Mike Berman’s Washington Watch

December 2, 2016 11:53 AM

What Happened

The following are extensive excerpts from an article written by Peter Hart, founder of Peter D Hart Research Associates and Dan McGinn, CEO of McGinn and Co for the WSJ.

“Three forces collided to elect Donald Trump president of the United States. First, Hillary Clinton was a deeply flawed candidate. Second, Mr. Trump, a brilliant manipulator of broadcast media outlets, benefited from copious amounts of free air time. Third, is the element of the 2016 election that pundits consistently underestimated: A large sector of our society is deeply, viscerally angry.”

“And what never happened? Hillary Clinton never dealt with the integrity issues that surveys consistently found voters have held about her. She needed to display character–not just of determination or toughness but also something that helped middle America know that she was on the side of the people, not the Wall Street or Washington establishments.”

“In the end, this was an election of fear. Mr. Trump’s message was the fear of what has been happening to this country, and Mrs. Clinton’s message focused on the fear of Donald Trump.”

“This election ends where elections always do: with the voters.”

“Voters are angry at the failure of elected officials in Washington to listen to them and act. They are angry that the country can’t secure its borders. They are angry about a war on terrorism that has dragged on for more than a decade and has shown more signs of defeat than victory. They are angry at the arrogance of the rich and well educated who don’t seem to know–much less care–that working people’s standard of living has been declining for a generation. They are angry at the media, at journalists they think look and sound too smug, too certain, and too aloof. They are angry at the “new economy” that trumpets apps and functionality and brags about the “costs” (read: jobs) that are being eliminated. They are angry about being mocked and vilified as rubes, racists, and “deplorables.” They are white-hot angry that their children don’t have reasonable prospects for advancement.”

“On Tuesday they didn’t vote for Donald Trump so much as they voted against every institution that has turned its back on working people.”

“This election was about a large segment of the electorate wanting a way to demonstrate deep frustration with the country’s direction.”

“This election was the clearest possible signal to every institution in the U.S. that the average person expects–and is demanding–a seat at the table. The folks who led this revolution are foreign to Washington, Los Angeles, and New York. They don’t go to Starbucks, take their kids on college tours, or watch NPR. They shop at Wal-Mart, dine at McDonald’s, and care more about high school sports than pro games. Their incomes are declining and they have no retirement funds. They think their parents and grandparents built this country. And Tuesday night, they screamed that they want their country back.”

The Shock Heard Round the World

By Amy Walter

I got it wrong. Really wrong. Trump didn't just win, he crushed it. This is truly the most shocking thing that I have seen in my lifetime.

Here’s what I think happened:

1. Voters did not like Trump, but voted for him anyway.

2. The "Obama coalition" has only turned out for Obama.

3. There wasn’t a GOP split.

4. Clinton never had a message that addressed the mood of the country.

5. There was no women voter surge for Clinton.

6. The polling/data-driven/consultant-driven campaign industry has a big black eye.

7. Trump had no ground/data/analytics.

8. The political disruption that we've seen taking place all across the world is happening on our shores.

What Happened Election Night? Three Things

Posted by Dante Chinni, Director of the American Communities Project

November 14, 2016

As America’s pollsters and data mavens sift through the wreckage of the 2016 campaign, there is one question on everyone’s lips: what happened?

The results are not all in yet, but looking at the data through the American Communities Project suggests a three-part answer.

One, Donald Trump bumped up the votes and margins from reliably Republican areas, particularly in rural locales, Rural Middle America, Working Class Country, Graying America and Evangelical Hubs, many of which are losing population.

Two, Hillary Clinton did not get the turnout she needed from the urban centers, the Big Cities and Urban Suburbs, even as she improved on Barack Obama’s margins.

Three, Trump flipped a lot of Obama voters in the blue-collar Middle Suburbs, based heavily in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Those three things together explain how the president-elect did what many thought was impossible as he captured the electoral votes he needed to win the election.

Trump Grasped What Others Missed

By Charlie Cook, November 15, 2016

National Journal.com

(Excerpts below)

“Before assigning blame for why Hillary Clinton lost a race that she was supposed to win, it seems appropriate to first give credit to the victor. Whether you like or agree with President-elect Donald Trump, you have to give him credit for seeing and tapping into something that few others saw. From his gilded 58th floor, three-story apartment in Trump Tower overlooking Central Park, the real estate developer and television personality somehow peered into the American psyche and detected a growing anger and resentment among working- and lower-middle-class whites, particularly those in small towns, far suburbs, and rural areas, who feel left behind in the 21st-century global economy.”

“… alone among the presidential candidates, this moneyed, citified man sensed the grievances of country people toward the rich and powerful in New York, Washington, and Los Angeles. He was able to connect with these voters by skillfully manipulating the news media into lavishing on him as much as $2 billion in free air-time. All the while, he professed disdain and if not downright hatred for this very same media, further delighting his supporters.

“The estrangement of these white voters created a backlash—inartfully called a “whitelash” by some commentators—based on the conviction that the country they remembered growing up, made idyllic by the passage of time, had been swept away.”

“Clinton blamed her troubles on FBI Director James Comey, but that was a political cop-out. The original sin was the dumb and dangerous decision to set up and use a personal email server.”

“There certainly seemed to be a bit of hubris in the Clinton campaign, which tried to expand its footprint into long-shot states while not devoting sufficient resources and attention to states that leaned her way and would have provided the necessary 270 Electoral College votes to win the presidency. That the Clinton team spent more money on ads during the last month in Omaha than in Michigan and Wisconsin combined was political malpractice. Flirting with Arizona while Pennsylvania was starting to drift away was just as bad. “

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