First Things First

The shock of yesterday’s election will linger for some time, and the reality of what happened will dawn in stages as we move closer to the inauguration of the new president. I have never missed an election outcome as badly as I missed this one. I read the data and looked at how the campaigns were modeling the electorate. Nothing pointed to white rural and exurban turnout at the levels we saw, and although Clinton seemed to be hitting her turnout numbers in key states, she underperformed with the emerging electorate relative to Obama in 08 and 12. And that was always the key to the election: Hillary had more voters but she had to turn them out. She turned out enough to win the popular vote but not the election. I strongly suspect apathy will not be a problem next time.

There is a lot to be said about what this means and what it portends for our politics, and I will have more to say about that when I get some sleep and have more time to reflect. But first, to everyone who feared a Trump presidency, let me offer a word of support. I have talked to many people today who share a sense of shock and despair. This is normal, and one of the sad facts of yesterday’s election is that regardless of the outcome about half the electorate was going to experience it. To those invested in Hillary’s vision of America the significance of this loss goes well beyond the loss of a normal election. I don’t think it’s possible to move on without first coming to terms with what happened. That can take time. Remember, countless tens of millions are going through this right now. And there is strength in numbers.