10 Reasons White Women Didn’t Vote for Hillary
The election last November came to a surprising close. Though Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, she had lost to Donald Trump in the electoral college, and that’s what counts. This was such a shock because Trump was abusive, crude, and unqualified to be president of the United States. His entire campaign was riddled with uncouth behavior. With her impressive list of achievements and all of her past government experience, it seemed like there was no way that Trump could emerge victorious.
However, he did, and the breakdown in the polls had some insights on what may have happened. While the women did vote in the majority for Hillary Clinton, there were less women casting a vote for Hillary in 2016 than for Obama in the 2008 election. With how much focus her campaign had on the female voter, it is not expected to have such a narrow split. It gets even more interesting when you take a closer look at the more specific demographics.
Black women were the most supportive of Hillary, with only 4% of that demographic voting for Trump, and Hispanics also were very supportive of her in the leadership race. The big surprise was the white women who had a college education only voted 51% for Hillary, and uneducated white women only 34%. There is also the interesting fact that many white women did not even vote at all. So what happened? How did Hillary lose her key demographic? Here are 10 reasons that white women did not vote for Hillary:
10She is Boring
Part of being a great politician is being able to draw in crowds. It does not matter how great their vision of the future is, but how they communicate it. Many leaders manage to inspire a nation; when they talk, everyone listens. Obama, for example, has been said to captivate audiences, and even Trump’s crude spewing managed to keep an audience entertained and engaged. It can be argued that people watched Trump’s speeches, not because it was good content, but because it was similar to a train wreck; looking away was just not possible.
Hillary Clinton does not possess that same gift for speaking that other great leaders have had. Many people complained that her rallies were slow and uninspiring. While her message was important and well thought out, her delivery was so poor that people had trouble paying attention to her. This means that even people who supported her policies and platforms had trouble backing her, and it was difficult to campaign in support of her.
Getting people together and fighting for a common goal brings passion to an electoral candidate. Hillary’s campaign was missing that passion and fire. While she did have a slogan, it was missing a call to action. Without that call to action, and without much passion it was difficult to inspire the population to vote for her. Hillary’s lack of inspirational speaking skills was a major factor in her loss of the election, and even just a common call to action may have saved her candidacy.
9 The E-mail Scandal
One reason for Hillary not winning the 2016 election is the scandal around her use of a private e-mail server while she was Secretary of State. It all started because she wanted to use her phone, a BlackBerry, to send both work and personal e-mails. To make this work she had her own private e-mail server set up, and created her own e-mail account to manage it. This was entirely separate from the government issued e-mail accounts that are given to people working in the government.
There were several concerns with this that were brought to the attention of the State. Primarily, security risks were a major concern. Her servers would be potentially easier to hack, and would not have the same security protocols that an official government e-mail server would be subjected to. There was also a concern around risk of losing copies of key correspondence. The server she used would not be archived like the government issued e-mail, and that could cause some problems in the event of an equipment failure.
Both of these issues were addressed in the FBI investigation. They found that while this is not a best practice, it was not criminal. Most work related e-mails from Hillary would have gone to government issued e-mails, and that meant they would have been backed up anyway. While she was cleared, not once, but twice, by the FBI, her campaign took quite a hit. Polling showed that this impacted the white female vote. Even once she was cleared of any criminal charges, her rating did not improve.
8 She Played the Lady Card Too Hard
During the 2016 campaign, Hillary played hard to her gender. In previous, and more successful elections, such as when she ran for Senate, she did not play into her femininity quite so aggressively. Even in her race for the democratic nomination in 2008, she did not push her gender so fiercely. Hillary focused so much on the fact she was a woman, some other women were led to believe that was the only thing she was going to bring to the White House.
It appears that the voting public wanted someone who would walk into the White House and say “I am the president,” and they were afraid that Hillary Clinton would walk in and say “I am a woman.” They were looking for policies they could stand behind, and meaningful leadership of their country. The white female vote may have been much different had Hillary not played up her gender so heavily. This would have given more focus to the issues, policies, and political stance on more important topics than the gender of the candidate.
In addition to overshadowing important election issues, Hillary’s focus on her gender may have rubbed some feminists the wrong way. In the battles to end sexism and bring gender equality, Hillary’s attempts to use gender to set herself apart fell flat. Instead of just being one of the guys in the election race, she appeared to want special treatment. She seemed to be advocating for special rights, not equal rights. The perception of this was likely a turnoff for many white women voters.
7White Women Experience Less Racism
Hillary’s rival in the 2016 election, Donald Trump, was blatantly racist. There were a number of video and audio recordings of him saying terrible things. Even his campaign promises around Muslims was based on hard held racist thought patterns. The idea of building a wall between Mexico and the US is another prime example of his racist ideals. With all of this, Clinton seemed to be the most likely candidate to win the election. Unfortunately, the way the human mind works does not always go in a sensible manner, and Trump managed to still win the election.
It is common to see people turn a blind eye to racism and sexism if it does not happen directly to them. White women are going to be less exposed to first hand racism, and that can lead them to believe it does not happen. The simple fact that it does not take place directly at them creates the falsehood that it must not happen anywhere.
Clinton ran her campaign against Trump’s rough and racist remarks. This was a good stand to take, and it did help draw in the minority votes. However, white people, more specifically white women who may not see how awful racism is, were not swayed as much as they were expected to be. Their unwillingness to imagine a situation that they have not personally experienced, led to their ability to ignore what was coming out of Trump’s mouth. It is a mindset were selfishness and skewed perspective can cause great harm.
6 Lack of Trust
Hillary Clinton has been involved in a several different scandals, some dating all the way back to her husband’s presidency. There have been several times where her answers to unpleasant questions have been dodgy, and she has not always handled things well. This leaves a bad taste in some peoples’ mouths.
Now, this should not have been too much of an issue; she was running against Mr. Flip Flop himself, Donald Trump. He was caught in a number of lies throughout his campaign, and always needed to be fact checked. However, there is a physiological phenomenon which causes women to be held to a higher standard in honesty. This stems from the stereotype that a woman is naturally more moral and honest than a man, and if that woman is lying, then she must be a very bad person. Essentially it gives men the excuse that it is in their nature to be at least somewhat untrustworthy. While most people thought that both candidates were not honest, that opinion had more sway on the perception of Clinton.
It is also interesting to note, white women are the most likely to be impacted by this phenomenon. It appears that women hold other women to a much higher standard than they hold their male counterparts. This double standard when it comes to integrity is likely a major factor in Hillary receiving fewer women’s votes in the election than expected. It is remarkable that this phenomenon can be seen in many places, from mom groups, to the PTA, and all the way to the 2016 presidential election.
5 Her Economic Plan
During the primaries, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders went head to head. Clinton came out on top, but it was clear the democratic voters were leaning to Bernie’s ideologies and economic platform. Somehow, Clinton seemed to miss that message. She continued approach to the economic concerns, in a steadfast way, with policies to deal with the economic state of the US that were not what most people were looking for.
With her stance and approach to the economy not being in line with what the vocal Democratic voter base, it was hard for people to vote for her. Even people who would normally vote for the Democrats were put off by what she was delivering, and it certainly was not appealing to the right-leaning population. She would have been much better off to adapt to what was said in the primaries. Economic policies more in line with what Sanders was selling would have given her stronger support from many Democrats.
Statistically, the majority of women who vote, vote for the Democrats. Clinton’s policies seemed to ignore what the Democrat supporters were screaming for, so it is no surprise that white women did not go out and support Hillary. She appeared to ignore what her possible voter base was seeking. It is possible that if she would have realigned her position closer to what Sanders had campaigned with, that more white women would have voted for her. They were Democrats who were not getting what they felt a Democratic candidate should be providing, leaving them to either not vote, or to place a vote for Trump.
4 Hillary was seen as an Elitist
During her campaign, Hillary Clinton tried to appeal to the average woman. Left-leaning, working class women was her target audience in almost all of her speeches. Unfortunately, it is hard to seem sincere to that target demographic when her fundraising tactics for the election raised over $800 million. Her wardrobe alone was rumored to have cost close to $200,000.
The amount that she spent on her wardrobe was seen as absolutely ridiculous. It is hard to listen to someone spout Democratic ideals while they wear a tweed jacket worth over $12,000. This was in stark contrast to her usual attire, which was the monochrome pant suit that she managed to make infamous. It is stated that this upgrade to her style was a suggestion from her team of image experts, and their goal was to make her more relatable. It seems that they had the opposite effect, as her wardrobe brought division, and had many people firmly see it as a sign of her elite status.
The real problem with this display of wealth was not that she had that kind of money, but that she would not recognize herself as part of the elite. Hillary Clinton continued to play into class warfare during her campaign against Trump, while spending almost 10 years of a minimum wage earners salary on her wardrobe. She seemed blind to the vibe of superiority she was outputting, while trying to pretend she was one of the general public. This blatant hypocrisy definitely turned many women voters away from her.
3 The Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky Scandal
Hillary went into this presidential race already a little behind because of her husband. Back in 1998, it was revealed that Bill Clinton had a sexual relationship with an intern, who eventually became a member of the White House staff. This relationship was with a young lady named Monica Lewinsky, and took place between 1995 and 1996. The following investigation, and the perjury he performed during that investigation, eventually lead to Bill Clinton going through the impeachment process. It is important to note that this happened because of his actions and lies during the investigation, and not strictly because of the affair.
What does that have to do with the white women vote, in his wife’s election race? Well, she is still married to him. It was made public knowledge that he had a sexual affair, and they managed to salvage their relationship. After all the pain, betrayal, and public embarrassment she did not file for divorce, and they are still married to this day.
For many people, this is a victory of marriage; a hardship was faced and the couple dealt with it together, as a married couple. The overall feeling from many white women do not really align with that. Many women saw this as Hillary letting Bill get away with it. They feel that a strong woman should not have taken that kind of slight, and moving on would have been better. The strong and independent persona that she tries for is marred in the minds of many people because she did not end her marriage to Bill after the scandal.
2The Bathroom Debacle
This may sound a little counterintuitive, as the fight for equal rights of the transgender and queer population is a key point in the Democratic policies. It was also part of Hillary’s campaign to make the US a more tolerant place for all people. However, during the campaign, the fight to allow transgendered people to use their identified gender to determine what bathroom they use may have hurt Hillary’s popularity with the white women voters.
Typically, women are going to be strong supporters of the status quo; when the Federal government decided it was going to throw its weight around in the bathroom debate, it made many women uncomfortable. The stance that the Democratic led Federal government took was very new, and required adjustment in people’s perceptions of what gender is. There was just not enough time for that adjustment to happen by Election Day. While morally it was the right move, and it did fit best with the Democratic policies in place, the timing of the whole thing was just terrible for Hillary Clinton.
The biggest trouble that was caused by the Federal government’s involvement was that it fractured the sisterhood that Clinton was trying to play into. All of a sudden, women who were born women were not the only type of woman, and that made it difficult to form a more cohesive block. Hillary ran her entire campaign on that block coming together to fight for what was best for them. With the transgender bathroom issue, she struggled with aligning that demographic into one strong unit.
1Hillary is Hard to Like
The people who support Hillary are diehard fans, and praise her attitude and work ethic. However, the opposite is also true. Those who do not like Hillary Clinton, feel strongly against her. This almost natural dislike that many people seem to have really impacted the white female vote. There is just something about her that makes her seem almost overbearing.
It is true that she pours herself completely into her profession, and she is very aggressive in achieving her goals. That should not be seen as a bad thing, in fact her rival, Donald Trump, has always gloated about his drive and determination. However, in some way people find Hillary’s drive to be unsettling. It is almost as though it rubs people the wrong way for some unknown reason. It is theorized that people are intimidated by her accomplishments, and their feeling of inadequacy are displayed through dislike.
An alternate school of thought on this matter believes that her all work and no play attitude makes it difficult to think of her as a person. The public knows what Obama does to relax, and they get to feel like he is just a normal person. Hillary’s constant dedication to work makes it hard for people to see her as anything other than a robot. This dehumanization of Hillary Clinton may have caused people to not vote for her. Her drive and seemingly tireless work ethic, coupled with no relaxing hobbies made it difficult for her voter base to find her relatable.
It was thought that the Democrats would surely win this election, once Trump had won the Republican nomination. It turned out to not be the case, and that result surprised many people. As the data is shuffled through in the aftermath of the election, there are some interesting points. The lack of support from the white women of America is certainly one of the more fascinating ones. In an election where the opponent was racist, sexist, and inexperienced, it is surprising that women did not vote for anyone other the Trump.
With closer analysis and thought there appears to be numerous reasons that white women did not provide the support to Clinton that was expected. Her past was against her. She overplayed her gender, even though the excessive criticisms of her integrity may have been due to her gender. These were some of the factors that may have played a part in the lack of white women support for Hillary Clinton.
Finally, it appears that one of her greatest challenges was her own persona. The ridiculed effort to dress in a way that made her more relatable, and the extreme amounts of money wasted on that attempt made her seem like a hypocrite. Her drive and motivation make it hard for people to relate to her, and can also bring forth some feelings of inadequacy. With all that playing in women’s mind, it could be that they did not go out and vote for Trump; they went out and voted for anyone but Hillary.