On that abomination of an election.

The good news is that Hillary Clinton will not be President. The bad news is that Donald Trump will be President.

Actually, I take that back. Not the good news/bad news part, but the “will not be” and “will be” parts. I have no business making prognostications anymore. To wit:

I thought Trump would flame out after the first debate, when novelty would yield to common sense. Then I thought he’d lose his lead in the polls as other Republicans dropped out because he was nobody’s second choice and the dropouts’ supporters would flock to a non-Trump. Then I thought Cruz’s victory in Iowa was the beginning of the end for Trump, and people would come to their senses. Then I thought there’d be some behind-the-scenes pow-wow to close ranks behind a single non-Trump, likely Rubio, and the other non-Trumps would drop out faster. Then I thought there’d be more desperation to support Cruz, especially after Rubio dropped out. Then I thought there’d be a contested convention.

At this point, I thought Trump could win, but he’d definitely have to stop acting like Trump, and he’d have to spend more money. After all, there’s no way he’d get billions of dollars worth of free media like he did in the Republican primaries, right? And there’s no way there was actually anything like a “silent majority” that planned to vote for him despite telling the pollsters otherwise, or not responding to the pollsters at all, right? And you need a traditional GOTV operation to actually get people out to vote, right? And for Christ’s sake, he’d have to stop being “a colossal @*#&$^%”, as I put it back in September, right?

And then election night came, and then I thought he wouldn’t win if he were trailing in so many national polls, and that even if he caught up he was trailing too badly in the electoral count and there’s no way he’d win in Wisconsin. Or Michigan. Or Pennsylvania. And then I thought that campaigning there was the same old Republican pipe dream: waste time campaigning in those states, then get blown away when the results come late in from Milwaukee and Detroit and Philly. And he spent too much time going after white voters, but it wasn’t going to be enough to offset losses among other ethnic/racial groups. Gains among men would be more than offset by losses among women. And I told my students to watch all night, because the whole thing would probably be called for Hillary by 11 or so.

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong. I think I counted that right. So, yeah, I’m done prognosticating for a while. The electors don’t meet until December 19th, and technically (and Constitutionally, which is the best kind of technically), they can elect any 35-plus-year-old natural-born citizen with 14 years residency they want, so who the hell knows what’s going to happen? Because I won’t pretend I do anymore.

There was no suspense whatsoever on the Democratic side. It wasn’t even worth considering the possibility that Comrade Uncle Bernie might win, so I never prognosticated nuthin’ about it.

I told the kids to wait for more data to come in before making snap judgements about why the results fell the way they did. The data’s been coming in for two weeks now. Compared to Romney, Trump won a higher percentage of blacks (by 2 percentage points), Asians (by 3), Hispanics (by 2), and men (by 1), and a lower percentage of whites (by 1) and women (by 2). Granted, “percentage won” is not the same as or as important as turnout, but given everything we know about how he conducted himself and how racist and sexist he and his supporters supposedly are, should any of that have happened? He only did two points worse among women than Romney? He actually lost ground percentage-wise among whites? And he gained points among any (not every) non-white ethnic/racial group?

How?

I ask that only rhetorically; there’s plenty of analysis out there explaining exactly how. I just wish the people crying “racist” and “sexist” would take a moment to think about other explanations, such as the fact that the election wasn’t a referendum solely on Trump, but an actual choice between Trump and an actual other human being with an actual track record of her own.

I also predicted that given the bizarro comeback motif in 2016 (Cavaliers, Cubs, Trump), that the Bears would turn around their then 2-6 record when Cutler came back, finish in a wildcard slot at 10-6 and win the Super Bowl. Wrong.

Dr. Hmnahmna opines that “the Cubs were [traditionally] a giant sink for all the bad karma in the US. With the Cubs actually being good, all the bad karma went somewhere else. Lots of prominent deaths, Trump, etc.” I tend to concur, and think the Cubs winning was worth it. Hopefully Hillary does, too.

One comment

  1. Here’s how bigger turnout can lead to bigger victory in spite of a lower percentage:

    You win the first election by 60 to 40. You won 60% of that vote, by 20 votes. Then you target that population for increased turnout. You win the second election by 118 to 82. You won 59% of that vote (a lower percentage), by 36 votes. Increased turnout hurt your percentage but helped you win by a bigger margin.

    Like

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