1. For years Republicans knew that Hillary Clinton was likely to run for President, certainly from W.J. Clinton's term when Hillary went tooth and nail on behalf of his healthcare plans. She showed she had the chops, and she made a lot of Repubs nervous.
2. They commenced an indefatigable campaign of demonizing Miz Hillary, picking up the pace when she actually ran in the primary in 2008. When she became Prez Obama's Secretary of State, the attacks kicked up a notch, graduating from the vague horror stories of Whitewater and Vince Foster and "how could she stay with Bill?" to the massively redundant hearings on Benghazi, e-mails, etc.
3. Righty radio talkers , Rush, Sean, Michael(s), Laura(s), Hugh, Charlie, Dennis, et al (dozens!) rode these waves like malign surfers, hitting liberals with their boards every time a head popped up.
4. THEN came the outrageous fake news attacks, brilliantly targeted to the exact areas where voters were most stressed by our inequitable economy, listened to the most talk radio and maybe had voted for Obama. (Targeted maybe with Russian help? We'll see, we'll see. They are very good at this.) Fake scandals about Hillary gushed into these target areas. Everyone in these vulnerable areas was talking to everyone else about these titillating lies, so they must be true, everyone says so! The climax was Pizzagate, and it showed just how crazy a lie can be sold when the seller is a brilliant propagandist.
What's more, the Trumpsters just don't believe the Russian angle. They still have no idea how it was done. They say things like:
“I don’t know how it would be possible. Nobody called me,” he said. “Nobody called me and said who to vote for.” (from the Guardian piece.)
Yeah, but didn't you hear the one about the child slaves on Mars?
"Uh, yeah, we all heard about it. That damn crooked Hillary was in on it."
For a beautifully written, brilliantly reported story on this, read allaboutit in the London Guardian.