Wednesday, November 09, 2016


So, as we enter the second phase of the election -- since technically the election isn't over until the Electoral College votes are certified -- it seems to be solidly President Trump. We'll see if hardcore Clinton supporters rise above my expectations or engage in a month-long temper tantrum about how it is everyone else's fault that they nominated someone under federal investigation, angered a significant constituency in their own party over Bernie Sanders, and lost perhaps as much as a third of their blue-collar voters. ('Love Trumps Hate' and 'Stronger Together', my foot. I never vote Major Party for President as a matter of principle, and have no temptation to Trump himself, and yet enough hardcore Clinton supporters of my acquaintance were so venomously obnoxious in their approach to this election that I was on occasion nearly tempted to break my rule and vote Trump for no other reason than to spite them. It was more than once that I came away from an encounter with them thinking, "You self-absorbed classist jackasses!") We'll also see if Republicans in Congress work very well with Trump; and we'll see if Trump works very well with Republicans in Congress -- or follows through on anything he's been saying. Trump is, if I am not mistaken, the first Republican President to have a Republican-locked Congress since 1928 [ADDED LATER: Actually, I seem to have indeed been mistaken] -- if the two work together, there isn't much the Democrats can do to stop them. They don't really have a history of working together, though.

One thing we can count on is that Republicans will as completely fail to learn from this election how to win as Democrats learned from Obama's election. If you find any Republican pundits crowing about how they can now guarantee Republican Presidents the way some Democrats were crowing after Obama's first election about how they could now guarantee Democratic Presidents because 'numbers', slap them. Numbers don't vote; people do. Winning an election is still about the hard work of giving a lot of people something they can support, and avoiding giving them anything they actively despise.

It's perhaps worth noting, given what will inevitably be said, that it seems, just taking polling and preliminary numbers, that blacks and Hispanics were far more likely to support Trump, and in practice less likely to be worried about him being in the Office, than they were for Romney. Romney struggled even to get the strongly Republican Cuban American constituency in Florida to go for him. (It's also noticeable that, again just given preliminary indications, that other traditionally Republican minority groups, like Hindi Americans, also seem to have broken much more strongly for Trump than for Romney.) Trump consistently did better with blacks and Hispanics, especially (again, as far as one can tell from preliminary indications) working class blacks and Hispanics, than people were expecting him to do.

There seem to be a few winners this election besides Trump for the presidency and the Republicans for a solid lock on Congress. We learned that the working class is still the most powerful voting bloc in this country -- when they act like a voting bloc. Trump won significant portions of traditionally Democratic country in the Rust Belt because of them, and they neutralized most of Clinton's advantage in New England and the Left Coast. In several states Trump didn't win -- notably the very reliably Democratic Minnesota -- it looks like they would have handed Trump the state if Democrats in the state hadn't done such a massive early voting drive.

Vigo County, Indiana, continues its streak as the most accurate Election Night bellwether. Since 1888, the candidate for which Vigo has voted has gone on to win the Presidency in all but 3 cases (1908, 1952, 2000), two of which were extremely close elections nationally.

Polling-wise, and, again, just going on preliminaries, it looks like the LATimes and IDB were again the most accurate polls, joined by PPD, and Richard Baris of People's Pundit Daily the most accurate poll analyst. Most of the others were not just off, they were way off in ways strongly suggesting a serious defect in their underlying approach.

ADDED LATER: And lest we forget, from 2000:

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