Why did Clinton lose? How did Trump win?

113282161-post-news-large_transqvzuuqpflyliwib6ntmjwfsvwez_ven7c6bhu2jjnt8Yesterday morning at this time I was confident that Hillary Clinton would win the election and that Donald Trump would lose—not because I thought Clinton was a strong candidate, but that Trump (seemingly) was such a bad one.

Throughout the primary and general election campaigns, I expected Trump to self-destruct and, in the closing weeks of the campaign, I thought he did.

My great fear was that the Clinton administration would be a failure and that, four years from now, a sane Donald Trump would emerge—someone who stood for the same things that Trump stands for, but who had a minimum of dignity, courtesy, self-control and background knowledge, someone equivalent to Nigel Farage, Marine Le Pen or Vladimir Putin.

But I was wrong.  Despite all his self-destructive behavior, the real Trump won.   Why?

Trump was a candidate of change, and Clinton was the candidate of the status quo.  More people wanted change, even risky change, than wanted the status quo.

Trump appealed to hate, and Clinton appealed to fear.  Hate is a more empowering emotion than fear.

And the number of votes lost through voter suppression may have been more than the narrow margin of victory in the popular vote, just like 16 years ago.

Below are links to some good analyses of the campaign.  I may add more links throughout the day.



On Trump’s Performance by Ian Welsh.

Donald Trump is moving to the White House and liberals put him there by Thomas Frank for The Guardian.

Why the White Working Class Rebelled: Neoliberalism Is Killing Them (Literally) by Juan Cole for Informed Comment.

US Election 2016: Trump Victory in Maps by the BBC.

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2 Responses to “Why did Clinton lose? How did Trump win?”

  1. philebersole Says:

    This comment by Samuel Glover was moved from “A global view of global warming”

    Not really apropos, but the always excellent Mathbabe has some pertinent observations:

    “The models were plain as day. What the numbers were telling us was that if the polls were right, Clinton would win easily, but if they were underestimating Trump’s support by anywhere near a Brexit-like margin, Trump would win easily. Shouldn’t that have been the headline? Wouldn’t you have liked to have known that? Isn’t it way more informative than saying that Clinton is 98% or 71% likely to win based on some parameter someone plucked out of thin air?”

    So it wasn’t so much polling per se, but the presentation of it’s meaning, that misled people. Of course, you’d think the geniuses of the Democratic Party, or at least their very well-compensated consultants, might have been aware of these subtleties.

    One more thing. As bad as a Trump presidency looks to be, the man does seem to have put down two political dynasties, and that is no small favor. Today we’re treated to a post mortum from HRC herself, and it is a cosmic-scale example of blame-shifting. According to her, it’s all Comey’s fault!

    Consider the arrogance and obtuseness behind this mentality, the sheer inability to learn, and imagine how that would play out dealing with Iran, Syria, Russia. It actually almost makes a Trump presidency look not so bad.


  2. ashiftinconsciousness Says:

    “… a Trump presidency look not so bad.” .?? Trump is a hateful, mentally ill, emotionally dysfunctional megalomaniac. A sociopath with psychopathic tendencies. Come on! (And I detest the Clintons).


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