Clinton’s Questionable Advertising Strategy

Even the Clinton Camp bought into the flawed polls.

In the closing weeks of the presidential race, Hillary Clinton’s campaign — and the outside groups that supported it — aired more television advertisements in Omaha than in the states of Michigan and Wisconsin combined. The Omaha ads were in pursuit of a single electoral vote in a Nebraska congressional district, which Clinton did not ultimately win, and also bled into households in Iowa, which also she did not win. Michigan and Wisconsin add up to 26 electoral votes; she appears not to have won them, either.

Strategic decisions can make all the difference in a close race. Clinton lost the White House (despite winning the popular vote) to Republican Donald Trump on the strength of about 100,000 votes in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. That is the definition of a close race.

But a review of Democrats’ advertising decisions at the end of the race suggests Clinton and her allies weren’t playing to win a close one. They were playing for a blowout. And it cost them.