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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: September 2020

Chapter 3 - Interpreting Loss


Why did Hillary Clinton lose? That five-word question lies at the heart of every discussion of Democratic party reform and nomination politics since late 2016. For some political observers, Clinton was a poor candidate who ran a dismal campaign. “Hillary Clinton blew the most winnable election in modern American history,” concluded Damon Linker at The Week, “and it’s her own fault.”1 How else to explain Donald Trump being within striking range of the presidency despite his range of unelectable actions and statements? For others, though, Clinton’s loss reflected longstanding biases among the electorate and the commentariat, or was the product of work of outsiders ranging from Jill Stein to James Comey to Vladimir Putin.

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