Eric introduced our speaker, Dr. Cornell Clayton.  He is the Thomas Foley distinguished professor of politics at WSU, and among other things a frequent commentator and contributor to politics in local and national news. 
 
He originally didn’t think he’d have much dramatic material to discuss the day after the election, but now, “everything is changed,” he said.  Dr. Clayton believed that this result all came from the desire for change.  However, some things haven’t changed overall including a deeply divided country and electorate.  Also, looking at what a successful campaign strategy is hasn’t changed.  “You can’t be something with nothing,” he said.  Donald Trump had messaging, but Hilary Clinton didn’t have anything specific.  For Clinton, it was more of a response to Trump. 
 
As far as other changes, for the first time in a while, the Republican Party will control both the legislative branch and the executive branch.  Also, symbolic change is occurring, including having the first female presidential candidate.  Arguments between both parties have changed for the first time since 1980, and yet it’s also within parties via a populous message. 
 
In regards to who got the election “wrong,” Dr. Clayton believe it was the pundits, not the pollsters.  Various publications and news outlets all essentially proposed Clinton winning, except for the LA Times-USC Tracking Poll.  All the polls were within the margin of error, and the election was also. 
 
How were polls so wrong?  Dr. Clayton and other believes there is a “missing white vote” from white voters, that was missing in previous elections and received here.  All the pundits dismissed this as untrue, but they ended up turning out being attracted to Donald Trump’s message.  Also overestimated was the “ground game” from Hilary Clinton, and the execution may have been poorer than previously imagined.  Pundits don’t also differentiate based on the margin of error, so they may say that one candidate will win, but either could win within that margin. 
 
He then showed us an overview of this election and previous elections, suggesting that as far as the popular vote is concerned, elections have been very close over the last 5 elections.  Within the last 8 elections, they’ve been within 8% of each other, and the change between the number of democrats and republicans has only been 2% over the last decade.  There was also a clear split among many issues for each candidate.  For example, if you believe the economy was well off you would vote for Hilary, and for Trump if you believed the opposite. 
 
As bad as this election is, Dr. Clatyon made it clear that this was not nearly as bad as it’s been in the past with violence and assassinations occurring previously.  Also, compared with the last twenty years of the 19th century, we are comparable on major issues such as economic transformation, rising economic inequality, immigration, and changes in campaigns & elections.