Thursday, November 10, 2016

Presidential Small Ball - The New York Times

Thomas Edsall does his  usual sifting through the data mines.  Hillary Clinton won the popular vote narrowly.  But the margin had to be larger and more geographically dispersed in order to overcome the electoral vote hurdle.  We run not a national election but fifty one simultaneous statewide elections.  So a huge majority in California does little for you.

It is very difficult for a party in office eight years to stay there.The Clinton coalition is complex and unwieldy.  She could not generate Obama level enthusiasm...she's not Obama.  She has to maintain support of the liberal financial elite, the educated upper middle class, teachers and the remains of the labor movement; Black and Latin voters, and women.  She fell short of Obama level in each, except for a trivial gain among women.

Bernie Sanders propelled a strong challenge with his cries against inequality and economic fragility.  His attacks on the Goldman Sachs speeches implied she had something to hide (she didn't when the speeches were leaked).  Trump triumphed on his vacuous but impassioned calls to bring jobs back.  The anxiety is real and reaches high-driven by technological change and globalization.  My law practice was transformed as the auto, leather, garment, and cosmetic bottling plants closed.  Those unionized workers were my base.  I was able to adapt - but never found another reliable source of meat and potatoes.  My wife's magazine fell on hard times as the print newspapers crumbled.  People with little education are even more vulnerable.

Thee is a cultural gap about the military.  My parents were both in the Navy in WWII.  I have forebears who served going back to the Civil War and War of Independence.  But I thought the Vietnam war was a moral disaster.  I did not blame soldiers for following orders but I could never wave the flag when I was being told to "love it or leave it".  So you'll never find me chanting USA, USA.   

Then there is the race culture gap. I served two years in the Peace Corps because I believe in people to people peacemaking.  Same motivation for my study of Chinese and my trips there to preach rule of law.  Trump's blatant appeals were, to me, disqualifying.  I am repelled by his racial and ethnic intolerance and consider it unforgivable.   But to many it resonated as `sticking up for us' .

The Republican anti-cosmopolitanism has led them to dominate state level politics.  Their anti-government rhetoric resonates with those who think the food stamp and Medicaid recipients (except for their mothers) are ripping us off.  Expanding social service spending costs money - and to a person in paycheck to paycheck mode there is little tolerance for that.
Well, I better let Edsall take over the argument. - GWC
Presidential Small Ball - The New York Times
by Thomas Edsall

The outcome Tuesday night — Hillary Clinton’s popular vote victory of 59,916,932 to Donald Trump’s 59,690,096 (so far), coupled with her sizable Electoral College defeat — demonstrated not only how hard it was for her to try to steer an unwieldy Democratic coalition to the White House but also the particular danger posed by the accumulation of what sociologists call “small disadvantages.”
“It appears that the Democratic campaigns modeled for turnout levels similar to ’08 and ’12, but when those groups didn’t materialize, they were essentially stuck, losing key battleground states due to low Democratic core group turnout,” Bill McInturff, a Republican pollster, and other Public Opinion Strategies staffers wrote in a smart postelection analysis. “Simply put, Clinton did not perform like Obama and was unable to pull Democratic coalitional groups to the polls.”
Clinton held an 80-point advantage among African-Americans, but was unable to match Obama’s 87-point edge in 2012 or his 91 points in 2008. She won 65 percent of Latino voters, compared with the 71 percent who voted for Obama in 2012. She won 28 percent of non-college white voters to Trump’s 67 percent, the largest gap in this demographic since the early 1980s, according to Pew. Moreover, she lost whites with college degrees 49-45. Among millennials, she won 54 percent of voters aged 18 to 29, compared with 60 percent for Obama in 2012.
As the leader of the Democratic coalition, Clinton was unable to get maximum production from her diverse supporters, and at the same time her efforts to appeal to individual demographic groups fueled the retaliatory backlash that Trump capitalized on to make incremental but decisive gains.***

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