From the time Donald Trump announced his White House bid, there has been no shortage of establishment media outlets predicting his defeat.
Indeed, as the weeks and months marked Trump’s ever-apparent political preeminence, the pundits, pollsters, and prognosticators doubted and declared his collapse inevitable.
Even as Trump, a real estate mogul-turned-reality TV star, clinched the Republican presidential nomination, the affirmations of his failure kept coming.
The very establishment media and pollsters who benefitted from Trump’s celebrity before branding him leader of a deplorable political base will stand against his governance.
In fact, now that Trump — who received a single newspaper endorsement and defied every law of modern politics, winning states Republicans have not conquered in decades — has won the presidency, it’s worth noting the many establishment media organs and pollsters who said he would not win.
1. The New York Times: “Donald Trump will not be the Republican nominee.”
“Despite all the evidence that fortune favors him, Donald Trump will not be the Republican nominee,” wrote Ross Douthat.
2. The Washington Post: “Let’s dispense with the notion that Trump has a real shot at winning in November.”
“To borrow a phrase from one of the men trailing Trump: Let’s dispense with the notion that Trump has a real shot at winning in November,” wrote Post digital opinions editor James Downie.
3. CNN: Donald Trump lost this election “from the first day he announced.”
On the eve of the election, CNN contributor Hilary Rosen said, “Tomorrow night, I think, when Hillary Clinton wins, Donald Trump will have lost this election from the first day he announced.”
4. Fox News analyst Charles Krauthammer:
When Bill O’Reilly asked him on Election Night if he would “make a prediction that Hillary Clinton’s the next president,” Krauthammer said, “If you force me, I’ll take it.”
5. Comedy Central: “Mr. Trump …. you’re not going to be president.”
Former Colbert Report host Stephen Colbert said, “And so, right now, Mr. Trump, to answer your call for political honestly, I just sat to say: you’re not going to be president.”
6. CNBC: “Donald Trump can’t win.”
Writing about the first presidential debate, Politico’s chief economic correspondent and a CNBC contributor said, “Trump needed a breakthrough performance to turn his momentum into a real lead. Instead, he was the Donald Trump the nation came to know during the GOP primaries. And that Donald Trump can’t win.”
7. The Huffington Post: “Donald Trump will not, cannot, win the general election for U.S president.”
“It’s time for the media to stop pretending otherwise in order to live off of Trump click bait,” wrote a Huffpo Canada contributor.
8. The LA Times: “Don’t panic, Democrats, Hillary Clinton will beat Donald Trump.”
“Who wins a race for both POTUS and SCOTUS between a tough-love mom and your crazy uncle? Based on historic trends and their comparative assets, my best guess is that Clinton prevails by at least 53% to 46%, perhaps even a double-digit landslide,” wrote radio host Mark Green. “The most unpopular presidential nominee ever won’t be elected president. At least not if Democrats remember Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes’ admonition: ‘The way the inevitable came to pass was effort.’”
9. The Guardian: “Trump won’t win. In fact, the U.S. could be on the brink of a liberal renaissance.”
“Trump won’t win. In fact, the U.S. could be on the brink of a liberal renaissance,” wroteMichael Cohen. “With voters set to reject their nominee, Republicans could lose control of Congress, ushering in a progressive era.”
10. Karl Rove: “Trump Can’t Win General Election.”
Longtime Bush strategist Karl Rove said on MSNBC that “Republicans are not going to win this next election by finding a missing magic cache of conservative voters who have heretofore loyally supported us but were turned off by those arch liberals John McCain and Mitt Romney.”
11. George Will said Donald Trump will be “tempted to run, [but] he will be, predictably, shellacked.”
12. CNBC chief Washington correspondent John Harwood:
“Donald Trump will not be the Republican nominee,” Hardwood said. “Once we get past the first couple of states and the field consolidates, that’s when Donald Trump will be vulnerable.”
13. Nate Silver:
“He’s very far to the right on immigration, but he also wants socialised medicine. He wants to tax the rich, right? There’s an alternate reality in which he decided to run as a Democrat instead — he wouldn’t have to change his policy positions all that much.”
14. Frank Luntz: “Hillary Clinton will be the next President of the United States.”
On Election Night, as Americans were still casting their votes, pollster Frank Luntz was confidently declaring Hillary Clinton America’s next president.
“Tim Kaine’s Senate seat will open up, and they will have a special election,” Luntz said of the Virginia senator and former vice presidential candidate.
“In case I wasn’t clear enough from my previous tweets,” Luntz continued, “Hillary Clinton will be the next President of the United States.”
15. Real Clear Politics senior elections analyst Sean Trende: “There’s probably a 90% chance Trump loses at this point.”
Trende declared on Twitter on November 4, “So look, barring some sort of systemic polling failure, there’s probably a 90% chance Trump loses at this point. Still can be a late break.”
He doubled down just hours before Election Day, saying, “For those wondering, nothing has pushed me off my presidential predictions from last week.
Asked which candidate would win Florida, Trende said, “Clinton.”
16. NBC analyst Mike Murphy:
Asked one day before Election Day if he “still think Trump loses,” Murphy said, “Yes.”
17. The Daily Beast: “Why Trump Is Going to Lose Big.”
More than 15 months after he explained “Why Trump Will Never Make the Ballot,” former chief strategist for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign Stuart Stevens explained, “Why Trump Is Going to Lose Big.”
“His candidacy, aimed at an electorate that no longer exists, is a classic example of losing five bucks on every sale and trying to make it up in volume,” Stevens wrote.
18. BuzzFeed: “The Night Donald Trump Became a Loser.”
“But now Trump finds himself battling not just campaign rivals, but a label he has spent his entire life fiercely resisting, even as he hurls it at his most disdained enemies: loser,” wrote McKay Coppins, a senior writer for the BuzzFeed News.
19. Bloomberg: “Seriously, Trump Won’t Win.”
“In short, everything we know about how presidential nominations work says Trump isn’t going to be the nominee, or even come close,” wrote Bloomberg View columnist Jonathan Bernstein.
20. Forbes: “Why Donald Trump Won’t Win Wisconsin.”
“Donald Trump’s threats of trade wars and hollow claims to bring back American manufacturing jobs have not struck a chord with many Wisconsin voters because they do not reflect the state’s economic situation,” wrote Forbes guest contributor Noah Williams, a professor of economics at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
21. The National Memo: “5 Reasons Trump Won’t Win in November — and One Way He Could.”
“Here are five reasons why Donald Trump won’t be the next [P]resident of the United States. And, to combat complacence, an additional pitch on why you should still be working your ass off to defeat him,” wrote National Memo contributor @LOLGOP.
22. The New York Daily News: “Stephen Bannon hire shows Donald Trump’s campaign plans on losing ‘in the most destructive way possible.’”
“But the shakeup last week, some experts say, was actually to seal his fate — a ‘yuge’ November loss — by bringing in flashy advisers who will just let him be himself, and let his circus tent crash and burn,” wrote Adam Edelman, a political reporter at the Daily News.
23. The Nation: “Relax, Donald Trump Can’t Win.”
Writing under the headline, “Relax, Donald Trump Can’t Win,” Jon Weiner said of Trump, “Even before you get to his campaign’s incompetence and lackluster fundraising, the numbers just aren’t on his side.”
24. Slate: “Donald Trump Isn’t Going to Be President.”
“Donald Trump Isn’t Going to Be President,” wrote Slate’s chief political correspondent Jamelle Bouie.
“He’d have to win unprecedented shares of the very kinds of voters who hate him: blacks, Latinos, and women,” Bouie said of Trump. “Donald Trump has to become a radically different person to win. Donald Trump isn’t going to win.”
25. Salon: “Donald Trump will not be president: History, polling data and demographics all point to a single result.”
“You won’t have to move to Canada. Trump is more likely to lose in a historic rout than he is to win the White House,” wrote Anthony J. Gaughan.
Vaughn continues, “The bottom line is Republican leaders with an eye on the future don’t want anything to do with Trump. They know the name ‘Trump’ will likely join Goldwater, McGovern and Mondale as names forever associated with crushing presidential election defeats.”
26. The New Republic: “Donald Trump Will Be Buried in an Electoral Avalanche.”
“Recent presidential elections have been close, but this is the man to lose bigly,” wrote New Republic senior editor Jeet Heer. “But with Donald Trump at the helm, the Republican Party faces the prospect of a historic landslide closer to the creamings received by Barry Goldwater in 1964 (who lost by 23.6 points), George McGovern in 1972 (24.2 percentage points), and Walter Mondale in 1984 (19.4 percentage points).”
“At this point, the only real question appears to be how huge (or beautiful—pick your Trumpian adjective) the margin will be.”
27. Vox: “Here’s what I think Donald Trump’s loss will look like.”
“Trump could just … not win. He could lose the Iowa caucuses. He could fall short in New Hampshire. A loss in any early state might lead to a loss in every state,” wrote Vox editor-in-chief Ezra Klein. “Losing a presidential primary is often like going bankrupt: It happens slowly, then all at once.”
Klein continued: “But this is, I think, what will happen to Trump. He will lead until he doesn’t. His fall will be quick, and it won’t obey the apparent rules of his rise. If there is a reason for it, it will fundamentally be, “People get more pragmatic the closer they get to an actual vote.” As much as Republicans tell pollsters they think Trump can win the general election, I am skeptical they will truly believe that come Election Day.”
28. Jezebel: “Donald Trump Is Not Going to Win.”
“Chill, America: Donald Trump Is Not Going to Win,” Jezebel editor Joanna Rothkopf wrote.
29. U.S. News & World Report: “Why Trump Will Lose.”
“Simply put, America’s political institutions – from the parties to the Electoral College – are designed to prevent the successful capture of them by both dictators and mobs,” wroteU.S. News contributor and George Washington University program director of the Political Management Program Lara Brown. “As such, brute force won’t work. Since Donald Trump knows little else, his candidacy won’t succeed.
30. Fortune: “Mike Pence Is Better Than Newt Gingrich, but Won’t Win Trump the Presidency.”
“Pence is not going to win the election for Donald Trump, but he will greatly assist Trump if Trump can beat Clinton in November,” wrote Donald Brand.
31. The Week: “Donald Trump broke all the rules to win the Republican primary. He can’t do the same against Hillary Clinton.”
“From where Trump sits, having his presidential campaign consist of little more than mounting rallies, phoning in to Fox & Friends and Morning Joe, and thinking up Twitter burns to fire at any and all who displease him might seem like a winning strategy,” wrotePaul Waldman. After all, that’s all that it took to win the nomination. But a general election, which plays out all at once and not one state at a time, and which requires an exponentially more complex organization to execute, is a whole other matter.”
“Perhaps Trump thinks it’s just too much bother, and he can keep winging it. But he may be in for an unpleasant surprise,” he said.
32. The Sydney Morning Herald: “Donald Trump will not win the U.S. election, worse still, he’ll be a sore loser.”
“On Wednesday, Americans will awake from a nightmare. Donald Trump will not be their president,” wrote Sydney Morning Herald chief foreign correspondent Paul McGeough.
“In defeat, Trump will have much to get even about,” he continued.
“Losing spectacularly before the eyes of the nation and the world will be a severe psychological blow, probably prompting a ‘wounded animal’ or ‘cunning rat’ response – or a mix of the two. The fall from would-be leader of the Western world to feather duster will take a considerable adjustment.”