The media is now blaming dead veterans for Hillary Clinton’s loss in the 2016 presidential election.
If fewer men and women had died in combat, particularly in key swing states, Clinton might be president, The Intercept reported. The theory is a new one in a long list of explanations offered for her totally unexpected loss, from Russia to the patriarchy, to FBI Director James Comey’s handling of the email investigation, to her own staff.
The dead veterans theory is based on a study of the relationship between parts of the country that felt the effects of war through the loss of loved ones and pro-Trump votes. Had those loved ones made it home from the war alive, the theory goes, the election might have flipped to Clinton.
“Comparing the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections, they concluded that regions that had seen high concentrations in casualties over the past 15 years of warfare saw a swing in support towards Trump,” The Intercept reports, referencing a study conducted by professors at Boston University and the University of Minnesota Law School.
“Their model also suggests that three swing states — Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan — could very well have been winners for Clinton if their war casualties were lower,” the story adds.
Trump’s relatively anti-war rhetoric seems to have struck a chord with people close to the casualties of war, the study’s authors reason. If the dead veterans called less politically key towns home, or if they had survived, Clinton’s hawkish policies might have won her a few more votes. Maybe even enough to win the election.
“It’s certainly plausible I think that the … rhetoric of Trump’s campaign may have resonated with that group,” one of the study’s authors said, implying his message wouldn’t have resonated if those people weren’t dealing with the grief of losing or witnessing the loss of a veteran.
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