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No, Voter Turnout Wasn't Low

Stories are still circulating a week after the election that turnout fell sharply from 2012. That's almost certainly not true. The confusion is the result of news outlets trying to pin down voter turnout figures quickly in a system that doesn't count millions of votes until weeks after the election.

So yes, if we're discussing what happened to lose an election in which Clinton, while battling against sexism, interference from hostile hackers, unprecedented actions by a rogue arm of the FBI, unprecedented media coverage of false attacks by her opponents and almost no coverage of actual policy, and historic assaults on voting rights, and she loses by a razor thin margin in an election where she  increased voter turnout overall and held the percentage of the eligible voters percentage steady, then I say "low turnout" is a bad answer.  

It obscures what happened -- it excuses the racism, the bad actors, and the online bullying of her supporters and implies she wasn't inspiring and lays all the blame on the candidate. It does nothing to unify the Obama coalition because it excuses the ACTIVE suppression of her message that a certain segment of the left indulged themselves in.  

We didn't lose because politically informed citizens rejected her -- the bases of both parties turned out.  
We lost because the message of her plans and accomplishments did not reach low-information voters in the swing states and we took a hit on the youth vote across all demographics.  We lost because the Republicans tell the WWC that Democrats are the enemy and that their problems stem from immigrants and people of color.  We lost because a big chunk of the WWC left said the same thing in softer terms. We lost because the marginalized people who actually make up the democratic base were actively bullied and blocked from telling their side of the story.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes

by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 3rd, 2017 at 12:47:59 AM EST
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