Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Everything we knew about politics turned out to be wrong

The most pessimistic thing I wrote about the Presidential election happened right after Hillary selected Tim Kaine for VP. I spent the rest of the campaign convincing myself it couldn't really be that bad. Anyway here's what I said.
All of this, as we said, is textbook Clinton stuff. And they think their stuff applies to this year's electorate as well as it has to any. The expectation this year is, with two unpopular candidates facing off, and with a disappointed liberal base not turning out in huge numbers, the votes in play are the chronic voters among Independents and Republicans who are looking for excuses not to vote for Trump. They might be right about that and their play might work. But it also might not not.

There are two obvious caveats. First, none of the cynical conventional politics that usually work have worked against Trump during the primary. (Everything we knew about politics turned out to be wrong, there.)  I, somewhat hesitantly, don't think that phenomenon will be quite as evident in the general election. But I am worried about a second caveat which is, it's quite possible white conservatives will never vote for Hillary Clinton under any circumstances. If so, that blows the whole thing out of the water.
Turns out that was what happened. It's difficult to conceive of an actual President Trump but if you're wondering how we got here, that is how. That "everything we knew about politics" link, btw, is to Oyster. He had a good eye on what happened with the primary. He usually does. 

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