Who’s to blame for Hillary Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump? You’ll get a wide range of answers depending on who it is on the Left you’re asking. Among the reasons are racism, sexism, anti-immigrant sentiment, antisemitism, Islamophobia, a sudden rise in white racism, the FBI, voter ID laws, third-party candidates, and of course, the Russians. There are few causes Hillary’s apologists won’t point the finger at – except Hillary Clinton, of course.
Let’s take a look at just some of those potential causes. Did Hillary lose because of sexism due to the fact that she’s a woman? Two professors, Maria Guadalupe from INSEAD and Joe Salvatore, from New York University, put together an experiment to test that in the form of a debate called “Her Opponent.” A female actor played Donald Trump, while a male actor played Hillary Clinton. They had rehearsed the second debate word for word, mimicking even the candidate’s mannerisms. They had assumed that the gender swap would prove Trump’s antics – his repeated interruptions and attacks, wouldn’t be tolerated if they’d come from a woman.
The experiment ended up proving that people perceived Hillary to be even less favorable as a man. Oops.
Were Russian hackers to blame?Russian hackers attempted to hack the Republican National Committee just as they did to the DNC, and were foiled due to security measures the RNC had in place that the DNC lacked. If they’re going to blame revelations from the DNC hack for lost votes, they have no one to blame but themselves. What about racism? If that was the case, we’re left to ponder how Trump outperformed Mitt Romney among blacks, Asians, and Latinos.
The fact of the matter is, Hillary Clinton was just plain unlikable, and didn’t give much reason to vote for her aside from not being Donald Trump. And there’s actually evidence to justify pointing the finger at her.
According to HotAir,which of the two presidential campaigns offered voters more substance on policy in 2016? A new study’s results will likely shock some political analysts and certainly some Democrats as well. The Wesleyan Media Project analyzed the advertising and media coverage of the two candidates, and concludes that Hillary Clinton ran an inept campaign that did just about everything it could possibly do to lose. In fact, as this graph shows, Hillary offered the lowest amount of policy substance in campaign advertising in any major-party presidential campaign this century — by far:
Some of the “personal” category in advertising would include Hillary’s biographical ads emphasizing her status as the first woman nominated to the presidency. Most of it focused on Donald Trump’s personal shortcomings and outrageous public statements, though, and that accounted for the bulk of Hillary’s argument for the job. What makes this strategy all the more puzzling is that Team Hillary dumped hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising, which should have given them plenty of range to diversify the message and focus more on Hillary’s claims of policy mastery rather than her gender and Trump’s excesses.
Even when employing contrast messaging, Team Hillary almost never bothered with policy. However, Team Trump used their more limited level of advertising to hammer on issues, especially in contrast ads, as this chart shows:
On top of that, Team Hillary’s advertising pattern showed that the campaign took the “Blue Wall” very much for granted until the final week of the campaign, especially in Wisconsin. Not only did Hillary herself not show up in the state at all during the general election, neither did her ads until the end of October. Trump had gone up on air in September with his focus on policy and issues, and remained the only voice until Hillary bombed Wisconsin with her personal-attack ads in the final days. A similar pattern emerged in Michigan.
The two most prominent factors in Hillary’s loss, the study concludes, was the failure to advertise in the “blue wall” states until the very end, and that her “message was devoid of policy discussions in a way not seen in the previous four presidential contests.”
Whoa. Just let that last part sink in: “DEVOID of policy discussions in a way not seen” in years.
That’s the real reason Democrats are losing. Hopefully they don’t figure it out anytime soon.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]