Election Result Has 101 Explanations

There are 101 explanations for last week’s election results. And here they are.

1. There’s no such thing as bad publicity

2. Bernie’s supporters stayed home

3. Rustbelt voters lost faith in government

4. Hillary was a bad campaigner

5. Hillary was a flawed candidate

6. Say “Cheese,” overlooked Wisconsin

7. Comey’s October surprise

8. Comey’s November non-surprise

9. Famous people get away with stuff

10. Trump kept his (tax) secrets hidden

11. Hillary had her (speech) secrets exposed

12. No secret is safe when “reply all” is an option

13. Tweets dominated entire news cycles

14. Coattails extended up-ballot for GOP

15. “Shy Bigots” evade pollsters

16. GOP timed ACA price increases to hit in October

17. Strong statements need only strength, not truth

18. Elites always will be outnumbered

19. Huge rallies generated headlines and enthusiasm

20. Policy papers and position statements did not

21. Last Dem to WH without control of Congress: Grover Cleveland (1884)

22. Primary season energized only one party

23. Leaked emails embarrassed only one party

24. Women didn’t see themselves in Hillary

25. Neil Postman’s “Amusing Ourselves To Death”

26. Bill Bishop’s “The Big Sort”

27. Trump’s populism shifted the political axis 90 degrees

28. Trump’s id out-performed Hillary’s superego

29. Hillary didn’t offer an inspiring vision

30. GOP had and used their better farm teams

31. Liberals have returned to cities, where they can be contained

32. Voter suppression efforts worked

33. Micro-targeting voters requires a conventional opponent

34. Americans love their reality TV heroes

35. Americans dislike all politicians, especially good ones

36. Electoral College favors rural states

37. A “strong man” promised governmental efficiency

38. Obama legitimized “strong man” governance

39. Voters took Trump seriously; the media did not

40. Media took Trump literally; the voters did not

41. Trump delivered ratings; media lapped them up

42. Voters equated experience with fame, preferring the latter

43. Voters seldom give one party 12 years in the White House

44. Obama’s “beer summit” started on race but ended on class

45. Talk radio shapes conversations and decision-making best

46. Anthony Weiner reminded voters of the worst Clinton moments

47. Brexit emboldened populism against conventional wisdom

48. Dems are a better minority party than obstructionist GOP

49. Voters were dumb and happy to pick entertainment over education

50. Long lines at voting sites discouraged working stiffs

51. The Clintons hid their best campaigner

52. Trump children seem OK, so maybe we’ll be OK too

53. Losing the Fairness Doctrine hurts only those who value fairness

54. Our leaders have abandoned discussing issues, so we have too

55. Nobody remembers Eisenhower, the last famous non-politician to run

56. J.D. Vance’s “Hillbilly Elegy”

57. Racial affinity helped the GOP twice — whites came out, blacks stayed home

58. This longest electoral season (64 days) favored the outrageous

59. Facebook kept voters in their bubbles of comfort

60. Male participation in the workforce is at its lowest rate since 1948

61. Fewer workers consider their jobs meaningful or satisfying

62. Dem ground game sent union members to convince envious neighbors

63. Culture warriors marched too quickly for those opposed or ambivalent

64. Demographic trends convinced whites this year would be their last chance

65. Trump’s TV persona seemed like a good fit for the Oval Office

66. Hillary’s private email server looked like Nixonian paranoia

67. Hillary wiping that server amplified that Nixonian paranoia

68. In the candidate’s own words, “What have you got to lose?”

69. Near-unanimous media disgust confirmed Trump’s outsider status

70. Voters don’t like being thrown into baskets or binders

71. And nobody likes to be called deplorable

72. Jon Stewart left too soon

73. Alec Baldwin was a bit too adorable

74. Baseball caps have never been more popular or effective

75. Russia may have helped in ways we don’t (nyet) know

76. The easiest way to vote “not-Trump” was to stay home

77. Fear of terrorism made the “strong man” offer appealing

78. Political correctness loomed larger than incorrectness

79. America requires transformational change every 75 years, so we were due

80. Voters rejected both Bush and Clinton dynasties

81. Pence’s talk radio roots delivered the Midwest

82. “House of Cards” and “Veep” replaced “West Wing”

83. Kaine was a too-safe VP choice, and his Spanish didn’t help

84. Forced to buy health insurance, Millennials were all “Meh”

85. Voters chose the risk of too much change over too little

86. Voters preferred the feckless party over the conniving one

87. Politics, press and punditry finally fused — and then exploded

88. When gas is two bucks a gallon, risks seem less risky

89. Being forced to change light bulbs was OK; doctors, not so much

90. GOP steps in only after Dems have cleaned up their last economic mess

91. One candidate upended both parties and their duopoly

92. “Hope” and “Change” never arrived, so voters picked “Change” — hopefully

93. Psychobabble about narcissism confirmed Midwesterners’ gut instincts

94. Trump just seemed to be enjoying himself more

95. Wanting it worse doesn’t win many votes

96. Nobody we know wears pant suits

97. America likes being chosen more than choosing

98. Fear moves faster than hope, but anger outpaces both

99. The wall offered a tangible solution to an intangible problem

100. Negative campaigns depress voter turnout asymmetrically

101. Chicago Cubs made the impossible seem possible


Don Kahle (fridays@dksez.com) writes a column each Friday for The Register-Guard and blogs