PG75: How Trump Won, Putrid Polls, & The Future of the Parties

Essentially all of the pre-election polls were wrong, and the Politics Guys start out by explaining why that was. Mike points out that the only people who got it close to right were political scientists, using election predictions based on fundamental conditions. (Mike also offers his apologies for ignoring his profession’s own models and getting sucked into the media / pollster frenzy.)

Next, Mike and Jay look at how Donald Trump managed to shock the world, and how Hillary Clinton ended up losing an election that almost everyone assumed was in the bag.

After that, it’s a look at down-ballot elections. The Democrats gained some ground in Congress, but they’ll still be in the minority. Things look particularly grim at the state level, where Republicans increased their already dominant position in governorships and state legislative control.

Finally, the Guys talk about the future of their respective parties. Mike thinks that the biggest danger for the Democrats is overreacting, and that planned efforts to bolster the party at the state level should be helpful. Jay believes that it will be a very interesting time for the ‘Never Trump’ establishment conservatives, though he points out that President-Elect Trump seems to be making some choices that suggest he may develop a decent working relationship with the party establishment, at least on some issues.

5 thoughts on “PG75: How Trump Won, Putrid Polls, & The Future of the Parties”

  1. Someone recently explained an idea to me that sounded feasible – keep the electoral college system, but the amount of electoral votes allocated to a candidate is equal to the ratio of popular vote they received in each state. Curious what your thoughts are on that.

    By the way I’m a huge fan – hopefully in a few months time I’ll be in a position where I can support the show in other ways.

    1. First off, thanks so much for supporting the show! As for the idea you bring up, I think there’s a reasonable case to be made for it, though I think something like the National Popular Vote initiative might be somewhat more straightforward and also more democratic.

  2. Maybe I’m just a “spoiled millennial” but when the people of America vote for a 21st century George Wallace, I believe that we have the right to protest. (Well, we always have the right… hopefully) I have many minority friends who are terrified — and rightfully so. Those protests are a signal to minorities that the entire country does not hate them. A powerful and necessary signal to send.

    I usually love your guys balanced commentary and easy going discussion. That’s something that is missing a lot from today’s discourse. However, this aspect of the discussion left me incensed. Perhaps you should check your own bubble.

    1. Thanks so much for the comment. I definitely understand that a lot of people are very afraid. And I believe I understand why. But I also believe that a relentlessly sensationalistic media, by focusing so much on the absolute worst of everything, makes us more fearful than we would be otherwise, because strong emotions like fear (and hate) keep us glued to our screens. I spend time every day exploring the political world outside of my bubble so that The Politics Guys can try to give listeners an alternative to the sort of over-the-top, dramatic, fear-mongering coverage I see in almost all media. I believe our coverage of the election is in line with this, and that the media outlets predicting disaster for millions of Americans will be proven wrong. I’m not saying I like the idea of a Trump presidency – I’ve gone on record many times saying exactly the opposite. I think this will be a rough period, but it won’t be catastrophic, and we’ll get through it. There’s even a real possibility that the Democratic Party will emerge from all this stronger and better prepared to engage more Americans – at all levels – than they have been in a number of years. That’s certainly my hope. – Mike

  3. I really enjoy your podcast. I appreciate that each of you are able to share your beliefs and opinions in a calm civilized manner. I have difficulty watching the mainstream media because its either one sided, for example Fox News and NPR; or everyone is screaming at each other.

    I am a bleeding heart liberal. I grew up in a small southern town in North Carolina which is shrinking. Over the years opportunities have disappeared, there used to be a garment factory, Weyerhaeuser now employs less than half the number it did 25 years ago. There used to be small family farms now factory farms that use large machinery make it impossible for small farmers to compete in the market. These changes have benefited corporations and share holders. These corporations have much more power to influence congressmen and other elected officials than the average citizen. It seems to me that the conservative agenda is to grow the economy at any cost without any consideration of who is and who is not benefiting from that growth.

    Tax cuts at the state level have reduced support for state colleges and universities. When I went to graduate school at (UNC Go Tarheels! 30 years ago) I could work 3 part time jobs and pay for my living expenses and tuition and books, etc. That is not possible any more. This has put a college education out of reach for most people unless they take out loans.

    In my opinion Hillary Clinton lost for a few reasons. First she is a flawed candidate. She and Bill have a history of legally questionable but not quite illegal practices. When she has made poor choices she seems unable to just admit it and be honest immediately. Second, the Republicans hate her. They seem to hate Obama too. I don’t really understand why. They are determined to take her out whatever it takes. I can’t imagine how much money we have spent on all these Bengazi investigations. Third, the liberal or progressive elites seem to look down on people who aren’t college educated unless they are part of a minority group. Just because someone has not attended college doesn’t mean they aren’t intelligent. The concerns of this group of people seem to have been forgotten, like their concerns are no longer important. When she called Donald Trump supporters a basket of deplorables that reminded me of Romney’s comment about 47% of Americans are just takers. And it doesn’t help that she is perceived as being friendly with Wall Street.

    There is a racial bias baked into this country. No one wants to admit that they are racist. I don’t think that all these police shootings of black men are committed by officers that are overtly racist. But the latent racism in our culture and the police training which includes an emphasis on protecting their own lives which is appropriate has resulted in a fear of people of color. If these shootings did not have a racist component we would see cell phone videos of white people being shot by police.

    I think it would be great if we could all go to Montesorri School and learn how to be inclusive and supportive of each other. I told you I am a bleeding heart liberal. Maybe Trump will shake things up. I think the Republicans are fooling themselves if they think they can lead him around by the nose. It will be interesting.


    P.S. I think all these Not my President people should get over it.

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