Hillary lost this on her own. No need to blame people that didn’t vote or who voted for third parties or who wrote in their own candidates. Rather, you must blame the Democratic establishment whose arrogance and triangulation resulted in a depressed voter base that simply did not turn out for the general election. In sum, the Clinton campaign and the DNC failed to hold together the Obama coalition of 2008 and 2012 while further failing to expand that base of support. This election should have been won with minimal effort, a minimal effort which this party failed to meet.
Hillary lost North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Broken down to major cities, she lost the states with: Charlotte, Philadelphia, Detroit, Madison, Miami, St. Paul and Milwaukee. All of those cities have high African American populations and turned out for Obama in both elections. However, the arrogance of the Clinton campaign led them to believe that they did not need to articulate a strong message to black voters and that they would just turn out because they were Democrats.
Hillary lost North Carolina by 177,000 votes. If she had shown up when Keith Lamont Scott was killed and there was a week for social activism would that have made up that difference? Maybe. She lost Michigan by 22,000 votes, if she had supported Kaepernick would that have made up that difference? Maybe. She lost Wisconsin by 26,000 votes, would a legislative initiative to address police brutality have made up this difference in Milwaukee? Maybe.
So, let us reject the knee jerk reaction to blame people who either did not vote or did not vote for Hillary for this loss. They did not owe her their vote. It was her duty to earn their vote over the course of the election and she failed to do so. The Clinton campaign raised over $687,000,000 during this election cycle. But that money was not used to push a positive message of what she was going to do to help her constituents, instead it was spent on ads to tell us what was wrong with Trump. He’s a racist, he’s sexist, he’s a bigot. The only thing those ads did was push down turnout and depress an already unmotivated voting base.
Just in terms of raw vote numbers, Donald Trump received about 2 million fewer votes than Mitt Romney in 2012. However, Hillary received nearly 6 million fewer (at last count) votes than Obama did in that same election. Obama received 93% of the black vote while Clinton only 88% of the black vote. This reduction in addition to depressed turnout was the result of not a lazy electorate but rather a campaign free from hope and inspiration.
Thus, in the obituary of this election, the Democratic party must learn that they must respect and motivate their base. They cannot try to play this centrist game of playing both sides of the aisle. Rather they must embrace the energy of the party that comes from millennials and minorities. That is evidenced by Black Lives Matter and the Bernie Sanders revolution. Focus on turning out the people who support you instead of converting those that don’t. This is what allowed Trump to shock the world. This campaign was one that Hillary “lost” as opposed to one that Trump “won”. So we need not blame those who didn’t simply get in line and vote for who they were “supposed to” vote for, we have to blame the political geniuses who thought the party could neglect their base and still win.
You can hear Robert Patillo on “People, Passion and Politics” Sunday 1 to 4 pm. Patillo currently is chief attorney at The Patillo Law Group, LLC “A Christian Centered Law Practice” focusing on civil rights law.