So guess what? In the last weeks before the election, the Hillary Clinton campaign did no polling. No. Polling. Whatsoever. Oh, it had data. Lots and lots of data. Analytics, even. Data analytics! But it had no independent information on the overall field of battle in states like Florida, Michigan, Virginia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
So when the election began to turn Donald Trump’s way, the Clinton campaign had no idea.
This is one of the thousand revelations in “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign,” the new book by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes that, for political junkies, redefines the word “juicy” for our time.
Campaign honcho Robby Mook “was worried about overspending . . . so he declined to use pollsters to track voter preferences in the final three weeks of the campaign.” Mook had learned from his time on the Obama 2012 campaign, Allen and Parnes write, that “old-school polling should be used for testing messages and gauging the sentiments of the electorate and that analytics were just as good for tracking which candidate was ahead and by how much in each state.”
Allen and Parnes report that the Republican National Committee did know — but just couldn’t accept it. The RNC didn’t brief reporters on early November polling data it had developed in Michigan and Pennsylvania “because the upticks there were so rosy that party officials didn’t believe their own data.”
The day after the election, Hillary asked Mook “which decisions had been misguided, where they had erred in strategy and tactics. ‘Our data was wrong,’ he said . . . ‘OK,’ she replied.”