Jill Stein is not the reason Hillary Clinton lost the election

Jill Stein is not the reason Hillary Clinton lost the election December 13, 2016

Image by Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0

I’ve been very open about my problems with Jill Stein and her platform this election season. I don’t think she was a good candidate and I would have liked to see my left-leaning friends vote for Hillary Clinton instead. However, when we look at the numbers, it seems that Jill Stein did not cost Hillary Clinton the election.

On the surface, the numbers look concerning. As The Washington Post reports:

  • In Michigan, Trump won by 10,700 votes, while Stein got more than 51,000 votes
  • In Wisconsin, Trump won by 22,000 votes, while Stein got about 31,000
  • In Pennsylvania, Trump won by about 44,000 votes, while Stein got nearly 50,000.

So if all of those Stein voters flipped to Clinton, Trump may not be the President-elect. However, a key statistic is that 60 percent of Stein voters would have stayed home if Stein weren’t on the ballot. The other 40% would have mostly gone to Clinton at a 2 to 1 rate.

However, if we do the math and pretend most of these Stein voters would have switched to Hillary, she still would have lost as Hillary needed all three states to win.  Thus, it is simply incorrect to assume that all those Stein voters would have easily switched to Clinton and even if most of them did, it wouldn’t have mattered.

So while Stein and her bashing of Clinton may have helped Trump somewhat, when we look at the data, it appears she wasn’t a major factor in determining the outcome. Instead of pointing to one easy scapegoat, we need to analyze the many reasons why our country thought Trump was the best choice.

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