The Democrats lost the general elections because the “candidate” ignored rural America, hinted the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, during his exit interview with NPR’s Steve Inskeep.
During an NPR interview that aired Monday, President Barack Obama pointed fingers at the campaigning strategy of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) for the losses in last month’s general elections. The stinging defeat at the hands of the Republicans could be chalked up to the way the DNC treated the sparsely populated countryside. These rural regions might have been crucial for the DNC to tip the scales in their favor, but the party ignored them in favor of the urban regions that had a far greater population density.
Accepting partial blame, while refraining from directly criticizing Hillary Clinton for the rather humiliating defeat in the general elections held last month, Obama categorically noted that future candidates shouldn’t ignore the places that the Democrats haven’t traditionally performed well.
“You’ve got a situation where they’re not only entire states but also big chunks of states where, if we’re not showing up, if we’re not in there making an argument, then we’re going to lose.”
In other words, Obama indicated that the Democrats should have taken pains to visit the areas that had never shown any inclination towards their political party. Even if the regions hadn’t traditionally favored the DNC, they could have been swayed or forced to reconsider their stand if the running candidate would have at least paid them a visit and discussed the local issues.
Highlights of Obama’s NPR interview: Russia, Trump, race, and where liberals went wrong https://t.co/YPr1YBE0QW— Quartz (@qz) December 19, 2016
There have been several theories proposed to explain the rather astonishing outcome of the general elections. Many citizens, as well as a few Democrats, have indirectly accused Ms. Clinton of ignoring some pretty important states including Iowa and Wisconsin. Incidentally, these very states had proved important for Obama as he won them during his reelection in 2012.
While Hillary Clinton managed to win several urban regions and some densely populated areas on the coasts, she allegedly had a rather relaxed campaign schedule, costing her the Rust Belt and the heartland. As the dust settles, it becomes apparent that majority of these regions turned in favor of the Republican candidate.
President Obama didn’t mince words when he said Democrats hadn’t made enough of an attempt to sway voters outside the nation’s population centers.
“There are clearly failures on our part to give people in rural areas or in exurban areas a sense day-to-day that we’re fighting for them or connected to them. Part of the reason it’s important to show up…is because it then builds trust and it gives you a better sense of how should you talk about issues in a way that feel salient and feel meaningful to people.”
The losses in statewide and local races merely underline President Obama’s statement as well as the rather incorrect way the Democrats treated the countryside. Incidentally, Obama pushed for the Democratic candidate in North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania based on the game plan that was hatched in the Clinton headquarters, and not the White House.
However, irrespective of Ms. Clinton’s campaign schedule and priorities, Obama did appeal for a visit to Iowa, but Clinton’s team apparently trashed the idea, and instead, sent him to urban regions that were considered more important. In his opinion, the President felt the Democrats had “ceded too much territory.”
Could the Democrats have managed to win using a different strategy? When asked what the Democrats should have done differently, Obama hinted a mix of electoral miscalculation, Russian meddling, and media mistreatment might have cost Hillary Clinton the election, and a chance of becoming the first female President of the United States, reported CNN. He also implied that Donald Trump’s ability to garner attention and his uncanny knack of directly tapping into several rational as well as irrational anxieties and fears of quite a few voters played a role in the general elections.
[Featured Image by Alex Wong/Getty Images]