to whatever bill comes to senate is because of all the terrible parts that will inevitably be in it, but because it isn’t a vote getter, it’s not something i think dems should emphasize or prioritize. it’s cold and callous to say this, but i truly believe it: we have to do everything we can to win in ’18 and ’20, with the future of humanity probably at stake, so if addicts in trumpistan don’t get a high level of attention, i can live with that. don’t want to, i want to see them get help, but salvaging what we can of the clean power plan, repro rights, criminal justice reform, nato, ppaca, scotus, and dodd-frank take priority.

                • Linnaeus

                  There’s a difference, though, between having legislative priorities and explicitly refusing to do something for the purpose of collective punishment.

                • mongolia

                  There’s a difference, though, between having legislative priorities and explicitly refusing to do something for the purpose of collective punishment.

                  very true. i’d distill my views as follows: the issue of addiction of white people in trumpland is low on my list of legislative priorities. i would like to see them get help, but it has to be a general anti-addiction bill, not a herrenvolk anti-addiction bill. i do not see this bill passing, partly because the representatives of these people would likely want a grifty whites-only anti-addiction bill, which would lead to these people suffering. when it fails (if it ever gets submitted and debated) i will feel mildly sad but mostly indifferent, since it’s a low priority in terms of effect on general human welfare, and it’s partially their fault for hiring representatives unwilling to compromise to let black and brown people get the same treatment they expect

          • q-tip

            Not signing into a bill is different from fighting it.

            I phrased this poorly. Was trying too hard to be succinct. I meant something more like “not signing onto a suboptimal bill on this issue is different from fighting any bill that deals with this issue.”

            As I read libarbarian’s post, they were saying that Democrats should oppose any attempt to solve opioid problems in rural areas. Which – and I’m trying to be temperate here – is FUCKING INSANE.

            I get the urge to punish the ones that wronged you and yours, but it’s an impulse that takes us to dark places. Especially when the collateral damage is so high – I can’t go for that.

          • Jackov

            If the reporting on Kentucky extrapolates to other rural white areas, addiction and joblessness, may actually drive Republican opposition to Democratic programs among the lower-middle and middle class white voters.

    • the shadow

      I’d say you really are a barbarian, but your wishing that faraway strangers would die horrible deaths lacks the courage I associate with barbarians.

      • mongolia

        wishing that faraway strangers would die horrible deaths lacks the courage I associate with barbarians.

        is it the kind of courage associated with republicans, then? because that’s what 62-63 million people in this country voted for, including the people that libarbarian wished a horrible death unto

    • Warren Terra

      Would you settle for progressive programs to expand opportunity and employment in rural America so life is less bleak and teens don’t turn to opioids?

      Or how about legalization of recreational marijuana so they zone out on something they can’t OD on?

  • jeer9

    The biggest mistake Obama made for the 2016 elections was putting James Comey in charge of the FBI. But given that the Orlando and Tampa suburbs and exurbs won Florida for Trump, I wonder if Obama’s failure to provide substantial relief for people with foreclosed houses and failure to punish the malefactors had an important effect.

    Now this I agree with. HAMP sucked and the failure to prosecute the frauds must have had an effect in Florida (1 or two points?). Though why such a voter irritated by these events would believe that Mr. Stiff Your Contractors/Avoiding Your Tax Obligations Is Smart represented a solution to these problems is beyond me.

  • msmarjoribanks

    “One thing the Clinton campaign got wrong — and I’m not saying it was unreasonable to think this, because I, like most people, thought the same thing — is that enough suburban Republicans and Republican-leaners would find Trump distasteful enough to put Clinton in the White House. This just didn’t happen.”

    Yep. This article is a much more detailed analysis, but even just looking at the exit polls that’s pretty much the conclusion I’ve been coming to. A lot of Clinton supporters (aided by the polls) thought Trump would do worse than a generic Republican, but most Republicans seem to have not seen him that way. If looked at as a generic R v. a generic D, this was a bad year for Dems (desire for change after 8 years) even without factoring in Hillary being (unfairly or not) a weak candidate.

    Frustrated with the lack of consistent exit poll questions over the years, I’ve been comparing the ’16 results in IL (went strongly for Clinton) vs. the other Great Lakes states that tipped to Trump but went for Obama, as well as IN (Romney in ’12) and Florida. One interesting (well, to me) thing I picked up was that in all of them the Dem did about equally poorly among white non college educated voters (around 35-65 or worse), and I bet that’s the same in ’12 and ’08 and ’04 too (although I’d love numbers).

    Where the states differed (in addition to overall demographics) was that in IL Trump did badly among white college-educated voters and suburbanites — I’ve heard (but not seen good numbers backing it up) that he did worse than Romney among these groups locally.

    In the other states, though, Clinton lost suburbanites and, to a greater or lesser degree, even college-educated whites. They range from PA, where college-educated whites tied, 48-48 (vs. 50-43 in IL) to OH and FL, where college-educated whites voted almost identically to non-college-educated whites: 34-59 and 35-62.

    • Rob in CT

      I came across a town-by-town map of the CT results, showing shifts.

      Affluent/educated places like Greenwich moved toward HRC (there’s her picking up educated white women), but lots of rural places moved in the other direction. In CT it was basically a wash.

      • msmarjoribanks

        It seems to differ state by state, at least in terms of R’s not wanting to vote for Trump. I suspect that in a lot of blue states that effect was maybe greater, at least among your suburbanite Republican. That’s based on just observation of suburbanite Rs I know in Chicago (where it happened) vs. the fact it doesn’t seem to have in swing states or maybe states that trend older.

        I’d love better numbers, though, as I am aware that’s not evidence.

        • DAS

          I don’t have actual numbers but I do know that in my (admittedly blue) neighborhood a lot of first time voters turned out for Trump. What I imagine is that Clinton did manage to convince some GOP voters (especially educated women) to vote for her or at least stay home. But that depressed GOP turn-out was matched by people motivated to turn out for Trump because he gave them the red meat.

          I wonder if there is any way to tell if, for example, Clinton did convince a number of Republican voters to stay home in swing states as well but that those no-shows were matched by Trump getting people who otherwise don’t vote to turn out because he said all the quiet parts aloud.

      • muddy

        I was appalled to find out that a number of middle-aged women at work had registered to vote for the first time – to vote for Trump. Bottom of the ladder warehouse workers. I had liked most of them, but only knew them from work, so didn’t know them I guess. Thought they were decent but apparently not.

        Didn’t matter, blue state, but so weird to me. When I heard them saying that it was the first time they voted, I assumed they were inspired because it was to vote for a woman for president. ooops

        I’m sure my face was a study.

    • econoclast

      The shift that Clinton thought would happen really did happen. It’s just that the constituency for full-throated racism and xenophobia is much bigger than she thought, and it completely wiped out the gains she made elsewhere.

  • libarbarian

    Or, more simply put, we should do everything we can to make sure their communities remain destitute of jobs and awash in guns and opioids.

    • mongolia

      that likely hurts team blue, cuz all the smart and talented people leave, which means only the racist mouthbreathers remain, continually voting for the worse and worse teahadis. and because small states are way more important that the fake america of CA NY etc, that just fucks us over in the senate

  • Lev

    Comey was a bad Obama choice. Also maybe not the best choice to campaign on making NAFTA fairer (as both Obama and Clinton did) in ’08 primaries, then wind up pushing for the TPP for the last year of his presidency. Clearly Clinton flipping against it did nothing except make people more suspicious of her motives. Fair or not, that was a common thing.

    • mongolia

      is there any evidence that anyone made their decisions specifically on tpp? it strikes me as one of the lazier “dems lost because (insert my preferred policy here) wasn’t front-and-center to the campaign” arguments i’ve seen, though i’d love to see data to show that my interpretation is incorrect

      for the record, my view is blowhorn racism + fbi emails SCANDAL + fundamentals suggesting a small gop advantage was the reason we lost this one

      • Just_Dropping_By

        Right, I don’t recall Trump criticizing Clinton much about TPP, but maybe I missed it.

  • LeeEsq

    Clinton’s campaign seemed to have hoped to do with women what Obama’s campaign did with people of color in 2008 and to extent 2012, get them to come out and vote Democratic in record numbers. The hope was that Trump’s sexism and misogyny were so outrageous that white women who typically voted Republican would switch to the Democratic Party for this election at least. That turned out to be a bad bet. Enough white women stayed Republican to help Trump. The people that Obama’s campaign got out to vote belonged to groups heavily inclined to vote Democratic. Getting groups that vote Republican to switch Democratic was going to be an epically hard task.

  • DAS

    My comment got swallowed. The tl;dr on it was that the voters who swung the race to Trump knew he was unqualified and voted for him anyway because CHANGE. I would argue that it is very hard to reach such voters if your candidate is actually qualified (and hence can be painted as an establishment politician). IOW, you can’t trump Trump.

    • lunaticllama

      That’s also a one-trick pony strategy. You can’t run on CHANGE again when you and your party have controlled the entire government for a couple of years. (Or maybe you can! I’ve really lost the bead on what makes people vote for whom.)

      • mongolia

        you run on not letting the Unserious People run the Government, which is a Job for Very Serious People who believe Serious things, and don’t believe in such silly things as “people should get fairly compensated for their work” and “black kids shouldn’t be afraid they’ll get shot by cops every time they leave the house.” The job of Government is about the Serious stuff, like Pro-Growth Tax Cuts

    • Moondog von Superman

      Some of those who were OK with “unqualified” might not have been OK with “incompetent” had they known.

  • Linnaeus

    I wonder if Obama’s failure to provide substantial relief for people with foreclosed houses and failure to punish the malefactors had an important effect.

    David Dayen has been making that argument.

    • DAS

      But given that the Orlando and Tampa suburbs and exurbs won Florida for Trump, I wonder if Obama’s failure to provide substantial relief for people with foreclosed houses and failure to punish the malefactors had an important effect.

      Were heavy foreclosures also an issue in counties in PA where Obama won in 2008 and 2012 but Trump won in 2016?

      I alas don’t see how WI or MI could have gone blue. These are states with horrific governors that manage to get re-elected/not recalled. And there are questions about voter suppression in NC. But how did Clinton manage to lose PA?

      • Linnaeus

        I could see Michigan going blue in 2016 – Trump’s margin there was razor-thin.

        There is definitely a need for some party rebuilding there, though, since its traditional base has eroded.

      • altofront

        But how did Clinton manage to lose PA?

        As I understand it, a similar exurban white vote shift as in FL coupled with lower turnout in Philly.

      • Jackov

        With a strategy focused on the wrong people – suburban Republicans. “For every blue-collar Democrat we lose in western Pennsylvania, we will pick up two moderate Republicans in the suburbs in Philadelphia

        In PA voters who were contacted by both campaigns went for Trump by twenty-five points. Clinton also “lost” 35% of the voters only her campaign reached out to. There is also some anecdotes about Clinton’s GOTV contacting a higher than expected number of Trumpers.

    • LeeEsq

      My issue with this is whether people who received such relief would remain grateful long enough to overcome their unnatural disdain for Clinton. I’d some that foreclosure relief like the ACA would occur early in the first Obama and administration and I’m not sure if people would feel relieved enough eight years down the line to still vote Democratic.

      One thing that always puzzled me about Clinton’s campaign, although I admittedly might have missed these ads, is not using Donald Trump’s business practices against him. A real estate mogul that routinely did not pay his contractors can be attacked from many angles easily. Clinton’s team didn’t really want to go there and preferred to fight Trump more for his sexism, racism, and lack of experiences than shady business practices.

      • Linnaeus

        Maybe the Clinton campaign figured they’d already maxed out the number of voters who would be persuaded by attacks on Trump’s (horrible) business record, so they focused on “swing” voters who they thought might be more troubled by Trump’s personal conduct.

      • Dilan Esper

        If we want to get deep into the weeds, I suspect one reason that Hillary went so hard on the sexism is precisely that the Democratic activist women who were her key supporters and on her campaign staff were particularly offended by it. It’s natural to assume that whatever you personally find outrageous must seem outrageous to everyone else too.

        Also, I posted on this a couple of days ago, but I’m also not sure negative campaigning is nearly as effective as everyone thinks it is. It’s also possible that all the attacks on Trump’s character scored their points, but at the same time drowned out Hillary’s positive message so a lot of low-information voters went into the booths with no idea what the contrasts between the candidates on the issues were.

        • LeeEsq

          That explanation is very plausible based on the activity in my Facebook feed from Clinton fans before and after the election. They found Trump very outrageous and attacked him accordingly.

        • FlipYrWhig

          I suspect one reason that Hillary went so hard on the sexism is precisely that the Democratic activist women who were her key supporters and on her campaign staff were particularly offended by it.

          I think it’s the reverse — I think it’s that they found focus groups responding to it better than to anything else. (And I don’t mean that in a negative way, either.)

        • Just_Dropping_By

          Also, I posted on this a couple of days ago, but I’m also not sure negative campaigning is nearly as effective as everyone thinks it is. It’s also possible that all the attacks on Trump’s character scored their points, but at the same time drowned out Hillary’s positive message so a lot of low-information voters went into the booths with no idea what the contrasts between the candidates on the issues were.

          Right, it’s my understanding that there are already lots of prior studies showing negative campaigning does more to reduce turnout across the board than it does to increase support for the candidate launching the attacks.

      • mds

        A real estate mogul that routinely did not pay his contractors can be attacked from many angles easily.

        You’d think so. Then again, you might think having the USW pointing out how much Trump the real estate mogul preferred Chinese steel over American would matter in Pennsylvania, too. Economic anxiety!

      • Edogg

        I know those ads existed, though I don’t know how often and where they were broadcasted.

  • Something I’ve been thinking about:

    Beyond just disproportionate coverage of Clinton scandals vs. Trump scandals, I think it’s also worth considering the differing nature of the major scandals attached to each candidate.

    For Clinton you have Benghazi, “emails” (both the private server and other email-based stories like the DNC leaks), and the Clinton Foundation. I don’t think there’s any controversy that those were heavily covered in the media.

    For Trump you have, essentially, shit-talking Hispanics (“they’re rapists”/the Curiel stuff), attacking the Khan family, and “grab ’em by the pussy”. These were all heavily covered and correlate with slumps in his polling.

    Note that all of Clinton’s scandals are directly related to her conduct in office. They concern whether she hid important information from the American people, allowed state secrets to leak, engaged in pay-for-play, etc. They all hinge on whether she was corrupt and dishonest while serving the public.

    Trump’s scandals, on the other hand, were related to personal conduct. Yes, there were stories available on his corrupt business dealings, ties to Russia, etc., but they didn’t get nearly as much coverage. The stories with traction were the ones about his personal behavior.

    I think a lot of people essentially priced in “sleazy blowhard” into their understanding of Trump right from the start. As we all know, not everyone really accepts that groping, forced kissing, etc. are unacceptable acts of sexual assault. So the various allegations (and his own statements) contributed to the impression of him as a sleaze, but not as a predator. Hell, a lot of Trump supporters seemed to sincerely believe that people were objecting to his language, not his behavior.

    In a way, I’m reminded of a common refrain I heard about Bill Clinton: “I don’t like his personal behavior, but I like his policies”. Scott has commented on this before in the context of infidelity, but I think it goes beyond that. I think it’s far too easy for people (even women) to think “eh, it’s not like he’s going to come grope ME if he’s president.”

    In summary: not only did the media cover Trump and Clinton scandals disproportionately, but the Clinton scandals also had the appearance of being more substantive, while the Trump scandals were tabloid fodder. This was largely enabled by the fact that Clinton actually had government experience and thus produced a lot of public records, as well as by Wikileaks’ selective “curation” of the materials they released.

    • LeeEsq

      That’s why I find the decision not to really focus on Trump’s business career weird. Trump never held political office but you could make the argument that Trump would run the country like he ran his businesses, into the ground, without too much difficulty.

      Your right about how many people internalized Trump’s sleaze. Many of them probably justified his antics as the sort of behavior that everybody knows that powerful men do. The women who were most disgusted at Trump’s antics were going to vote Democratic anyway.

      • Dilan Esper

        Many of them probably justified his antics as the sort of behavior that everybody knows that powerful men do. The women who were most disgusted at Trump’s antics were going to vote Democratic anyway.

        All true, but I think it’s even bigger than that. There’s some polls that show that over 60 percent of the public sees Trump as unqualified. In other words, some people thought he was unqualified but voted for him anyway.

        And I think that’s actually a natural result of a partisan divide. In the real world, Bill Clinton was credibly accused of both rape and sexual harassment. (Which shouldn’t be surprising– while in 2016, loads of promiscuous guys are completely respectful of women, in the 1970’s and 1980’s, the norm of “seduction” was still in place and many “ladies men” put a lot of pressure on women in their attempts to score.) And yet Democrats continued to support him, because the policy gains were simply more important to them.

        Plenty of voters in each party are completely willing to vote for sleazy characters to keep the other side out of power.

        • Lev

          My sense is, unfair as it might be, that it came down to unqualified vs. corrupt, and decisive voters preferred the former.

          To some degree this is Clinton’s fault for not challenging this narrative. When she stood up to the Benghazi committee, that essentially ended as an active issue to her campaign. Some time around April she should have addressed the emails, speeches, etc. head on, a la Obama with Jeremiah Wright. Just lay it out and defy naysayers to put up or shut up. Alas, she muddled through.

          • eclare

            My sense is, unfair as it might be, that it came down to unqualified vs. corrupt, and decisive voters preferred the former

            My question is why no one hit the Pam Bondi thing harder. That was a pretty clear cut case of exactly the kind of bribery people accused Clinton of receiving.

          • ColBatGuano

            But the FBI was still investigating at that point, so whatever she said would have been disputed with “Well, she’s still under investigation….” The Gowdy/Benghazi investigation was wrapped up in February and then disappeared. It wasn’t her testimony that ended it.

      • FlipYrWhig

        This is where I’ve been lately too — I assume what happened was that their focus groups all pooh-poohed it as bound to happen in the cutthroat world of business, so they decided it wouldn’t work. But I suspect what they forgot is that making an ad about something also tends to drive further media discussion of that thing, and a few ads about Trump’s business practices may not have been galvanic _as ads on their own merits_ but may have led to further media coverage of Trump’s unsavory business practices, hence a “narrative” (though I’m not fond of that word) about _his_ untrustworthiness.

        I wanted to see an ad that said something like “Donald Trump has made a fortune ripping people off. He thinks he can rip you off next. Show him you’re smarter than that.”

        • Srsly Dad Y

          If a social movement like MoveOn.org or OWS arises, it should call itself We Got Played. (Not YOU got played, mind.)

          • Linnaeus

            Trump voters: You played yourselves.

            • FlipYrWhig

              Trump voters: Stop playing with yourself.

            • XTPD

              The motto for such an organization should be Put a Quarter In Your Ass. (FWIW, for all that the original holds up, I think the 2000 remix and “Off the Books” are better posse cuts).

      • JustRuss

        Yeah, the Bush/Kerry campaign showed the way on this, going after Kerry’s military heroics. Trumps greatest qualification was that he was a successful businessman. Clinton should have hammered on that, using the tax returns as leverage. Which, it’s worth noting, Bernie couldn’t have done, since he wouldn’t release his.

    • Joe_JP

      Yes, there were stories available on his corrupt business dealings, ties to Russia, etc., but they didn’t get nearly as much coverage.

      Yeah. A lot of “he’s a boor” (which undersells it obviously) stuff but less of this. His inexperience in government helped him there. The value of finding political newbies that benefit from this is a time old tactic for political parties.

      It’s b.s., of course. Lots in Trump’s background with direct relevance to his governmental role including conflict of interest stuff.

      • Nick056

        Interesting that the two I recall from the debates were “he fleeces contractors” and “he discriminated and was sued.” The latter charge effectively goes to his boorishness (to use your phrase) and the former was never sharp enough.

        But per Scott’s OP this was a fundamentals election. I don’t think we have “lessons” although I continue to believe that a candidate who loses a primary to a more charismatic opponent is not a great choice to run in the general election 8 or 12 years later. Sure, there are counter-examples: mostly Reagan and H.W. Bush. But campaigns have gotten longer since then, the media exposure much more sustained. Gore, Romney, and McCain were all also-rans from prior cycles when they became nominees. Clinton, W. Bush, Obama, and (fuck everything) Trump were all first-time entrants to the primary process.

        I don’t think there’s anything magical about losing a primary that makes a candidate fatally wounded. I just think it shows that you’re dealing with a politician who was obviously not the most charismatic person in a high-profile race, and had to endure a slow and widely reported failure. These types of people are by definition not phenomenons.

    • Lev

      The Clinton scandals played into one of Hillary’s key weaknesses: trustworthiness. Despite being a fairly strong Bernie supporter in the primaries I always believed Jill Abramson’s take, which is that Clinton isn’t dishonest, she just tries to preserve some level of privacy. (Bill Clinton, on the other hand, has major honesty problems, to say the least.) Probably sexism that reinforced the whole honesty thing.

      Trump’s scandals drove his approvals down to shockingly low levels but they wound up being peripheral to his real weaknesses.

      • MDrew

        I think the problem is actually that she was too unwilling to lie. To interested in not-lying while still saying things that, she thought, wouldn’t hurt or, r would hurt her the least (or help her!). When you do this it;s really painfully obvious that you’re doing it. When she hedges and fudges, what happens is that what sounds like dishonesty becomes even more visible than it does when other politicians simply go ahead and tell the lie.

        And people don’t actually care whether you’re honest! You’re a politician; you’re dishonest. Politicians will never outrun this – other than those rare specimens who form a bond of appeal wth the public wherein the public simply likes hearing you talk, and so feels you’re not dishonest. JFK; Reagan; maybe Tip O’Neil; Obama. Clinton’s not them.

        I admire her relative commitment to truth among politicians. But she did herself no favors with the highly-lawyered way in which she went about trying to avoid saying known falsehoods while also not hurting herself. The net effect was to hurt herself anyway.

    • Wamba

      One gigantic blunder was not going all out to attack Trump as a sexual predator in no uncertain terms.

      Don’t just replay some naughty comments and leave it out there for people to interpret but attack him explicitly as summarily unfit for office due to this confessed criminal behavior and demand lawsuits and investigations, never stop talking about it, don’t hold back — you know, just like the Republicans would have done.

      I guarantee you that any election in which a Democrat had been caught on tape saying the same thing Trump did, that would have been the end of the story right there. But you have to say it like you mean it and keep on repeating it. And you have to make it clear that its a big serious deal. Trump made Hillary’s emails seem more serious than his sexual assault all because of the way he talked about it and never stopped talking about it.

      The “pussy” comment — which was actually a confession to sexual assault — made it into one ad as one of several verbatim quotes among others, with no characterization added about what it meant — and the entire 2nd half of that ad buried it by moving on to more quotes about Trump saying stuff like a woman ate like a pig, which completely trivialized the sexual assault confession and transformed it into nothing but locker room talk.

      Epic FAIL.

      • FlipYrWhig

        Uh, I really don’t think Hillary Clinton’s failure was to talk too _little_ about Donald Trump’s treatment of women.

        • Wamba

          Jesus, is that all you got out of my comment? Go back and reread.

          • liberal

            Much as I disagree with F.Y.W on many things, he (sadly for what it says about voters) is right on this one.

        • Wamba

          This comment is actually the perfect epitome of failing to get it in exactly the way I’m saying was the problem. Thanks Flip, for performing this unintentional service. From the sound of it — with your total failure to grasp the point — I’m guessing you were very influential on the Clinton communications team.

          • FlipYrWhig

            I know what you’re arguing. I am very confident it wouldn’t work any better than what they tried.

            • Wamba

              Oh is that so? If you knew what I was arguing then why did you respond to precisely what I was not arguing? And on what is your Dunning-Krugeresque confidence based?

              • FlipYrWhig

                Settle down, Francis.

                • Wamba

                  objection: non-responsive.

                  Who’s Francis?

                • (((Hogan)))
                • Wamba

                  Is that all you boys got?

                  Well, then I very graciously accept your tacit concession. Have a nice day!

                • (((Hogan)))

                  An answer to your question? Yes, that’s all I’ve got.

                • Linnaeus

                  An answer to your question?

                  Yep. Which is also what I was doing, but I deleted it since Hogan posted the same link as I did.

      • Just_Dropping_By

        Clinton certainly could have tried it, but I’m not particularly convinced that it would have made that much of a difference in the final outcome for two reasons. (1) As noted upthread, a substantial number of Trump voters had negative opinions of him, but still voted for him. (2) I think that 21st Century voters actually don’t care very much about candidates’ personal, non-job-related conduct. How many politicians are actually voted out of office (as compared to preemptively resigning) in connection with sex scandals and the like these days?

        • Wamba

          What? You mean in the last 5 minutes? Ever heard of Anthony Wiener? David Vitter? Denny Hastert? Todd Courser? Mark Sanford? Larry Craig? Eliot Spitzer? John Edwards? Mark Foley? This guy named Bill Clinton who got impeached and whose sex offenses were later held against…uh…what’s her name? when she ran for president?

          • DrS

            Weiner – resigned
            Vitter – didn’t resign, got re-elected
            Hastert – quit for reasons unrelated to molestation, scandal appeared years later
            Courser – resigned
            Sanford – resigned
            Craig – finished term, did not run again
            Spitzer – resigned
            Edwards – dropped out of presidential run in 2008 in 3rd
            Foley – resigned
            Bill Clinton – stayed in office, didn’t run again

            These examples aren’t exactly proving your point.

            • Wamba

              Vitter lost his race for Governor in 2015 in large part because of successful attacks on his sex scandal. Resignations and retirements under the cloud of a sex scandal obviously prove the political potency of sex scandals, thus supporting my position.

            • Sanford also ended up successfully re-entering politics, too. And Bill Clinton won two elections despite sex scandals.

              • Wamba

                quibbler

              • MilitantlyAardvark

                Yes, but Sanford did so in a part of the world where Charles Manson could win if he got the GOP nomination. Not to mention the fact that the GOP’s sexual morality has become as flexible as their morality on any other issue you care to name.

        • Wamba

          You only needed to swing 1 extra % with the sex scandal. Trust me the scandal had potential, they just failed to deploy.

        • Wamba

          What the hell do you think they’re pre-empting? Obviously they preemptively resign because they are preempting getting killed in the next election. If they thought you were right and no one cared about sex sandals then they wouldn’t resign.

          People, this isn’t rocket science. Please.

      • Rob in CT

        Jesus Christ. Of all the things to critique the Clinton campaign for, you come up with THIS?

        • Wamba

          That they didn’t use the loaded gun they were handed? yeah, I criticize them for THAT.

          • MilitantlyAardvark

            To me the evidence points to the Democrats overplaying the ‘Trump is horrible’ card while not playing the “vote for us because economic reasons A though Z’ card enough. Throw in Clinton’s defects as a candidate, a poorly strategized and run campaign and that’s the ballgame.

            • Wamba

              There are many reasons. One of them, as I have argued, is that they overplayed the “Trump is Horrible” card by MISPLAYING the “Trump is horrible” card in 2 ways:

              1) emphasizing lewdness of language over confession to actual criminal behavior

              2) repeating the lewd language spots ad nauseam until any effect they had was extinguished

  • DamnYankees

    I have a very, very hard time buying these policy oriented explanations of this election. People acting like Obamacare, or Iran, or the foreclosure crisis, or any of these policies actually changed anything.

    Does anyone honestly think that Barack Obama or Bill Clinton, had they been the candidate, running in the exact same world, would have lost to Trump? I mean, of course not. They’d win, and probably win very easily. The reason we lost this election was because of who our candidate was, and not any particular policy over the last 8 years.

    Now, that doesn’t mean it was mostly our candidates fault. I mostly don’t blame her for the things which, particular to her, brought her down. I’m just trying to rebut the idea that the main reason she lost has anything to do with policy. I don’t see it.

    • Dilan Esper

      One thing I keep coming back to is that Donald Trump is a celebrity. I realize that’s obvious, but seriously, celebrities with no political qualifications have done extremely well in elections. Indeed, Jesse Ventura’s third party victory in Minnesota is in some ways even more amazing than Trump.

      But also Schwarzenegger, Al Franken, even Ronald Reagan when he ran for Governor.

      A lot of people just really like celebrities. They see one and they want to vote for him. And they don’t listen to arguments about lack of traditional qualifications.

      This is a huge, huge part of Trump’s victory, I think the biggest part of it.

      • DamnYankees

        Tom Hanks/George Clooney 2020?

        Only half joking…

        • Dilan Esper

          My joke ticket was Kardashian/Gaga, but OK. :)

          • DAS

            It’ll be a contest between the Frequentist party’s Hanks/Clooney ticket and the Bayesian party’s Kardashian/Gaga ticket. You all did know that Hanks, Clooney, Kardashian and Gaga are noted experts in the statistics community, didn’t you?

            • Srsly Dad Y

              + .05

              • Gregor Sansa

                You mean, ·19.

          • lunaticllama

            Kardashian has a better business record than Trump. Not joking!

            • rea

              Kanye West, a Kardashian by marriage, is a declared candidate for 2020.

              • MilitantlyAardvark

                Hmm, not feeling the “Yes, we Kanye!” vibe here. I really hope the Democrats have a plan beyond “Wait for Trump to crash and burn”.

      • altofront

        One thing I keep coming back to is that Donald Trump is a celebrity.

        Not just a celebrity, but a celebrity who pretends to be a big decision maker on television. Kevin Drum pegged this part of Trump’s appeal way back in August 2015:

        For the past seven years (11 years if you count the original Apprentice show), about 10 million people have been watching Donald Trump act presidential week after week. He’s not a buffoon. He’s commanding, he’s confident, he’s respected, he demands accountability, and he openly celebrates accomplishment and money—but then makes sure all the money goes to charity at the end. What’s not to like?

      • Lev

        I dunno. Warren Beatty and Rob Reiner have been threatening to run for office in CA for ages with no perceptible interest in that happening. Also, Richard Petty lost a downballot race in North Carolina back in the ’90s. I’d also argue that Schwarzenegger’s win was pretty fluky. There were literally like 120 candidates for the governorship and celebrity elevated him above the pack. The poor design of CA recall process gave him an opening. (Fun fact: learned from that election that Gallagher’s first name is Leo when I saw it on the ballot.)

        It’s not so cut-and-dried is what I’m saying.

        • Dilan Esper

          Obviously Schwarzenegger used the recall mechanism (as Ventura used the third party mechanism), but that ignores the fact that it’s not like non-celebrity candidates have been able to use that mechanism to oust California governors.

        • Jackov

          Take a look at all the former athletes and coaches, minor celebrities and local newspeople who have been elected to Congress over the years. Being good on camera or with the media is a top tier political skill. Compare their success rate to that of policy expert.

      • Joe_JP

        Al Franken was not quite like those other celebrities in certain ways and worked hard at the political stuff.

        He was a host on Air America, worked to promote Democrats in office building political skills in the process and graduated with honors from Harvard with a degree in government. He had “political qualifications,”* especially as compared to a range of other candidates for Congress out there. For instance, being a fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy.

        Of course, being a celebrity, including some war hero or whatever, helps as a plus there.

        * ETA: Of course, Reagan built those type of skills in his own way, selling a message a big part of that.

        • Dilan Esper

          Joe, with all respect to Al Franken, I don’t think he was qualified to be US SENATOR. He was certainly qualified to run for office, but being a talk show host, author (of a funny but juvenile book called “Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat idiot”), and comedy writer isn’t sufficient qualification for the third highest elected post in the country.

          (None of that is to suggest that he hasn’t done a good job, however.)

          • Wamba

            Wait a minute. That is a completely skewed description of Franken’s Rush Limbaugh book. That book was outstanding and not even primarily as comedy. It was a John Stewart/John Oliveresque tour de force of extremely insightful analysis that was not at all common at that point. That book alone made him more qualified to be senator than the vast majority of the people in the senate.

          • Joe_JP

            Third highest elected post?

            He is one of 100 senators, a range who in no way has the education, policy intelligence, extended political seasoning in the trenches behind the scenes and on the air, temperament [which his shtick in some places doesn’t alter; he fits quite well into the MN ethos] and so on as Al Franken had.

            Your summary itself selectively skips over parts of his background. As to “juvenile book,” he used humor to make some very good points. It is not all he had going for him. He was not Jesse Ventura or something here.

            • Dilan Esper

              Joe, I don’t think I need to argue this, but no, nobody should be a Senator who hasn’t served in a lower elected office or some equivalent (high ranking military, major appointed position in government, etc.).

              Preferably, most Senators should move up from the House.

              To have a celebrity, any celebrity, jump the line is outrageous. I think Al Franken should have paid his dues and got to bypass many more qualified people because he was famous.

              • Wamba

                Anyone should be senator who backs good policies, is competent to do the job, and can get the support of a majority.

                • (((Hogan)))

                  And is at least 30 years old, a US citizen, and a resident of the state.

                • Hell, being a successful Representative is a lot harder than being a successful Senator. More relationships to manage, more turnover among said relationships, more frequent elections and thus more fundraising necessary, more constituent services to do…

      • (((Hogan)))

        Jesse Ventura served a term as mayor of a city of 75,000 and apparently didn’t embarrass himself.

      • MDrew

        I’m not sure it’s the biggest part, but I think it may have been the element most overlooked, or even misconstrued as an advantage, by the Clinton campaign, and it may have been the thing that led them not to perceive the acute danger that faced them until far too late. May have; not sure.

  • Dilan Esper

    But given that the Orlando and Tampa suburbs and exurbs won Florida for Trump, I wonder if Obama’s failure to provide substantial relief for people with foreclosed houses and failure to punish the malefactors had an important effect.

    This is interesting and needs to be pursued.

    • SamChevre

      I would second this, and add that it’s not just the homeowners who were hurt, and still angry. It’s all the people for whom real estate values drive their business–construction workers, contractors, realtors… No one I know in construction is doing as well as they were in 2007–and that’s in areas that were not as hard hit as Florida.

      • NeonTrotsky

        Well of course not. Construction is never going to be as good as it was during a housing bubble.

    • DamnYankees

      Seems like a ridiculous idea, to be honest. Does anyone doubt Obama himself would have won Florida had he run against Trump? There’s no way any Obama policy swung this election in that sort of way.

  • urd

    No, the real story is that Clinton couldn’t fully deliver on democratic votes, nor did she pull in the number of blacks, Hispanics, and other minorities she needed.

    Using 2012 numbers instead of 2008 numbers (when Obama did better) and failing to account for population growth to justify “she got her base out” is pathetic.

    Blaming her loss on the GOP voting for the GOP is hilarious.

    • Murc

      No, the real story is that Clinton couldn’t fully deliver on democratic votes, nor did she pull in the number of blacks, Hispanics, and other minorities she needed.

      We are maxed out on those demos, period.

      • urd

        The numbers after the election showed that not only was turnout lower for black, Hispanic, and other minority voters (which I acknowledge was more than likely due to new voter suppression laws, outright illegal voter intimidation, and similar factors), but the percentage of these groups that voted for Clinton was lower.

        I would hardly call that maxed out.

        • FlipYrWhig

          Latino Decisions said otherwise.

        • Lord Jesus Perm

          We’re comparing this to Obama’s runs, but given that Obama is (IMO) a once-in-a-lifetime type politician, I don’t think it’s fair to compare the two. Clinton’s share of the black vote isn’t that far off from other Democratic candidates (she got 85%, Kerry got 88%, Gore got 90%, and Clinton got 84% and 83% the times he ran), and the same goes for Latinos (she got 65%, Kerry got 53%, Gore got 62%, and Clinton got 73% and 61% the times he ran).

          • urd

            I think it’s completely fair.

            1. It’s being compared to Obama’s 2012 run, which was far less impressive.

            2. Clinton was running against Drumpf. He was a walking disaster and he provided plenty of ammunition for a competent campaign to utterly undo him.

            She should have exceeded Obama’s numbers. In fact that was one of her major digs against Sanders – he wouldn’t carry enough of the black or minority votes to win.

            Looks like she didn’t either.

            • Lord Jesus Perm

              She should have exceeded Obama’s numbers.

              Why?

              Also, I think one of the takeaways from the campaign is that there are a lot of people who vastly underestimated the effect that Trump’s white nationalist message had on his voters. He essentially got whites to vote as a bloc; that isn’t exactly a common thing. Her ads were devastating, and polling indicates that they were effective. It wasn’t until the Comey announcement that her fortunes began to change.

              • urd

                Why? Because she was running against someone who had absolutely no, none, nada, political experience. Someone who was their own worst enemy. At the same time, Clinton was touted as the most qualified candidate to ever run for the office.

                You don’t get to throw that type of record around and also (rightly) claim your opponent is wholly unqualified for the office, and then perform the way her campaign did and make the excuses that have been flying around lately.

                No, I think one of the takeaways was that Clinton came off as arrogant and dismissive. How else to explain her going after GOP voters when she didn’t even have the democratic base fully convinced she was the best candidate. She made the cardinal sin of believing her own hype.

  • royko

    A few purely anecdotal points:

    1) My mom (white suburbanite, early 70s) is a lifelong Democrat and didn’t vote for Hillary. (She didn’t vote for Trump either, or at least won’t admit it.) She hated Clinton and was convinced Clinton was a thoroughly corrupt and despicable individual, despite no evidence of wrongdoing. For my mom, she’d probably never admit it, but when it comes down to it, underneath everything else, I think she just hates the Clintons because of the Lewinsky thing. That was the moment she turned on them and never came back.

    I don’t know how common that sentiment is — I’m guessing it’s not too common. My mom’s a bit atypical for a suburban voter. And I can’t see why that would drive anyone to vote for Trump, considering his problems. But there seems to be more Clinton hatred out there than we thought.

    2) I have heard from a few people that they just wanted a “change”. What’s incredible to me is that all of the gridlock in Washington right now is due to Republicans going with an All Obstruction, All the time strategy. They basically rewarded the party that prevented government from fixing things because government wasn’t fixing things. Obstruction works, sadly.

    3) A lot of people I talk to really hate Obamacare. Ironically, it’s people who have absolutely no interaction with Obamacare. It’s just a vague scary thing out there that they keep hearing has a lot of bad features. None of them really know what it does or how it works or why. I think one of the big problems with Obamacare is that most people don’t use most of its features. I understand why it had to be designed that way, but it makes it really easy to demonize the program.

    • FlipYrWhig

      Huge numbers of people think “Obamacare” is a welfare scheme for black and brown people that they’re forced to pay for with premium increases.

      • Linnaeus

        As I heard someone put it, “an insurance card paid for by others”.

    • LeeEsq

      1) There has been something that really turned off many people about the Clintons since 1992 even when they were at their most popular. The Atlantic had an article about it. Many people just have this sort of sense that the Clintons are trying to get away with something and are only in politics for themselves. The Republican propaganda campaign against the Clintons does not help but the propaganda campaign did not create this feeling by itself.

      2) It dumb but how many people who don’t follow politics think. The President gets the blame and the credit for everything that happens and Congress is ignored. That means people are willing to vote for random change at the Presidential level but not at the Congressional level.

      3) Yes.

      • I am absolutely convinced that in alternate universes where either Clinton was a traditional politician’s spouse they would not be held under nearly as much suspicion as they are as a “power couple”. I think this is because each of them is judged based on the combined ambition of the pair. Also, I think the DC establishment loathed Hillary from the beginning.

        • FlipYrWhig

          Hillary has a red badge of courage from the Mommy Wars of the 1990s.

        • Jackov

          HRC certainly had a much more difficult task disentangling herself from Bill compared to wives/widows who ran to replace their husbands. Even Bred DeLong who is a big HRC booster once wrote a scathing indictment concluding ‘she needs to be kept very far away from the White House for the rest of her life.’ Doubt he would have been nearly as pissed back then if Hillary had been a DepSec for HHS instead of the wife of the president.

      • ASV

        The Whitewater story, essentially the beginning of the Arkansas Project, came out in March 1992. Is there any evidence that the general public had this feeling about the Clintons before that?

    • mongolia

      A lot of people I talk to really hate Obamacare.

      isn’t this more, they hate obamacare while loving the individual components of the law, and hate it because it gives health care to “those people” – ?

      • Moondog von Superman

        The like the ACA but hate Obamacare.

    • Joe_JP

      A lot of people I talk to really hate Obamacare

      I continue to hate that term. It makes it about “Obama.” Of course, there would be opposition regardless, including because any major policy is going to have somewhat unpleasant aspects but labeling it after Obama just helps too much.

      The Republicans are not going to simply do away with the PPACA. They will strip it for parts & some of them will be retained, for various reasons, including because their voters actually like them. We already saw this with the Medicaid expansion, which Republican governors supported even when it was merely voluntary.

      The pale version (which will work less well since the thing is a piece, not a Chinese Menu — this already is being seen by their refusal to fund/tweak certain things) will be the “Republican” plan and they will be given credit for some of the things that wouldn’t be there without Democratic efforts.

    • Amanda in the South Bay

      Unless you mom lives in FL or the Rust Belt, her protest vote wouldn’t have mattered.

  • Pingback: Florida: The Data Is In And . . . – Maryland Scramble()

  • Steve LaBonne

    I picked the election season of all times to finally read Nixonland. It’s incredibly depressing to realize that the political battle lines basically haven’t shifted at all since 1968.

    • Davis X. Machina

      Hell, I picked Kershaw’s Hitler bio…

      • XTPD

        I’ve always been partial to the Langer Report myself.

    • BiloSagdiyev

      As you read it, did you wonder where all the crazy, angry people went? I mean, from the left? I read the book about 7 years ago. At the time of reading it, I wondered if maybe they had all just drifted over to the right. (Suspected strongly, really.)

      Now it’s 2016. No more suspicions about that one.

      Book does make it clear the relationship between GOP and the Geoge Wallace faction at the time, too. We’ve learned that lesson hard lately, too.

      • Steve LaBonne

        Many of the crazy angry left people definitely did move to the crazy angry right. David Horowitz is an example.

        • BiloSagdiyev

          Aye, Horowitz. There’s somebody so angry and fractured in the logic department that I’m sure glad he’s not on the left anymore. Good riddance!

    • MilitantlyAardvark

      I picked Gibbon – and the “barbarians and Christianity” theme seems to work better as an explanation for the fall of America than it did for the fall of Rome. Admitted, in America’s case the Christians are the (internal) barbarians, but let’s not quibble over technicalities.

    • MAJeff

      My copy of White Rage arrived yesterday.

  • libarbarian

    I have heard from a few people that they just wanted a “change”. What’s incredible to me is that all of the gridlock in Washington right now is due to Republicans going with an All Obstruction, All the time strategy. They basically rewarded the party that prevented government from fixing things because government wasn’t fixing things. Obstruction works, sadly

    And what lesson do we draw from this?

    • Steve LaBonne

      Filibuster. Every. Thing.

    • MilitantlyAardvark

      And what lesson do we draw from this?

      That Aaron Burr had the right approach to political conflicts?

  • rcyale

    I wonder if Obama’s failure to provide substantial relief for people with foreclosed houses and failure to punish the malefactors had an important effect.

    Would it have made a difference if the Democrat candidate was someone who was a champion of punishing the malefactors. I truly believe the answer is yes. The Democrats’ biggest mistake was not convincing Warren to run. HRC gave the Wall Street speeches and then directly compared her actions to Trump’s by saying she would release transcripts when he released tax returns. Even people who supported Trump thought his tax returns showed he was gaming the system. HRC gave those who have reason to hate Wall Street and “the system” very little reason to vote Dem. Terry McAuliffe reinforced the voters’ shallow views.

    Unfortunately, the typical voter is much like a casual football fan. Coughlin bested Belichick twice, so he is as good at coaching. HRC was as friendly with Wall Street as DJT based on superficial analysis. Counterfactuals are just guesses, but my guess is that Warren was the far better candidate, especially against Trump.

    • MilitantlyAardvark

      I don’t think Warren would have done better than Clinton. I like Warren as a Senator, but she’s not a great speaker and I don’t see her firing up the voters enough against the orange carnival barker. For my money, the better choice would have been Joe Biden.

  • MilitantlyAardvark

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/clinton-campaign-neglect_us_582cacb0e4b058ce7aa8b861

    In the closing weeks of the presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton’s staff in key Midwest states sent out alarms to their headquarters in Brooklyn. They were facing a problematic shortage of paid canvassers to help turn out the vote.

    For months, the Clinton campaign had banked on a wide army of volunteer organizers to help corral independents and Democratic leaners and re-energize a base not particularly enthused about the election. But they were volunteers. And as anecdotal data came back to offices in key battlegrounds, concern mounted that leadership had skimped on a critical campaign function.

    “It was arrogance, arrogance that they were going to win. That this was all wrapped up,” a senior battleground state operative told The Huffington Post.

    Several theories have been proffered to explain just what went wrong for the Clinton campaign in an election that virtually everyone expected the Democratic nominee to win. But lost in the discussion is a simple explanation, one that was re-emphasized to HuffPost in interviews with several high-ranking officials and state-based organizers: The Clinton campaign was harmed by its own neglect.

    I don’t know how much of this might be applicable to Florida, but it fits with what we saw in 2008, when Clinton’s inadequacies as a big league candidate were first on show. I thought this time around that she hadn’t learned some important lessons and that the DNC’s helpfulness to her primary campaign did her no favors. I hope that the Democrats will learn from this latest iteration of mediocre party insider wins institutionally favorable primary and then loses the big game to foolish amazement, but I have my doubts.

    • twbb

      I complained about the Florida GOTV operation a month ago and was roundly criticized here for my obvious ignorance. The GOTV operation shouldn’t have relied so much on volunteer millennials going to neighborhoods they know nothing about. Local black leaders were sounding the alarm a long time before that her campaign critically needed paid canvassers from the community itself.

      • jim, some guy in iowa

        something like that went on here and I assumed it was because the campaign’s data wizards had written us off

        the thing that seems to be clearer (to me) in hindsight is that the campaign relied too much on their data and not enough on eyes and ears on the ground. It reminds me a little of when a certain kind of baseball fan says, “(widely beloved player) doesn’t deserve to be in the Hall of Fame because their stats aren’t good enough”- a failure to see the voters as people rather than accumulated information

        • MilitantlyAardvark

          I wonder whether they got their data more from social media than people on the ground – and never realized the value of the latter. It seems to me that this might have been a problem of communication between different parts of the campaign that grew up in different eras and never found a way to coordinate their different approaches.

          • jim, some guy in iowa

            hm. I *think* it may just be they under estimated how fluid/mushy their support was- and that’s something a person with experience in running campaigns might pick up more quickly than even a good pollster

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