Wednesday, November 09, 2016

The Election --- what happened?

Last night PBS was the station chosen to watch the election results here.  The choice was made to avoid advertisements and to avoid the Chuck Todd's of traditional network television, the muddle headed panelists on CNN, and the zoned out right wingers on Fox.

On PBS, the moderators and panelists became shell shocked as the night progressed.  David Brooks could hardly talk at times.  Judy Woodruff seemed off kilter.  Mark Shields stayed off point.  In fact everyone was transparently taken aback.  What was happening was not expected.  It was somewhat refreshing seeing newscasters act human.

A Monday post here reflected concerns a day before the election.  They reflected the different motivations of the Trump and Clinton voters and the ongoing impact of FBI Director Comey's interventions.  Over the last month, unsettling developments had been highlighted.  In particular, a post here on October 8th mentioned a concern about "closet Trump voters", something that was talked about here more than written about. Those were people who would vote for Trump as a private way of expressing their inner feelings without necessarily telling their friends or spouses that they were doing so.  Of course they would not tell pollsters, or interviewers at polling stations.  Whether that conjecture was right will never be known, but it might have been an election night changing phenomenon.  That's the thought here still.

There were some recent pollster projections that seemed wrong from the outset, and they were.  There were quotes on the news from political pundits suggesting that Georgia was a toss-up.  Have any of these people ever been anywhere in Georgia other than Atlanta.  Other than that city, Georgia is just an extension of Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida panhandle.  Utah was mentioned by some as another close race in the making.  That Mormon state was definitely never going for Clinton.

North Carolina for Trump was not a complete surprise but it was a disappointment.  What was once the most open-minded state in the South, and today has major corporate headquarter's offices and the Research Triangle tech area, was a necessary and to some extent expected state for Clinton.  The Trump vote there was the beginning of a turning point in minds here.  The evening progressed and, with Trump taking the always solid union state of Michigan, the story was written.

Mentioned in that October 8th post was also a reminder of the Republican primary's concluding states, when Trump's vote totals began beating all projections.  It was momentum and it seemed to be viral at that time.  The virus continued yesterday.

It was hard to believe last night, and still a disappointment.  Trump could be dangerous.


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