Donald J. Trump won the presidency, and many say it is because he tapped into general distrust of governance by the American people. Others have commented that it has opened up a new realm of uncertainty in the world. It is no accident that the new President-elect has proven to be an expert at his use of social media: from real-time Twitter updates, to launching his own news program on Facebook. Many in the media made fun of the fact that Trump was sending “mean tweets” at 3am, but any internet aficionado will tell you that everyone does that! Yet every single poll did not see the Trump victory coming, forecasting a Clinton win for weeks, months on end.

The fact that everyone in the media, the voting public, and possibly even Hillary Clinton herself believed in the polls could have been her undoing, or as Politico observed, “The causes of Hillary Clinton’s defeat will be debated for years, but in the first cold light of the day after, one big cause seems clearer than others: her complacency.” (Politico ‘What was Hillary Clinton’s real downfall: complacency’ 11.10.16) Forbes magazine reported that another theory is that Clinton alienated millennial voters, based on exit polls. (Forbes ‘A big part of Hillary Clinton’s defeat: she alienated millennial voters’ 11.9.16)

Donald Trump captured populist mood

Donald Trump was able to win the same battleground states that Barack Obama won in 2008 and 2012, which the Clinton campaign team took for granted, to some degree: Florida, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire.

Donald Trump’s populist message of restoring America, protecting borders, respecting veterans, rolling back some international trade agreements -deemed to have taken away American jobs- apparently resonated to a deep degree in mid-America, Western and Midwestern states, in rural and semi-rural, often economically depressed communities.

The Economist painted the picture this way, “Mr. Trump tore through the Rust Belt states, such as Iowa, Ohio and Wisconsin, turning red a swath of states that had not voted for a Republican nominee in decades.” (Economist ‘Donald Trump wins presidential election’ 11.9.16) Several political analysts also pointed out that Hillary Clinton felt so confident in her projected lead in certain states like Wisconsin that she did not hold any campaign rallies there; and it was certainly interesting to see that the state of Wisconsin with its 10 electoral votes is what put Donald Trump over the 270 electoral college threshold, enough to win the election.

Obama and Trump's similar advantage

The “hidden demographic” that Barack Obama capitalized on in 2008, and to which Donald J. Trump capitalized on in 2016, is based on the same principle but with the demographic unique to their particular party. For President Obama, in 2008 he won the majority of the African-American vote, while maintaining enough white support that he won the oval office. For Donald J. Trump, the reverse is true: he won the majority of white voters’ support, and retained enough minority support, to win the presidency. The Pew Research Fact Tank reported that the 31% of voters in 2016 would be Hispanic, black, Asian, or other racial minority. (Pew Research Fact Tank ‘2016 electorate will be the most diverse in U.S.

history’ 2.3.16) Trump had to win at least enough of that group to win the White House. It turned out to be a “shock” to the masses, but not to those who read the underlying currents of American unrest.

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