General Question

Rarebear's avatar

Did Jill Stein cost Clinton the election?

Asked by Rarebear (25159points) January 26th, 2017

http://www.salon.com/2016/12/02/jill-stein-spoiled-the-2016-election-for-hillary-clinton/

Also, some Jill Stein supporters on here were happy about Trump being elected because of a hope that a so-called progressive candidate might be nominated in 2020. That, of course, won’t happen for various reasons. Trump will be reelected in 2020, leading to 8 years of environmental destruction, American Islamic humiliation, and white Christian men telling women what to do with their uteri. So, thanks Jill Stein, so called “Green” candidate!

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63 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

The third parties certainly didn’t help Hillary, but to blame Jill Stein is less than helpful. Comey deserves some credit, too. I think it was a few things in combination.

Why do we have to assign blame?

Rarebear's avatar

Because Comey wasn’t running. Stein was. Look at the numbers in the article.

But fair enough. I blame Stein voters. It’s your fault.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Did Trump cost Clinton the election? Because I’ve been looking at the numbers, and she definitely would have won if everyone who voted for him had voted for her instead. Or maybe Clinton cost Stein the election. Or maybe Trump cost Johnson the election. Or maybe the question is ridiculous on its face.

Perhaps you missed it, but Stein was Clinton’s opponent. In general, your opponents don’t go out of their way to help you win. And in any case, many of the people who voted for Stein wouldn’t have voted for Clinton if Stein hadn’t been on the ballot (indeed, they might not have voted at all). Then there’s the fact that more Democrats voted for Trump than voted for Stein.

Despite what the Huffington Post would have you believe, Clinton never had this election in the bag. It wasn’t hers to lose. All the signs pointed to a Trump victory. It’s just that most people couldn’t see them with their heads in the sand.

All that said, the notion among some progressives that a Trump victory is better for their cause than a Clinton victory is completely absurd. Nevertheless, the only people to blame for Trump are the ones who voted for him.

dappled_leaves's avatar

I think that what cost Clinton the election was the general feeling of “There’s just something about her I don’t like”, and the sheer laziness of “Well, both popular candidates are bad, aren’t they?”, when one was very clearly far worse than the other. Given the alternative of Trump, voters had a moral imperative to vote for Clinton, and neither of these sentiments were sufficient justification to prevent them from voting for Clinton. This election was not like any other election. The stakes were higher, and voters should have adjusted their choices accordingly.

Some who rejected Clinton voted for Stein, some stayed home. All of these people are to blame for Trump’s election.

Zaku's avatar

If you count all Stein votes for Clinton, would Clinton have won? I haven’t studied in detail for myself, but comments on the article about Pennsylvania indicate not:

“Reality Asserts Itself Dec 17, 2016

Dave Wasserman, Matthew Rozsa and Salon are simply lying about Pennsylvania.

Anyone who bothers to check the actual results will notice that Trump’s lead over Clinton there is actually 68,236 votes, while Stein’s total vote in that state is only 48,912 votes. So, even if Clinton had won both Wisconsin and Michigan, and even if every single Stein voter in Pennsylvania had voted for Clinton instead, Clinton would still have lost both Pennsylvania and the federal election. Stop lying. Lying is wrong.”

Also Johnson got more votes than Stein, and it seems to me his voters were more likely to vote Trump than Stein, so also no.

But really, the far greater issue that not enough people talk about is our RIDICULOUSLY PRIMITIVE VOTING SYSTEM! that mis-represents people’s actual wishes. Both Trump and Clinton had negative approval ratings, and it seems to me that if people were not forced into a false dilemma about which lesser evil they need to vote for, they both should’ve been disqualified. The USA deserves and actual good president, and good representatives. Our current system isn’t giving us more than a handful of actual good representatives. That’s what really sucks.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

I believe Jill Stein had as much to do with Clinton not winning as Trump winning; which is basically nothing. I know some people want to find any and every reason why Clinton (who they feel was the better choice) could not prevail of over one some considered the worst choice. Blame White Supremacist, Russian hacking, the church, uneducated white trash voters, the Elephant Man, space aliens, pick your choice or invent another. Jill Stein was a non-factor in Hilary losing, she has more to blame with her losing than anyone else, that is it, and that is all.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Stein specifically? No. But spoiled, petulant, privileged “Bernie or bust” types who are “sorry for my friends/family who are likely to be hurt by Trump/Pence’s policies, but you have to understand – I just can’t vote for Killary” might have.

Rarebear's avatar

@Darth_Algar Fair enough, I can grok that also.

Zissou's avatar

Here in Michigan, Trump beat Clinton by ~11,000 votes, and Stein got ~51,000 votes (MI SOS). But so what? It appears that 75,000 Michiganders may have voted for no candidate at all for president, or maybe their votes were not counted properly (Time).

Clinton was a crappy candidate. The Dems should have learned in 2004 that you can’t win just by running against someone. They needed to offer someone that ordinary voters could vote for. Sanders was such a candidate, but the party establishment threw its weight behind Clinton.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Zissou “Clinton was a crappy candidate.”

Really? Was she a crappier candidate than Donald Trump? Because in the voting booth, that is the only question that mattered.

Dutchess_III's avatar

The electoral college cost us the election.

Darth_Algar's avatar

“Clinton was a crappy candidate…..”

3,000,000 votes.

Zissou's avatar

And I’m disappointed to read that people are still rehashing that stuff about Nader. I looked up the stats after the 2000 election—Gore lost his home state of TN by more than the margin that went for Nader. Why would his state turn on him after voting for him for so long for Senator and VP? Maybe partly because he switched from being pro-life to being pro-choice, and unlike Bill Clinton, whose “safe, legal, and rare” formula at least acknowledged the concerns of opponents, Gore adopted the fist-pounding rhetoric of left-wing culture warriors on this issue. Yet another case of the party wasting its energy on divisive social issues and letting the right have its way on core economic issues.

Rarebear's avatar

@Zissou
http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/polisci/faculty/lewis/pdf/greenreform9.pdf

Short answer is yes, Nader probably cost Gore the presidency. But the left wing denialists can put their fingers in their ears and squeeze their eyes shut all they want. And we got endless war as a result. Nicely done.

reijinni's avatar

I blame Hillary, apathy, Comey, Drumpf, DWS, DNC for the loss. I am likely to miss some things in this list.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Rarebear “Short answer is yes, Nader probably cost Gore the presidency.”

This is probably one of the most common—and most commonly debunked—myths of recent times. Again, more Democrats voted for Bush than voted for Nader. Why aren’t you blaming them? Or blaming Bush for winning their votes? And why assume that enough of the people who voted for Nader would have otherwise voted for Gore? And really, if we’re going back to the 2000 election, why aren’t you blaming the Supreme Court? Those were the only nine votes that counted that time.

But in the end, the major problem with your position is that it is based on an implicit assumption that the major party candidates are jointly entitled to 100% of the vote and that any votes going to third party candidates are somehow lost to or stolen by them. Votes belong to voters. It is a candidate’s job to win those votes. Sure, voters ought to vote responsibly. But if you’re not going to blame Trump for Clinton’s loss, then you have no grounds on which to blame any other candidate. And of course, to blame Trump would be patently absurd.

forestGeek's avatar

No. Hillary Clinton cost Hillary Clinton the election. The reason some Dems voted for Jill Stein, Gary Johnson, or even Trump, is because they didn’t like Hillary. That’s on her alone, not those other candidates or the voters who voted them.

If any blame could be put on anyone other than her, it should be put on the Democratic Party for allowing such a weak candidate to be there in the first place.

puddintane's avatar

If it helps you to sleep at night then go ahead and believe false hoods and blame others. It seems to work for Trump.

VenusFanelli's avatar

Hillary is mainly to blame with her crimes, lies and crusade to curtail freedoms.

Rarebear's avatar

@SavoirFaire The scholarly UCLA paper disagrees with you.

Strauss's avatar

@VenusFanelli Hillary is mainly to blame with her crimes, lies and crusade to curtail freedoms.

Can you show me one instance where she was convicted of a crime, proven to have lied, or done anything to curtail anyone’s freedom?

Hillary Clinton was a damaged candidate. Not necessarily damaged by anything she did or said, but by accusations and innuendo.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@VenusFanelli

You seriously believe that shit? 25 years of Republican-led lies, insinuations, accusations with no evidence, and character assassination. You’re gonna allow yourself to be duped by that?

gorillapaws's avatar

No. Clinton cost herself the election. So did the DNC which rigged the game for the weaker candidate.

You can’t turn away millions of people who want to vote in the primaries and then cry foul when they don’t join you in November. I voted for Stein, and I’d do it again. If the Democratic Party keeps pursuing the failed strategy of sucking off corporate America and betraying the voter, then I’ll continue to vote for 3rd parties.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I agree. Stein just didn’t have the juice to be given credit (or blame) for Clinton’s loss

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Rarebear A scholarly paper that you obviously did not read since you are misrepresenting it. The paper’s results are much narrower than you are letting on, and the authors are fairly explicit about Nader not being a spoiler in any traditional sense. Furthermore, none of the arguments I have put forward are directly addressed in the paper you linked, and the one that is indirectly addressed concedes my point. Herron and Lewis are good guys, but they can’t bail you out of this one.

Since you are interested in scholarly opinions, however, here’s a free tip from an up-and-coming political scholar (me): don’t just blindly trust that anything you find on the first page of Google will automatically help your case.

Cruiser's avatar

I would say anyone who had a real aversion to Trump would most easily cast a vote for Hillary…the fact is that both Gary Johnson and Jill Stein siphoned off over 6 million votes and I will leave it up to you to justify why they were not voting for either Trump or Clinton.

Sure you will have your tree huggers that are committed to the Green movement but even tree huggers are shmart enough to know their votes are throw aways if they choose to not vote for a Dem or Repub candidate then their non-vote/protest vote will impact the outcome. That said…who were these 6 million voters saying no fucking way I am voting for either of you? Trump or Clinton? If they were saying no to Clinton then I will argue these 6 million voters committed political Hari Kari. I bow to their devotion to their allegiance to principal and hand them a broom to be there to clean up the mess that their vote helped create.

Rarebear's avatar

@SavoirFaire There you go, being your usual patronizing self. I will grant that the paper shows that it is narrow, but it lends credence that the Nader effect is not as much of a myth as the left would like it to be.

tip from someone who knows. If you want to be a successful scholar, DBAD

funkdaddy's avatar

For the article’s argument to make sense wouldn’t you have to assume something like 95% of Stein voters in PA would vote Clinton? Not vote for someone else, not stay home, but almost exclusively vote for Clinton, right?

Some smart people discussed who the scapegoat was at fivethirtyeight, some interesting thoughts there.

Rarebear's avatar

@funkdaddy Well done! A real source showing a counterpoint rather than someone just getting defensive, thanks!

I listen to the fivethirtyeight podcast pretty regularly. I must have missed that one.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@gorillapaws “You can’t turn away millions of people who want to vote in the primaries and then cry foul when they don’t join you in November.”

Likewise if you can’t be bothered to learn and understand the voting laws in your state you can’t cry “rigged” when you’re not allowed to vote. It is the responsibility of the voter to inform themself and to ensure that they can vote when the time comes.

forestGeek's avatar

@Cruiser how about considering for a second that there are probably a lot of people who voted their conscience when voting for Stein or Johnson. Most probabaly think they were the best candidate, and were not going to cast some lame protest vote for a weak candidate to beat another weaker candidate. Those people should feel no guilt, have absolutely no mess to clean up, and certainly don’t need to hear that guilt-laden crap people spew about them making their own choice.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Rarebear I don’t think it is patronizing to take the time to read a paper and then explain why it doesn’t constitute a counterargument to the person who either posted it without reading it or else read it and then lied about what it said. Nor does the paper lend any credence to a “Nader effect.” Effects are, by definition, generalizable. The paper’s result is, quite explicitly, about a one-off event. Assuming you didn’t actually mean “the Nader effect,” however, and actually meant something like “Nader’s influence on that particular election,” even the authors point out that it makes no sense to blame Nader.

“Well done! A real source showing a counterpoint rather than someone just getting defensive, thanks!”

I gave you a counterpoint article and you ignored it. If you had asked for more, I would have shared the same one that @funkdaddy gave you. (I almost shared it the first time, but figured I’d start light and easy.) So your attempt at being backhanded has backfired.

Rarebear's avatar

I missed your original link in your email because it was hyperlinked. I didn’t see it on my phone. I wasn’t ignoring you.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Fair enough.

Rarebear's avatar

Again, whatever you say. Peace.

rojo's avatar

No, Clinton cost Clinton the election.

rojo's avatar

@Darth_Algar and @dappled_leaves may have stumbled upon something though. There were more Democrats who looked at their parties candidate and decided that, while Trump was the worse candidate of the two, their conscience would not allow them to vote for Clinton either. So the chose not to vote

Unfortunately for them (and the rest of the country),vfewer Republicans have a conscience so when faced with a candidate they did not like they went ahead, swallowed the bile in their mouth, and voted for him anyway.

filmfann's avatar

I don’t blame Jill Stein. I blame bitter Sanders supporters, who turned their backs on Hillary, even when she let Sanders write her platform. Their anger was greater than their concern for the country.

and let the snide remarks begin…

gorillapaws's avatar

@Darth_Algar The primary was rigged, because it was literally rigged. There is proof. And since when did the Democratic Party become the champions of excluding voters? How is that at all consistent with the values of the party?

@filmfann “We cheated you fair and square, we encouraged our media contacts to prop up Trump because we thought he’d be easy to defeat. We got caught cheating, and the woman who did it will resign in shame, but get to join our team with a place of honor! Now get in line, shut the fuck up and vote for Clinton.”

And it’s our fault for not wanting to support that…

My concern for the country is that there are 2 major parties that are nearly identical when it comes to passing legislation on behalf of Corporate America. That is fundamentally worse than having a lunatic in office.

rojo's avatar

Yup, @gorillapaws time to check out the Working Families Party and the Justice Democrats and bring them into our communities.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@gorillapaws “And since when did the Democratic Party become the champions of excluding voters? How is that at all consistent with the values of the party?”

It’s not the Democratic party, it’s state laws. In domes states you are not allowed to vote in a party’s primary unless you are registered with that party (this applies whether it’s Democrat or Republican). I grow tired of people who cannot understand this.

forestGeek's avatar

@filmfann Wrong, Hillary did not let Bernie Sanders “write her platform”. He had some small influence on the Democratic Party policy platform, but didn’t get everything in there that he wanted. So to say about Bernie Sanders supporters that “Their anger was greater than their concern for the country” is actually just another pathetic guilt tactic. Consider that Bernie Sanders supporters believed in his vision, but couldn’t support the Democratic Party platform as it was written after the primaries, and it’s candidate, so they looked elsewhere. That’s called voting your conscience and there is no shame in that whatsoever. Nor should anyone of those voters be guilted, let alone be the reason for Trump winning. Accept that it was simply the DNC’s fault for not having a stronger candidate and platform to back it up.

rojo's avatar

@forestGeek Democrats will never win as long as they have a conscience… see previous post

Rarebear's avatar

Well I hope the world can survive the holy righteousness of the left.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Short answer is yes, Nader probably cost Gore the presidency” Maybe I’m being simplistic, but didn’t Gore also win the popular vote? And the electoral college overruled the people yet AGAIN? Although I stupidly voted for Bush, Gore would have been a much better president.
What made the founding fathers think we’re all too stupid to vote ourselves, that they had to instate the electoral college?

Rarebear's avatar

@Dutchess_III Perhaps. But this question is about Stein, not Nader. I didn’t even bring up Nader—others did. But the similarities are obvious.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Ok, but Nadar was brought up. I’ve been thinking about that election ever since this last fiasco. What is / was the electoral college thinking?

puddintane's avatar

Hillary supporters (holy righteousness of the left) need to look in the mirror. They are to blame for supporting Hillary in the primaries. You are the only ones giving emotional responses. I get it. You feel guilty. You’ll feel better when you can face facts and quit being in denial.

Dutchess_III's avatar

There is nothing to feel guilty about @puddintane. I’m sorry that you’ve let public rumor and innuendo blind your ability to think about this logically.

forestGeek's avatar

@Rarebear Nice try on the “Well I hope the world can survive the holy righteousness of the left.” guilt trip. Do your really believe that the people who vote for who they think is the best candidate to them, has a holy righteousness thing going on? Many believe that the world, and the American people, would be better off if so many people didn’t just continue to just vote for one of two major parties who are bought out by major corporations, because they are afraid the other candidate will win, or are shamed and guilted by others.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Many conservatives do “holy righteousness thing going on” @forestGeek. And they’re hypocrites. Who’s on the front lines of bringing Christianity “back” into schools? Who’s on the front line of fighting so that women are kept down and under control? Who’s on the front lines of fighting against same sex marriage? Who’s on the front lines of trying to make it illegal to teach evolution in the schools? The holy righteous conservatives, that’s who.

Rarebear's avatar

Christianity will be brought back into the schools now.

puddintane's avatar

@Dutchess_III what are you talking about? You aren’t making sense.

VenusFanelli's avatar

Darth Algar believes left wing lies. Hillary is portrayed as flawless, and Trump is lied about.

Darth_Algar's avatar

I see someone’s taking things personally.

Rarebear's avatar

Okay I will bite. How is Trump lied about?

Cruiser's avatar

Are you kidding me @Rarebear?? Just look at the Access Holywood piece where Trump is alleged to talk about grabbing any woman he wants because he is sure they won’t resist when the entire segment was a fake voice over done to smear Trump. Here is proof that the media is doctoring media clips of Trump to make him look bad and people are actually buying into these charades~~~~~~

Rarebear's avatar

I LOVE the Bad Lip Reading channel!

filmfann's avatar

@Cruiser Trump admitted that the voice on the tape was his, and defended it by saying it was a private conversation.
Smell what you’re shoveling.

Rarebear's avatar

@filmfann. Look at the link. It is a parody.

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