(1) It was always Barack Obama’s coalition. It turned out for him and for no one else. I’ve been saying this since 2010 to the laughter of Democrats and the left, but last night showed it. Trump did not see a massive surge in new voters. The turn out numbers show that. But he did flip a large number of people who had given Obama the benefit of the doubt and Democrats simply did not show up for Hillary Clinton.
(2) Picking status quo candidates is a bad idea. When Republicans trotted out former elected officials in the past to seek re-election, it mostly ended badly for them. There were exceptions, but they were few and far between. Evan Bayh and Hillary Clinton were guardians of a status quo at a time when the status quo was being rejected. Democrats playing it so safe lost everything.
(3) Demography is still not destiny and events change things. Since the election of Richard Nixon in 1968, newspapers across America and political analysts have told us that the GOP’s days were numbered because of the decline in white voters. But they somehow still manage to pull off wins. Demography is destiny. Likewise, events really do change things. From insurance premiums to men in girls’ bathrooms to FBI investigations, events changed things.
And as a bonus, the single biggest thing I got wrong is that candidates should be considered on their own merits, not their chances of winning. I’m not, per se, thinking about Trump here. But so many people presumed he could never, ever get elected they dismissed him. I opposed him not because I did not think he could win, but because of character and trust. But his election shows that we should not dismiss people because of viability. People can surprise you.