Clinton Knew She 'Stepped In It' Over Deplorables Remark

Strategists say she blew it with working-class whites
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 11, 2016 3:55 AM CST
Updated Nov 11, 2016 6:39 AM CST
Clinton Knew She 'Stepped In It' Over Deplorables Remark
"Deplorables" at a campaign event Monday, Sept. 12, 2016, in Kennesaw, Ga.   (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

The Democrats have, somewhat belatedly, spotted two huge problems with Hillary Clinton's campaign, the New York Times reports. One was her status as a Washington insider with strong links to Wall Street, and the other related problem was a failure to connect with the white working class that helped send her husband to the White House twice. Insiders say that she turned down an invitation to a University of Notre Dame St. Patrick's Day gathering because her campaign didn't think it was important to reach out to white Catholics—and despite Bill Clinton's urging, the campaign decided to target college-educated suburban voters instead of trying to cut into Trump's lead among whites without college degrees.

Strategists say the Clinton campaign blundered by expecting young minority voters to turn out for her in the same numbers that they did for Obama. Her standing with working-class white voters fell even further after her "basket of deplorables" comment. An insider tells the Times that after the remark, she told an aide she knew she had "just stepped in it." In a look at the national exit poll, the Washington Post reports that the expected surge of female voters and Latino voters that might have saved Clinton did not materialize. The poll also shows that Trump won white voters by a record 21-point margin, 58% to 37%. The previous record was 20 points, set by Ronald Reagan in 1984 and repeated by Mitt Romney in 2012. (Trump says "forgotten men and women" gave him the win.)

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