The results of the 2016 presidential election pleased some, disappointed others and surprised just about everyone. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton was supposed to have a lock on the presidency but Republican nominee Donald Trump, who faced not only Democratic opposition but a “Never Trump” movement among Republicans, prevailed by winning a majority of Electoral College votes.
The Senior Statesmen of Virginia hosted two political consultants who fielded questions about the elections, such as:
- How was a political novice (Trump) able to dispatch more than a dozen seemingly far more qualified Republicans and secure the nomination?
- Why did Socialist Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders perform so well in the Democratic primaries and caucuses yet lose the Democratic nomination to Clinton?
- Why were voters left with a choice that many described as between the lesser of two evils?
- How was Trump able to carry states — Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin — that were supposedly part of a “blue wall” guaranteeing a Clinton victory?
- Why didn’t the pollsters and the media see what was coming?
- And what do the 2016 election results portend for the nation and for the futures of the Republican and Democratic parties?
|Jim Hobart is a vice president at the leading Republican polling firm Public Opinion Strategies. Jim is a veteran of numerous important campaigns, including four victorious U.S. Senate campaigns and 11 winning U.S. House campaigns in 2014. He was named Campaigns & Elections magazine’s Rising Star in 2013.|
|Terry Cooper is a native of Charlottesville and a veteran opposition researcher for Republican campaigns.|
Hobart and Cooper spoke at the Wednesday December 14, 2016 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV Vice President Rich DeMong.