A High School Student Could Have Beaten the Pundits


In July I predicted that Trump would defeat Hillary. After the election I got all kinds of accolades for my keen insight and profound political analysis skills. I stood out because political pundits and analysts were wrong to a man.

Reminds me of the adage that in a land of the blind a one-eyed person is king.

I was the one-eyed guy. Had I been using two eyes, I would have called the race a year ago.

A high school civics student could have seen this coming. All they had to do was listen to the candidates and see who responded.

Minorities and women responded to Hillary.

Conservatives and pro-lifers responded to Trump.

All typical of the usual constituencies.

What was different this year than in ’00, ’04, ’08, and ’12?

One critically important Democratic constituency was listening to Trump.

Blue collar Democrats in the Rust Belt!

Working men and women who have seen their jobs exported to Mexico and China. Who cannot afford healthcare. Who cannot send their kids to college. Who were called deplorable for listening to Trump.

They didn’t care about Hillary’s emails. They didn’t care about the FBI. They didn’t care about her rants against Trump. They didn’t care how many politicians endorsed Hillary.

They cared about their families and they cared about their jobs, or the lack of them.

For a Republican to win the White House requires that the Republican wins Democratic votes.

Which Democratic constituency would conceivably bolt the party and vote for Trump?

That is the question every political analyst should have been asking. Instead, they were asking themselves and each other how Trump could possibly win when he was insulting core Democratic constituencies. The core Democratic constituencies that Trump was insulting (blacks, Hispanics, women) were never going to vote for Trump, so the questions were irrelevant.

They never probed deeply enough to raise the question of which Democratic constituency would prefer Trump over Hillary.

Had they done so, I wouldn’t look so much like a genius!

The answer is as obvious as it could possibly be. Those who were ignored by Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Blue collar Democrats who were betrayed by trade agreements. Those who saw 60,000 factories shuttered since 2000, those whose jobs were exported by greedy US corporations, those who were flipped off by Bill Clinton and NAFTA and by Obama and the Trans Pacific Partnership.

I should have called it way before July. I have been a professional political strategist for 40 years.

A high school student could have done as well as I did! A smart high school student, to be sure, but a high school student just the same!

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