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During the 2016 Presidential race, Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton said Trump’s supporters belong in a "basket of deplorables."

Donald Trump went to to defeat Hillary in a sweeping victory, claiming 306 electoral votes.

Speaking at the LGBT for Hillary Gala in New York City on Sept. 9, 2016, Clinton said that Trump’s supporters were "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic."

Trump, never one to miss an opportunity to hit an opponent back, said the remarks showed "her true contempt for everyday Americans."

The comment by Hillary Clinton quickly went viral, as Trump supporters began openly admitting to being "deplorable" online.

The hashtag #basketofdeplorable was one the most most popular hashtags during the 2016 Presidential race, and the hate toward Hillary quickly boiled on Social Media:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Damage

On a special assignment from the Clinton campaign, Diane Hessan studied the effects of the "deplorable" comment.

She wrote an op-ed in the Boston Globe sharing reflections from her study, which showed the reaction to the "deplorables" was stronger than when FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to Congress saying they were probing to see if additional emails on the laptop of one her top aides could have an impact on a closed investigation to Clinton's use of a primary email server.

"There was one moment when I saw more undecided voters shift to Trump than any other, when it all changed, when voters began to speak differently about their choice," she wrote.
 
"It wasn't FBI Director James Comey, Part One or Part Two; it wasn't Benghazi or the e-mails or Bill Clinton's visit with Attorney General Loretta Lynch on the tarmac. No, the conversation shifted the most during the weekend of Sept. 9, after Clinton said, 'You can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables.'"
 
"All hell broke lose," she added.
 
It's difficult to measure the negative effect the comment had on Americans. This is because the majority the the polls grossly overestimated Hillary Clinton's popularity even to the point of declaring her the winner before one vote was cast.

I believe Hillary was speaking off the cuff about Trump supporters, but nevertheless, this was probably the biggest mistake she made during her Presidential run.

 

Trash Your Opponent, Not Their Supporters

No matter how concrete your opponent's base of support may seem, you can easily convert a portion of that base to your side by attacking their candidate.

In my years of political consulting, nothing gets voters to change sides faster than a properly developed, and delivered smear piece.

In local elections these are delivered through email, Social Media and direct mail. On the national stage, you also have television and billboards.

Either way, when you trash supporters, it doesn't fire up your base nearly as much as it alienates you from potential voters. This would be like going on trial, and slamming half of the jury, even though only a few are against you. What's the point?

It's a shame there is so much name calling and mud slinging in politics.

When you want to overcome a competitor in business, you create better solutions to your customers' problems, not slam your competitors' customers!

Perhaps one day we'll live in a world where the deliberate words of politicians are only overshadowed by the unity they create. Let's hope!

Don't compete — DOMINATE.

 

Matt Steffen

"Don't compete -- DOMINATE!"

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Matt Steffen was Listed by Forbes as the #1 Marketing Consultant Who Avoids the B.S.

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