The national media has finally discovered the real reason Hillary Clinton lost the Presidential election, and it’s conveniently not Hillary Clinton, despite evidence that Clinton out-raised and outspent the Republican nominee by a gargantuan measure – and still lost.
Last Friday night, the Washington Post reported, relying on a source inside the CIA, that a team of intelligence officials concluded that the Russian government may have been looking to assist Donald Trump in the Presidential election.
According to this “secret assessment,” Vladimir Putin’s administration may have had a connection to DNC (and RNC) hacks, that individuals “close” to the Russian government handed DNC documents to Wikileaks — and that the CIA informed Congress of this back in September or October.
The story notes that the CIA operatives “do not have specific intelligence showing officials in the Kremlin “directing ‘the identified individuals to pass the Democratic emails to WikiLeaks,” or evidence of any election system hacks.
And while they do describe the hackers as “one step removed” from Russian officials, the connection — and motivation — behind the hacks is never fully established, even other evidence indicates that Putin likely preferred a Trump victory.
Regardless, national media has provided the story with wall-to-wall coverage, strongly suggesting that Russia was the single largest factor responsible for Hillary Clinton’s loss. They’re missing a key fact, however — that, ultimately, Hillary Clinton’s campaign misfires may be the single largest factor responsible for Hillary Clinton’s loss.
In a report, also released yesterday, POLITICO notes that final FEC filings show Clinton out-fundraised Donald Trump two-to-one, raking in more than $1.2 billion in campaign contributions from Democratic mega-donors in the final quarter, compared to Trump’s $600 million.
Trump had 600 fewer paid staffers, and spent half as much on final quarter advertising, $58.8 million to Clinton’s $141.7 million. In the final weeks of the campaign, Clinton spent 30% more than the Republican nominee, blowing through a whopping $131 million, to influence voters in key states. She ended the campaign with around around one hundred thousand left in the bank. Trump ended with $7.2 million.
And yet, the Democratic nominee still lost.
Reports indicate that Clinton’s closing week strategy was rife with misfires. Confident she had the Democrats’ Midwestern “blue wall” of swing states locked up, Clinton never once visited Wisconsin, her team assumed Pennsylvania was locked up back in June, and she added stops in Michigan only after polling tightened.
Instead, Clinton focused on states like Arizona, which she did not need to secure an Electoral victory.
Her campaign against coal in Ohio turned off rust belt voters there, and her focus on attacking Donald Trump, rather than providing a clear, positive picture of a Hillary Clinton presidency, turned off voters nationwide.
John Podesta’s hacked emails certainly didn’t help Clinton, but by the time Wikileaks began posting the DNC missives – and Russia allegedly began influencing the campaign in earnest – Clinton’s unfavorability rating had already peaked.
So while the Washington Post pursues its mission to foment hysteria over an impending Trump Presidency – the CIA story appeared directly over a headline reading “Donald Trump is Actually a Fascist” – it’s missing the real story: the complete and utter internal collapse of one of the most well-funded campaigns in Presidential history.