It’s worth asking. It was a very close election, and so a little careful cheating could have changed the outcome.
I’ve always assumed that in a country as big as the USA, there is bound to be some cheating in national elections, but that it is on a small scale, and people from both sides do it, so it more or less evens out.
There is, however, reason to think 2016 was particularly ripe for cheating, due to two facts:
- Earlier in the year, the FBI warned that the Russian government was hacking U.S. voting systems.
- Donald Trump was singularly sympathetic to Russia throughout his campaign–not only in comparison to Clinton, but also in comparison to his rivals for the Republican nomination.
I am not saying that the Russians hacked the election in order to ensure their preferred candidate won. I am just saying that if that did happen, it would look exactly like what has happened.
Trump and his staff kept saying throughout the campaign that the polls were wrong, and they had secret supporters in the Rust Belt. And sure enough, that is exactly the way it appeared to play out on election night, with Trump narrowly pulling upsets in states like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.
Maybe Trump is an instinctive political genius who could intuitively sense what the professional analysts were all missing. Or… maybe those secret Trump supporters were really deep cover. As in, perhaps they only existed as lines of binary code.
Again, I’m not saying I think this is the case. To my mind, the election results match up perfectly with what the charisma theory would predict. That seems like the most likely explanation.
But because the Press got their predictions of how it would play out so wrong, it seems to me they should at least look into whether it might have been stolen, rather than simply assuming it wasn’t–just as they previously had assumed Clinton couldn’t lose.