WRM 2:42 Secretary Clinton has called President-Elect Trump to concede. One of the great upsets in American history is now a fait accompli. On MSNBC I am hearing welcome appreciation for the limits that the Constitution imposes on elected officials. Not sure how that will resonate with the vitriol that will be expressed toward the Electoral College should Clinton end up winning the popular vote, but political consciences on both the left and the right are known for their flexibility.
WRM 2:28 It looks as if Donald Trump has become the President-Elect of the United States. It’s not a development I expected, and it’s not the one I hoped for. It’s possible that the tables will turn yet again; as I write, even Fox hasn’t called the Electoral College for Trump — and Clinton may well win the popular vote.
I was one of the majority of Americans who wished we had had a different set of choices this year. However, whichever candidate ends up with a victory, however close, the country can win if winners, losers and conflicted voters can rally around the common ideals that still hold us together as a people.
Both candidates had flaws, but both spoke for some important truths which deserve to be honored and remembered. Secretary Clinton offered a steady if not always stirring defense of the American global strategy that, warts and all has provided the world with a long stretch of prosperity and which has prevented new wars on the scale of the global conflicts that almost ended civilization in the first half of the twentieth century. That strategy needs to be revised and updated for a changing world, but the ideas on which it is founded remain the strongest bulwarks of our security and prosperity. Clinton also spoke for the values of tolerance and cosmopolitanism that are an essential part of any humane and liberal society. Again, contemporary liberal and cosmopolitan society needs to be reformed and renewed; but the baby is holy even if the bathwater is foul.
Donald Trump, not always eloquently or effectively, also spoke for important truths. American elites have forgotten that this country wasn’t made for the products of fancy families and fancy schools. This is always a place which has honored regular people and depended on their moral and political wisdom. This isn’t a country in which the elite is supposed to uplift and retrain the ignorant and bigoted common people; too many of those privileged with fine educations and blue chip credentials and connections have come to arrogate the moral leadership of the country to themselves. Some of the ideals such people support are valuable ones, but the elitist contempt for the moral insight and personal dignity of the average American is much more corrosive than many of our nearsighted and insular elites understand. Trump’s appeal comes in large part from his insistence, in the teeth of the contempt of the fashionable and the ‘enlightened’ of the central importance of the American nation in the political value system of our country. The American people are not a random collection of strangers bound together only by a common interest in making money; we are not a bloodless and bodiless collection of philosophers held together by a set of abstract ideas. We are a people: a living, historical and cultural community that has deep roots in the past. American citizens owe a special care to one another which is different from the duties that we have to all humanity, and we have, or we ought to have, a special duty to serve the interests of the American people in our dealings with foreign powers. The cultural bonds and the history that unite us contain their fair share of injustice, but we cannot build a common life on a shared contempt for and horror of the American past. Trump at his best stands for an attempt to reintroduce some vital elements into our common life, and the willingness of so many tens of millions of Americans to overlook their qualms about him testifies to the importance that these ideals have to so many of our fellow citizens.
No matter which candidate won tonight, half the country was going to be disappointed and many people would be angry. No matter which candidate won, the task of turning a campaign into an administration would be a difficult one. And no matter which candidate won, he or she would be taking office at a time when the global situation is more explosive and dangerous than it has been in many decades. The world order creaks on its foundations, and the global economy puzzles even the wisest of our central bankers and economists.
Let us pray for our new President-Elect — whoever that may be — and for the United States and the world. We seem to be moving toward a crisis point in both foreign and domestic affairs. May the God of nations bless, enlighten and preserve the President of the United States.
WRM 1:45: Big loser tonight: Obama and his legacy.
WRM 1:42: Cake now baked.
HZC 1:40: AP calls PA for Trump. If that’s right, this is really over.
WRM 1:34: Really important series of tweets here from Megan McArdle:
One point that’s worth mentioning: in 1925, the last time the foreign-born population was this high, GOP basically shut down immigration.
— (((Megan McArdle))) (@asymmetricinfo) November 9, 2016
It didn’t cost them the election in 1928. Obviously, they lost in 1932, but it had nothing to do with immigration, which Dems didn’t reverse
— (((Megan McArdle))) (@asymmetricinfo) November 9, 2016
WRM 1:30: Marine LePen sends her congratulations: “Félicitations au nouveau président des Etats-Unis Donald Trump et au peuple américain,
HZC 1:17: With Toomey win in PA, the GOP retains control of the Senate.
WRM 1:16: If the numbers go Trump’s way and he wakes up as president-elect in the morning,
His smartest move in both financial and geopolitical affairs is to quickly gather the kind of team he did not pull together during the campaign and begin to project a calm and competent image abroad.
WRM 1:15: It isn’t just financial markets that are heading to chaos on the news of Trump’s surge. South Korea, in the middle of a political crisis of its own, is calling an emergency national security meeting to discuss the implications for Korean policy of a Trump win.
WRM 1:14: The rage of Dems if Trump wins with a minority of the popular vote,
WRM 1:00: World financial markets were melting down as Trump neared the 270 mark tonight. Trump’s first real test has come upon him even before the final votes were tallied. He now needs to reassure global markets that the core focus of his economic policy will be to restore healthy growth in the United States.
WRM 12:45: While Hillary needs to win almost everything that is left,
WRM 12:41: Special snowflakes all over the United States are discovering that you can’t hide from reality.
Liberals making ultra-comfortable cocoons have only made themselves unable to understand or communicate with much of the country.
HZC 12:24: President Obama’s poll numbers are strong right now, but Democrats should turn on him tomorrow. His mangled handling of Obamacare—pushing through something so unpopular and failing to sell it—and his inability to project confidence on terrorism combined with his executive actions on immigration all helped Trump—and the GOP surge in statehouses and Congress over the past eight years.
Obama’s arrogance—which is ultimately a political arrogance—might not be fazed,
WRM 12:11: Dow futures down by 838 — bigger than 9/11.
WRM 12:07: According to FiveThirtyEight, Trump is outperforming Romney with minorities. And with women. In other words, Latinos, women, and blacks are putting Trump over the top. That’s a story you probably won’t hear very much. Assuming it holds when better numbers come in, it’s a story you should hear much more.
WRM 12:03: Hillary now needs to run the table.
NMG 12:01: I wonder how many liberals are now wishing that a Supreme Court had handed down a strong rebuke to executive powers in U.S. v. Texas this spring.
WRM 11:46: The oldest lesson in American politics: drive the Jacksonians out of your party and you drive your party into the wilderness.
WRM 11:35: It could easily go to 269 each, then to the Electoral College where Trump wins. Georgia, Utah and Arizona would make it 269. She now needs one of the Romney states to win.
JW 11:34: If Trump wins, it’s possible that the the period between the end of the Cold War to Trump’s victory will be remembered as a distinctive period in world history, in which a unique post-cold war internationalist consensus prevailed in the United States. In 2016, Brexit and Trump marked the end of that consensus in the West.
JW & DM 11:28: The political consultant class of both parties needs to go find another line of business. The fact that Trump is doing at all as well proves that these people are snake-oil salesmen—outright frauds. All the “ground game” and and technological prowess that the Obama campaign demonstrated proves to be completely secondary to the fact that it turns out that democracy turns on personality. And Hillary has a weak one.
JW 11:23: People have been talking a lot about what Republicans need to do to regenerate their party and capture the center. These results seem to suggest another possible question: What do Democrats need to do to re-capture the center?
WRM 11:18: Trump winning the popular vote by 3 percent. Still many votes to count in deep blue states like CA, but pretty amazing nevertheless.
HZC 11:16: Stock markets falling down even more now. Asian markets off over 4 percent. Uncertainty is freaking out investors.
WRM 11:00: Fox now calling Florida for Trump. Florida, NC, Ohio. Trump is now in the race.
HZC 10:58: What seems clear is that Trump has galvanized the GOP base in a way no candidate has in a long time. He’s outperforming Romney and McCain all over.
WRM 10:54: Mike Gallagher (R), a promising new face in Wisconsin, is projected to win his House race.
WRM 10:47: Detroit — where the blue model has crashed and burned and Dems basically have nothing to say,
HZC & WRM 10:42: A big piece of this story so far seems to be blacks not turning out for HRC in anything like the numbers Obama saw. They will make or break it for her in Michigan. But with turnout looking low in Wayne County (Detroit), this is a big miss for Hillary with blacks.
JW 10:33: If Democrats lose White House they will have nothing — Republican House, Senate, Supreme Court, presidency, and overwhelming majority of state governments. Strongest dominance of single party since before New Deal and perhaps before.
HZC 10:29: Now, NBC projects VA for HRC too. Meanwhile, Republican Barbara Comstock—who had tried to keep her distance from Trump—is projected to win in northern Virginia/the DC suburbs.
SK 10:24: NYT has Trump at 80% shot to win the presidency, but Clinton has the edge on the popular vote. An electoral college/popular vote split portends nothing good for our democracy or national unity.
HZC 10:18: Asian markets are taking a huge beating.
WRM 10:16: Now the dollar is crashing too.
WRM 10:14: Media melting down, as are the markets. Dow futures are now off more than 500 points. Meanwhile, Nate Silver has Hillary’s chances down to 55 percent.
WRM 10:11: Fox calls North Carolina Senate for Republican Richard Burr. That’s big.
WRM 10:10: If Trump pulls this one off,
WRM 10:04: Clinton’s Pacific Firewall — California, Oregon, Washington will change the electoral math. Georgia and North Carolina still haven’t been called. That’s bad for Trump at this point.
HZC 10:02: New Hampshire is still very close, with only 35 percent reporting. Trump is up by about a point. Kelly Ayotte, meanwhile, who is a lynchpin for the GOP in the Senate, is up by about 2.5 percent. Given the geography of where has yet to report, it’s still too early to call.
HZC 9:58: Fox calls VA for Clinton. Big for her, if it holds.
DM 9:55: There is no way that anyone should see any kind of narrow victory for HRC, should it transpire, as anything other than an indictment of the status quo. If HRC tries to do anything other than be deeply chastened, if she wins, nothing good will come of it. The media will try to spin this as some kind of primal scream by the racist white voter. That would be a horrible mistake. However this plays out, this is a resounding indictment of business as usual.
SK 9:51: Not long ago, NYT’s Frank Bruni was talking about “HRC’s resounding mandate” coming out of this election. I thought that was questionable at the time, but it’s looking even more ridiculous now. Even if she wins.
HZC 9:50: We’re starting to see why the Clinton campaign focused so much late-stage energy in Michigan.
WRM 9:45: Nate Silver still has HRC at 75; NYT has Trump at 59. Both show GOP in Senate.
DM 9:42: Trump’s is a campaign almost completely without a ground game or strategists. Think of the millions wasted on this stuff.
BH 9:40: More seriously,
HZC 9:07: U.S. stock futures are down with HRC still not closing in Virginia or Michigan, to say nothing of North Carolina and Florida.
WRM 8:52: Virginia not being called for HRC so far is a bad sign for her. But Georgia not being called for Trump by now is a bad sign for him.
WRM 8:48: HRC is struggling more than expected in Virginia, it seems. Would the emails and the classified stuff particularly hurt her with normally blue government workers in Virginia?
JW 8:45: We are seeing very clearly why the Electoral College—as opposed to popular vote—favors Trump: Trump’s “safe” wins in states like Texas and Georgia will be in the single digits,
BH 8:38: Another point on the European comparisons. All this talk of a “Brexit effect” from Trump surrogates and DT himself is completely overblown. In fact,
JW 8:36: Upshot chance of HRC win down to 77 percent,
SK 8:31: Not totally unexpected, but remarkable comeback for Young in Indiana given Bayh’s advantages going into that Senate race: huge war chest and longstanding record as Senator and Governor. 538 has an interesting chart showing Young’s comeback since August.
HZC 8:29: Republican Carlos Cubelo is up 12 points in his Florida House race. That’d be another important win for the GOP.
WRM 8:27: Fox calls Indiana for Young. That’s a big win for the Republicans.
JW & HZC 8:26: With Florida essentially even, are we headed for a repeat of 2000? As a reminder, if things stay within .5 percent, that triggers an automatic recount. Right now, vote totals appear closer even than they were between Bush and Gore. Clinton can win without Florida—as can Trump, of course, but it’s much less likely—but we should be preparing for a long night ahead in the Sunshine State.
HZC 8:19: One of the big lessons of this election will be about how and how much campaigns matter. Trump basically had no consultants, ground operation, and his fundraising was comparatively lackluster. Meanwhile, his coordination with state and local efforts was poor. If he wins, it will be a huge blow for thousands of campaign consulting firms—a huge business which has expanded tremendously in recent years.
But if Clinton wins, it may well come down to her superior campaign operation—and her relative ability to stay on and propagate her message. There’s been a huge effort to turn out Hispanics, for example. African American turnout still seems down based on early returns, but Hispanics are voting in record numbers. If the democratic political machine can win this for Hillary, that will throw a lifeline to the consultants and pollsters and others who have built businesses on dubious results.
WRM 8:16: Fox calls Florida for Rubio. The Senate is looking better for the GOP, and GOP insiders must be wringing their hands about a lost chance.
JW 8:14: CNN has it down to 0.2 in FL. If it ends within 0.5, there will be a recount. Trump needs to win to stay competitive in Electoral College but Hillary has paths without it.
SK 8:11: Senator Lindsay Graham voted for Evan McMullin, but it’s also telling that he did not disclose that vote until today. Same with Bush’s non-vote. I think it shows how Republican elites, even those who oppose Trump, were scared to wholeheartedly campaign against the GOP nominee—which shows Trump’s hold over the party, and Republican fears of alienating Trump’s base.
DM 8:10: Thoughts from a first-time recent-immigrant voter: Maybe this is a normal election in some sense, but it struck me as I was making up my mind how much negativity played in my decision. So much has been said about how Trump ran an unprecedentedly negative campaign. But the truth is I voted for Hillary because I feared a Trump presidency. And the one Trump rally I attended, most of the people I talked to offered similar rationale: “Trump was not my first choice. But Hillary must be stopped.” Maybe this is par for the course for American Democracy—I don’t know, I’ve only observed it and never took it to heart like I have this time around. But it doesn’t feel healthy.
HZC 8:05: The Vermont gubernatorial race could go to GOP candidate former Lt. governor Phil Scott. Vermont, despite being the home of Senator Sanders, is hardly far-left. Before its current governor, Peter Shumlin, was Jim Douglas, a moderate Republican who was generally well-liked. Shumlin’s signature effort while in office was single payer health care, and it blew up in his face.
BH 8:02: I just spoke to French media. They are very interested in the situation in Michigan. If Trump manages to be competitive there,
RA 7:56: Fox says senate control undecided; tight races too close to call.
BH 7:56: HRC taking strong early lead in Florida and North Carolina now (only 28% of votes counted in the latter).
SK 7:55: I wonder if the elites might have had more of an effect if they had coalesced around an anti-Trump alternative. We saw lots of soft Trump opposition and discomfort from Republican elites,
RA 7:51: Englishman Abroad checking in with the news that Mr. Brexit,
HZC 7:49: Stock markets getting jittery.
JW 7:45: It’s notable that aside from GWB, the party—voters and elites—have coalesced around Trump to a much larger extent than we might have expected a year ago if presented with the possibility of him becoming the nominee. That’s a good example of nihilistic partisanship. Our parties are strong and weak at the same time. Weak in the sense that they are empty vessels for whomever is nominated and because elites have little control over who is nominated; strong in the sense that they tend to close ranks around the nominee, no matter how far he diverges from stated principles.
HZC 7:43: Mute your TVs and listen to something more interesting: a conversation WRM had with Larry Kudlow and others last week at the Hannah Arendt Center.
SK & WRM 7:40: According to Reuters, President George W. Bush did not cast a vote for president this year.
Trump fails to carry ex-GOP presidential candidates. Not sure when in American history, if ever, this has happened.
NMG & HZC 7:37: AP calls for Senator Portman in Ohio. Portman ran a very effective campaign in what was, as of several months ago, supposed to be a close race. But he’s been up in the polls for months, successfully labeling his opponent, former governor Ted Strickland, as “retread Ted.” Portman, like many Ohio Republicans, basically ignored Trump the whole election season.
Also of note: Portman has been a big free trade advocate in the past, and Ohioans are particularly skeptical of free trade—it’s an issue that helped Trump there in the primaries. Portman’s ability to pull off such a convincing win is an impressive feat, and will surely be studied by politicians and campaign consultants for years to come.
HZC 7:29: Rubio is running about 8 points ahead of Trump in Florida so far. If this holds and Trump loses, it will only add fuel to the “told you so” fire on the right.
NMG 7:27: If Clinton wins, the narrative of why will be more important than usual. If conservatives/Republicans can successfully argue (or even, less likely, the media perception simply is) that the margin of victory came from “not Trump” voters, rather than “yes, Clinton” voters, that will have a significant impact on our politics going forward. Another way to think of it: does Clinton fulfill her mandate tomorrow (defeated Trump!), or in the first hundred days (by implementing her agenda). The difficulty in articulating, say, the top five issues that she’d bring forward is not a bad sign of which one it is…
JW 7:25: With 10 percent reporting, Evan Bayh is down 9 percent to Todd Young. This was one of the tossup seats; good for GOP Senate hopes.
WRM 7:18: NC and Ohio both close. If Trump doesn’t win both (plus Florida and New Hampshire),
WRM 7:15: Important to take note of the Tim Scott re-election. Scott is the first black South Carolina senator since Reconstruction, and he’s now won a full term. It’s a sign, perhaps, that the racial polarization is a bit overdone. In grander terms: A conservative African American wins enthusiastic support from conservative whites in the state that started the Civil War. Roll over Jeff Davis.
HZC 7:13: You all should check out this great piece by Nick Gallagher. Just up on the site. Did Obama see the Trump movement coming?
WRM 7:07: One possibility: the Senate might not be called tonight. If nobody gets 50% in Georgia, there would be a runoff.
JW 6:58: Also about to close: Virginia. This is a state that has become out-of-reach for the GOP given rising ethnic diversity and education levels. Bush won it both times but so did Obama. Trump’s campaign is trying to add states like Ohio and Iowa to the GOP coalition; a more conventional candidate like Rubio or Bush might have tried to add Virginia.
NMG 6:51: During the early stages of the Revolutionary War, General Washington was so inexperienced and the British Commander, General Howe, was so untalented, that, as one strategist has commented, “Any other General in the world other than General Howe would have beaten General Washington; and any other General in the world other than General Washington would have beaten General Howe.” There are a lot of pundits and GOP and Democratic strategists out there today thinking the same thing about Trump and Clinton.
JW & HZC 6:48: Polls in Florida and New Hampshire close in 12 minutes. We might soon start seeing results that decide the race. Counting will go faster in New Hampshire, and we’ll get a sense of how well the Trump movement—whites without college education, mainly—is performing. Meanwhile, if Clinton wins Florida, the race is probably over.
WRM 6:44PM: The big night that we’ve all been waiting for is finally here, and the greatest show on earth is coming to a climax. Democracy survives in part because it is the most entertaining form of government, and by that standard American democracy has never seemed more secure. In 2016 the presidential campaign took on the look and feel of a television reality show, a development that redounded to the benefit of the only political candidate in American history to have actually starred on such a show.
There has been a lot of handwringing about this election, and both candidates are widely disliked and distrusted. But it’s hard to argue that the system has failed: voters have a clear choice between to alternative approaches to both the substance and style of government.
Those who’ve moaned about the end of democracy and the collapse of republican government (as opposed to the collapse of the Republican Party) have, as usual,overreached. The rhetoric in this campaign has been at times overheated and at times vile; there have been demagogic slams and ugly lies. But that is less a departure from the virtue of the past than a continuation of longstanding traditions in American life.
The American people,
People seem to have reserved their ugliest rhetoric and their nastiest cracks for social media; Facebook and Twitter seethed with bitterness. There are those who take that as a sign of national meltdown. This is overstated. Social media is really misnamed; most of us are alone when we post and tweet,
Social media is a solitary vice; politics is part of our public lives,
There are deep fault lines emerging in America; the social and cultural changes racing through our culture, the decline in social capital, especially among the poor and the lower middle class, the weakening hold of Christianity on the public mind and the public square all raise profound questions about where America is heading.
But for all the sound and fury, 2016 has not been the year when the bonds that bind us broke; American democracy is lively, healthy and full of beans.