I wrote earlier today, on my Facebook page: “I’ll be making a much more in-depth post-mortem analysis later today, not to gloat, but to at least bask a little in my success at predicting this, which goes back (explicitly) to a May article, where I provided 15 reasons for why Trump would win.” This article will be a summary analysis of what I got right in that article. I’m truly not trying to boast or brag. I’m just an amateur political junkie (and old sociology major) having fun. Obviously, I’m happy because Trump won. I think I have had a few correct insights on this election all along, if I do say so. I wondered aloud last night, as it looked increasingly certain that Trump would win:
If I get all this right, think of that: I’m simply an amateur political junkie and apologist. All the major polls except for two would have been completely wrong. What is it they couldn’t figure out?
Earlier today I summed up the election:
My gut instinct all along was not that complicated. Obama won because of turnout in 2012. Trump won because of turnout in 2016. I told my wife at 7 PM or so last night, that the Democrats would experience exactly what we did in 2012: thinking that victory was likely and then having the great disappointment that it went the other way. And so they did.
The result was quite foreseeable in the large enthusiasm gap between the two candidates, and the knowledge that African-Americans were certainly not gonna come out in the numbers that they did for Obama, the first black President.
The other thing that I thought was rather obvious, was that this was a change election. Trump was the “new thing”: and the change agent. It’s really as simple as that, beyond all the analyses from all perspectives.
A half-hour ago I wrote what may be the most accurate one-sentence summary: “It was Brexit II: typical derision of the elites towards the unwashed troglodyte masses, who spoke and kicked the bums out.”
I’d like to now comment on my May article: 15 Reasons Why Trump Wins in November. Words from that piece will be in blue.
This was borne out rather dramatically and was a key point of the analysis of the pundits last night. Trump’s command of the blue collar (especially white) vote, and the ability to take some rust belt states, materialized big-time. This wasn’t that hard to see, but I think liberals and pundits simply didn’t want to see it and so assumed it wasn’t possible. They always think that the GOP could never truly be for the “little guy.” That is Democrat Talking Points Dogma.
But it looks like the “little guys” didn’t agree with the Democrats and believed that Trump’s policies intended to help them are sincere and possible. That delivered Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin for Trump: all by a point or less. I predicted that he would take Michigan (and an Ohio victory was clear in the polls: he won by 10 there).
Trump won all three of those states, and Wisconsin. My prediction wasn’t successful, however, regarding northeastern states. He came closest in New Hampshire, which he lost by one-tenth of a point, and Maine, where he lost by about 3.2 points (with 92% returns). He did take the separate Maine district 2, which I predicted.
2) He’ll get the libertarian, and moderate voters by the droves. And it is the year of the political outsider. Trump capitalizes on that vs. almost the ultimate Insider and Establishment politician: Hillary Clinton.
I should have added “independent” and “swing” voters. I basically included them in the broad term “moderate voters” but in any event, I did maintain that they would go heavily for Trump in many other of my 35-40 articles on the campaign. The independents broke big for Trump, especially in the last couple weeks. The “outsider” aspect was clearly a big factor in the votes of many.
3) He’ll get anyone who is suffering economically and figures out that incompetent, clueless Democrat / Obama economic policies have mostly caused (and unnecessarily prolonged) the bad economy. . . .
To use my own case as a typical example: the house I own (where I lived from 1999-2015; now rented out to my married son) is worth $25,000 less than what I bought it for in 1999. The house I live in now (half-inherited) is worth $50,000 less than it was in 2007. Its value dropped by a third.
That’s some serious money for someone who makes very little. And those kinds of things are what have made “little guys” like me vote for Trump and the prospect of a better economy. We’re living the results of Obama’s incompetent economic policies, with less than 3% growth in GDP all eight years (which no one has ever achieved before). We need investment gains like that for our retirement (I’m 58). Trump will bring about a good economy, and for guys like me, that will mean multiple thousands of dollars extra in our only investment: our homes. I have no savings or any other investments, and no retirement plan: having been a poor full-time apologist these past 15 years.
. . . Obamacare is also a disaster and a majority rejects it.
This was undeniably a large factor: particularly because it was announced in the waning days of the campaign that the premiums would be massively increased almost everywhere. Trump kept reiterating that he would repeal it. Voters agreed.
4) Almost always after eight years of one party, it flips to the other party. Given the facts that Hillary Clinton is singularly uninspiring, boring, and unlikable, and her massive history of corruption, GOP chances are all the better.
The rule that the party of the President changes after eight years has held every time since 1952, except for 1988. This was a major plus for the GOP from the start. That Hillary’s corruption (not to mention her oft-mentioned lack of charm and excitement and likability) was a huge issue is undeniable: between all the Wikileaks revelations, the e-mail investigations, verification of at least her relentless lying by the FBI, dredging up of Bill Clinton’s sexual escapades, revelations about pay-for-play shenanigans in the Clinton Foundation, cheating with debate questions (with DNC chairperson Donna Brazile), and so forth; many folks had had far more than enough. Hillary was a walking example of the Washington corruption that was a central target of Trump’s campaign.
5) We still have to see the aftermath of what a (probably more likely than not) FBI recommendation for indictment on several felony counts will do to Hillary and the Democrats. Even if the Democrat-controlled and biased Justice Department does not indict (which is the likelihood), the FBI recommendation for same (if it occurs) will be tremendously damaging to Hillary’s credibility and trustworthiness, and many leaks will come out that will be devastating.This all came to pass. Granted, the FBI said it would not recommend indictment (twice), but the reopening of the investigation (for ten days!) did tremendous damage, as well as all the things that came out that caused the public to simply not trust Hillary’s word anymore.
6) Sanders is dividing the Democrats in a major way,
This was less of a factor than it seemed at first it would be (both candidates got about 90% of their party members’ votes), but it may have pulled away enough numbers and caused some Sanders’ supporters to stay home, and even swing a few states: especially because of the WikiLeaks revelations of how screwed-over Sanders was by the DNC and Clinton campaign.
7) 2016 resembles 1980 in many ways. Ronald Reagan was down in the polls 15-25 points to Jimmy Carter at this time of the year. Trump is already pulling even in some polls with Hillary and in one even beat her by two points.
Here I seemed to have stumbled upon a fairly predictive insight. Trump took 29 states and had 279 electoral votes (I had predicted 286 and got 46 of 50 states right in my electoral prediction early on the day of the election). Reagan took 44 states and 489 electoral college votes in 1980 and won the popular vote by almost ten points (whereas this was virtually tied). But it was similar in terms of the late surge and “surprise” victory that almost no one predicted; also in terms of the surprise taking of “blue” states like Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. So, more accurate than not . . .
8) Trump has not yet begun to fight. And he is clearly willing to vigorously fight and oppose the usual Democrat slanderous nonsense and talking-points during elections (all Republicans are racist, chauvinist, anti-poor, homophobes, etc.) in a way that no GOP candidate in recent memory has been willing to fight.
I think Trump’s resolve not to take any crap and to truly fight back against the endless Democrat slandering was a major factor. People liked that. It’s why he won the primaries against many very able opponents. It’s what GOP candidates had been sorely lacking. Hillary’s “deplorable” comment summed up what we have been so sick of all these years. The insults will continue. Let them. We won, and some long-overdue necessary things are finally gonna get done now.
9) New Media is hugely more influential than it has been in past elections. This means that people’s minds are not dominated by the overwhelmingly liberal secular major media. And Trump is probably the most media-savvy candidate in either party, ever.
I think this was unarguably a big factor, too. Because of this, Trump could more and more ignore the liberal mainstream media, which was proven to be utterly biased and in the tank for Clinton. Few things were more pleasing to me than this: having known of extreme media bias for over 30 years.
10) Economy, illegal immigration, terrorism. All three greatly favor Trump over Hillary Clinton. Another terrorist attack in the US would add two points to Trump’s winning percentage (or at worst, cause him to win rather than lose). Americans also badly want to defeat ISIS, and they know which party and candidate is far more likely to successfully do so.
The recent terrorist attacks worked in Trump’s favor. Although immigration actually wasn’t all that big of an issue, I think it was to the blue collar workers and working class, who stood the most to lose from illegal immigration. Thus, a net gain for Trump . . .
12) The “Never Trump” and “I’ll sit on my hands on election day” fools will be more than offset by the multiple thousands of new voters being brought into the GOP by Trump: some of whom haven’t voted before. Disenchanted Bernie-ites could be a big factor, too.
This seems to have come to pass, too, in the increased GOP turnout: as anticipated by the incredible enthusiasm exhibited at Trump rallies.
13) GOP turnout is up 60-70%; Democrat turnout is down 20-30%. Turnout is one of the most important factors in elections. It certainly was key in 2012 for Obama.
This was generally borne out to GOP advantage, though not nearly as much (in degree) as I had predicted. But it was enough to be a key factor in turning the election.
14) Slowly but surely, more and more African-Americans are figuring out that the Democrat Party shouldn’t automatically get their vote, especially in light of the fact that under the first black President, their economic status has decreased in every major category (whereas it greatly rose under Reagan), while white Americans’ status was flat, and Hispanic-Americans’ incomes rose.
This was my least successful prediction. Preliminary indications show that African-Americans voted only about 8% for Trump.
15) Donald Trump is having problems with the female vote, but so is Hillary Clinton. Lots of women do not like her at all. Thus, it may be a wash with the women’s vote. It also cancels out whatever advantage the “woman card” might have given her. In other words, her being a woman will be far less advantage to her (if at all) than Obama’s being (half) black was to him.
My second worst prediction: Hillary took the women’s vote by a significant margin. What I didn’t mention here was his even bigger advantage with male voters, that neutralized her advantage among women. I did mention that in several other of my papers throughout the campaign. The “first woman President” thing didn’t pan out as expected. My last sentence was proven to be profoundly true.
So all in all, I essentially got 13 out of 15 specific predictions right. That’s an 87% “grade” or a B+ :-) But I certainly did far better than almost all of the professional pundits and pollsters. Not bad for a mere amateur . . .