Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Numbers

After repeated delays, I think it's finally time to post this thing.

Hillary Clinton's campaign manager says they are through for the night.  They will not concede until every last vote is counted.

As I write this, Donald Trump is closing in on 270 electoral votes, and it looks like he'll be America's 45th president.

Technology has increased by leaps and bounds since the last presidential election, and yet, the pollsters got it wrong.  Very wrong.

On top of that, our newsroom was flooded with telephone calls and e-mails about voting irregularities.

People waited in long lines as the polls opened, and some were in line when the polls closed.  I'm not a fan of it, but perhaps, it's time to look at early voting.

Howard Fineman, a well respected Washington writer, said on Tony Kornheiser's podcast that there has never been an election like this, where both presidential candidates were disliked so much.  The system has served us well, but there are times when it misfires.

As I noted during the primaries, underestimate Donald Trump at your own peril.

A tip off came over the weekend.  Trump and his people decided to make a Monday evening campaign stop in Scranton.  It signaled Pennsylvania was in play, and if Pennsylvania was in play, so were other places thought to be safely in the Clinton camp.

It came down to this.  Donald Trump successfully tapped into American anger.  A lot of people are tired of a kinder and gentler USA.  They want government to get tougher on crime, tougher on illegal immigration, a harder stance with other nations.  Plus, Trump is a businessman and a lot of people simply feel the economy has left them behind.

As for Hillary Clinton, it is clear half of the country doesn't like her and doesn't trust her.  If you have the time, go back to NBC's 1996 election night coverage.  You can find it on YouTube.  Late in the evening, there is a discussion between Tom Brokaw and Tim Russert.  Russert notes that the 1996 Bill Clinton reelection campaign kept Hillary out of the spotlight because her negatives were so high. Fast forward to 2016.   Behghazi hurt badly.  She couldn't shake the e-mail thing, which was a disaster of her own making.  There were health questions, and a lot of people I spoke with feared Clinton would make big government even bigger.  There were also fears the other shoe would drop.  We'd learn more about questionable foreign government influence at the State Department and shady activities with the Clinton Foundation.

One of the things that bugged me was Trump repeatedly saying a loss would have been a tremendous waste of time, money, and energy.  I'm a firm believer in "the victory is in the journey, not the destination."  Nelson Mandela once said "I never lose.  I either win or learn."  I often quote the old 70's game show Tattletales.  A question was "Do you learn more from your successes or your failures?"  I've learned more from my failures.

Going in to this, I said that I thought Trump would win more states, and possibly the popular vote.  I went along with conventional wisdom that the electoral vote would tilt Clinton's way.  Ooops!

We saw huge voter turnout yesterday.  Again, that faulty conventional wisdom, pointed to a good day for Democrats.  Another ooops!

Rush Limbaugh had it right.  He believed there were a lot of silent Trump supporters out there.  He compared this year's race to the 1980 contest.  People weren't vocal about their support for Ronald Reagan until the very end.

I should have trusted my gut more.  I saw Trump signs in front of homes and in neighborhoods where I had never seen signs for Republican candidates.  I am not alone.  The signs of this, pardon the pun, were all around us.  We didn't see them.

Otherwise, the election was kind of a yawn.  It was a good night for incumbents, as it is most of the time.  Most of the state row offices remain in Democratic control.  There weren't many surprises.

Kevin Haggerty of Dunmore goes back to the state house of representatives.  The AWOL bombshell likely sent votes to Ernest Lemoncelli, but it wasn't enough.

US Representatives Marino, and Barletta breeze.  It was a little tougher, but still comfortable, for Matt Cartwright.

Pat Toomey squeaks out a US Senate win over Katie McGinty.  It was a nasty and expensive race.  Toomey really seems to have benefited from Trump's Pennsylvania strength.  I thought this would be a close one, with McGinty winning.  She needed more votes out of Philadelphia and its suburbs

Now, on to Vote '17!