Clinton Campaign Manager Cautioned Before Virginia Election Not to Make Big Deal of Result: ‘This Is Not Determinative’

• November 8, 2017 2:50 pm


Former Hillary Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook downplayed the results of the Virginia gubernatorial race on Monday, saying "oftentimes we blow these things up" and that it is "not determinative" regarding the 2018 midterm elections.

That, of course, was a day before Democrat Ralph Northam rolled to a surprisingly lopsided victory over Republican Ed Gillespie in the commonwealth that left Democrats giddy.

In the weeks leading up to Election Day, however, polls showed a tightening race that had liberals and Democrats afraid they would blow what looked like an easy victory. After all, Clinton won Virginia a year before and President Donald Trump has a low approval rating in the state.

"Hey, Robby, if Northam loses, is this a disaster for Democrats?" CNN host Don Lemon asked Monday night.

"Look, it's not going to be a good night. It's just not," Mook said of that possibility. "This is going to be very demoralizing, but I think oftentimes we blow these things up a little too big afterwards."

What was important regarding Election Day, Mook said, was whether Democrats improved with non-college-educated white voters and increased turnout from the Obama coalition of minorities and young voters.

Mook pointed out that Democrat Terry McAuliffe won the Virginia governor's race in 2013, but it did not translate into a good 2014 for Democrats; that year was a rout for the GOP, which increased its House majority and won the Senate.

"We'll see little signs, but this is not determinative," Mook said.

Mook is savaged in former interim Democratic National Committee chair Donna Brazile's new memoir about the 2016 presidential race, saying he was too reliant on data and analytics and dismissed her advice.

"I want to talk about the arrogance and isolation of the Clinton campaign and the cult of Robby Mook, who felt fresh but turned up stale, in a campaign haunted by ghosts and lacking in enthusiasm, focus, and heart," she writes at one point.

Democrats had a highly successful night across the country on Tuesday, also winning New Jersey's gubernatorial election and picking up a slew of surprising local race wins.