This article was written by Richard Gardner, founder and CEO of Modulus Global.
Trump has been leading the headlines. Few presidents have held the office without previous elected experience. The few that have? Wartime generals and cabinet members. That, in part, seems to be what has confused the media. Donald Trump just can’t be president, they think.
Pollsters continually under-polled President-Elect Trump. Even in the primaries, he rarely under-performed. Even typically semi-reliable exit polling missed the boat this year. Perhaps one of the most honest assessments came from Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. “The polls were largely bad, including mine,” he said. “But if anyone thinks they have the answer right now, they are just guessing.”
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The reality is that it will take the pollsters months to analyze what happened. To figure out what went wrong. President-Elect Trump exceeded expectations by a wide margin in the rust belt: in Ohio, Wisconsin and Iowa by more than 6%, far outside the margins of error. In Pennsylvania, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Michigan, by over 4%. And, this week, pundits are left to pick up the pieces.
If you’ve been watching the financial sites, they all have predictions: which stocks will jump after a Trump election, which stocks will fall, why the market dropped, how far it would drop, and then, why the market rebounded. This has been a crazy election cycle. As soon as a pundit says something can’t happen, seemingly, the next day, it happens. And, the crazier things got, the more aggressive the pundits, trying to make up for past bad predictions with new, ultimately bad, predictions.
Eventually, these pollsters will figure out what happened. They’ll be able to tell us why their algorithms went sour. The market will stabilize, and if they’re smart, the pundits will get back on track by analyzing the past rather than the future. What comes next, we don’t know. We don’t know what a Trump administration will bring. Nobody in the pundit class wants to admit that. Worrying about what comes next, at this point, is a waste of energy. Focus on the betterment of your business, your family, and your financial future.
Prepare for the worst, always sage advice. But, don’t make emotional, rash decisions. The fact is that we don’t know how Trump will govern. So, before we start jumping to conclusions, which, if history is any indication, may well be fallacy, let’s see what happens in the first 100 days. Until then, those who voted for Trump need to extend the olive branch to those who did not. And, those who voted for Clinton need to accept that olive branch. Rooting against Trump, or any president, is like rooting against the pilot of the plane on which you are flying, 40,000 feet above the ground. It is time to come together, move forward, and hope for the best. We are Americans. Not Republicans. Not Democrats. Americans. If we can do that, the rest will fall into place.