Everyone was shocked --SHOCKED! -- that Hillary Clinton lost the Michigan primary on Tuesday. The polls, after all, showed her up an average of 20 points. Hence, on Wednesday, lots of soul-searching.
One group that kind of saw the Michigan loss coming -- or at least as a possibility -- though? The Clinton campaign itself. It kind-of, sort-of called it a week ago.
On March 2, a memo from Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook keyed on the campaign's strategy to maximize its delegate hauls and worry less about the momentary momentum that comes with winning the popular vote in individual states.
In doing so, Mook made a point specifically about Tuesday's primaries.
"Sen. Sanders’ campaign continues to pursue a strategy focused on states rather than delegates. For example, Sen. Sanders is competing very aggressively in Michigan, where he has already spent $3 million on TV," Mook said. "We are also competing to win in Michigan and feel good about where that race stands, but even if Sen. Sanders were able to eke out a victory there, we would still net more delegates in Mississippi, which holds its election on the same night."
The results on Tuesday: Sanders got more headlines, Clinton got lots more delegates. The two will wind up very close in the delegate count in Michigan, but Clinton absolutely swamped Sanders in Mississippi, to the tune of 32-5 on the delegate count, according to some estimates. (It was her biggest popular vote win to date, too, at 82.6 percent to 16.5 percent.)
Now, campaigns do try to lower expectations, and perhaps that's part of what Mook was doing here. Maybe he thought it might be closer than people thought, and he wanted to re-set that bar at a potential Sanders win, so Clinton could go on to exceed it.
But it's pretty clear from this memo that Clinton's campaign didn't really expect her to sail to a 20-point win -- or at least had reason to doubt it.