Now that the election passions have subsided just a little, the question arises why Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton lost, after numerous polls predicted her victory over Donald Trump. According to Todd Purdum of Politico Magazine, people will debate the causes of Hillary Clinton’s defeat in the US presidential election for years:
However, in the first cold light of the day after, one big cause seems clearer than others… her complacency. Years of it. A chronic case of complacency, in fact. There are parallels between the 2008 and 2016 presidential campaigns. In 2008, Clinton’s campaign miscalculated that an upstart insurgent couldn’t beat her. It simply ignored some states altogether and focused on the biggest contests. Likewise, in 2016, she improvidently neglected usually reliable blue states Michigan and Wisconsin after the primaries, such carelessness cost Clinton the White House.
For his part, Tim Fernholz of Quartz believed:
Trump owes his victory to the polarisation of American politics… the final difference in the vote will likely be less than two percentage points. He promised the American people a fantastic past where they could avoid the social and economic turmoil of the 21st century, so they came out to make him president, although it doesn’t seem likely that he’d fulfil his promises. The discovery of a substantial portion of emails from Clinton’s server by the FBI just twelve days before the election dealt a serious blow to Clinton’s campaign. [FBI Director James] Comey’s role in the campaign underscored how little attention traditional policy issues received compared to hyped-up scandals.
Meanwhile, Betsy Woodruff of the Daily Beast assumed:
Hillary Clinton destroyed her own campaign. There was trouble before she even entered the race (Woodruff’s reference is to a New York Times story of 2 March 2015 about Clinton using a private email server whilst US Secretary of State). Controversies surrounding the Clinton Foundation also didn’t do her any favours. The fact that the Foundation received contributions from foreign governments whilst Hillary Clinton was a top-level official fuelled the perception that big corporations could influence Clinton’s decisions. The FBI stepping in on 28 October with a renewed investigation of Clinton’s emails severely damaged her campaign, even though on 6 November Comey announced that the second round of investigation hadn’t turned up anything.
John Wildermuth of the San Francisco Chronicle argued that Democrats can blame the loss on FBI Director Comey, but it appears that the problem has its roots in the Democratic Party’s policies:
From the start of her campaign, it was impossible for Clinton to bill herself as the candidate for change. With her long ties to the Democratic establishment… and her years as President Obama’s Secretary of State… she was chained to Obama and his policies.
Heather Wilhelm at the biweekly rightwing magazine National Review provided yet another explanation for Clinton’s defeat:
There are many reasons for Hillary Clinton’s loss… obvious corruption, lockstep leftism, disastrous health-care prescriptions, abortion fanaticism, and basic incompetence are just a few. It seems that the truth is out there.
Still, Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić thought that the reason behind the American people’s choice of Donald Trump was obvious:
The world is changing, and established élites are passing [into oblivion]. US citizens are tired of conflicts with other countries and overseas interventions. During the election, the [American] people showed that they don’t approve of these wars.
11 November 2016