Donald Trump defied all expectations from the very start of his 2016 presidential campaign
Very few people thought Donald Trump would actually run, then he did. They thought he wouldn’t climb in the polls, then he did. They said he wouldn’t win any primaries, then he did. They said he wouldn’t win the Republican nomination, then he did.
Finally, they said there was no way he could compete for, let alone win, a general election.
Now he’s President Trump.
2016 Election Results
How Did Trump Do It?
First, keep in mind that this is what people, especially Americans, love. The underdog who, taking hurdle after hurdle, eventualy comes out victorious. Even on the last day, the 2016 election was still undecided – a real sports drama. His victory adds to Trumps image of the fighter, the die-hard, the invincible. But there is more to it.
- A Simple Message: Make America Great Again. Trump recasted Ronald Reagan’s promise to make America great again. In four words it captured both pessimism and optimism, both fear and hope. The slogan harks back to a supposed golden age of greatness – the 1950s, perhaps, or the 1980s – and implies that it has been lost but then promises to restore it. It went straight to the gut, unlike rival Hillary Clinton’s website manifesto and more nuanced proposals.
- Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, but in the US the ELECTORAL COLLEGE picks presidents. The US constitution mandates the electoral college picks presidents. The founders created that system in part to avoid the largest states picking “favorite sons” and having outsize influence. Trump beat Clinton in many American Heart land states and in the industrialized states, thereby gaining many electoral votes
- Although the access hollywood tapes had framed Trump as an absolute sexist, most white women still voted for him (52%) because republican women see sexism very differently. Trump sensed that, and succesfully neutralized the accusations of sexism in the second Live Debate.
- Donald Trump won the presidency by riding an enormous wave of support among white working-class voters. To everyone’s astonishment, both right and left, Hillary accidentally framed this group as ‘a basket of deplorables‘ in a speech a few weeks before election day. In hindsight, it was one of the factors that sealed her fate.
- Trump had given the media all the right cards to portray him as a sexist Yet the majority of white women voted Trump because Republican women have a differnet idea of sexisim.