Maybe we can let the media off the hook on creating or driving the Trump machine, but what about the way they spoke about the election towards the end? Maybe more Democrat voters would have come out if the press hadn’t told them the election was won in October and not to take Trump seriously. By volume, his vote numbers are similar to Romney’s. They were just a larger percentage in 2016.
Let’s also not let Clinton’s campaign off the hook. Those rust belt states that cost her the election (in large part)? She didn’t visit them in person during the last two weeks, while Trump was on the ground talking manufacturing. Whether he was full of it or not, he was more present in the areas that won him the presidency. Clinton’s visits late in the game to PA and MI were almost exclusively Philly, Pittsburgh, and Detroit. All places that Obama won both times, and would have likely gone blue anyway, rather than the more rural, blue collar places that Bernie resonated with and Trump ended up winning.
The reality is that Clinton seems to have taken the election for granted in the homestretch by assuming that all the Bernie voters would fall in line without trying to understand them. She ran an election that smacked of an “it’s my turn” or “this is over already” attitude, which is how she lost the ’08 primary to a popular but unknown Obama (in part). In the end, it cost her the presidency. She’s DeSean Jackson dropping the ball at the 1-yard line. Kellyanne Conway ran the Trump campaign beautifully in the last three weeks. It’s fine to say that the American people failed us by electing Trump. If you think that, though, you have to also say Clinton failed us by getting out-hustled in the homestretch and the media for telling us not to take Trump seriously.