The media is already trying to figure out what their narrative is for the likely 306-vote thumping (as of this writing, Michigan has not been called) Donald Trump just dealt to Hillary Clinton. Their favorite and obviously most ridiculous canard is that Trump has unmasked the deep, ugly, hateful reality that most of America is extremely racist. If that were true, of course, my work would be done. But seriously, "America wasn't too racist to elect a black guy twice, but is too racist to elect an elderly white woman" is a dog that won't hunt.
But we've got to resist constructing an equally stupid narrative on the Alt-Right. Stupid narratives lead to stupid actions lead to crushing defeats. The first thing we have to get through our heads is that this election was bizarrely close. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, but lost the Electoral College by a crushing 78 points due to the God-Emperor flipping five states that have been blue for 20 years or more. This was in many ways a very close election, and we should not interpret it as a massive, national embrace of Trump.
But the second thing we have to remember is that right up until election night, not only was Donald Trump running against the Team Blue apparatus, but also active opposition from within both his own party's establishment and its conservative base (attacking Khizr Khan, Pussygate, etc. didn't help, either). Had Paul Ryan and Charlie Sykes acted like surrogates instead of traitors, perhaps Trump would have crushed in Wisconsin. I have little doubt that with effective GOP surrogates and conservative advocacy, many of the people who stayed home or voted for Dopey Weed Man would have come out and boosted Trump 2-3%.
Now let's get into some numbers. Nationally, there was no red insurgency, no red "monster vote." Trump got fewer votes than either of the previous two Republican candidates. Rather, the Democrats just collapsed. From 538:
Note that not all the votes have been counted yet, so Trump may end up beating Romney. But it won't be by much. This is consistent with national polls we've seen for months that these were two strongly disliked candidates. But the graph shows less of a collapse than a continuing downwards slide from Obama's 2008 record-breaking election.
Looks like this is less about Trump and more about Obama's failure to deliver either hope or change resulting in increasing disillusionment with the Democrat Party. A business-as-usual machine candidate was the worst thing they could have run.
Via Pew, we have some demographic breakdown that can give us further insight. I've given the numbers here to show what the leading party's margin was with each group.
|No college whites||R+25||R+39|
Contrary to the official narrative, Democrats actually cratered with minorities and the youth. The only group they actually improved with was college-educated whites, but not those young enough to be near the beginning of their careers. The bleeding of the Democrats with the White working class turned into a hemorrhage this year, making up for their gains with educated whites.
Now I'll try to build a narrative. The Democrats' reputation as the anti-White, anti-male party is at this point set in stone. Republicans held their lead with Whites and expanded it with men. But the Democrats learned that mere race-baiting is not enough to win an election; blacks and Latinos just aren't that motivated to hit the polls if the only reason is to stick it to white guys.
If this election was a referendum on anything, it was managerial liberalism. That's what Trump campaigned against and Hillary campaigned for. Democrats gained only with the managerial class, and Republicans gained with everyone whose lives are supposed to be managed. The assumption was because Hillary Clinton so clearly belonged to the managerial elite and Donald Trump didn't, that the people would see her as clearly entitled to rule and vote for her.
It didn't happen. The victims of managerial liberalism's policy failures over the last 50 years tossed them out. We tossed them out during the GOP primaries, and we tossed them out during the general.
Donald Trump now has the chance to realign the Republican Party. A lot of people stayed home, waiting to see how things will turn out. If Trump delivers (especially if he stops the bleeding at the border), the GOP's days as the party of Chamber of Commerce managerialism are over, and the Democrats will spend a decade in the wilderness, looking for an identity.