Coulda', Shoulda', Woulda',...but Didn't
Millions of Democrats are wondering how the political machine named Hillary Clinton ran out of gas on Election Day. There were a myriad of issues that followed her up until the opening of the polls.
One major issue was the trust, or lack of some Americans could not get over. It started with a multitude of paid speeches unearthed by former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
Speeches at Goldman Sachs and some supposedly questionable business connections to the Clinton Foundation charity had people doubting her honesty concerning the economy.
The addition of candidates Gary Johnson and Jill Stein did not make the road to the presidency for Clinton any easier. All candidates combined for six million votes throughout the 50 states. It is hard to analyze if this was a factor in Clinton’s defeat but it is a slight possibility.
WikiLeaks was a major thorn in Hillary Clinton’s side. The amounts of emails recovered from the Democratic National Committee and her campaign chairman were very harmful. It provided a series of questions and distractions and made voters assume that Clinton was getting money from some corporate interests.
There were talks that Hillary Clinton was very complacent both personally and politically this election season. In 2008, the Clinton campaign did not put much attention on the smaller states and focused on the biggest contests.
She assumed that the rising star in the Democratic Party, Barack Obama, could not beat her and voters would settle for the status quo. This spelled her demise and Obama became our 44th President of the United States.
In this election, most of her energy and finances were once again placed in “safe battleground” areas where she believed she would win. Clinton also did not heed the warnings made by both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.
Trump warned about flipping states from Democratic to Republican. Hillary did not take the advice seriously. Sanders message about putting an agenda together to fix economic security and inequality also fell on the deaf ears of the former Secretary of State.
Comparing the turnout of voters between 2008-2016 showed a huge decrease in Democrats coming out to vote. In 2008, almost 70 million democrats came out to vote. By 2012 that number decreased to 66 million. This year, only 59 million democrats came out to vote. It can draw the theory that this was more a collapse of the Clinton campaign than a surge from the Trump campaign.
Take for example Florida, which is a key battleground state. Clinton was unable to hold on to voters of the white middle and working class, which have always been democrat. In the Pinellas section of Tampa Bay, which is mainly a community of retirees, Donald Trump won 48 percent of the vote while Clinton had 47 percent. Four years earlier, President Obama carried the community with 52 percent.
The numbers of the Latino vote in the sunshine state make it more unnerving. Latinos are 24 percent of the population and account for 18 percent of the state’s eligible voters. Sixty eight percent of the United States’ Cuban American population resides in Florida.
In a Latino decisions poll, Donald Trump had a 13-point lead versus Clinton within the Cuban-American community. If Clinton could have focused on this community a little more, the numbers would have swayed the state in her favor.
Even though her lead among Latinos was more that what Obama had in 2012, it still was not enough for her to win the state. Trump had a surprisingly higher than expected support from Latinos with 29 percent.
Back in Pennsylvania, former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell tried to give advise to Clinton’s campaign to start concentrating on voters outside of the major cities of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and focus on white rural areas within the state. The Clinton campaign headquarters in Brooklyn told Rendell that they didn’t want to do it. This helped Trump win Pennsylvania.
One big problem that Clinton overlooked was the demographic change. The United States we know now is much different than the country she knew when her husband was president back in the early 1990’s.
The voters are much younger and diverse. Voters are also more fearful and resenting because of being separated and disappointed brought about by loss of jobs and a future of uncertainty. In the next election Latinos will be a huge part of the eligible voters. The question is how many of those voters will vote Democrat?