Red Is the New Blue
Look at this map. It’s wearing more red than Fox News anchors. It has multiple shades of red, including deep, blood red across the Rust Belt. The deepest blues, of course, are in my old home state of California (fifth-largest economy in the world, which also legalized pot, by the way). But blue is not in evidence many other places. Red, from sea to shining sea.
Big Data Crashed
All of the computers, all of the whiz kid analysts, and all (or most) of the pundits got it wrong. As they did on Brexit. It was the “overselling of precision,” said Pradeep Mutalik of Yale. Nate Silver, the darling of Big Data (above in blue), predicted a 71 percent chance of a Clinton win at FiveThirtyEight. That’s not a margin-of-error miss, but a three-pitch strikeout. No matter how big data gets, it can’t capture human nature and nuance. “I was having dinner last week with a high-profile venture capitalist and he said, ‘I’m voting for Trump but I have to lie and tell everyone I’m voting for Gary Johnson,” said Peter Thiel. That kind of thinking never showed up in the data.
Big Media Crashed Too
The media hierarchy was toppled. The big guns – NYT, WashPo, all of the networks and leading cable shows – got it wrong. They not only got it wrong, they dropped the pretense of objectivity (especially in the newsroom at 628 Eighth Ave. in Manhattan) and waged an unrelenting campaign against a Trump presidency. WikiLeaks had more influence in this election than every single newspaper endorsement combined.
The Obama Coalition Failed HRC
A lot of them stayed home. Trump won, but to a great extent because Clinton was a failed candidate. The so-called permanent voting bloc of minorities, youth, women and college grads that the Democrats were counting on didn’t rise to the occasion. “The idea that you can get to a presidential campaign and just press a button and they’ll vote, it’s not there yet,” said a Democratic strategist the morning after.
The Blue Wall Crumbled, but the Testosterone Wall Held
The “permanent” Democratic voting bloc was sometimes called the Blue Wall and it fell like the Berlin Wall (see above). But I’m just gonna say it – as advanced as we are as a democracy, gender still plays a role in politics and this time to HRC’s detriment. When HRC ran for class president in high school against several boys, one of them told her she was “really stupid if I thought a girl could be elected president.” She lost, and as the Talking Heads once said, “Same as it ever was.”
The Old Economy Isn’t Dead Yet
Go back and look at the map above. Look at all the deep red from Ohio through Pennsylvania and into Michigan and Wisconsin. That’s where industries have been shuttered, jobs have been lost, wages have been declining and where the voices of the “forgotten people” roared. The day after, presented with reality, the NYT got it right. “Donald Trump’s America flowed (sic) through the old union strongholds of the Midwest, along rivers and rail lines that once moved coal from southern Ohio and the hollows of West Virginia to the smelters of Pennsylvania.”
The Last Word
Actually, it’s a video produced by Bloomberg. Just Exactly Perfect . . .