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How Hillary Won in a Landslide and Lost 

There’s a lot of “buyer’s remorse” among many moderates these days — and their numbers grow as Trump’s team screws up the transition process and he begins naming some truly horrible people to key posts.

There is also a lot of agonized hypothesizing about what went wrong, what factors produced a Trump win when all the polls were pointing to a clear Clinton victory. Carrying out these postmortem-like analyses is becoming a cottage industry among members of the Democratic Party, pundits and bloggers. Heck, I even tossed in one of my own — just scroll down to see what I was thinking just last week. Predictably, they’ve come up with a variety of factors, each of which appears on the surface to have been critical. Among the many reasons I’ve seen are:

a. Comey’s letter reignited the email “scandal” turning voters away from Clinton (Hillary herself thinks this was the primary cause).

b. Hillary’s failure to make “contact” with the folks in the rust belt increased their anger and frustration at the “elites” who’ve neglected them for years.

c. Voter ID laws limited minority access to the polls.

d. The blizzard of fake news stories, many of which Trump joyfully re-Tweeted, gave undecided voters reasons for supporting him.

e. Sanders supporters, particularly those who believe the DNC rigged the primaries to deny him the nomination, refused to vote for Hillary.

f. Overconfidence in the DNC and Clinton’s campaign people.

g. A general feeling of unease over having a woman in the White House.

h. A failure for the DNC to have its usual “ground game” in place.

These are all correct — and this is the key to understanding what happened. Each factor contributed a bit to the outcome. None of them would have been sufficient without the others. It is false to say something like “Comey cost her the presidency.” Comey’s actions contributed but could not have been the cause without the others playing their roles.

Trump won because he carried the swing states — all of them and all by razor thin margins. Statistically speaking what happened was a very unlikely outcome that depended on the cluster of factors all playing a role in all the key states.

When the full country-wide vote is looked at, where each of these elements only played a tiny role, Clinton wins — and by a significant margin. Her overall lead now is approximately 1.2 million and will continue to climb as ballots are counted. Her popular vote lead is greater than Nixon’s was over Humphrey and Kennedy’s was over Nixon and is projected to reach 2 million. She lost to a candidate whose percent of the popular vote is less than that of Ford, Gore, Kerry and Romney — all of whom lost the presidency.

In short, the nationwide polls were correct. In any country other than the US which uses an Electoral College she wins the presidency, handily.

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