Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton Likely Lost Because More Democrats Stayed Home

Third party voters were blamed for Trump's election, but Clinton's inability to motivate her own party's voters was a far greater factor in her defeat.


It's not them, it's you.

Stop the presses. Turns out it wasn't Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, and Evan McMullin that cost Hillary Clinton her spot in the Oval Office, it was the fact that a significantly greater number of registered Democrats than Republicans just stayed home rather than cast a ballot for the former secretary of state.

Of the approximately 100,000 registered voters who took a post-election SurveyMonkey poll, over 3,600 were non-voters, according to FiveThirtyEight. Unsurprisingly, about 90 percent of registered Democrats and Republicans voted for their party's candidate, and the data also shows a preference for unaffiliated voters for Clinton—which is partly why the conventional wisdom narrative immediately formulated around the theory that third party voters had selfishly denied Clinton her rightful ascendance to the presidency.

But hang on. All the ballots cast for third party candidates combined only amounted to a little more than about 7,000,000, yet according to the SurveyMonkey poll, 35 percent of registered voters who didn't vote self-identified as Democrats. Self-identified Republicans who didn't vote amounted to only 32 percent of the total. FiveThirtyEight summarizes the consequences here:

That means that had the non-voters cast a ballot in accordance with their party identification, Clinton's advantage over Trump nationally would have expanded by about 2 to 3 percentage points. That almost certainly would have been enough to flip enough states for her to win the Electoral College.

Throughout 2016, polls indicated that voters found Trump and Clinton to be the least popular major party presidential candidates in history, and this latest poll confirmed that dislike of both candidates was the biggest factor for non-voters in deciding to opt out of the choice. The SurveyMonkey poll also showed Trump and Clinton earning favorability ratings in the low 30s among non-voters, and only in the low 40s among people who actually voted for one of them.

Clinton was unable to motivate key Democratic demographic groups to vote for her. The poll found that non-whites amounted to about 42 percent of non-voters, but just 25 percent of voters. Worse for Clinton, black voters abandoned her in dramatic numbers. In 2016 black non-voters outnumbered black voters—a reverse of 2012's results—and 46 percent of black voters under the age of 30 (who tended to favor Bernie Sanders to Clinton far more than older black voters) did not vote in this past election.

Trump, for his part, was able to turn out significantly higher numbers of white voters without a college degree than Mitt Romney did in 2012, which FiveThirtyEight writes is "pretty remarkable that a group of voters that is shrinking as a percentage of the population made up a larger share of the electorate in 2016 than in 2012."

It's unlikely this inconvenient (for Clinton supporters) data will change any minds about which non-compliant voters cost Clinton "her turn" in the White House. After all, almost two decades later Democrats are still blaming Ralph Nader for costing Al Gore the 2000 election, but have engaged in precious little soul-searching over the fact that Gore lost his own state or that more Florida Democrats voted for George W. Bush than Nader by a factor of 12:1.

But the data is there in case Democrats ever want to consider that candidates matter, and not just the candidate you're running against.

NEXT: Protesting This New-Fangled Sales Tax

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  1. I wonder if HRC will ever ever truly ponder her own role in her failure.

    1. Am I the only one that reads "Her Royal Clintonness" when they see the initials HRC?

      1. Nope. It's jarring, I keep having to back out assumed sarcasm.

      2. i hear the sound "HERK"

      3. I read "Her Royal..." my last word is a bit more offensive, like the woman herself.

        1. Lighting the Ken Schulz signal...


          1. It fits, doesn't it? I can't think of any other people in the world who deserve that appellation more than her.

      4. [golf clap] for KK.

    2. "What could I have done to appeal more to those deplorable hillbilly dregs?"

      1. Hillary had gotten a new glass and filled it with ice and gin.
        Maria was cleaning up the broken glass from her previous one.
        "Negroes" she muttered. "Always the fucking negroes"
        Maria started to hum a folksong from her native island.

    3. Hillary Clinton will go to her grave believing the Presidency was stolen from her not once, but twice.

      1. She'll be a bitter, superannuated Tracy Flick muttering to herself over a double Canadian Club.

      2. It couldn't happen to a nicer Xothian.

      3. Don't go to your grave made Hildog, but please do go to your grave.

      4. May she live to be 120.

        1. If she does she'll run at least five more times.

    4. Probably not, but the only way it would matter is if she told her followers that they need to do something different if they want to win future elections.

      1. "If you want to win future elections, you need to make sure those deplorable bitter clingers in their trailer parks and backwoods hollers understand just how horrible they are if the don't vote for US, dammit! I would have won in 2016 if I just HIT THEM HARDER!"

        You mean, like that?

    5. What about me? I'm stuck with dozens of "WHO ELECTED HER?" bumper stickers for which I speculated heavily. Damn Paddypower and their misleading betting odds!

  2. Hillary Clinton Likely Lost Because More Democrats Stayed Home

    Thank you.

    now if only people realize Russia has been hacking everything for years (and so have we) and what happened during the election was a big fat nothing.

    but that would be expecting way too much

    1. Russia has been engaging in propaganda and disinformation against the West since before they wrote the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Did we expect that they stopped after the USSR fell, or since the notorious Reset Button?

    2. Seriously it's all spy games, all the time. America has 16 intelligence agencies employing hundreds of thousands of espionage workers, every nation all the way to to third world Somalia has a espionage network. What the fuck do people think these hundreds of thousands of spies do every day??

      Clapper should be careful that by politicizing stuff that he knows isn't really political per say might lose us some ground in the Spy Game. For instance in the trading of captured operatives, which still happens all the time! We capture some foreign agents, they capture some of ours, and we trade, the spy game goes on... It's more rule abiding than actual warfare to be real.

      1. Ugh! The shock that people feign to feel about Russian hacking when the NSA has been caught red handed hacking into every single asset of our own allies!

        This stuff happens everyday, covert operations is a god damn billion dollar industry, and I'm hardly even including the millions of PMCs operating throughout the world.

        Just the other day I was reading about a guy sprinting for US embassy in Moscow, he got tackled about 50ft from the gates -- that wasn't some civilian, it was a US agent with his cover blown.

        Also I've said it before, Dennis Rodman is absolutely being debriefed by multiple agencies on his return trips from NK -- he's basically a hero. Go watch Argo and you'll get a taste of how civilian assets are used in Spy Games. Then shudder to think about how only gold platted missions like that get declassified and these people conduct operations Every Single Day!

        1. https://intelnews.org/ -- is a really fun and insightful resource.

          1. Accused Chinese nuclear spy 'to plead guilty' in US court this week

            Like for real, who gives a fuck about the ruskies. Espionage is an everyday affair.

      2. What the fuck do people think these hundreds of thousands of spies do every day??

        Surf porn sites?

        1. I spent my idle time surfing/editing Intellipedia.

          1. There's a Wikipedia that's not pullulating with unemployed communists? AWK! It's another damned gubmint thing... Vade retro! Shoo!

      3. "What the fuck do people think these hundreds of thousands of spies do every day??"

        Does it rhyme with "bastard station"?

  3. But muh Russia!

  4. Clinton lost because Trump took Wisconsin and Michigan, as well as the swing states. National numbers really don't matter. The only data that matters is what happened in a handful of states. Did all of these voters stay home in California and New York? Then it really doesn't matter. It seems weird that people are still talking about national polls and, by implication, the popular vote right after:
    1) the polls have now been shown to be completely fucked in two major international incidents (Brexit, Trumpxit) in the last 7 months and
    2) we all just re-learned that the US, in fact, does not elect Presidents "democratically," but by electoral college.

    1. If Clinton's youthful rocket scientist campaign staff had been paying attention to PA legislative elections, they'd have seen how red the ostensibly blue western PA voters were going for state House and Senate races over the past 10 years and made more of an effort to connect with those voters.

      Western PA Dems are pro-gun, pro-life, and don't want anything to do with progressive nonsense. They happily ticket split when it comes to issues like that.

      1. Well she did enable the Dems to flip one incumbent Republican, 156th district, where soccer moms and university students couldn't abide Trump. Lost by 25 votes and was the most libertarian member of the Pa. House. He informed me, after recount upheld his loss, that he was done with politics and re-registering Libertarian.

        1. "done with politics and re-registering Libertarian."

          Wait, did he just insult the Libertarian Party?

    2. Clinton got her voters out in places like NY and especially CA, but didn't work on getting folks out in states with more partisan parity. You see an ethnic element partly because of where minorities disproportionately live (in large cities and blue states), while the broader question is always geographic (and how to appeal to multiple sorts of regions) in the US electoral system. Hence why she 'win' the imaginary 'popular vote' with such surplus in 2-3 states.

    3. The Electoral College is what gives Libertarian spoiler votes 6 to 36 times the law-repealing clout of votes wasted on the looter Kleptocracy. Besides... what country with collectivist voting gets better results?*
      * (Better=has Second Amendment packing protection).

    4. Exactly. The whole premise of the article is nonsense.

  5. I get nervous that the GOP is going to screw up this opportunity to shrink the government and let loose the reigns of our economy. This is truly the best shot to do this in years.

    I would normally assume that the Stupid Party gonna Stupid but then I look at how the left has been handling the loss and I feel so so much better.

    1. I'm worried that the Republicans, after sweeping the entire country for the last 8 years, are going to decide that it wasn't their small-government arguments (where those were made) that have boosted them, but their Red Team big government arguments. And you know what? They might be right. A lot of the backlash against Obama has probably been that he was simply growing government in the wrong direction. So, now that that's finished, it's time to grow it in the other direction. Who's going to stop them? Nationally speaking, the democrat party basically doesn't exist. We now have complete one-party control of the country. Which party just depends on the region you live in.

      1. Cut corporate taxes. That's all I ask. The health insurance market is going to suck until government is extirpated root and branch, and that's not happening. So cut the corporate tax rate, and put a moratorium on new regulations. Those two things are all I ask.

        1. I have less than zero hope they will be able to do anything on healthcare but I completely agree that is all we get from Trump is lower corp taxes and no new regulations (maybe peel back the EPA a little? Please?) it will be a big win.

      2. Conservatives love their welfare/warfare state. There are no brakes on that train.

        1. I've got 14 more days to enjoy the ham tears. Quit harshing my buzz.

  6. But NYC Democrats will go to the polls to elect her mayor, right?

    Please? PLEASE???

    1. are you kidding? please be kidding

      1. I bet she runs and she wins. And the sorry fact is she will be a huge improvement over DiBlasio.

        1. You're right. But, the schadenfreude in me would love for her to run and lose the NYC mayor's race.

          1. "It was those goddamned Russians in Brighton Beach!!"

        2. The corpse of David Dinkins is better than DiBlasio.

      2. The prospect has an obvious, novelistic allure

        Jesus they learned absolutely nothing, didn't they...

      3. It might just be fake news. Or that those "pressuring" Hillary to run are also named Clinton.

        1. Hillary is being pressured to run by her supporters just like men all over America are being pressured into getting blowjobs.

          1. If it were anyone but DeBlasio, I'd agree with you. I think there's a real possibility that, if the NYC GOP put up someone marginally tolerable, they could knock out DeBlasio. He's that unpopular. Even in NYC. Clinton would be guaranteed a win.

        2. Somehow its fitting that the "expert NYC democratic consultant" is named "Hank Shankoff"

          I personally don't buy it. Being mayor is actually "work", which is not something Hillary seems to have much excelled at. Also what fun is it ruling over people who adore you? She was in it for the joy of tormenting her enemies.

          1. There are tremendous graft opportunities in the big apple. They can't expect a couple hundred million to last forever.

      4. Hillary further de Blasio'ing NYC would be fun.

      5. are you kidding? please be kidding

        Maybe you live in NYC, so that's a horror for you. For the rest of us, anything that keeps her away from us is a boon.

      6. I personally couldn't give a shit if Hillary got elected to fuck up New York City more....

    2. But NYC Democrats will go to the polls to elect her mayor, right?

      Anything to get a few more years of Anthony Weiner stumbling sexting his way into the headlines is fine with me.

      1. All she has to do is again stand up for having the cops shoot sand people with reefers, again promise to raise taxes and send regulators with guns to eat out our substance, and again defend asset forfeiture looting and mandatory proctology taxes and carbon taxes. Noo Yawkers'll forget all about Trump and line up to vote for her looter party policies again, just like in November.

    3. JFC. Why can't she just fucking take up a normal hobby like fishing or knitting, and leave the citizens of this befrigged country alone?


        1. She's already been a goddamn Senator a Sec State. Wtf does she want to be a Mayor for? Someone get her a condo in Ft. Lauderdale, stat!

          1. *and, not a

      2. a normal hobby like fishing or knitting

        (throws scarf made of strings of fish over shoulder)

        1. I'm starting to question the alleged keenness of your fashion sense.

          1. i'm cutting edge, man

            (applies band aids to places where the fish-hooks in scarf have embedded themselves in flesh)

      3. Uncoerced? Why... that's abandonment!

  7. "it was the fact that a significantly greater number of registered Democrats than Republicans just stayed home rather than cast a ballot for the former secretary of state."

    How'd the Russians manage that?

    1. Something something fake news.

      1. There was SO much fake news to wade through that they lost track of time and forgot to go to the polls and vote?
        Makes about as much sense as every other theory out there.

        1. People sharing pro-Trump memes about Hillary being an utterly corrupt sociopath instilled enough false confidence in a lot of good solid Democratic voters that they despaired and sat out.

    2. The Russians flew in bears to nap on Democrats' porches, blocking their way out to the polls?

  8. Maybe we've been misjudging Hillary all along and she really is more of a selfless public servant dedicated to the cause of social justice than we think. Maybe Hillary lost because that was the plan all along, to get Trump elected. And now Trump's free to enact Hillary's agenda, not only with the support of, but with the enthusiastic and eager support of, the GOP. Just as only Nixon could go to China, perhaps Hillary realized that only a Republican could fix Obamacare, propose increased subsidies for college tuition and welfare recipients, propose massive infrastructure spending, fail to do anything whatsoever about those "greedy bankers, crony capitalists and political insiders" who all just happen to be some of their best friends, praise people like Chuck Schumer while crapping all over people like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, promote a "reset" with Russia, etc. Maybe Hillary was only promoting herself and the Democrats as extreme leftists to insure the victory of a moderate leftist who would be perceived as being right-wing by comparison.

    And Hillary Clinton did far more to promote libertarianism than Gary Johnson and Bill Weld did.

    (Keep in mind that in a post-parody reality, the line between parody, satire, and sarcasm on the one hand and earnest sincerity on the other isn't just blurred, it's entirely erased. There's literally no longer anything you can say as a joke that somebody somewhere isn't also saying in complete honest seriousness.)

    1. Maybe Hillary lost because that was the plan all along, to get Trump elected.

      Not possible. I have it on good authority that Trump was a Clinton plant, if anything...

    2. Best theory I've heard. I don't think people are prepared for just how great the Donald presidency is going to be from the butthurt liberals complaining about policies they would be cheering for if Trump had a D next to his name to the republicans cheerleading policies they never really hated. Also the twitter account, the nonstop trolling, unrepentant policy flipflopping, the largest revolving door of cabinet officials who are in one week out the next and the hyperventilating of the press. Only downside is us small gov. people are going to get it long and hard but that was bound to happen no matter what.

      1. We're being compensated with entertainment.

  9. "Don't blame me - it was like that when I got here!"

  10. Only quibble =

    why "likely"?

    it seems like other people have no problem making authoritative statements about entirely-speculative topics... why water things down when you actually have a far more solid case than the conventional bone-fucking-stupid narrative?

    i do not blame fisher, but whomever the gods of headlines are. (looks suspiciously in different directions)

  11. When you drill down into the "Russia terk er verts" narrative, isn't it basically Democrats screaming that the Democratic candidate lost because Democrats stayed home due to learning how shitty the Democrat party was, especially toward Democrat voters who preferred a different candidate? Look in the fucking mirror for why you lost, chumps. Either you belong to the camp that promotes corruption and turns off your own voters, or you belong to the camp that was disgusted enough to stay home. Either way the loss is on you.

    Ah, who am I kidding? If they believed in personal responsibility, they wouldn't be Democrats.

    1. isn't it basically Democrats screaming that the Democratic candidate lost because Democrats stayed home due to learning how shitty the Democrat party was

      Yes. "Russia" is their code word for =

      "oh shit our party has been rapidly losing power and we have no idea how to stop it"

      1. Makes sense, as a prominent example of left-wing collapse.

  12. It was always obvious that Hillary was never going to get anywhere near the turnout Obama got, and turnout was arguably the biggest key in his elections. Black voters went to the polls at much higher rates in 2008 and 2012 than they ever had previously and, unless/until there's another black nominee, than they will in the future.

  13. This tells me that anyone could have beaten Clinton.

  14. The hardcore Democrats are telling themselves that Trump is a Fifth Columnist. They've really lost their damn minds.

    1. We need to...

      Make the Trump - McConnell - Comey - Russia connection as pervasive to the oncoming administration as Beghazi and emails were to Hillary's campaign and Kenya was to Obama's administration.

      Each and every time Trump's or McConnell's or Comey's name comes up we need to link it to Putin and Russia election interference, all the while inferring that Russia had a hand in changing the outcome of the election.

      1. Its the WaPo. They're experts on this whole 'Russian' connection thing.

        1. The WP has gone completely off the rails. I don't think I've ever witnessed an equivalent implosion of a news organization.

          1. The energy-grid thing last weekend was 100% batshit, made-out-of-thin-air nuttery.

            They didn't even call the company they were reporting about to confirm anything.. Burlington Electricity had to release a press release saying, "Uh, No"

    2. My favorite comment:

      Khrushchev: "History is on our side. We will bury you.

      'Nikita Khrushchev told Western diplomats in November 1956, "History
      is on our side. We will bury you."'
      source: Foreign Affairs, 1990

      Because Kruschchev would have predicted the downfall of the Soviet Union on the path to destroying the US....

      1. Krushchev's comment is surprisely apropos. Just as the Soviets believed that the dialectical forces of History would guarantee a communist world, so did Clinton's progressive campaign presume that demography would guarantee certain populations voting Democratic by the same large-h Historical idea.

        Meanwhile, regardless of anything Trump did wrong, he focused his campaign on going around actually asking folks for their votes.

        1. Hayak says all governments tend toward socialism.

  15. She does realize that being mayor of New York may require attending events outdoors in the late summer that require you to be on your feet for 45 minutes or more, right?

    1. "require attending events outdoors in the late summe"

      Why? Mayor can skip such ribbon cutting crap, no? Hasn't a certain someone spent a lot of time playing golf instead of fulfilling what many would consider his presidential duties?

      1. And for every moment Jug Ears has spent of the gold course, America has been that much better off.

  16. Hillary lost because she is an over the top lying shitbag crook and people found out the truth about her. Once that came to light there wasn't anything she could do to motivate D voters.

    I am still hearing the enlightened progressives demeaning everyone who isnt them. Keep it up morans. Please, keep it up. The sooner your ilk get completely shitcanned the better.

    1. They certainly do seem to be poised to repeat every possible mistake in 2020.

    2. Exactly.

  17. That's what happens when you nominate a dishonest, racist, incompetent war monger: people stay home.

    1. Then that was indeed genius of Republicans to have nominated Trump.

      1. Trump may or may not turn out to be any or all of those things; we don't know. For Hillary, we have known for years.

        Trump also wasn't nominated by the Republicans; he won despite the Republican establishment, not because of it.

      2. Actually, Trump was the candidate preferred by the Democrats. Be careful what you wish for...

  18. Where does Reason fish for these "associate" editors? The LP earned enough spoiler votes to cover the gap between winner and loser (of gubmint jobs--NOT the lawmaking power) in eleven states. We took twice as many votes from smarmy econazi prohibitionist looter warmongers than from ku-klux Landover Baptist prohibitionist warmongers. Even Jill Stein's End Times watermelons covered the gap in three states the Dems abdicated from. OUR votes are up 328% precisely because the GO-Pee platform cares only about nationalsocialist immigration and prohibition plus forcing coathanger abortions while the Dems care only about a Soviet slave state. Even the Econazis got as many votes as the LP used to get when the Kleptocracy factions were at least pretending to try... Now WE REPEAL THE LAWS and the Kleptocrats know to fear our spoiler votes.

  19. Why Hillary Clinton lost: She's a pile of manure and a criminal.

    1. Durango74|1.6.17 @ 6:30PM|#
      'Why Hillary Clinton lost: She's a pile of manure and a criminal."

      This. When a hose won't sell, it's overpriced. period.
      The hag lost because she was a worse candidate than Trump

  20. Certainly Hitlery was bound to lose but no Dumbocrat was gonna win,the USA just got tired of socialism under the Obamanation.The vagina vote is what made it close.

  21. So it wasn't the fact that racist people were tired of all the political correctness and had no choice but to vote for Trump when she called half of them deplorables?

    Who knew!

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  23. "... it was the fact that a significantly greater number of registered Democrats than Republicans just stayed home rather than cast a ballot for the former secretary of state..."

    But Putin made the democrats stay at home. He hacked the medias and told the democrats to stay at home.

  24. This woman (if you can call it that) is an Abomination.

    Let it slink back to the sewer it came from.

  25. "more Florida Democrats voted for George W. Bush than Nader by a factor of 12:1."

    Oh, I remember that, that time the election was hacked by malicious ballot designers and their agent 'hanging chad'.

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  28. The same can be said of the 2012 election. If only Romney could have invigorated GOP turnout he would have won.

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  30. Anti-Hillary forces got 51% of the vote


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