Congratulate yourself America, you survived the most craziest election
November 8th, we had a winner. The winner though was a shocker. Most of the media thought it would be an early night. Little did they know that they were wrong. Technically, I believe the Associated Press called the race first, but in terms of actual news organizations, the first I saw on 6 computer monitors and 3 TV screens was the New York Times, followed by the Wall Street Journal, and then with what seems like took forever, Fox News called the race for now President-Elect Trump, and the last ones to chime in was CNN calling it in his favor.
There was one media outlet though, even as Trump was giving his victory speech, the screen on MSNBC said something of the sorts like: "Clinton Concedes with Phone Call to Trump" they were still showing Trump with less than 270 electoral college votes. I believe they had 248 at the time. This election comes to a surprise to the media and those who live in the D.C., NYC, and L.A. bubbles, but if you ask a majority in voters in States that Trump won, it was no surprise to them, in fact, Michael Moore said that Trump would win this election long ago and then rubbed it in everybody's face after he did win.
Surprisingly, only one media outlet actually called the race for Trump consistently, and that was the LA Times. Not even the more conservative leaning Fox News had Trump winning in their polls. Trump's internal polling though, was right. How is it that Michael Moore, LA Times, and Donald Trump's polling was more accurate than the rest of the country?
Michael Moore believed Trump would win because there is an "angry" America. The media and Democrats like to classify them as the "angry white majority", but that isn't necessarily the case. If you look at who voted for Donald Trump, he improved in nearly every category than Mitt Romney did in 2012, even with his anti-Mexico rhetoric, he had a surge in Latino voters of over 30% more than Romney. Yes, Hillary won the popular vote, but our Country doesn't work that way. The Constitution with the Electoral College gives each State to choose the President through a state-wide popular vote, ensuring that each State, regardless of population has a say in who the next President is.
What about the LA Times? Why did the have Trump winning by +6 over the past few months? Interestingly enough, they tried a test in conjunction with USC. They polled the same amount of people throughout the course of the election, doing about 450 surveys a day and asking the same questions throughout the poll. They also asked the people to rate their answers from 0 to 100, trying to add a unique view into the "enthusiasm factor". Was the poll accurate? Well ultimately Trump did win, but Clinton won the popular vote. Many people are saying that the poll was just as inaccurate and no more accurate than the other polls.
That leads us to Donald Trump's internally polling which was pretty much right. The last few days of the election, Trump, started hitting up locations located in the "blue wall", states that Republicans have not won in years. Not only did this throw everybody off, wondering why Trump was campaigning in New Hampshire, Michigan, and Wisconsin in the final days of the campaign. Somehow, in an odd way, it also put Hillary on defense. Instead of her bringing home the "toss up States" of Pennsylvania , Florida, and Ohio, she now had to go to places that were not planned, plus, despite being one year older than Hillary, Trump did more campaigns events in more states and made Hillary to change her schedule to follow Trump's lead.
When it was all said and done, Trump lost Virginia and New Hampshire. Virginia he lost by 5 points, which equals about 200,000 votes, but if you look at the electoral map, nearly the whole State was red, except the metro areas. New Hampshire, he lost be less than 1% point, less than 3,000 votes. On the flip side, Romney lost 52% to 46.5% to President Obama (roughly a 30,000 vote difference). While at this time, Trump was not officially awarded Michigan, Michael Moore's home State, it sure looks like he flipped it. Basically, it was a modern day political "miracle" what Trump did on election night. He ran the table. He did not get a "Straight Flush, but Trump did get "4 of a Kind".
I was not an avid Trump supporter, I will admit was a #NeverHillary voter. I did like the idea of having an outsider as a President, but thought it was fantasy. I honestly thought, as most of America did, that Hillary Clinton would be the next President. Whether you love or hate Trump, you must be in awe with what he accomplished. He, single handily took down America's top two political dynasties. Prior to this election, everybody was talking about this being a Bush vs. Clinton "re-match" election. Instead of George H.W. and William Jefferson, it was pre-determined to be, the ex-Florida governor, Jeb Bush, and our former First Lady, New York Senator, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
It started back in the primaries. Jeb Bush, with all the establishment behind him, having a Latina as a wife, and a Bush last name was something that was extremely favorable for the candidate, that is until Donald Trump entered the contest. Using his loud mouth as a press piece, spending little money, and quite frankly, breaking every rule on how a candidate should act, Trump was able to take Bush out and do so early in the race. Trump got the support of the majority of the party, except the hardcore establishment followers who would become #NeverTrumpers. In fact, the Bush's endorsed Hillary, as did Romney, the previous Republican candidate for President. That is nearly unheard of. Having two ex-Presidents and the parties most recent Presidential candidate endorse the other party prior to the election. Ironically, Ohio Governor John Kasich wrote in John McCain and did not attend the Convention held in his own state.
It didn't stop there, having fights with "Little Marco" and "Lyin' Ted" up until the end. Trump did give "Lyin' Ted" a chance to speak at the Republican Convention and to everybody's surprise, Ted Cruz did not endorse Donald Trump. Even with that, somehow Donald Trump still rose to the top and won the general election.
Now after we get past the conventions, we have to recognize how the "Trump Machine" fought and won against the "Clinton Machine". The Clinton's have essentially been running for President since Bill started his original election campaign in 1990. Then using the 8 years of President George W. Bush as a Senator to give her an office that she held in order to launch her campaign for Presidency. There was no doubt, even after losing the primary to Obama in 2008 that she wasn't going to run in 2016. The Clinton organization stayed running and operating essentially since 1990 until until November 8, 2016 when Trump, almost single handily shut it down. Again, as I stated, he did not just beat one, but he beat two political dynasties.
I think Mitch McConnell summed it up best when he said that the American people have spoken and they have chosen a path that we have never gone down before, let's see where this leads us (paraphrased). I could not agreed more. While I am against many of Trump's policies, especially towards Mexico and NAFTA (which I was very surprised that the Prime Minister of Canada said he was open to renegotiating NAFTA as well), This is the first time, we have seen an election like this. Trump spent less than any other candidate, spent much less than Hillary, but used outrageous statements to get massive press. Every good thing Hillary did was hidden due to a Trump's side show. No publicity is bad publicity and I think Trump proved that true. The more that Trump opened his mouth with crazy remarks, it gave him opportunities to plant key phrases like "Corrupt Hillary" that ended up sticking with her, and ended up costing her the election when FBI Director Comey re-opened the investigation on Clinton. Even negative articles on Trump (which was higher than any other candidate in history this election cycles), gave him ample opportunities to plant small seeds of doubt and corruption against Hillary, therefore working in his favor.
An interesting article on Engadget, shows some what how Trumps internal polling, possibly motivated by social media, had Trump believing he was going to win the election and even had Hillary saying the day before that they may not win the election. I remember reading an article based on positive social media posts on candidate and showed a map that was nearly identical to the final election day map (pending Michigan finally saying yes or no to Trump). I cannot recall where I saw it, but a quick Google search showed me a map by a Conservative website (which is not where I saw this - and is not the exact map as my map included Twitter), showed that Trump was winning massively in positive posts versus negative posts. This map is using Facebook only:
So this map is off, as she did win the Northeast, and the West coast, Illinois, New York, plus Nevada. It is interesting though that overwhelmingly received more positive responses in social media than Hillary. It made Trump look hopeful and perhaps this was some of the data that he was using when at the last moment he decided that not only was Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida were at play but also North Carolina (won), Virginia (lost), Michigan (apparently winning), and Wisconsin (won). He flipped some states that have not been won since the election of 1984 or 1988. That was an incredible feat. Bush, even with two terms did not win Pennsylvania, my native State. Again, this was an impressive win, tripling the vote in Schuylkill County over what Mitt Romney did in 2012 (WSJ).
So where does this leave us now? We have a President-Elect Trump and what will he do? We have never had a President who never held prior office nor military service. We are in uncharted water. I've taken a look at NPR's look at Trump's first 100 day plan. While very optimistic, I would find 80% of it being acceptable, again, I have problems with his Mexico plans and NAFTA plans. I urge you to read it. Things in Washington have been too partisan for way too long. The last true bi-partisan President we had, with the exception of the time immediately after September 11th, 2001 (since we were under attack) was President Reagan. Can the man who wrote "Art of the Deal" use those methods to make deals on Capital Hill that makes both his supports and haters happy?
Being a democracy, every now and then you get thrown a curve ball. It is the democratic process. Millard Fillmore anymore (who actually belonged to the Ant-Masonic Party, the Whig Party, and the "Know Nothing Party"). The curve balls can turn into a strike out or a home run. I think he can, if done right, turn this curve ball into a home run. Just as the world did not end when Obama was elected twice, Democrats need to keep an open mind, as Republicans did initially (prior to having things like ObamaCare jammed down their throats).. Give Trump a year. Let's see how who he puts in his cabinet, let's see how he works with Congress. Can he be the man who breaks through the gridlock and gets us the progress we need? Only time will tell. A year from now, I can be writing an article on how can we remove Trump from office, but in the meantime, let's wish the President-Elect the best of luck and follow down this uncharted path, together, united as one. It may be exactly what our country needs.
David Strausser is a graduate of Penn State. He holds a degree in Information Sciences and Technology and is currently seeking another degree in Business.