Esquire has an article out – The Untold Stories of Election Day 2016. If you haven’t read it yet, do so: it will bring pure joy to your heart. Here’s the crux of the matter:
Omarosa Manigault, Trump campaign: If we believed what was on the television, we would have thought we lost. But looking at the numbers that were in front of us in the key battleground states, we were up…or we were neck and neck, with expectations of higher turnout and more enthusiasm. We were going off of our own internal data. What was being shown on CNN and MSNBC and some of these other networks was showing a stark contrast to what was in front of us.
That was it, all along. The race was always tight – it never was anything but. Hillary did have her chances to win, but it was never going to be a walk over. It is like everyone in the Expert Class simply refused to remember that she was terribly unpopular and an absolutely awful retail politician. The whole of the MSM – including Fox – was feeding out this story that Trump was just terrible and Hillary was so polished and accomplished and was sure to win…and to support it, they rolled out poll after poll showing Hillary ahead.
Now, as I wrote back then, I was unsure who was going to win going into election day. I was off from work that day and was also scheduled off the following day: perfect for the political junkie. I didn’t pay the least attention to what was going on through the day: I knew from experience (especially from 2004), that the early reports would not only be wrong, but would be done deliberately wrong to try and boost Democrat turnout while depressing GOP turnout. No sense watching that sort of thing: best to wait until there were some actual votes. I already had my mental marker on how the night would go: if FL and/or PA was called fast for Hillary, she had won…if either of them were delayed, or called for Trump, it was all over for Hillary. I went out and about with the Mrs and, after dinner, came home to settle in for the watch. I think I clicked around a few channels but the coverage was so annoyingly pro-Hillary that I quickly got irritated. I actually decided, I think, to watch something else and just follow on Twitter, but I eventually surfed by Fox Business and Stuart Varney was on doing early coverage…he’s a huge Trumpster, but after the nauseating coverage on the other networks, he seemed to be completely fair and detached. I stayed on it.
I was watching out of one eye, checking Twitter (especially Decision Desk – a must-follow for election day) and really just waiting for it. Keep in mind that I’m on Pacific time: the first polls would close at 4 pm my time. I tuned in about 5 pm. The Mrs periodically checked in on me – she seemed pretty sure that Trump would win it, and she’s always right about how elections will go (don’t know were she gets the intuition from: she hates politics with a passion…but once she sees a bit about how a campaign is going, she always gets it exactly right). As I continued to watch the TV, it switched over to Neil Cavuto hosting – don’t know if he’s a Conservative, but he’s always a level-headed guy who goes with the facts as far as he can find them. During one tune out, he mentioned offhand that there were odd numbers in Michigan. That was my first inkling – this was before Ohio was called at 7:36pm my time…but I had been looking at Ohio and wondered by 6pm why it hadn’t been called for Trump already. My guess was that if Ohio was going Trump – and it was – then Florida likely would as well. I expected Trump to win all of Romney’s 2012 States (I never believed the BS that AZ and UT were in play). Add FL and OH to Romney’s 2012 total and Trump was up to 253 electoral votes…add Michigan to that, Trump was at 269. When Ohio was called for Trump, in my mind, it was over – at 7:36pm Pacific. The Mrs checked in a few minutes after that – and I said words to the effect of, “I think Trump might have this”. She said, “told you so” and exited.
By the time the MSM got around to calling Florida at 7:50pm my time, I was starting to perceive – looking at numbers elsewhere, as well – that the MSM was slow-walking the State calls because they didn’t want to get out in front of Hillary and her team. Until they told the MSM it was ok to call the race, the race wouldn’t be called. From that point on, the night got merely irritating. The sycophancy of these people! The numbers were the numbers; the votes were being counted. They were holding back calling States which had 90%+ in and all of Hillary’s territory reported. It really isn’t as difficult to call a State as the MSM was making out that night…and the number-crunchers working for the MSM were doing all they could to let everyone paying attention know that it was all over. They kept going back to the un-called States and pointing out, relentlessly, that there simply weren’t enough possible Hillary votes to overcome Trump leads in State after State. The Mrs hung it up at 10pm our time and went to bed – I kept hanging on, hoping to see Hillary concede. It was only after the report flashed that Hillary had called Trump that the MSM called the necessary States to show Trump over 270.
To me, the lesson of the night was simply to ignore the MSM, entirely. They will not do anything against the wishes of the Democrats. There is really just no point in listening to them any more, except for laughs. In areas non-political, they might some times get things right, if only by accident. But in anything which can be construed as political, they are just going to take their marching orders – and talking points – from the DNC, no matter how divorced from reality DNC press releases are. What will happen over the next years is unknown – but the last thing I’ll do is follow the lead of the MSM. I’m going with whatever facts I can find…and I should have been more bold in 2016 when I saw that a net 100,000 people had switched from Democrat to Republican in Pennsylvania. That, right there, was the whole story: people were abandoning the Democrats in droves. And I’ve seen reports, buried deep, that they have continued to abandon the Democrats all through 2017, as well. The proof will be in the pudding, of course – we’ll see how things shake out when the votes are counted. But I’m betting that they’ll be counted mostly in Trump’s favor for quite a while.