Clinton need not have wholly ceded white working-class voters to Trump, who won them by a larger margin than Ronald Reagan in his 1984 landslide. Meanwhile, she failed to get young people and minorities—the too-aptly-named “Obama coalition”—excited about her candidacy. Both of those weaknesses, critics say, could be traced back to a message that emphasized social diversity over economic fairness.
her team’s focus on micro-messaging came at the expense of thematic unity. As another former Sanders adviser, Scott Goodstein, put it, “No amount of digital savvy will take you across the finish line if you don’t have a message that resonates.... The Clinton campaign too often chose gimmicks over real heartfelt messages.”
Clinton’s leisurely pace fed the perception that she thought she was marching to an inevitable coronation. Inevitability didn’t work out too well for Clinton in 2008, and it didn’t work this year, either.