The Rankin Factor

Hillary Clinton at a campaign news conference in 2007 (Reuters)

Hillary Clinton tries out some Girl Power but Holly Yeager has the facts:

“Remember, Jeannette Rankin was elected before women could vote ... so who says men won’t vote for a woman?” Clinton asked the crowd. It's true that women across the U.S. didn't get the right to vote until 1920. But in Montana, thanks in part to Rankin, women got the right to vote in 1914 (which anyone who has ever played "Where in the World is Carmen San Diego" would know).

I miss that game. This is a reminder, however, that I think you can't talk about flaws in Hillary Clinton's campaign without mentioning the collapse in her support among African-American women. Clinton started the campaign very well-regarded in the black community and doing extremely well among black women but eventually lost the vast majority of that support.

In retrospect, the collapse of Clinton's black support sometimes feels obvious, but if you'd predicted in advance that white women would back Hillary, black men would back Obama, and they'd both split white men and black women and then Clinton would win because there are many more white women than black men in the electorate I think people would have considered that a reasonable-if-crude assessment of the situation.