Donald Trump secured electoral victory yesterday with 304 electoral votes, his 2 faithless electors voting for Ron Paul and John Kasich. It is important, whether your side won or lost the election, to reflect on the outcome and how to improve on it. How did Trump win over so many hearts and minds in the swing states? How did he find a path to victory?
Firstly, the culture of his campaign created supporters nationwide. In the final weeks of the election Trump was tireless. He was doing two rallies per day in the Midwest, putting time and energy into his movement so that they would give him energy and time back on November 8th. Clinton, in contrast, was barely doing two rallies per week. She never even visited Wisconsin, a state that Trump flipped red to secure victory in the general election. The Trump campaign's message of having energy, putting in hard work, speaking for those who had been written off by the the Democrats won him the Midwest.
Secondly, the Trump campaign built a powerful narrative. With the help of the mainstream media, Trump was made out -- and made himself out to be -- the underdog. He was against the polls, which oversampled Democrats in key states. He was against the media, who ran article after article on him claiming he had no path to victory. He was against the entire Washington establishment. He was the protest candidate. The narrative of the underdog is powerful, and resonates with a strong, American desire to win against all odds. As with the Cubs and the Cavs, the Midwest loves a good underdog story.
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