For whatever reason, the campaign-rally manifestations in Florida on 24-25 October just didn’t reflect the political narrative of the mainstream media.
Florida is supposed to be a toss-up, with Trump fading and…well, Trump fading, anyway.
But you couldn’t prove that by the crowds that showed up for the respective candidates. The contrast is really remarkable.
Hillary had a rally on Tuesday in Broward County, in a venue with a capacity of 2,000. So many people showed up that they had to bring in extra seats. This appears to mean that there were up to 2,000 people there.
Hillary Clinton takes the stage in Broward County, praising Patrick Murphy (running for senate against Marco Rubio) pic.twitter.com/O3tZsHGJZF
— Asma Khalid (@asmamk) October 25, 2016
Trump had a rally in Tampa on Monday, in a concert arena with a capacity of 20,000. People were lined up to attend hours in advance, and reportedly, hundreds had to be turned away.
Enthusiastic supporters posted photos and video of the Trump rally.
— Jennifer Lawrence (@JenLawrence21) October 24, 2016
Trump had another rally Tuesday, in Sanford, Florida, attended by about 10,000 people. (Other reports have put the figure higher, but I’ll just go with the 10,000 from the local news.)
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 25, 2016
We’d be remiss to not take note of Tim Kaine’s rally for Hillary in West Palm Beach, where 30 people showed up. Go Tim!
Tens of supporters attend Tim Kaine rally in West Palm Beach, FL. pic.twitter.com/1Sk5cGbDw2
— John Gludovatz (@johngludovatz) October 25, 2016
For completeness, this tweet shows a rally for the Trump-Pence ticket featuring Mike Pence in North Carolina, on Monday 24 October. The Pence rally is on the left.
— Real Jack (@RealJack) October 25, 2016
You’ll look in vain for signs of mobs or madness at these Trump rallies. The huge crowds are just thousands of ordinary Americans.
I don’t know what’s going to happen on 8 November. And neither do the pundits who are checking all the same old chicken entrails to make their predictions.
The chicken entrails said Trump should have been defeated a year ago, if not sooner, and that Jeb! or Marco Rubio should have been the GOP nominee.
At each step along the way – each “devastating” attack on Trump, each faux pas by Trump – the MSM pundits have confidently assumed that this time, the magic of the chicken entrails would kick in. This time, Trump’s goose would finally be cooked. This time, his supporters would abandon him.
Yet each time, the entrail-readers have been wrong. If you look at the visible evidence of Trump’s support versus Hillary’s, in just a 24-hour period in Florida, you really have to ask why you should believe polls that oversample Democrats instead of what you see people actually doing.
Abstract arguments can be made about the polls, and their history of accuracy. But a lot of things that were accurate predictors for all the elections in our lifetimes have failed us in 2016. I see less and less reason to give the polls a pass, and proclaim beforehand that they, unlike everything else, must have retained their occult powers. (Some of the polls do seem to at least be returning sane results – results that comport with what we’re actually seeing at Trump rallies. Jim Hoft’s Gateway Pundit post lists three.)
The record of people swearing by conventional predictors in the 2016 election cycle is abysmal. What my scientific mind tells me is that they keep being wrong, and listening to them is not a high payoff proposition. (They’re wrong about so many things, it’s not any big surprise that they’d be wrong about this as well.)
That doesn’t mean I plan on getting my news from all-in Trump supporters (like Sean Hannity, for example). Their perspective is skewed enough to make you raise your hands and back away too.
But I’m gaining confidence in my sense that virtually all media except the avowed Trump-supporter outlets and pundits are basically driven to attack and defame Trump, rather than report on him with any commonsensical balance. They seem chained to a roller coaster, croaking out a narrative in which Trump is a harbinger of apocalyptic woe. It’s not even a well-oiled or sophisticated effort. It’s more like a lot of desperate people who can’t help themselves.
Never seen anything like it. Trump is no better or worse now than he was two years ago. But his unconventional trajectory in 2016 seems to have driven America’s political establishment into a state of hair-chewing dementia.