Wednesday, November 08, 2017


We had a presidential election a year ago today.  It's still hard to believe what happened.

I didn't expect Trump to take his party's nomination, much less win the general election.  I'm certainly not alone in this:

It's still one of the biggest shocks in American political history.

In retrospect, it's clear Trump had a populist economic message that resonated with enough people--and with the right people--to hand him the nomination and an Electoral College victory.  There were a number of factors in the general election, including a lackluster campaign from his opponent, as well as a country in the doldrums, but it was his message (and muddled as it may have seemed at times) that made the difference.

Perhaps another Republican nominee could have swept to victory if they had a similar, and made the case credibly, but we'll never know.

In fact, it's hard not to wonder what would have happened if another Republican ran.  It's possible a different candidate would have gotten more votes than Trump--perhaps more than Clinton--but still not won because Blue Wall states Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania wouldn't have switched.

Or maybe, who knows, any halfway presentable Republican was going to win that night--people wanted something which Trump delivered, and if he weren't in the race, they would have gone for the closest available candidate, which likely would have been a Republican.


Blogger New England Guy said...

Trump whipped the Republican nominees in the primaries - the [giggle] deep bench- much more convincingly than he beat HRC. And while the economic message was a part of it- it would have been played differently if the GOP had another Mr. 47%. Also maybe the political pros wouldn't have just coasted so much thinking Trump's unsuitability/craziness would keep him from being elected.
I have the feeling we won't know what 2016 meant until we see what happens in 2018 and 2020. Hiccup or realignment or hiccupping realignment.

9:02 AM, November 08, 2017  
Anonymous Denver Guy said...

I was of the opinion that Trump was the only Republican candidate that could lose to Hillary Clinton. Not because the other Republicans were so great or the Obama years were so bad. More it was just a matter of patterns and American restlessness for change. George HW Bush is the only 3rd consecutive term either party has had since FDR.

11:19 AM, November 08, 2017  
Blogger LAGuy said...

Denver Guy:

Actually, the third consecutive term argument would be for Truman.

In any case, I don't think there's enough data to spot significant trends. I remember, for instance, when Bush 41 lost, people said it's really hard to serve two full terms, since no one had done it since Eisenhower except for Reagan. Since then, two terms has become the norm.

There's no reason to believe that either party can't keep winning the White House over and over. Right now, the Dems seem to have the edge due to changing demographics.

11:32 AM, November 08, 2017  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SWMBCg here. Kasich elected Trump. (And, I suppose, I must credit him therefore with saving us from Hillary.) If he'd been anything other than Mad King John, Cruz would have been the nominee.

And despite LAGuy's optimistic gloss that anyone could have beaten Hillary (perhaps), I suspect Cruz would have lost.

But oh, what might have been.

4:52 PM, November 08, 2017  

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