Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential campaign was “mismanaged from the start, 150 percent” and underestimated the Midwest, according to aides and allies.
Clinton lost in states she always expected to win: Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. These states had voted for Democratic presidential candidates for decades, but in 2016 went for Trump, along with Ohio.
“It was a mismanaged campaign from the start, 150 percent. There was so much stuff that needed fixing. I thought we might have learned some lessons from the primary. But as you can tell from last night, probably not,” one aide told The Hill.
Despite losing Michigan to socialist Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primaries, Clinton assumed the state was a lock for her in the general election and didn’t “double down” there.
“The big question is ‘How much money did you spend? And what’s left in the bank?’ Because there were states like Michigan that kept sounding the alarm and no one was taking it seriously until the very end. They never really got everything they wanted,” a surrogate said.
“We underestimated the Midwest,” another aide said. “I don’t think we ever understood the political climate there. I know some are questioning why we never went there in the final days.”
Russ Feingold reportedly told the Clinton campaign “I need help,” but was ignored. Feingold lost to Ron Johnson in a stunning Wisconsin Senate race upset.
Before Tuesday’s landslide, though, some Republicans believed a blue collar wave could sweep Donald Trump into the White House.
“I think what’s happening is that you’re seeing demographic shifts that cross state lines. This shift reaches across Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania,” Saul Anuzis, a former chairman of the Michigan GOP, told Breitbart News.
“It is difficult to turn them out [on election day],” he continued, speaking about blue collar voters. “But the fact that they are willing to stand in line for hours [at Trump rallies] tells you something,” he said. “I would not be surprised if Trump won 40 states or lost 40 states — if the wave of blue collars comes out, I can see him sweeping the states.”
While Clinton’s illicit use of a private email server to conduct business as Secretary of State and pay-to-play allegations swirling around the Clinton Foundation were “albatrosses around the neck the campaign could never escape,” nothing doomed her like her refusal to understand populism and nationalism sweeping across the Western world, aides admitted.