The Rushmore Report: Eight Reasons Trump Won

Few thought he’d run, but he did. Few thought he’d do well, but he did. Few thought he’d win the nomination, but he did. And fewer thought he’d get elected – but he did. With his commanding Electoral College win, Donald Trump has turned the political world upside down. And looking back, we should have seen this coming. There are eight reasons Donald Trump is the president-elect of the United States.

1. Ultimate Outsider

He ran against the Democrats. He ran against his own party. He ran against the establishment. And each time, he won. Trump distanced himself from Speaker Paul Ryan. He insulted former president George W. Bush. He ridiculed the likes of Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush. This was pure genious. America wanted an outsider – someone with zero ties to the establishment. Donald Trump was that man.

2. The White Wave

While the media was tracking the gender gap and criticizing Trump’s criticizing of Hispanics, he was wise as a serpent. Trump didn’t win because he brought minorities or women over to his side. He played to the working class white guy from Wisconsin or Michigan or Pennsylvania who is hurting. Mr. Trump went all in for the disaffected white voter, and it won him the White House.

3. Kellyanne Conway

The smartest decision Trump made saved him the election. By hiring veteran Republican strategist Kellyanne Conway, he found the one person able to keep him on message. For the last three months, Conway was on CNN more than Wolf Blitzer. And she presented a calm, measured, reassuring persona. Whatever he paid her – it wasn’t enough.

4. Teflon Man

Trump insulted war hero John McCain. He mocked Fox News broadcaster Megyn Kelly. He ridiculed a Hispanic beauty pageant winner. He blasted a Muslim patriot. He said insane things, almost daily. But through it all, Trump remained bulletproof. His gaffes never mattered as much as his outsider credentials.

5. The Comey Factor

It didn’t matter that the FBI Director condemned Clinton, then let her off the hook, only to repeat the cycle in the closing days of the election. James Comey did what even Donald Trump could not do – he kept Clinton’s email debacle on the front pages of the newspapers for months. That served to remind voters that in Clinton they would have a controversy-riddled president.

6. Trusted His Instincts

Trump ran the most unconventional of all political campaigns. But it turned out he knew more than the “experts.” He spent more on “Make America Great Again” caps than on pollsters. He hung out in states like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania that pundits said he could not win. His was a chaotic campaign. Trump trusted his natural instincts – and won.

7. Accessible to the Press

Hillary Clinton ignored the press for up to a year at a time. Reporters couldn’t find her with a search warrant. She appeared to be in the witness protection program. Add your own analogy. Trump, on the other hand, did five appearances a day and could be seen on every station but The Weather Channel – almost on a daily basis. He was outspent 3-to-1. But it didn’t matter. Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC interviews come for free.

8. Democrats’ Flawed Candidate

Some said Trump was the only candidate Clinton could have possibly beaten. It turned out that Clinton was the only candidate Trump could beat. She was a deeply flawed candidate, rife with controversy, cover-ups, and misstatements. But in a room full of midgets, the 5-foot man is a giant. In the end, Trump emerged that giant.

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