Hillary Clinton uses her campaign memoir What Happened, released Tuesday, to list off the many reasons she believes she lost the election — but in blaming “voter suppression” she cites a study that has been debunked by the left-leaning Politifact.
“In Wisconsin, where I lost by just 22,748 votes, a study from Priorities USA estimated that the new voter ID law helped reduce turnout by 200,000 votes, primarily from low-income and minority areas,” she writes in the book.
Yet the study was thoroughly debunked by left-leaning Politifact when Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) cited it in May.
Voter turnout in 2016 was reduced by approx. 200,000 votes because of WI’s photo ID laws. We need to oppose them: https://t.co/HpHYNDOs4P
— Tammy Baldwin (@tammybaldwin) May 18, 2017
It notes that Priorities USA is a left-wing organization, which backed President Obama, and Clinton and says that it is “committed to standing up to the Trump administration and its allies” — so hardly a nonpartisan, trusted outlet.
The study compares the 2012 and 2016 turnout and points to a stronger decrease in turnout in Wisconsin compared to states with no new ID laws. PolitiFact says the methodology was “lacking.”
Put simply: The voter ID requirement undoubtedly prevented or discouraged some people from voting. But the report attributes all of the decrease in turnout to the ID law, when there are many other reasons that could also explain it, including a lack of enthusiasm for Clinton or Trump, or perhaps a belief that Trump couldn’t win Wisconsin.
It also cites a number of experts who cast doubt on the study:
Yale University political science professor Eitan Hersh tweeted: “No offense, but this is something that is going to be shared hundreds of times and does not meet acceptable evidence standards.”
No offense, but this is something that is going to be shared hundreds of times and does not meet acceptable evidence standards. https://t.co/4M3ipqiaWg
— Eitan Hersh (@eitanhersh) May 9, 2017
While Politifact cites experts who say that voter ID laws may have reduced turnout, it is far from certain how many people this affected.
“We rate Baldwin’s statement Mostly False,” the outlet found.
Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY