2016 ELECTION DAY
Nov 9 2016, 8:11 am ET
by Benjy Sarlin
NEW YORK — The polls were wrong — all of them.
So were the experts, the political consultants and the seasoned officials in both parties who predicted Donald Trump would lead his party to ruin. So were the markets, which had anticipated a Hillary Clinton victory and crashed overnight as her electoral firewall caught ablaze. So was every living president and past presidential nominee of both parties, save Bob Dole, all of whom opposed Trump.
So was this reporter and so many like him — and Trump told me as much.
When Trump appeared at an early New Hampshire showcase for likely presidential candidates in April 2014, the only reference I made to him in my story was a snarky passing mention that he spoke along with the “top-tier” contenders. Later, he sent me a handwritten note saying he “got the biggest response (by far) + standing ovation.” Trump went on to win the New Hampshire primary with ease.
“Who cares about the other half!”
At the Hilton in midtown Manhattan, the center of the wealthy and influential blue America and the place that Trump — the newly anointed champion of blue-collar America — paradoxically calls home, a crew of relative political outcasts at Trump’s victory party were eager to tell America what else its elite institutions got wrong.
New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who could become Trump’s attorney general and who has called repeatedly for Hillary Clinton’s prosecution, was happy to offer his assessment of what we all missed. His answer: rural resentment against the “Eastern arrogant establishment.”
As the results rolled in, showing a surprisingly close race, NBC News’ Chuck Todd addressed the phenomenon that some knew of, but didn’t realize the depths.