For Democrats and some political prognosticators, the answer to their surprisingly bad night is simple: Comey. Specifically, James B. Comey.
The fact that the FBI director brought Hillary Clinton’s private email server roaring back into the national conversation 11 days before the election — only to clear her (again) the weekend before Americans voted — is unforgivable in many Democrats’ minds. And in those same minds, Comey is the reason they find themselves losing an election in which polls suggested they held a significant edge.
It is possible that Comey’s new look into Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state reminded many swing voters of what polls show is Clinton’s weakest attribute: trust. No less than 62 percent of registered voters said in The Post-ABC News recent tracking poll they thought she was dishonest.
It’s also possible that the Comey announcement lowered enthusiasm and turnout among Democratic voters feeling meh about Clinton, like Bernie Sanders supporters, while boosting enthusiasm for independent and Republican-leaning voters by reminding them of how much they dislike Clinton. (Though we have yet to comb through those numbers.)