Donald Trump’s victory is the biggest upset in modern politics. It dwarfs everything that came before it.
It was not just a polling upset in that the polls were wrong (and they were) like in Dewey vs Truman.
It was also a data upset in that all the models based on early voter turnout were wrong. The stories of massive Latino turnout early on being good for Clinton were a red herring.
Trump’s campaign did nothing that professional campaigns are meant to do.
- No get out the vote machine
- No voter segmentation and targeting
- A relatively small ad buy
Yet he not only won the election but he smashed through Clinton’s blue firewall and won midwest states he wasn’t even meant to be competitive in.
You have to give credit to Trump. He had a belief that he was speaking to mid west America and would motivate them to turn our and vote like they never had before – and they did.
Despite the fact only one living Republican presidential candidate (Dole) was voting for him and scores of top Reublicans were not, he won the presidency plus the Republicans retained the Senate and had few losses in the House.
What does this all mean? How did he win? Well I may be as wrong on this as I have been on almost everything Trump, but my take is:
- People wanted change, and he offered it. As flawed as he was and as uncertain as to whether the change he offers would be good change, the prospect of change won out over the certainty of the status quo
- The big divide was not just race but education. Trump actually got 29% of the Hispanic vote up 8% from Romney. With women he in fact only got 1% less than Romney. But with non college whites he beat Clinton 39% and while with college whites only 4%
- One good analysis pointed out that minority groups often vote overwhelmingly one way, making their impact powerful. So in NZ Pacific Islanders overwhelmingly vote Labour and in the US African Americans over-whelmingly vote Democratic. Well non-college whites over-whelmingly voted Trump as a minority, but they are a large minority – 40% of the country
- Trump picked up massive support from poorer Americians. He did 16% better than Romney with those earning under $30,000
- Clinton was a very flawed candidate who can to embody the status quo that so many were unhappy with
I have huge reservations about Trump, and especially his narcissistic personality and thin skinned nature. He could be a disastrous President, but he has won and deserves the chance to show he can be a better President.
There is something amazing about watching an election night as the results come in, and everyone is equal in terms of information. Barack Obama is learning the results at the same time as everyone else is. At the end of the day 100 million Americans got to decide the future of their country, and they voted for dramatic change.
So what are the results?
- Electoral College looks to be 305 Trump and 233 Clinton. Trump got more EC votes than Bush 43 did in 2000 and 2004.
- Trump won Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Iowa (and Maine’s and Nebrasks’s 2nd Districts)
- Clinton is ahead in the popular vote by around 0.2%
- Republicans look to have kept 52 seats and the majority. New Hampshire too close to call.
- They lost Illinois but kept Wisconsin, Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Florida
- The win in Indiana was huge – almost 10%. The Democrats brought back former Senator Evan Bayh who at first looked to win in a landslide. But as it emerged he no longer even lived in the state and couldn’t correctly name the address of the property he owned there, anger grew against him
- Forecast Republicans 239 and Democrats 196
- A net pick up for the Democrats of just eight seats – below what most were predicting
- Republicans looked to have picked up two Governors
- The Democrats are decimated. The Clinton control of the party is finished as are they. Obama is out of politics. Sanders, Biden and Warren are old. Who will be their 2020 Presidential candidate?
- The next Senate election in 2018 is awful for Democrats – they have to defend 25 seats to eight for the Republicans. Realistically Republicans likely to control the Senate until at least 2020 and the House also.
- TPP is dead. Jane Kelsey can celebrate
- Will Trump really pull out of the Iranian nuclear deal and the Paris Climate Change Agreement?
- What will replace Obamacare?
- Who will serve in a Trump administration?
- There will be no Justice Garland. Who will Trump nominate to replace Scalia?
- Will Justices Bader-Ginsburg (83) and Kennedy (80) and Breyer (78) see out Trump’s term? If any of them die or retire the Supreme Court may get a clear conservative majority for a generation
- Will Trump keep any or many of his promises?