10 Reasons Hillary Clinton Lost the 2016 Presidential Election
There are quite a few obvious reasons that Hillary Clinton was unable to secure her bid for president of the United States. However, there are a few lesser known reasons, as well, all of which impacted the vote of millions of people across America. While there are some more obvious reasons for this loss, there are others that many may not know about. The fact is, being informed is the best way to understand the results of the election.
Before delving into all the less known reasons, read about some of the obvious ones described here. The first is related to an undetected shift (at least undetected by pollsters) in the voting preferences of the group of white, working class individuals in the rust belt states. Traditionally, this group was known for voting Democratic. This group included the working class white women, who overlooked the fact that Hillary could have been the first female president, because they were more worried about their pocketbooks, rather than what Donald Trump said more than a decade ago on entertainment television.
Additional reasons include – James Comey and the fact that Trump outperformed Mitt Romney regarding the Hispanic and African American vote. Clinton also failed to excite the millennials the way Obama did during his bid for the White House.
One of the main issues for Hillary was the anti-establishment fever that seemed to wash over the nation due to the dynasty she represented. This is a factor that had quite a bit to do with her loss.
Trump secured 279 electoral votes compared to only 218 that Clinton received, even though she secured the popular vote.
Now you can enjoy delving into some of the lesser-known reasons that Clinton was unable to clinch the presidency. Learn about 10 of these reasons here and open your eyes to information about the presidential election you may not have been aware of before.
10No Memorable Slogan
“Make America Great Again.” Regardless of what you currently think of Donald Trump, you have to agree with the fact that he is a pretty savvy marketer.
His slogan during the presidential election was simple, memorable, and a promise of something they want. In the end, Trump had is very own hashtag – #MAGA. Hillary’s slogan never became a hashtag. It also creates no excitement. Much like Obama’s voters, Trump’s supporters saw themselves as a part of a movement.
The fact is, MAGA was repeated time and time again, much like Hope and Change. If you think of it, these are the same slogan, just in different packages. One is a bit more pessimistic; however, they both promise change. All Hillary represented was the dynastic past.
While no one understands how the candidate is going to accomplish the promise made in the slogan, and they don’t know what it means. At the time, however, that doesn’t matter. It creates a good feeling with economic malaise behind it. Reagan was one president who did this well. He was able to capture the country’s optimism and the desire that the people had to create a shining city on the hill.
Can you even recall Hillary’s slogan? Whatever it was, you don’t see anyone putting it on a hat or t-shirt!
9She Never Actually Tweeted Herself
Hillary Clinton used social media in a highly conventional way:
- To help and drive the news cycle
- To create a feeling of authenticity with voters by talking to them outside of the media’s filter
The entirety of her campaign was based on conventional tactics and old media. Trump, on the other hand, had an entire conversation with millions of Americans outside of the media’s filter. He earned millions of hours of “free media” simply by baiting the media to discuss him.
The fact is, Trump’s candidacy is one that would have likely never worked in an age without social media. This is because the definition of Trump by the press would have remained unchallenged. Two central conversations were occurring during the presidential campaign:
- The one that the main media channels were having on individual’s televisions
- The one that Trump was having directly with his voters
In fact, when you read one of Trump’s tweets, it sounded like he was writing them, not some random member of his staff.
Rather than fight it, Trump embraced the idea that it was better to have the media talking about him negatively and all the time, than to remain ignored. Clinton seemed to stay in her protective bubble. The media never really could get close to her and to many she seemed somewhat “elite.” While there was some downside to Trump’s tweeting on his own, it doesn’t appear to have swayed the voter’s away from him.
8The Obamacare Surprise in October
You can forget all about James Comey. On October 24th, Americans all across the country were informed by the federal government that they were going to face Obamacare premium increases – in the double digits.
While some of this (if not most of it) was offset by tax credits and subsidies, not all of the increases were. That fact also did not stop the headlines. A typical headline read something to the effect of “Premiums for Obamacare Soar to 22%.”
These negative news headlines spurred the increases in individual battleground states, while the media was discussing other things – such as Trump’s groping and Clinton’s emails, which did not affect the lives of the American people.
Consider the surprise states that wound up on “team Trump” (or the ones that he almost won), located in the rust belt and see how much of an Obamacare increase they faced:
- Minnesota 59%
- Pennsylvania 33%
- Wisconsin 16%
- Michigan 16.7%
This made for a bigger local news story than a national one. Trade was also a big deal. Clinton’s comment on the hemispheric open borders was one of the most damaging things that emerged on WikiLeaks, even though she attempted to make the claim that she was referring to energy.
This, along with the Obamacare spikes, contributed to the fact that Clinton was not successful when it came to winning the presidential election.
The geographical divide present in American politics is rather stark. The rural counties now create unbalanced totals for Republicans that come close to the Democratic tallies earned in predominantly black neighborhoods.
The explanation for this is somewhat economic – people feel they are underemployed and have felt this way since the recession – but the economy on the farm is quite good. The bigger reason, however, relates to cultural reasoning. There is a sense that the elites have not only left them far behind in the global economy, but that they are also looking down their noses at them while standing up for politically correct liberals and immigrants. This is the type of reactionary nationalism that fueled the entire Brexit movement and the increasing right-wing populism all across the European continent.
Many people forget that this conservative cultural context usually begins with talk radio. This is still quite influential with the older generation of voters. The American elites who live in the city can’t even begin to fathom how much driving the average American does. For virtually every day for the past 25 years, millions of suburban and rural voters drove listening to all the talk show greats – Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, and others – trashing Clinton. This doesn’t even take into account for Fox News, where conservative media regularly blasted Obama, as well as other liberals.
The fact is, the hatred for Hillary Clinton, encouraged by talk radio, had a huge role in her loss during the most recent presidential election.
6Hillary is Just Too Similar to Obama
According to the Washington Post, if Clinton had won the election, one party would have been elected three consecutive times. This is something that has only happened one tie in the mid-portion of the 20th century.
The intellectual and incremental Obama came as a reaction to the visceral and brash George W. Bush. The traditional and proper George W. Bush was the response to the libidinous Clinton. Ronald Reagan’s election was a response to Jimmy Carter. The list goes on and on.
Millions of American’s across the country were completely dissatisfied with Obama. They honestly did not care who they voted for, as long as it was someone the complete opposite of Obama. This just happened to sway the vote toward Mr. Trump. However, Hillary did nothing to help the situation.
The fact is, Hillary made it clear that she supported and intended to continue with many of the things Obama had put in place during his presidency. One of the “biggies” for many Americans was Obamacare. This is a costly requirement that, to some, seemed more like exploitation than a great health care plan. After all, either you had to purchase the expensive health care plans offered by Obamacare or pay a fine each year you did not have coverage. This is something that Hillary had every intention of keeping in place, regardless of how many Americans were fighting against it and asking for something different and better.
Take some time to go back and watch the debate where Trump brought along the women who accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct. With these women present, Hillary seemed more than rattled. After that point, she avoided going after Trump regarding his groping allegations, even when she had the perfect opportunity to do so. However, she did not have to keep doing this since the groping issue is one that the media simply didn’t let go.
By this action, Trump managed to neutralize Bill, and Bill, in return, helped in neutralizing many of the problem’s that Trump had. However, the fact remains, many Americans simply weren’t too surprised to learn that Trump talked like that. If you think about it, did it surprise you very much? The fact is, in the end, all of the character issues ended up as a wash.
Another problem that Bill presented to Hillary’s campaign is that he represented the past. Although his presidency did bring about some good things, these are not things that are important to the American people today. In fact, most Americans want to get as far away from the past as they can, which meant they had no desire to elect another Clinton into office to do more of the same. This was more than obvious when the votes started coming in. Some may say that Bill played a large part in Trump getting elected as President of the United States.
WikiLeaks had it in for Clinton during the election. Have you ever wondered why this was the case? The fact is, the endless dump of different emails from Clinton’s campaign chairman and the Democratic National Committee were quite damaging to Hillary’s entire campaign.
However, these still failed to deliver the “smoking gun.” However, they did offer up an endless series of questions and distractions, which contributed to the perception that many people had of Clinton as being an elite individual who was raking in cash from all sorts of different corporate interests.
Also, people are not just worried about the Russians, who were blamed for many of the leaks that took place. While there is a reason to believe they should be, this sense of worry and dread is not as extreme as some think. After all, the Americans and Russians have a new common enemy – at least on paper – in ISIS. In fact, ISIS is now the new bogeyman that everyone fears.
With this distraction from the WikiLeaks, many people began to also question Clinton’s motives internally, resulting in them seeing her as someone who was only in it for those who could do something for her – regarding donations to her campaign or foundation. They also saw Clinton as someone who had no stake in the Americans who worked every day just to make ends meet. Clinton never lived this type of life, and many Americans became tired of the way she tried (and failed) to connect with them.
3She was a Member of the Establishment
How could you have possibly missed this, with anti-establishment fever sweeping the country? Not only did Trump represent this, but so did Bernie Sanders. The speeches Clinton gave at Goldman Sachs and her overall resume were just the jumping off point. Hillary was the establishment in a year that was focused on anti-establishment. She had no ground to rail against Obama or Washington – she was a part of all of it.
This makes you wonder what her staff was thinking when they had her appear with countless celebrities toward the end of the election.
Trump never had to appear with celebrities. In fact, he was the celebrity. There is no question this is a celebrity-driven country. Hillary is just a political figure, but somehow Trump became the hero of the blue collar working class, while she lost this group of voters altogether.
The masses of Americans were aware of Trump due to his show “The Apprentice.” Everyone is aware of this, but it is not something to underestimate. He has a tough, no-nonsense, and common sense style while in the boardroom, and regardless of if it is faked or not – it left a lasting impact. This made it more difficult for the media, and his political opponents, to define him, since he was already established in most people’s minds.
In the end, it was the billionaire, not the politician, who became the anti-elite – go figure!
2Big Media Liked Hillary
Trump fully understands that it can help many politicians to have a foil. Each time that the media built an attack against him, they helped to develop him. Why you may wonder?
There is a general dislike of the media overall, but the public typically likes their local reporters. As a result, the “big media” reporters started to stand for the group of “elite.” When they attached Trump to this “elite media” it did not wind up destroying him. In fact, it helped to build him up in the eyes of voters.
This is similar to the adage about shooting at a king. “If you are planning to shoot the king, make sure you don’t miss.” If you do wind up missing, it makes the king appear stronger because he faced powerful forces and came out unscathed.
This is also very similar to the story of David and Goliath.
When the big media began to praise Clinton, it made the voters feel as though she was, even more, a part of this elite, inside club they were unable to access. This was only further reinforced by the various speeches she gave (that were leaked) to Goldman Sachs.
The regular voter wanted someone who represented everything the big media did not. They found this person in Donald Trump. While it is true that Clinton won the popular vote, this does not mean that Trump did not make a difference that impacted enough people – all around the country – to secure his position as the next president of the United States.
Photo Credit: Ron Johnson
Chances are at this point, you think this list is backward. In fact, there are some who may not even know who Ron Johnson is or why he matters. He is Wisconsin’s Republican senator who prevailed in a contested Senate race in the state on election night against Russ Feingold, the former incumbent.
Wisconsin had a total of 10 electoral votes and Trump secured the state with only a one percent victory. Trump had to have 270 electoral votes to win, but he came away with 279. Because Johnson was a very highly contested Senate seat, it was thought to represent the key to maintaining Republican control of the entire Senate, which resulted in a significant amount of money coming into the state at the very last minute. In fact, millions of dollars poured into the state during the final week of the campaign.
The fact is, if Johnson had not been so in need of a win, and if the U.S. Senate were not at stake, the efforts and the flurry of “big money” moving into Wisconsin toward the “get out and vote” movement would not have occurred. Also, some the ads tied Feingold and Clinton together.
The fact is, however, there is the argument that Johnson earned the seat on the coattails of Trump, rather than the other way around, but that is an argument similar to what came first – the chicken or the egg?
The fact is, Clinton is putting some of the blame of her lost election on the shoulders of FBI director James Comey, stating that he cost her votes from college-educated white women, and, as a result, the entire election. In an election that was determined by just 112,000 votes across three different states, this argument may have a bit of merit.
Two days before the election took place, one of the top advisors for Clinton stated that it was those suburban women who would put her over the top. However, they did not know about the improper statement from Comey, which reiterated his exonerating statement from July that would reduce the turnout by reviving the meme that both of the main presidential candidates – to put it simply – sucked.
Regardless of what you ultimately blame the election on, or if you consider it a success or a failure, the fact is the United States of America has a new president. While there are a few people who were still out there almost a week later throwing an adult-sized temper tantrum in the form of protests and riots, this is not going to change the outcome. Mr. Trump is the president-elect, and there are countless reasons behind why this is what happened, instead of Hillary Clinton being elected.
The list goes much further than 10 items, but the 10 reasons here are enough to show anyone the caliber of the win that Mr. Trump achieved.