Posted by Curt on 2 May, 2017 at 3:50 pm. 1 comment.



he would have gotten away with the presidency too, if it hadn’t been for those meddling kids at the FBI. And Wikileaks’s friends in Russian intelligence, of course.

The “Comey cost Hillary the election” theory is Nate Silver’s theory, whom she name-checks here. He makes a fair case — her polling dropped by three points after the first Comey letter appeared on October 28th and she ended up losing four key states worth 75 electoral votes by 1.2 percent or less. If you believe that her polling wouldn’t have dipped but for the letter, or at least not as much as it did, then she probably squeaks by in Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan, and Wisconsin or some significant combination thereof and wins.

Or, of course, maybe not. Silver himself noted on November 6th, after Comey’s second letter was released announcing that no new emails had been discovered on Anthony Weiner’s laptop, that “betting markets show Clinton’s probability of winning the election improving by about 3 percentage points on the news.” His final “polls-plus” electoral model gave her a better than 70 percent chance of winning the election notwithstanding Comeymania. It’s impossible to say how much of the late break among voters towards Trump was a backlash to the Comey news and how much was late deciders tilting towards the anti-status-quo candidate for more organic reasons. And as any Trump voter would happily remind you, if Comey’s letter affected the race, that was partly because Clinton had run a sufficiently lousy campaign that she had left herself vulnerable to an eleventh-hour gamechanger:

She showed off that charming common touch elsewhere during today’s Amanpour interview, in fact:

The debate over causation will never be settled. Suffice it to say, without Bill Clinton deciding to drop in on Loretta Lynch on the tarmac, Comey probably never opens his mouth. And without Hillary Clinton deciding to set up her own homebrew email server to keep her official correspondence away from prying public eyes, Comey definitely never opens his mouth.

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