Slate has a piece up arguing that Hillary Clinton didn’t lost, Barack Obama won.
But evidence that Clinton ran a fairly OK campaign, while Obama ran one that simply got better and better, can be found in a chart reproduced in the Journal story from Real Clear Politics data, which averages the national polls since October.
But what the chart tells me is that Clinton ran a terrible campaign. There were about 40-45 percent of the Democratic electorate who were open to the idea of a Clinton restoration and were with her from the very beginning. Her campaign failed in the sole purpose of campaigns, namely convincing people to support her. She never expanded beyond her base at all.
Now, was this because there was a ceiling of 45 percent of national Democrats who were ever willing to support Hillary Clinton? If there was a ceiling then the whole question is moot because Hillary never could have won anyways, at least not under the Democrats rules for delegate allocation. (If she were a Republican she would have been fine, like John McCain was.) But if she didn’t have a built in ceiling of support and those people were open to supporting her, then he campaign failed miserably. She failed to build on her support at all from the beginning to the end of the primary process. That’s a pretty terrible campaign.