A new study has shown that Hillary Clinton’s 2016 election campaign contained very little policy content. The article from Vox claims that by concentrating heavily on Trump’s personality flaws, the Clinton pitch did not make itself clear on policy, costing her the election.
The Clinton campaign spent twice as much money as Trump’s. While his personality is off-putting in many ways, the campaign’s heavy focus on his flaws turned out to have had opposite the intended effect. The statistics collated by Wesleyan Media Project analyzed the advertising during the election.
Clinton spent one billion dollars on her efforts, however only one quarter of her advertisements focused on actual policy. The study also showed that she campaigned mainly aimed at personality flaws – substantially more than each previous presidential candidate since 2000. Of the four last elections the Clinton campaigned the least on policy and the most on personality issues of the opposing candidate.
See the diagram published by Wesleyan below:
The study also showed that Clinton’s losses in certain states were also linked to advertising. The states she narrowly lost including Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, were all lacking in advertising from Clinton until the last week before the election. Trump spent less money, but had a more consistent television presence in the form of advertising over a longer period in these states leading up to the election.
Wesleyan commented on the lack of policy statement from Clinton with this:
“Message matters, and a message repeated endlessly does no good unless it resonates with a sufficient number of the right voters. Team Clinton’s message that Trump was unfit for the presidency may not have been enough.”
They are basically saying the whole world already knew Trump was a bad choice personality-wise. Clinton’s message might have been more effective if she had promoted policies to help the poor rather than point out Trump’s obvious flaws and weaknesses.
People who were desperate for change in these states may have decided to take the red pill, despite his bigotry and sexism. Something went very wrong, but it needs to be fully understood. Democrats need to analyze what went wrong to win the next election.
The lesson learned should be that the new Democrats have to take a new tact. They need to point out Trump’s actual policy failures as well as have great policies of their own.
Saying “We are not Trump” did not work. The party of the people now has to actually stand up with something substantial to offer their voters.
Watch Anti-Trump ads here:
Watch Hillary’s pitch here:
Featured image via Youtube.