At the great Harvard post-election debriefing — where Kellyanne Conway and Jennifer Palmieri called each other names — Clinton campaign honcho Robby Mook performed his own autopsy of the campaign. There are thousands of factors that influence an election, of course, especially one as rancorous and unprecedented as this one. But Mook, while acknowledging this complexity, basically attributed Clinton’s loss to three factors. In no particular order (because their impact on different groups was different), here they are:
- FBI Director James Comey‘s controversial letter 11 days before election day
- Hillary Clinton calling half of Trump supporters a “basket of deplorables” comment in September
- “We saw a lot of young people go to third party candidates,” Mook said.
Mook attributed many of the young people staying on the sidelines (which is what a third-party vote was) to the Comey letter. But a better explanation is probably Clinton’s bruising primary against populist hero Bernie Sanders, whose supporters Clinton largely failed to convert.