So many people expected November 8, 2016 to be an historic day. Two hundred and forty years after 13 colonies declared independence from Great Britain to form a new nation, the United States of America would finally elect its first female president – Hillary Clinton.
The reaction from Clinton supporters includes shock, anger, tears, marching protests and riots, and indignant reminders that she actually won the popular vote. The reaction from the disbelieving and confused press has been to analyze the reasons why she lost. CBS News examined a Clinton staffer’s assertion that FBI Director Comey’s comments on the Hillary emails in the last two weeks of the campaign played a pivotal role in the election results by bolstering turnout for Donald Trump. Ryan Cooper, writing for The Week, is willing to lay at least some responsibility on Hillary as a weak candidate who was out of touch with rust belt voters and took lots of money from Wall Street, but also gives credence to Russian hackers and Trump’s appeal to bigotry.
On the other hand, Trump supporters are gleefully replaying a montage of videos in which the American media and entertainment icons are shown ridiculing the possibility of Trump winning the presidency. The unlikely probability of Trump’s election and his distinctive lack of political correctness during the campaign justify a certain level of gloating by his supporters. The jewel of democratic politics is the power of the voter. In 2016, the American voters rewarded the candidate with a populist message of economic renewal, despite the doubts, the ridicule, and the support of the pundit class for Clinton. When looking back at this election to guide decisions in future elections, both Republican and Democrat politicians, pollsters and pundits should always remember the prophecy of Isaiah 29:14.
“Therefore once more, I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.”
Hillary might have done better if she had employed the tactics of her husband in his first presidential campaign in 1992 when he won with the slogan, “It’s the economy, stupid.” How many times do we hear during an election season from polished political consultants and reporters that “voters vote their pocketbook”? Instead, Clinton relied heavily on the appeal of a popular incumbent president to slide her into the White House.
The exigent need for understanding the unexpected loss of Hillary Clinton clearly is motivating this article. I would rather abandon the arguments which focus on contemporary causes, however, in order to explore another explanation which requires a longer perspective. My hypothesis is that the issue of abortion explains her defeat. I am not referring to her position in the third debate on late-term abortions. I am referring to the millions of abortions performed since 1970.
In the 2016 election, this table summarizes the results:
|Candidate||Electoral College||States Won||Popular Vote|
Including the votes cast for other presidential candidates, 134 million Americans voted on November 8, 2016. This represents a turnout rate of approximately 58%.
In my blog post #8, we looked at the connection between the national debt and abortion. Based on the research for that article, we now consider the 38 million American babies that were aborted from 1970 through 1998. They would have been eligible to vote in 2016. If none of these babies had been aborted, using the same turnout rate, we can assume that 22 million more voters would have participated in the 2016 election. Would the results of the election have been different with these missing voters casting their votes for either Hillary or Donald?
I attempt to answer this question by looking first at the abortion rate data by state from 2009 to 2012. I then assign a D or an R to each state based on the Electoral College results for 2016. There is no data from California, Maryland, New Hampshire, or Wyoming. This table shows the average abortion rate for D states and R states for these years. From these data, I conclude roughly that for every 3 abortions in D states, there are only 2 in R states.
Furthermore, for this article, I am assuming that this 3:2 ratio exists going back to 1970. More data is needed to verify this assumption.
Next, assuming that 5.66% of the 22 million “missing” (aborted) voters would have voted for an alternative party, 20,833, 352 voters remain for either Clinton or Trump. I allocate 60% of these voters to Clinton, state-by-state pro rata based on the 2016 vote tallies. I allocate 40% to Trump. Finally, I add these missing voters to the actual votes for Clinton and Trump state-by-state to create a hypothetical vote tally.
Based on these hypothetical vote tallies, I calculate that there would have been no change in the Electoral College results in all of the non-swing states. Among the 13 swing states, however, nine states would have had the same results, but four states would have gone to Clinton – Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The difference in electoral votes would have flipped the results and Clinton would have won the presidency.
Since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, liberal, progressive Democrats have staunchly defended, promoted and attempted to expand abortion rights. In states voting Democratic, women terminate pregnancies more frequently than in states voting Republican. This suggests that the Democratic support for abortion is effectively a genocide of future Democratic voters. In other words, the Democratic Party is committing suicide by supporting abortion rights.
The results of the down-ballot elections in 2016 raise the question would the missing voters have been able to elect more Democrats at other levels of government? When the new government takes power in January, 2017, Republicans will control the Senate and the House at the federal level in 2017. Republicans will also control 31 governorships and 31 state legislatures. Incumbency is a primary factor for determining who wins elections, particularly at lower levels of government.
Furthermore, the US population is ageing. The US Census Bureau estimates that the population age 65 and over will rise to 20% of the total US population compared to 13% in 2010. Older voters are more conservative voters. Older voters don’t have abortions.
The final hope of the Democratic Party was immigration, but only if enough immigrants came into the country and became Democrat-voting citizens, replacing those lost to abortion and ageing. If Trump keeps his promise to deport illegal aliens and subject other immigrants to extreme vetting, then it seems likely this last hope of the Democratic Party will evaporate.
Voter genocide via abortion, overwhelming incumbency, ageing population and restricted immigration are like four daggers in the heart of the Democratic Party. Is the ultimate demise of the Democratic Party certain? As David Graham suggests in the Atlantic, the country is also become less white, which should favor Democrats. I doubt, however, that Democrats can produce consistent success at the polls by appealing to voters on the basis of minority status.
Perhaps the issue of human-induced climate change will save the Democratic Party. This is a risky issue, however, on which to base the success of future elections. The consequences of climate change are not necessarily binary. There may never be an identifiable climate crisis which empowers the Democrats. Instead, the Democrats may become the “Chicken Little” party if changes in climate are gradual or imperceptible. I am curious to see how this issue develops over the next 20-30 years.
It would be unfortunate for our country if the Democratic Party becomes an ineffective fringe party for the rest of the century. I believe that it is important and necessary for Democrats to remain competitive in elections at all levels. Without a competitive opposition, a ruling party tends toward complacency and tyranny.
Could Democrats in the future embrace a candidate such as John F. Kennedy? We know now that he, like Donald Trump, was a man with many character flaws, but he was a Catholic (anti-abortion) who eschewed progressive domestic programs and reduced taxes. In his inaugural address, Kennedy famously implored Americans, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” The appeal of democratic socialist Bernie Sanders in 2016 to so many young voters excited by the promise of free college tuition suggests that this generation of Americans is not interested in Kennedy’s call to patriotism. Well, perhaps in 2020 or 2024 the Democrats will discover their own unexpected, charismatic candidate descending down an escalator, speaking bluntly about issues which voters care about most.