The 2016 presidential race was between Donald Trump, a force of nature, and Hillary Clinton, a spent liberal force.
There is no argument among election analysts and experts that the historic 2016 presidential race between billionaire TV celebrity Donald Trump (who never held elected office), and Hillary Clinton (first woman nominee of a major political party) was decided in its final eventful week. There is no argument that because Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were the two most unlikable and least trustworthy candidates in U.S. history that the number of very late undecided voters (19 million or 14% of 137 million voters) was perhaps the largest ever. And lastly there is no argument that by landslide numbers these very late deciders broke for Donald Trump giving him the crucial edge of 78,000 votes in the three key swing states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan to win the presidency. Indeed, eradicate these 19 million and Hillary would now be president.
But there is fierce disagreement over why most of these very late deciders chose Trump over Hillary when they saw him as somewhat less likable and trustworthy, and hugely less experienced and qualified than Hillary lacking the character, temperament and judgement for the job. Some believe that it was Russian interference in the election directed by Vladimir Putin; that the hacked emails of John Podesta and the DNC (which were embarrassing to Hillary and published on Wikileaks by Clinton hater Julian Assange) turned enough of the late undeciders against Hillary to win the election for Trump.
Still others like polling analyst Nate Silver of 538, and Clinton friend and supporter Lanny Davis (in his recent book above) blame it on the "Comey Effect." - FBI Director James Comey's October 28th surprise letter informing Congress that the FBI was reopening the Hillary Clinton email investigation. These argue that the Comey Effect (which Democrat pollster John Zogby proves was real and negatively impacted many see), gave the late deciders a bias favoring Trump over Hillary.
But as you will see from the debate below (based on post-election polling data from Zogby and, more importantly, exit poll data from CNN) the Russian-Wiki Effect and Comey Effect weren't key factors either together or separately in determining Trump's victory. Indeed, what drove the November deciders to break for Trump were the two key issues of the ECONOMY and CHANGE.
Indeed, as you will see from the raw data this great mass of mostly middle class voters wanted ECONOMIC CHANGE - a NEW DIRECTION for the economy and country from the disastrous Bush and Obama years. And after a raucous, tumultuous 16 month campaign the late deciders after hearing eccentric, anti-establishment, iconoclastic billionaire Trump promising consistently and with brute rhetorical force radical economic and national change he seemed (despite his many flaws) the true, authentic, more credible CHANGE CANDIDATE than tired, liberal elitist, Washington insider Hillary.
The Comey Letter Probably Cost Clinton The Election - says Nate Silver of 538