< Go Back

How to Know an Election is Over

How to Know an Election is Over

    In the 2D world in which most people live, Clinton and Trump are polling about evenly, and either one could win. The 2D world is all about facts and policies and common sense. In other words – all the stuff we think we care about but really don’t. 

    In the 3D world of persuasion, however, the election is already over. There is still some mystery about how large the margin will be, but Trump is already the President of the United States unless something big happens in the next few weeks. How do I know that?

    Listen to this clip in which Clinton asks why she isn’t leading by 50 points. Ignore the content of what she says, because no one cares about content. Just feel it.

    And see the future.

    In other news…

    You might be wondering if Trump made mistakes this week when he mentioned both profiling and “stop and frisk.” Persuasion-wise, both comments are mistakes, because they work against his outreach strategy that has been effective. But these are minor problems because the news is providing the best-possible context for Trump’s comments. 

    On some level, everyone knows the government of the United States is already profiling, and will continue doing so. We just call it something else. No one believes that the U.S. checks Swedish immigrants as thoroughly as Syrian immigrants. Clearly we already profile – not just for race, but probably according to a dozen other variables. (And Islam still isn’t a race.)

    Trump’s “stop and frisk” comment will haunt him for a few weeks, but it comes in the context of outrage about an African-American policeman killing an African-American citizen. According to the pundits on TV, that changed the frame from a problem of white-versus-black to a question of police training. And even Trump is asking why the police shot a man in Tulsa who appeared to be surrendering. 

    Trump is consistent in staking out whatever is the most bad-ass sounding position on all matters of security. Later, following his well-observed pattern, he negotiates down to something that doesn’t violate the Constitution so much. So I wouldn’t worry about “stop and frisk” becoming a thing. States will figure out that stuff on their own.

    You might love my book because it loves you.

More Episodes