I am having trouble putting my feelings into words today. I’m a political nerd so please don’t take this as partisan. It’s not meant to be. I more or less need to talk myself through some things. I never bought into the “Trump train”. I knew this election was going to be close but I never in my life saw Secretary Clinton losing Pennsylvania and/or Wisconsin. Michigan was closer to a toss up in my mind. That vote count is still not complete (somehow) but it looks like he will take that state as well. Those 3 states would have given her the White House.
The Trump campaign did a great job selling their vision to disenfranchised union families in the rust belt. The Clinton campaign I believe overestimated their firewall in these states. It happens.
As of 4:30pm on 11/9, Hillary Clinton is up in the popular vote by around 200,000 votes. There is a very good chance that Democrats will have won 4 of the 5 elections in this century and only have 2 terms to show for it. This will be a tough pill for Democrats to swallow, but the founders knew what they were doing with the Electoral College. It allows the smaller states to have a proportional say in the direction of this country.
The demographics of the vote are even more intriguing. 2008 was a historic turnout, so I won’t compare to that – let’s look at 2012. But to see where HRC lost votes is telling.
2012 – Obama won by around 5 Million votes and 126 Electoral College votes. Obama got 65,455,010 of the total 126,226,713 votes (51% to 47% for Romney)
2016 – Currently Trump is up 62 Electoral College votes, but Clinton is winning the popular vote 59,796,265 to 59,589,806 (47.7% to 47.5%).
First thing that sticks out is about 6.8 Million less voters made it to the polls this year. Not shocking seeing as these are the two least popular candidates to win their nominations in…..ever? Trump pulled about a million less Republicans but Clinton pulled around 5 Million less Democratic votes. And neither of the candidates will hit 50% of the electorate.
2012 – African American vote – 93% for Obama, Latino vote – 71% for Obama, Asian vote – 73% for Obama, White vote – 39% for Obama.
2016 – African American vote – 88% for Clinton, Latino vote – 65% for Clinton, Asian vote – 65% for Clinton, White vote – 37% for Clinton.
5-7 points off of every racial demographic. She did 1-2 points worse with younger voters but still outdrew Trump by 15% with Millennials and younger Gen Xers. Trump outdrew her by around 10% with Baby Boomers and older. The problem for Hillary is younger folks do not vote at near the rate of their parents and grandparents. She won women by 13 points.
If you’re into these kind of things, there is a ton of interesting info here .
Where to go from here
Full disclosure: my political journey has been a long ride. I was born and raised in super red Texas. I grew up in the Catholic Church. Most everyone around me was pretty conservative and so that informed my early life decisions. By the time I was in late high school and my first years of college, my political leanings moved between apathy and total anarchy. It was a very angry time in my life. Later in college, you could probably best describe me as a Socialist.
Like most people, I’ve moderated quite a bit as I’ve aged. Most of my friends and family still think I’m a Socialist, but I’d like to think that just in comparison to those around me. I’m still considerably left and consider myself a Progressive.
With all of that said, last night sucked for those like me. We didn’t show up at the polls for a myriad of reasons and now all of the progress we’ve made in the past few decades is under fire. I’d like to think that Bernie would have done better than Clinton did, but he also didn’t have many negative ads thrown his way as he would have in the general election. Socialist is still a very dirty word in this country. We’ll never know though.
Personally, in retrospect, I wish Joe Biden would have run. He had very good reasons for not doing so and I completely respect him for it. But I do believe he would have run away with the nomination. I believe he would have been a fantastic President, but that is neither here nor there.
This country is still incredibly divided. We have to find a way to come together to get shit accomplished. I don’t know how that happens, but I believe in this country and I believe that we will find a way to make things work. We have to.
Optimism is in short demand today. I’ll take a few days to contemplate what happened yesterday and move on. Congrats to my more Conservative friends. Your guy won. I honestly hope that I’m completely wrong. I hope he picks great people for his cabinet and can find a way move our country forward in a way that in beneficial to everyone.
I haven’t deleted any of my social media friends and followers. I don’t intend to . Listening to the other side is the only way we can understand each other. Understanding each other is the only way that a conversation can begin and we have got to start talking to one another again. Respectfully, if possible. I am hopeful that we will find a way to get together and move forward. At this point, your clumsy optimist is clumsily cautiously optimistic.
Take a minute to watch this clip from Stephen Colbert’s Election Night special last night. He says everything I’m thinking much more eloquently. I love you guys. See you on the other side of this fog.