Sat 19 Mar, 2016 12:30 pm
Who is the Hillary Voter?
The media is obsessed with the Sanders voter and the Trump voter. Yet it is the Hillary voter who may have the last laugh.
The voter we almost never hear about, however, is the Clinton voter. Which is surprising, since Hillary Clinton has won more votes in the primaries than any other candidate so far. She has amassed over 2.5 million more votes than Sanders; over 1.1 million more votes than Trump. Clearly Clinton voters exist, yet there has been very little analysis as to who they are or why they are showing up to vote for her. Sure, there has been talk of Clinton’s dominance among African-American voters, and, to a lesser extent, Hispanic voters. Her voters seem to skew older and more affluent. But these are demographics. (And even demographics have a hard time explaining her commanding win in Ohio, or her wins in Massachusetts and Missouri.) There is almost no discussion of what is motivating these voters. If anything, the media seems to think they are holding their noses as they vote for Hillary. As a recent New York Times article suggested, Clinton is winning “votes, not hearts.”
We never hear that Hillary Clinton has “momentum”—what she has is a “sizable delegate lead.” No one this cycle has described Clinton supporters as “fired up”—it’s simply not possible that people are fired up for Hillary. No, what we gather about Clinton from the press is that she can’t connect. She has very high unfavorable ratings. People think she is dishonest and untrustworthy. She is not a gifted politician. She is a phony. Hated by so many. The list goes on.
Considering that narrative, one would expect Clinton to be faring far worse in the primaries. Instead, she currently holds a popular vote and delegate lead over Sanders that far surpasses Obama’s lead over her at this point in the race in 2008.
This is no accident. An examination of Clinton voters and their motivations might reveal that the narrative that most media outlets have been feeding us this election cycle is dubious at best.