The final word from Ohio

November 10, 2016

In a darned close race,
why did so many
Clinton voters stay home? 
   As Marcia and Jack Schnedler, our roving correspondents, head back to Little Rock from Toledo, Ohio, they are feeling more than a bit bedraggled after a week of knocking on potential voters’ doors to aid Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful presidential campaign.
  Here are a few afterthoughts from Jack, as he and the rest of us brace (with a touch of hope amid the dismay) for the Trump Era:
By Jack Schnedler
   I think the main factor behind Hillary’s loss, in what actually was a very close race (with her now having a slight overall popular-vote lead over Donald), is the failure of too many anti-Trump voters to get to the polls — despite all the efforts at persuasion by so many volunteers like Marcia and me.
   Trump in fact received 1.3 million fewer votes than Romney did in 2012.
   Clinton, alas, got 6 million fewer votes than Obama did in 2012. What a gap!
   In Michigan, which is still officially uncalled as of Thursday morning, Trump leads Clinton by 12,056 votes out of 4.7 million cast. (And Johnson garnered 177,000 votes, of which an unknown number would have gone to each of the major-party candidates.)
   In Wisconsin, Trump won by 27,257 votes out of 2.9 million cast (with 108,000 for Johnson).
   In Pennsylvania, Trump won by 68,236 votes out of 4.9 million cast (with 142,000 for Johnson).
   So if a total of about 108,000 more Clinton-inclined voters had gone to the polls in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania (a mere 1.7 percent more than than the total of 6.5 million who did turn out for her), she would have carried those states. That would have given her 274 electoral votes and victory (ignoring New Hampshire’s 4 electoral votes; she leads by 1,200 votes there). How much the absence of Johnson (and Stein) would have helped her is a who-knows question.
   This very close election was not as close as Bush-Gore, of course. But watching snippets of the anti-Trump protests Wednesday evening in various cities, I wondered how many of those angry folks had gotten around to voting yesterday or earlier. Those who hadn’t were a pathetic day late in taking action that could have carried the race for Clinton.
   After Tuesday’s debacle, it is tempting for senior citizens like the Schnedlers to retreat more deeply into private life: friends, family, projects, diversions. We’ve been painfully Trumped as we head home with a poster in our trunk that proved to be a mirage. It says: “Love Trumps Hate.”


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