Everyone’s still groggy from the late night so forgive me for essentially just tossing numbers at you here instead of spinning them out into something more coherent.
· Remember that final RCP map showing the race surprisingly close, with Clinton winning 272/266? For all the well-deserved attacks on polling and pollsters last night, that map wasn’t far off. Trump will end up winning the electoral college “bigly” but the margins in the states that decided it for him were tantalizingly tight. RCP had Pennsylvania going blue by 1.9 points; it ended up going red by 1.1. That’s 20 EVs. Florida, 29 more EVs, went Republican by 1.4 points; RCP had it going red by less than half a point. And Michigan, where Trump will probably end up winning by less than half a point, was a mere 3.4-point advantage for Clinton in the RCP average, within the range of an unsurprising miss. That’s 16 electoral votes. If Clinton had been just 1.5 points better in each state, she’d have added 65 more EVs to her 218 — which would have put her over the top.
Wisconsin doesn’t qualify as a “near miss” for RCP’s average, as it had Clinton projected to win by 6.5 points. Trump never led a single poll there. In the end, he won the state by one thin point. If Clinton had been 1.5 points better there, she’d be near 300 electoral votes and we would have spent the day wading through media treatises about Trump’s surprising but ultimately futile strength among the white working class.
· As of this morning, with most votes counted, Clinton actually leads the popular vote nationally by around 160,000 votes. That may change, although it’ll end up very tight either way. What might not change is the fact that … both Clinton and Trump right now have fewer votes than Mitt Romney did in 2012, let alone Barack Obama. O ended up with nearly 66 million votes, Romney with slightly less than 61 million. Clinton and Trump are each sitting at a little more than 59 million. Huh. But note: These vote totals will rise. Trump may end up passing Romney (and Clinton?) in the end. But it wasn’t a blowout overperformance vote-wise.
· The most notable exit poll result of the night: Trump ended up slightly outperforming Romney among Latinos and blacks.