April 19, 2017
ANALYSIS: TRUE. Hillary ran the worst presidential campaign ever.
Campaign honcho Robby Mook “was worried about overspending . . . so he declined to use pollsters to track voter preferences in the final three weeks of the campaign.” Mook had learned from his time on the Obama 2012 campaign, Allen and Parnes write, that “old-school polling should be used for testing messages and gauging the sentiments of the electorate and that analytics were just as good for tracking which candidate was ahead and by how much in each state.”
Allen and Parnes report that the Republican National Committee did know — but just couldn’t accept it. The RNC didn’t brief reporters on early November polling data it had developed in Michigan and Pennsylvania, “because the upticks there were so rosy that party officials didn’t believe their own data.”
The day after the election, Hillary asked Mook “which decisions had been misguided, where they had erred in strategy and tactics. ‘Our data was wrong,’ he said . . . ‘OK,’ she replied.”
It is true that, but for 100,000 votes in three states, Hillary Clinton would be president today. It is also true that she ended the election with 3 million more votes than Trump. But it is also true, as “Shattered” makes indisputably clear, that she was unquestionably the worst major presidential candidate in our lifetime.
Others (like Bob Dole) did far worse. But they likely never really had a shot. Hillary had no business losing an election to Donald Trump — but Allen and Parnes pile up headshaking detail after headshaking detail from the very beginning of her campaign to its end showing that she and her people were incapable of making a good call.
But other than that, the question remains: “Why aren’t I 50 points ahead?”