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When the Brexit vote was predicted as a sure win for the “Remain” coalition and the actual vote was to “Leave” by a healthy margin, the stage was set for what happened at the polls in the USA on November 8th, 2016. The Brexit vote showed that the elites in Britain, those who run major bureaucracies/institutions and who run the government were out of touch with the majority of the people. In particular, the media was out of touch.
I think that the U.S. Presidential Election followed the same pattern, with a twist. The media did its best to convince everyday Americans that Hillary Clinton was going to win in an historic landslide. In so doing, they convinced themselves of the same result. Part of the problem was that fewer and fewer people read, listen to, or watch the “mainstream media” and fewer still believe what the see, hear and read. They were far off the mark because they had elevated themselves above the masses and could not see or hear how the masses actually felt.
The twist? The Democrats had chosen an almost unelectable candidate. Clinton has a colorful history, in particular as to her understanding of the word “truth.” She was untrusted and disliked by the vast majority of all adults. Her almost saving grace was that she was pitted against a man with negatives almost as high as her own. The press did Mrs. Clinton’s work deflecting the bad news, attacking Mr. Trump’s character, and running stories at the bidding of the Clinton Campaign. And, in doing so, the media convinced themselves that she was the best candidate and had the support of the majority of Americans. They saw those things that reinforced their view. They created and saw polls that bore out their belief. They dismissed as crazy all evidence to the contrary.
Mrs. Clinton was gracious in her consession speech but was clearly still unsettled after the ‘shocking’ loss. She too, had read too many of her press releases turned news stories and had believed them. I think until a week ago she was measuring the draperies in the White House. I hope her concession speech was sincere in stating her desire to work with all parties for the betterment of America. I fear she is no more believable now than she was on the campaign trail. I do not think this loss has relieved her of her lust for power, the same lust for power the American Electorate saw and rejected.
Hillary Clinton currently leads Donald Trump by anywhere from 5 to 15% depending upon which polls you read. The press is falling all over itself demanding that everyone agree with them that Donald Trump will be defeated in an historic Clinton Landslide.
It is interesting to note that in 1988, George H. W. Bush trailed Michael Dukakis by 17% in July and still by 7 to 10% in late August. Dukakis ended up winning a total of one state – his home state of Massachusetts.
Similarly, in 2000, Al Gore led George Bush by up to 10 points in mid-September. In September, John McCain led Barack Obama by as much as 5 points. As late as October, Jimmy Carter led Ronald Reagan by 4-6%.
Obviously, my point is: “Most successful pundits are selected for being opinionated, because it’s interesting, and the penalties for incorrect predictions are negligible. You can make predictions, and a year later people won’t remember them.” -Daniel Kahneman (emphasis is mine)