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The Unmaking of the President 2016 by Lanny J. Davis


The Unmaking of the President 2016 by Lanny J. Davis

Author:Lanny J. Davis
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Scribner


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*. The letter was copied to the ranking Democrats of each committee—a total of sixteen members of Congress. Comey actually suggested during his May 3, 2017, hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee that he was surprised it leaked. That seems hard to comprehend.

CHAPTER EIGHT

* * *

Comey’s Letter Elects Donald Trump

There are four ways to measure the negative effects on Clinton’s standing during the time period from immediately after the letter was published through Election Day: (1) media coverage—quantitatively and qualitatively; (2) substantial increases in negative “feelings” or sentiments toward Clinton; (3) abrupt declines in national popular vote polls; and (4) even more severe declines in polls of the key battleground states.

All four of these effects of the Comey letter are proven by multiple sources of data. The evidence and the data show, conclusively, that but for the Comey letter, Hillary Clinton wins the presidency.

1. The Comey letter triggered overwhelmingly negative and dominant media stories about Clinton in the closing days of the election.

Most Americans still at least hazily remember the shock wave of media that broke soon after the arrival of the Comey letter in the offices of twenty-four members of Congress a little before 1 P.M. on October 28. Within minutes—surprise!—news of the letter was posted in a tweet, and mischaracterized, by the highly partisan anti-Clinton Republican chair of the House Oversight Committee, Utah’s Jason Chaffetz. His tweet said, inaccurately: “case reopened.”

The media went into hysteria mode. BREAKING NEWS scrolled across every cable news screen. Front pages of news websites and the next day’s newspapers screamed out warnings about a “new” Clinton emails investigation, some using the word “criminal.”

Probably—and predictably—the worst and most inaccurate, irresponsible headline and article came from FoxNews.com: “Hillary Clinton’s Criminal Investigation: A ‘Constitutional Crisis’ Like Watergate.”

That headline came from comments made by a former pollster of President Jimmy Carter, Pat Caddell. Also in the story was a comment from a veteran Democratic pollster, Doug Schoen, who cohosted an online Fox program with Caddell and said that he was reconsidering his support of Clinton because if she were elected, there would be a constitutional crisis.

Nate Silver wrote on FiveThirtyEight about the media coverage immediately after the letter was leaked: “The story exploded onto the scene; Fox News was treating Chaffetz’s tweet as ‘breaking news’ within 15 minutes, and the FBI story dominated headlines everywhere within roughly an hour.”1

The number of Google hits on all the negative words that consistently depressed Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers throughout the campaign—“emails,” “investigation,” “FBI”—shot up. For example, just the terms “Clinton FBI” and “Clinton email” increased fiftyfold and almost tenfold respectively within a day.

Silver continued,

Few news organizations gave the story more velocity than The New York Times. On the morning of Oct. 29, Comey stories stretched across the print edition’s front page, accompanied by a photo showing Clinton and her aide Huma Abedin, Weiner’s estranged wife. Although some of these articles contained detailed reporting, the headlines focused on speculation about the implications for the horse race—“NEW EMAILS JOLT CLINTON CAMPAIGN IN RACE’S LAST DAYS.



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