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Hillary Clinton’s historic defeat in the presidential election this week confounded pollsters and analysts who had predicted a comfortable victory for the Democratic nominee. But it also continued Clinton’s pattern of frequently coming up short in key moments.

In 2008, Clinton’s victory in the Democratic primary was considered all but certain until, quite suddenly, it was not. In summer 2015 and earlier this year, Clinton’s cruise to the Democratic nomination was a foregone conclusion until, on the eve of the Iowa caucus, it was transformed into a slog by Sen. Bernie Sanders.

And on Tuesday night, Clinton’s assured ascension to the White House was stopped dead in its tracks by a defeat the political class failed to see coming.

“Hillary Clinton was a dreadful candidate — and the wrong fit for a change election,” said Charles Lipson, a political science professor at the University of Chicago.

“She was the Jeb Bush of the general election,” he added. “Very well funded but not very well liked.”

Like in the case of Jeb Bush’s failed bid for the GOP nomination, the warning signs for Clinton appeared early in the primary.

Her unfavorable numbers soared to historic heights, her message struggled to find footing in communities that were friendly to President Obama and — perhaps most importantly — primary voters flocked to a candidate whose platform represented a dramatic departure from what had propelled Democrats to the White House in the past.

Those considerations rarely factored into discussions about her general election chances, however. Nor were her previous defeats, material weaknesses in swathes of key battleground states or lack of accomplishments on which to justify her candidacy.

“Hillary Clinton was the candidate that always made sense on paper. She was the logical choice,” said Ford O’Connell, a Republican strategist. “But she never made rank and file voters enthusiastic, whether it was the 2008 primary or the 2016 general election.”

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Clinton’s struggle to connect with ordinary Americans dates back to her husband’s first campaign for president. In 1992, the New York Times described her “image problem” as a political “vulnerability” to her husband’s chances of ousting Republican President George H.W. Bush.

The criticisms did not stop once she moved into the White House. An often polarizing figure, her unsuccessful attempt to sell universal health care to the public in 1994 backfired and further tanked her popularity with voters. It also contributed to the Democrats’ loss of their congressional majorities later that year.

Years later, Clinton clawed her way to a U.S. Senate seat in New York by promising to bring thousands of jobs to the northern part of the state. She introduced seven bills that would have provided investments to upstate New York, but was not able to get a single one passed. Those jobs never materialized; the manufacturing industry in the region actually fell by nearly 25 percent during her time in office.

After Obama defeated her in the 2008 primary, Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state produced few additions to her resume. Her four years at the State Department yielded U.S. entry into the Libyan civil war, a bungled attempt to “reset” relations with Russia, a misreading of Egypt and Syria, and an infamous ignorance of security in Benghazi ahead of the terrorist attack that claimed four American lives.

Because of those failures, Clinton seldom cited any diplomatic achievements on the 2016 campaign trail, aside from the number of flights she rode around the world.

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Compounding Clinton’s flaws was the fact that her campaign began under a cloud of scandal that never fully cleared from her horizon. Controversies over her private email server and her family’s foundation — and her evasive answers to questions about them — deepened the public’s skepticism of her candidacy.

Meanwhile, Trump was drawing increasingly massive crowds to rallies in reliably blue states, where he said provocative things that somehow expanded his support among voters.

But the media dismissed his movement as a novelty even as it crept up behind Clinton’s base in the weeks before the election.

“Journalists didn’t question the polling data when it confirmed their gut feeling that Mr. Trump could never in a million years pull it off,” wrote Jim Rutenberg in the New York Times’ media column on Wednesday. “They portrayed Trump supporters who still believed he had a shot as being out of touch with reality. In the end, it was the other way around.”

Kyle Pope of the Columbia Journalism Review was much more blunt in his indictment of the journalists that failed to report “what was a gargantuan story.”

“Too often, the views of Trump’s followers — which is to say, the people who just elected our next president — were dismissed entirely by an establishment media whose worldview is so different, and so counter, to theirs that it became chic to belittle them and wave them off,” Pope wrote on Wednesday. “Reporters’ personal views got in the way of their ability to hear what was happening around them.”

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