We will never know from the exit polls jut how deeply Trump penetrated the ranks of democrats. The numbers are impossible as the exit polls are all only showing Trump winning independents by 7 points and taking about 9 points of dem voters. It is my opinion that both of those numbers are too low. The
It is 100% clear that the results along the “River system” were unreal.
Much has been written about the campaign – but let’s focus on brass tacks.
Both candidates were viewed negatively for different reasons. Trump because he was a bombast and Clinton because she was corrupt.
Trump took his campaign back about 50 years with his tactics and message reaching out to disconnected and disaffected blue collar workers. Trump had a very strong, clear message of America First and used large campaign rallies as the centerpiece of his campaign. For a twist, Trump allowed his loud mouth to flow freely, giving creedence to marginal figures that the media siezed upon in order to assist the democratic nominee. However, Mr. Trump was able to gain 99% name ID and billions of dollars worth of free media.
Donald Trump is the first person never to hold office (appointed or elected) or hold a senior Military Rank before becoming President. This was an intangible that no historian will ever be able to measure
Hillary Clinton was using a 1990’s playbook. She spent big money on big media. She hid behind a clearly biased media in order to avoid exposure herself. They ran a smear machine 24/7 rolling out every sort of attack against Donald Trump that had collapsed Republican Candidates in the past. There was the now infamous October surprise, 13 women and a litany of other smears (racist, sexist, phobic this and phobic that) that did not succeed. Clinton herself was a loser at the personality game.
Her campaign was so confident it was going to win that their spending decisions were unbelievably bizarre. They spent a ton of money in Nebraska, Arizona, Georgia, even Missouri and Indiana. However, they had convinced themselves that Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Maine were secure and spent little if anything before a very late dysfunctional blitz in the campaign.
There was a canard that Texas was in play at one point in the campaign. This is how biased the media and the polls were. Despite Texas being home to the #nevertrump movement, Trump won by 9.5% and Hillary Clinton even spent money there. Yes, Hillary Clinton bought ads in Houston and Dallas.
Louisiana? Yup, Clinton spent money in New Orleans even as the state itself went for Trump by 19%
Hillary Clinton’s campaign was convinced that Donald Trump would win the popular vote and lose the electoral college. This was the calculus of their campaign and the basis for the horrific shock of the media and her campaign on election night. Clinton was spending money to run up the score in dem areas.
As we continue up the Mississippi River – the state of Mississippi was alleged to be soft with polls showing Trump only up 6 points. Real Clear Politics had the state as only leaning Trump up until a month out. Trump won by 19.
Oklahoma, even the most partisan idiots saw the 30 point win. More striking is that Clinton did not carry a single county statewide.
Arkansas? Trump by 25
Missouri was alleged to be a swing state. Remember in 2008 the messiah only lost there by .1% to the feckless disaster known as John McCain. Romney carried Missouri by 9.4%. The democrats had convinced themselves because they had a democrat that could disassemble an M16 blindfolded in a campaign ad that they had a chance in Missouri to win the governorship and a US Senate Seat. Clinton, you guessed it, spent money there. Trump was up 11 points in the RCP average and won by 19.1. Take note of the margin of over-performance – especially when juxtaposed with the disaster of the west where he under-performed by 3-4 points in key states and got shellacked in historic proportions in California. All the star dem recruits got annihilated.
Tennessee, Kentucky and Kansas were never in doubt for trump. Ever.
Illinois – where the Mississippi and Missouri Diverge is worth a mention solely because without Cook County, it goes Republican. Chicago is the only reason Illinois stayed dem. A late, massive surge of welfare recipients and immigrants motivated by fear of loss of benefits and deportation added to the 1 Million vote loss Trump took. At the same time polls were showing Mississippi soft, Texas Soft and Missouri Soft – none of the pundits on the left recognized, or better they ignored Hillary’s lead of only 6% in Illinois polls. Hillary Clinton’s campaign did not as they spent money there to drive the dependent class to the polls.
Going out the Missouri River – despite Dem Dreams of taking NE-02 (the congressional district whose elector Obama got in 2008) because of Nebraska’s system of allocating electors by congressional district – Hillary Clinton Lost. Hillary Clinton lost NE-02 by 3.5, and the incumbent dem Congressman lost badly while statewide she got hammered despite the $3+ million spent there. Yes, Hillary Clinton spent money in Nebraska, Texas, Missouri, and Indiana. Got all that?
As you travel further out the Missouri, you are in the 3EV states of the Dakotas, Wyoming and Montana (where Missouri Headwaters National Monument is located). The dems have a dream of someday turning Montana Blue. In 2018, they are going to lose two dem senators from the aforementioned states (MT and ND). Dream on. Trump won Wyoming by 35 points despite the #nevertrumpers and Evan McMuffin. Montana was a 20 point win and North Dakota re-elected their liberal Republican Senator John Hoeven with 77% of the vote. The dem got, get this… 19%.
Hillary Clinton and team believed that Evan McMullin, a stooge some self-righteous butthurt donors recruited specifically to siphon Mormon voters off of Donald Trump would cause Trump to divert resources to UT, WY, ID and other states. Other than a few stops, they did not take the bait. McMuffin collapsed like a cheap lawnchair.
Going out the Ohio River yields some of the first fun facts – West Virginia was home to the second largest win for Trump by percentage. (trailing only Wyoming)
The state of Indiana was another debacle for Hilary Clinton. Again, following garbage polling that had her as close as 4 points to Trump she spent a lot of money in Indiana. Some $5 million it was estimated. Evan Bayh was a star recruit for Chuckie Schumer and the dem senate committee. He was popular they said and had $10 million in the bank. He got his ass kicked, oh and Trump?
The media stopped tracking Indiana a month out and Trump won it by 21 points. Evan Bayh lasted about 3o minutes on election night before going down in flames to a much lesser known Republican. The dem governor candidate made it about 5 minutes longer before Mike Pence’s anointed replacement slaughtered him.
Ohio? Obama won Ohio by 3.0 points in 2012. The public Polls had Trump up in Ohio by 3.5. Trump won Ohio by 8. Note the over-performance versus the public polls in this area. It is a theme.
An 8 point win in Ohio is a massacre. Clinton reputedly spent $20 million there and stubbornly refused to pull staff out of Ohio as public polls conveniently made the state appear closer than it really was.
Finishing our geographical tour going up the Mississippi takes us to Iowa. George W Bush did poorly in Iowa. IA had gone dem 3 out of the last 4 elections. Most dem pundits ceded Iowa to Trump. At 6 ev, there was little nexus for media pollsters to lie about Iowa. Wrong. Several public polls late in the game had it tied.
Obama won Iowa by 5.8 in 2012. The RCP average had Trump up 3.0. Trump won Iowa by 9.5 – the biggest margin for any candidate since Ronald Reagan. The GOP held all 3 congressional seats it has in Iowa despite 2 being dem leaning districts.
Minnesota was an even bigger shock. It had not gone Republican since 1972. Even the doomed Walter Mondale held onto Minnesota by a thread in 1984. Obama won Minnesota by 7.7 points and the registration gap is so tantalizingly close. It appears that Trump’s message was devastatingly effective in Minnesota as it was not called until 2am pacific time for Clinton?
The media once again were asleep at the switch as was Clinton’s campaign. The Polling average had Clinton up 9.0. The final margin was 42,000 votes or just 1.5%. Despite the fact that Clinton held on and won – the 7.5% over-performance by Trump in this area of America was consistent.
Wisconsin was the biggest shock to this blogger and probably most in the political world. The RCP polling average had it finishing at Hillary Clinton up 6.5. Wisconsin had not gone Republican since 1988. While Republicans have done well in WI as of late – a different breed of voter comes out in Presidential General Elections as Obama carried Wisconsin by 6.9 points despite major expenditures by Mitt Romney there in 2012.
As you know, Trump won Wisconsin twice. Once on election night and a second time when the 1990’s era playbook recount was filed and Trump gained another 130ish votes. The .5% win was again a 7 point swing from the polling average.
For those of you scoring at home – trump’s over-performance versus public polling:
These were the biggest disparities of the evening. Next up – the East.