Thoughts On Why Hillary Lost

Joe Mack, Staff Writer

In one of the most surprising conclusions to any presidential election in the history of the United States, Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton. Immediately following the election, a state of widespread shock and panic swept across the nation; especially among Hillary supporters, who thought that the first female president of the United States was going to be elected this cycle. Some took to the streets, protesting and shouting chants such as “not my president”, while others came to terms with the sad new reality, believing that the country picked a truly “deplorable” candidate over their own.

Many in the media were also dumbfounded by the results of the election. A sort of blame game ensued as many anchors, political commentators, and panelists tried to rationalize why Clinton may have lost. Unsurprisingly, Wikileaks and the FBI director’s reopening of the email investigation emerged as the main scapegoats to why most of their polls got the election wrong. Both of those are certainly factors in Trump’s victory, but they do not explain why 5 million fewer people voted for Clinton this election than Obama in 2012.

The first and major reason why Hillary lost is because she didn’t promise any real change. People viewed the policies that she proposed as little different from Obama’s, which didn’t sit well with those who wanted to improve the economy. For this reason, she failed to win votes from states such as Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan- all well inside her “blue wall” or states that she was convinced she was going win. Losing those states to Trump cemented the idea that voters wanted change of any kind in Washington. Clinton’s campaign strategy also exclusively entailed her sitting back and letting Trump destroy himself, which completely backfired on her. Instead of addressing the desires of the people in her “blue wall” states, she tried to justify her bid for presidency by basically saying that she was less worse than the person she was running against- which is no way to gain an undecided voter’s support.

The media also didn’t help her bid for presidency; making it seem like it was her election to win by large margins. The best example of this is the Huffington Post’s poll, where they had Clinton with a 98% chance of victory. Although that is an extreme, all the major papers and news stations had Clinton winning as well. This prompted many to not come out to the polls at all, thinking that she was going to win by a landslide.

I also got the vibe that a major running point of her campaign was to elect her just because she was going to be the first woman president. Although it would be fantastic to see, breaking the glass ceiling isn’t a realistic justification of why she should be president. To put it into prospective, Barack Obama didn’t ask for people’s votes by saying that he was going to be the first African American president, he got people’s votes by promising “hope” and “change”.

The truth is that Clinton lost a completely winnable election by both underestimating Trump’s support, and severely overestimating her own.