(Artwork credit: Ella Nilsson)

I Was Wrong

I was wrong about this election.

I was wrong to write off Trump’s chances in the Spring.

I was wrong to think he was too unpopular to win. I was wrong to think that he had to change his abysmal favorables, or even pace Hillary in that department. He did neither- he still won.

I was wrong to dismiss Trump’s Rust Belt arbitrage. I was wrong to think his gains with working class whites would be outstripped by his losses in the swing suburbs.

I was wrong to trust the polls. I was wrong to put too much stock in the traditional metrics and dismiss others as silly or irrelevant.

I was wrong to think that Trump would be a downballot disaster. Not only was he survivable, his performance helped on the net by pacing Senate candidates in Missouri and Indiana.

I was wrong to buy into the Dem mythology of organizational superiority and data dominance. These things are important- even climactic- on the margins, but meaningless if the dogs won’t eat the dog food.

I was wrong to assume that the Obama coalition was transferable to another nominee. I was wrong to buy into demographics as destiny in the immediate term, however daunting the latent numbers.

I was wrong to think Clinton’s campaign would do what Trump’s primary opponents failed to do and focus their attacks relentlessly on his record of screwing the little guy.

Even where I was right, I either underestimated Trump, or didn’t heed my own advice.

I was right about the way the states were behaving…

But I (and the polls) wildly underestimated the net effect.

I was right that Trump was not going to thread the needle…

I was very wrong about the odds that the dam would break.

I was right that the signs would be there if there were shifts that might portend a Trump victory…

I was terribly wrong to assume we would heed them.

And even as the alarm bells were going off in my head, I kept that heavy thumb on the scale.

I hope I was wrong about Trump’s fitness for office. I hope he proves us all wrong. I hope the ego that has driven him this far instills a genuine desire become a successful President.

I’m afraid I was right.