The polls were wrong, and now Donald Trump is the president-elect of the United States. Everyone knows this.
Except that's not the whole picture. Some of the polls were wrong to a degree, yes, but there was also something at work in the final days of the election: People who decided late broke strongly for Donald Trump in the states that mattered, according to exit polls. And without this apparent late surge, Hillary Clinton would be our president-elect — not Trump.
In fact, if you look at the four closest states where Clinton lost — or, in the case of Michigan, where she's expected to lose — exit polls show late-deciding voters in each of them went strongly for Trump in the final days. In Florida and Pennsylvania, late-deciders favored Trump by 17 points. In Michigan, they went for Trump by 11 points. In Wisconsin, they broke for Trump by a whopping 29 points, 59-30.
And these weren't small groups of voters. The number of undecided and third-party-supporting voters who were still free agents in the final week was as many as 1 in 8 voters nationally -- an uncharacteristically high number for the eve of an election.
1 in 8 undecided voters would suggest that a large number of these folks were not terribly thrilled with either candidate, but what could have caused them to break so hard in Trump's favor?
Gee I wonder:
The FBI on Friday dropped a bombshell on Hillary Clinton’s campaign less than two weeks before Election Day, announcing that it is reviewing new evidence in its investigation into her use of a private email server as secretary of state.
In a letter to several congressional committee chairmen, FBI Director James Comey wrote that, “In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to this investigation.”
Comey said he was briefed on those emails on Thursday and that he “agreed that the FBI should take appropriate investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation.”
Seven days later, just two days before the election, Comey essentially said "Never mind, nothing to see here."
But it was too late.
A fact confirmed by Trump's campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, in responding to a question about an indictment predicted by Fox News based on the Comey letter, which they then had to walk back:
“Well, the damage is done to Hillary Clinton,” Conway replied. “No matter how it's being termed the voters are hearing it for what it is—a culture of corruption.”
Except there was no "culture of corruption," nor any criminality, and not a great deal of untruthfulness.
All of those were just the accusations which the conservatives made up for Hillary Clinton and which numerous Republican investigations, Russian hacking, and Wikileaks document dumps, helped make stick.
But it would never have worked without a complicit corporate media and a barely attentive pool of voters.
As I said in my first post of the day, we can no longer refer to the American people as smart.