I was talking to a #NeverTrump radio host who will remain anonymous (unless he wants to chime in) when I said I put it at 70/30 in favor of Trump. As much as I’d like to pat myself on the back, my prediction was wrong. I told him my reasoning was an October surprise that would bring her down. It didn’t. With hindsight being not quite 20/20 when it comes to politics, I now understand why I was so wrong.
Let’s look at the four things that nobody considered enough when making predictions. If we had, it’s now pretty obvious that Hillary would lose.
There couldn’t have been a worse time for the announcements of rate hikes to go out. The economy is always the most important factor for voters and when they are going to lose more money in a way associated with a candidate, it hurts.
Whether you love him or despise him (there are few who are in the middle), Barack Obama is a very likable person. He’s charismatic at the least and magnetic to liberals. Compared to Hillary, he sucks all of the joy away from her. She’s the opposite of him in so many ways even if they share their liberalism. Even diehard Democrats had to consider her a downgrade.
Both parties relied on passions. Sadly, this was the first election in modern history when the passions being tapped into were negative. Democrats relied on passionate hatred for Trump and Republicans relied on passionate hatred of Hillary in order to get out the vote. Hillary actually had an advantage in that regard; more people passionately dislike Trump. However, Trump’s actual supporters were much more passionate than Hillary’s, particularly in the states she needed to win: Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Florida.
Blown media bias
The best thing the media could have done if they wanted Hillary to win was to embrace Trump. By being so overtly opposed to him, they thought they were doing the right thing. They neglected to remember that the media in America is disliked almost as much as politicians. It was like a Chinese finger trap. The harder they pulled, the tighter Trump’s grip got.
There’s a lot to digest, but we’ll keep it short and bittersweet for now. As someone who disliked both candidates fairly equally, I’m neither delighted nor discouraged by Trump’s win. Of course, I’m at least a little pleased by Hillary’s loss, if only to poke fun at HuffPo’s 98% chance of a Democratic win.