Mike Berman’s Washington Watch

December 2, 2016 11:52 AM


As is so often the case, Dan Balz of the Washington Post hit the nail on the head with his November 20th column. The following are excerpts from that column.

“Viewed through any conventional lens, President-elect Donald Trump’s candidacy was improbable from start to finish. Today, two things about his victory seem to be in sharper focus: one, that Trump’s victory might best be understood as the success of the country’s first independent president, and second that the Trump coalition may be even more uniquely his than President Obama’s has turned out to be.”

“Trump owes his success in part to the fact that he ran for president in an environment that favored change over the status quo. But his luck or genius goes beyond that. It has long been noted that the conditions have existed for an independent candidate to run a serious campaign for president. The level of dissatisfaction with Washington, the anxiety over the economy and the generally sour mood about the future provided the foundation for a campaign by someone from outside the system, who is tied to neither political party and with a promise to shake things up.”

“Trump redrew the map just as he redrew the rules for running a campaign. For those reasons alone, and despite all the controversy of his campaign and the earlier personnel appointments, he ought not to be underestimated and/or seen through conventional lenses.”

The Upshot

New York Times, Nov 14, 2016

The following is from an exchange between Nate Cohn and Toni Monkovic.

Toni: Jill Stein is not responsible for the Clinton defeat. People who are suggesting that are wrong, correct?

Nate: Yeah, not on its own. Stein’s support did cover the Trump-Clinton margin in Michigan and Wisconsin, but I don’t think it is reasonable to say Clinton would have gotten 100 percent of that vote. It wouldn’t have been enough anyway: Clinton still would have lost Pennsylvania.

There’s a chance that Gary Johnson/Stein combined could have done it, but I don’t know about that. I think the Johnson vote could easily be more of a Trump vote.

“You can’t win on turnout if you are losing on message.” – Glen Bolger, 2014

“The Clinton Campaign was undone by its own neglect and a touch of arrogance, staffers say.” (Sam Stein/Huffingtonpost.com)

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