Our job is to make good decisions in an environment of permanent uncertainty. To succeed at this task, we must revisit our past research, ESPECIALLY when we are wrong. What went wrong with our analysis of the election?
First let's consider what we got right:
- Clinton was the ultimate Democratic nominee
- The Republicans did indeed organize a circular firing squad, producing a nominee NO ONE expected (not even Trump.)
- We noted that if Clinton couldn't put away Sanders, the email server or the Clinton Foundation issues she would struggle.
- In particular, we identified the division of the country into "haves" and "have-nots." In principal the combination of
low gas and fuel prices
record number of workers employed
stock market at record highs
real-estate prices approaching record highs
should have ensured a slam dunk for the party in power. However, the gains unevenly favored "coastal elites" over the "Rust Belt" working class.
- These factors created an opportunity for Trump to win, even if we regarded that outcome as low probability.
- Ultimately, electoral college math would prevail
Here's what we got wrong:
- The final electoral college count!