Why Trump will be more successful as president than you think

Donald Trump's come from behind victory has rocked the political establishment around the globe. His victory ushered in a political realignment that will have reverberations for the entire political structure in this country. Republicans control the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives and after all the races are called, Republicans will control more raw political power in this country than at any point since the 1920s. It remains to be seen whether or not this new larger more diverse GOP coalition with very divergent policy positions can come together. But, if they do, the congressional logjam will finally be broken.

It's going to take a few months to fully understand what a Trump Administration is going look like, but here are 9 things we know right now:

  1. Donald Trump has the best political instincts of any political leader since Ronald Regan. Despite one's view of him, he is unquestionably masterful at reading where the electorate is and where it's headed. He deserves more credit for this than he's received.
  2. At its core, this election was about an outsider versus as insider. The outsider won and that should have been very predictable.
  3. Turnout was lower that at any point since 2000. Hillary Clinton failed to turnout enough of the Obama core coalition comprised of single women, minorities and young voters to overcome Trump's strong advantage with blue-collar white voters and rural voters. She also trailed President Obama's vote percentage with younger voters and African Americans by 5 points and Hispanics by 6 points.
  4. The polling industry failed and journalists and pundits relied too much on the polls, including yours truly. Polls have nearly always been accurate when predicting political outcomes, including in the primary. But nearly all of them were wrong this fall. News organizations are going to re-think their reliance on polling in future elections.
  5. Donald Trump will be able to get a significant amount of policy passed if he strikes the right tone with House and Senate leadership early.
  6. Next year, Republicans will face major battles with themselves over raising the debt ceiling and what the pay-fors will be on tax reform and infrastructure spending. See point 5.
  7. As of this writing, Hillary Clinton was winning the popular vote. If this holds, too many Democrats will consider his presidency illegitimate. If he's to be successful, Donald Trump will need to give more unifying speeches like the one he gave on Election night.
  8. The Supreme Court will remain center right. And, if other justices retire, conservatives will take an actual majority. This is a central reason many people with questions about a Trump presidency voted for him
  9. We'll see no more Clinton campaigns. For that, Republicans can all celebrate.

Commentary by Sara Taylor Fagen, a partner at DDC Advocacy and a former political director for President George W. Bush. Follow her on Twitter @sarafagen2.

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