If you haven’t seen it plastered all over your Facebook page yet, Pantsuit Nation is an invite-only Facebook group that popped up not too long ago and immediately swelled to over 2,600,000 members (as of this writing and quickly growing), making it one of the largest, if not the largest, social media groups dedicated to a single candidate. And that’s a problem for Donald Trump.
The group is not about bashing Trump, it’s about showing excitement for Hillary. You know, the kind of enthusiasm we’ve been told doesn’t exist by both Trump and the “liberal” media elite:
The scarcity of lawn and window signs is an indication of the Democratic nominee’s struggle to generate enthusiasm among left-leaning voters, a challenge that’s borne out in polling data, and could potentially haunt her if voters fail to turn out on election day.
This is the same mistake Bernie supporters made when comparing the size of Bernie’s enormous crowds to Hillary’s smaller, more intimate gatherings. Also, her “inability” to generate a huge internet buzz compared to Bernie’s “dank meme stash” was taken as a sign that she had to lose the primary. She won easily by over 3 million votes.
It’s not hard to understand where this “enthusiasm gap” narrative came from. From the beginning of the this election, being openly supportive of Hillary was met with overwhelming hostility from Bernie supporters:
“I was yelled at when I wore my Hillary shirt to a grocery store in West Hollywood, possibly the most ‘accepting’ neighborhood in the whole world,” said Kate Hess, a 38-year-old producer in Los Angeles.
Danielle Thomson, 34, a writer in New York, said: “The first time I posted about Hillary, I couldn’t even function for 24 hours. I kept refreshing my feed — sweating.”
And if you were young and for Hillary? Forget about it.
“I’m treated like a traitor to my generation,” said 22-year-old Patrick Ross, a playwright in Philadelphia.
Later, as the Bernie Bros faded into the background, Trump supporters congealed into a violent mob, ready to viciously attack people online and in the real world. For a lot of people, especially women, it simply wasn’t worth the hassle and potential danger to openly cheer Hillary. But that didn’t mean the enthusiasm wasn’t there.
And now that the election is upon us, that “missing” enthusiasm is bubbling over:
Clinton now surpasses Trump for largest campaign rally. Trump's biggest was 28k in Mobile, AL. HRC had 33k tonight. (h/t @SeniABC)
— Liz Kreutz (@ABCLiz) November 8, 2016
This would be the largest crowd of the entire campaign.This is not to say that crowd size is a good metric but that’s what we’ve been led to believe.
But looking at more useful metrics gives us a better idea of just how enthusiastic people are:
The Hispanic surge in Florida isn’t simply because Mrs. Clinton has drawn typically reliable Election Day voters to vote early instead: According to Daniel Smith of the University of Florida, fully 36 percent of the Hispanics who have voted so far did not vote in 2012.
It’s also striking because Hispanic voters are typically among the least likely to participate in early and absentee voting. If that pattern continues this year — suggesting a robust Hispanic turnout on Election Day — Mr. Trump is probably in serious trouble.
And remember those women who weren’t enthusiastic?
In three crucial battlegrounds — North Carolina, Florida and Georgia — women are casting early ballots in disproportionate numbers. And in North Carolina, a must-win state for Trump with detailed early voting data available, it’s clear that Democratic women have been particularly motivated to turn out or turn ballots in.
In North Carolina, 87,000 Democratic women have already moved to cast early ballots compared with just 60,000 Republican women, according to data shared with POLITICO by J. Michael Bitzer, an expert on North Carolina’s early vote at Catawba College.
Put all of this together and the narrative that Hillary Clinton has not been generating enthusiasm among Democratic voters falls to pieces.
If Donald Trump isn’t already freaking out, he should be. And if you haven’t voted for Hillary yet, what are you waiting for?! History doesn’t make itself, you know!