President-elect Donald J. Trump is trailing in the popular vote, but he’s on the verge of an Electoral College landslide. Should he win Michigan, a state that hasn’t gone Republican since 1988, he would nab 306 electoral votes. Yet, even going into Election Day, the RNC had him falling short of a win, making his victory all the more shocking to the Left and more satisfying to the legions of supporters (via Politico):
The RNC’s sophisticated predictive modeling had Trump losing in the campaign’s last stretch, all the way until the Friday afternoon before the election, according to an embargoed briefing the RNC delivered to reporters at the party’s Capitol Hill headquarters on Friday afternoon.
At the time of the briefing, the RNC’s model showed Trump finishing 30 electoral votes short of the tally needed to clinch the White House, while losing by various margins to Hillary Clinton in the battleground states of Florida, Iowa, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
The fact that even the models put together by Trump’s own national party committee weren’t forecasting a victory is a testament to just how much the outcome confounded conventional metrics. It also likely reflects the amount of ground that Trump made up in the final few days of the race after the briefing.
The RNC’s model had shown Trump closing fast on Clinton in several key states after the FBI’s announcement, 11 days before the election, that it was reviewing new evidence related to its investigation into the handling of sensitive information by Clinton and her aides at the State Department.
You can read the demographics here; Guy broke down the numbers. But it’s quite clear that a) the polling, like in the 2014 midterms, was way off in some places; b) Clinton wasn’t able to carry Obama’s hope and change coalition (not even close); and c) because the Democratic base stayed home, the billionaire ran up the score with rural, white working class voters that dot the Rust Belt, which ushered him into victory. Trump’s strong showing in Virginia, couple with larger than projected turnout of working voters in Michigan bode well for Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, both of which Trump won. Clinton wasn't able to offset those gains due to Democrats' lack of enthusiasm this year.
Another thing is that while the RNC and the Trump campaign had their nominee losing last night, the ground game operation was seriously lowballed by the early exits. The RNC said that they had stayed in these key parts of the country, collecting data, reaching voters, working with local GOP activists who have won on the ground, and keeping all of this machinery updated. It’s a project three years in the making, though one that was quite efficient helping the GOP reclaim control of Congress and now the presidency.
This was a mad as hell election, which again was misread (I knew it existed, though I misjudged its intensity) by pollsters, pundits, and campaign operatives. Trump’s rhetoric on trade and being a voice for millions of these voters who felt genuinely left behind.
I’m not going to beat around the bush here: I was totally wrong about Donald Trump. Misread all the things, but Hillary Clinton is not going to be president—and after the primary seeing her be defeated was critical. Yes, I called him out when he went off the hinges, became undisciplined, and said stupid things. Luckily, he was facing a worse candidate, plagued by a federal criminal investigation, and for all of his faults—Trump was better than Clinton. That’s just me. At the end of the day, defeating Clinton was, and should’ve been, the overarching goal of Republicans and conservatives. For the most part, that occurred, with 90 percent of Republicans voting for Trump yesterday. That’s a pretty solid showing for the base. Trump is president. He ran an unorthodox campaign, but he won. He defeated Lady Macbeth, and e that’s all what matters. I doubt he’ll go Col. Kurtz once in office with a Republican Congress, he’s not going to launch nuclear weapons, and he’s not a Putin puppet. Clinton lost because she was an even more of a flawed candidate, who was viewed as corrupt and dishonest character, traits that these voters had seen all too often from other politicians from both parties.
It’s a new day. We have a new president. I’m excited to see what becomes of his presidency. Nice win, Mr. Trump. And it seems the RNC has one helluva voter reach operation. Keep building, keep updating, and keep the Democrats on their feet. And speaking of Democrats, it looks like they’re only going to gain anywhere for 9-11 seats total, for both the House and Senate. In a cycle where Democrats had multiple avenues to retake the Senate—the House math was just too daunting—which ended in their failure to reclaim it, only shows how the Left were total losers last night. To pour more salt in the wound, with the GOP retaining control of Congress, the GOP increased their state legislature majorities and expanded their hold on the governorships. I thought if we nominated Trump, those gains would be in jeopardy. I was wrong on that too. Instead, Trump led the party to unprecedented levels of government power. As I said in our coverage last night, I have never been happier to be proven wrong. I know many of you have shouted at me regarding some of my Trump posts over this cycle. Well, I’m conceding you the high ground, folks. It was a nice win all around for the party.