Tom Jackson: Blindsided by a phenomenon in orange – Florida Politics (blog)
And now, President-elect Donald J. Trump. Wow. Wow. Wow.
So much for that 0.1 percent chance of victory. So much for blue tsunamis and Republican humiliation. So much for the first woman president and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. So much for experts.
It turns out, the hotshots knew nothing. Not a damn thing. Pre-election pollsters. Exit pollsters. Coastal pundits. Cable news talking heads. Every last one of them was Sgt. Schultz. They knew nothing
They were blindsided.
The guy with a slender path to victory, the guy with a razor-thin margin for error, the guy trying to draw an inside straight, the guy expanding the map … for Democrats — that guy won in a historic landslide. Tuesday, as he has since he famously descended the eponymous skyscraper escalator in June 2015 — an escalator so central to the president-elect’s narrative it deserves a wing in the Smithsonian — Trump didn’t just rewrite the rule book. He fed it to a shredder.
Ground game? Trump didn’t need no stinking ground game to get out the vote. His supporters got themselves out.
As Kellyanne Conway, the pollster-turned-campaign genius, told the stunned crew on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” as dawn broke Wednesday, “enthusiasm and momentum mattered.”
“I know many people say rallies don’t matter, but they do. If you stood in line for five hours just to be there and … you feel like you’re a card-carrying member of this movement, then of course you’re going to show up and vote. And you’re probably going to get other people to do that.”
Only the Trump camp seemed to know. Those late campaign stops in Pennsylvania and Michigan weren’t last-ditch flights of desperate folly. Trump’s tiny band, guided by someone who’d never before run a national campaign, knew they were closing