Experts: aren’t. Name one that accurately predicted the outcome who wasn’t on the Trump Campaign payroll. An easier question is to name one who came close to forecasting the R/D balance in the US Senate. The answer is probably the same: none.
The political and media class are out of touch with the public. Had they been, they’d have understood that visceral frustration with the current status quo was the primary motivator behind the choices made in the voting booth. “Flyover country” is a huge part of America. They are the ones who elected Trump. The 'quality' or 'worth' of the citizens casting the ballots does not enhance the quality or worth of the victor.
African American apathy helped to elect Trump. Since Hillary didn’t look like them compared to President Obama, they didn’t have the same interest in participating. If they had, Hillary could have been the de facto Obama third term. Likewise, Hillary didn't have a theme that excited people. I've just about forgotten what it was. "Make America Great Again" is a vision, simple, but so unspecific that those who hear it can assign whatever good thing they want to the words. Not bad.
Polling is like crack to pundits and the public. It gives a temporary pleasure (thinking you know what is actually happening) but it often leads to really bad outcomes. In an era with unparalleled data availability and analytic tools, campaigns thought that they could read minds. They couldn't do that, and clearly they failed to read voters at all.
Polling is predicated on the theory of honest responses. People generally want to please others. The perception of saying they preferred Trump over a potential first woman President could displease the questioner led to some little white lies. Enough of those skewed the polling results, creating the surprise that came after the polls closed.
Conventional wisdom: isn’t. You can’t win without an organic, vibrant ground game. That didn’t help Hillary and the absence didn’t hurt Trump. Same with data analytics, GOTV and media adoration.
Earned media: only positive stuff helps. Hillary got lots of that, and the conventional wisdom held that Trump’s foibles made victory impossible. Lesson learned: the world view of the recipient and how it is applied matters more than content.
Armageddon has arrived. Probably not. Go back to the reaction of conservatives to Obama’s election. Other than the Affordable Care Act, little of substance that is directly traceable to Presidential activity has had much direct impact on the lives of regular Americans. The operative words here are “directly traceable” as in something that he alone was responsible for, and “much direct impact.” If Obama did not change your life, this is you.
Speaking of the Affordable Care Act, the increase in premiums that most consumers and employers found in their bills right before the election was big. It probably had more to do with the outcome of the election than Hillary’s lack of tech savvy or Donald’s hyperbole. The pocketbook always rules.
Back to Armageddon. The assumption this morning from the left is that Trump and Congressional Republicans are about to usher in a social, economic and cultural change that would make the Dark Ages look like a week at the beach. But look back to Obama’s first two years in office. Democratic President, and Democratic majorities in the House and Senate didn’t come close to accomplishing anything close to what they mutually desired. When the Republicans ended that run with a new majority, the big story was about the opportunity they squandered. I’ll go out on a limb and predict that the GOP team just elected will be unable to substantially reform the Affordable Care Act.
Finally, for all the talk of enlightened acceptance of people who are different, the left is having trouble honoring diversity of opinion this morning. Keep trying before you tell me how evil and closed minded I am. I won’t succumb to your bullying, sterotyping or hate speech. Lots of people are sick to death of "safe spaces," "trigger words," and other overly wimpy concepts created to please helicopter parents who just wanted their kiddo to get a shiny trophy for persistent oxygen consumption. It might be time to learn how to operate successfully in a world that isn't always Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.