Russia and their alt-right collaborator Julian Assange worked to suppress the Clinton vote, and there’s some evidence that it was effective:
The Twitter database shows the impact. The tweets sent from Russia, cloaked to look as though they came from Americans, included: “Bernie Sanders looks to black voters to boost his underdog campaign”; “Hillary Clinton’s summer of drama creates openings for Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden”; and “I’m for Bernie all the way!”
Then, in July 2016, WikiLeaks released emails from the Democratic National Committee that suggested the party machinery was tilted against Sanders. The DNC computers were later revealed to have been hacked by Russia.
The hack prompted Trump to stoke the divide among Democrats. “Leaked e-mails of DNC show plans to destroy Bernie Sanders,” Trump tweeted July 23, 2016. “ . . . On-line from Wikileakes [sic], really vicious. RIGGED.”
Russian trolls significantly increased their efforts to persuade Sanders supporters to oppose Clinton in the general election. One of their methods was to try to convince African Americans that they couldn’t trust her.
In an effort to demonstrate how inaccurate information makes its way into the mainstream, the survey asked respondents about three demonstrably false articles that had been widely distributed. A quarter of respondents believed the false story that Clinton was in “very poor health,” 10 percent believed that Trump had been endorsed by the pope, and 35 percent (including 20 percent of Obama supporters) believed that Clinton had approved weapons sales to Islamic militants, “including ISIS.”
The Ohio State team concluded in its soon-to-be-published final report that “belief in these fake news stories is very strongly linked to defection from the Democratic ticket by 2012 Obama voters.” Obama voters who recognized all three stories as false voted for Clinton at a rate of 89 percent, while 61 percent who believed one of the false stories voted for her, and 17 percent of those who believed two of the false stories supported Clinton.
The good news is that they have every incentive to do it again. It would help if our ostensibly liberal media doesn’t contribute dumber versions of the material generated by ratfuckers to the same extent this cycle.