Much of late election activity centered on Pennsylvania, Philly

Tom Paine

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The Presidential race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton impacted the Philly area in a multitude of ways.

Besides Mr. Trump, the big winner was South Jersey native Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls), who apparently became a sort of Trump whisperer, making him more or less tow the line down the stretch. Conway, who refers to herself as a 'pollstress' on her twitter profile (I think its been changed to "We Won"), had a keen understanding of the nation's regional and demographic trends, and also demonstrated a sharp legal mind at times (she's an attorney).

On Thursday she tweeted:

in response to some reports saying she wasn't interested in a White House position.

Some people around Trump may see her as a Chief of Staff candidate, but other names have come up more than hers in that regard.

Conway is the first woman to run a winning presidential campaign (sorry Susan).

I wrote about Trump in 2011 as one of two possible candidates that year with Penn ties, and mentioned another who did become President who attended Penn briefly a long long time ago. Perspective is gained over time; I didn't take Trump seriously then.

Penn is in a conundrum as to how to deal with its first alumni President, who is widely disliked on campus.

Ivanka and Donald Jr. both graduated from the Wharton School, and Tiffany received her degree from Penn this past spring.

Speaking of Penn candidates, an email pilfered by Wikileaks showed that former Penn President (and alumnus) Judith Rodin was on a short list of potential Democratic VP candidates. Rodin resigned as head of the Rockefeller Foundation in July.

In late October Trump, speaking in Gettysburg, said that he would block the AT&T/Time Warner merger if President, work to break up Comcast and NBCU, and vaguely threatened to give Amazon {whose founder Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post) trouble. Economic policy, or political retribution against media critics? At any rate I doubt those things will happen, but his relationship with Comcast, with a rather stormy past, will be interesting to watch.

Trump followed up a week later in a speech in King of Prussia by proposing to revitalize the Philadelphia Navy Yard - as a Navy Yard. No idea if that will ever happen; probably just one of those things people throw out in the days before an election.

New Jersey Governor Christie has been superceded as transition chief by Vice President-elect Pence. He now serves as Vice Chair. His future status is up in the air. Some think he may be swept aside due to Bridgegate and other issues; others think he's still in line for a big job, though AG seems a stretch given Bridgegate.

If Christie does leaves for DC, Kim Guadagno would become New Jersey's Governor. Guadagno, who attended Ursinus College in Collegeville, was a prosecutor like Christie was. As Lieutenant Governor (serving concurrently as Secretary of State), she has focused on economic development and has established close ties to the business and tech communities.

Trump surprised Clinton (and the pollsters) by winning Pennsylvania by about 70,000 votes out of about 6 million cast. Most of the networks called the national race when they called Pennsylvania, some time after 1am.

While Clinton rolled up a plurality of more than 450,000 in Philadelphia and won the four surrounding suburban counties, in most of the rest of the state Clinton was swamped by the higher than expected Trump turnout.

David Urban ran Trump's Pennsylvania campaign. A western Pennsylvania native who's spent considerable time in the east (Temple Law and Penn degrees, Ballard Spahr), he focused the campaign's efforts outside of Philadelphia Metro. No rookie in DC (he served as chief of staff for former Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, when Specter was a Republican), GOP leaders are hopeful Trump will give him legislative liaison responsibilities.

I don't have the final tally, but as of October 27 CBS News reported that Pennsylvania had received 18 visits by Trump and Pence, and 18 visits by Clinton and Kaine. And obviously they circled back a few times in the final days. I half expected state agents to show up demanding income tax payments.

FEC data through October 19 show just how much Clinton outspent Trump on rent & salary in Pennsylvania.

Two organizations seemed to get the numbers right. One which look like an outlier before the election was Investor's Business Daily, whose pollster, (New Jersey-based) Technometrica President Raghavan Mayur, described the four keys to his approach: a good sample of likely voters, accurate ratios for party preference, gauging voter enthusiasm, and back testing results.

IBD's Terry Jones suggested that there’s a bit of a "public relations crisis" for the polling industry.

Trump's big data team, based in San Antonio, also claimed to have a pretty clear picture of the ultimate results.

When I think back to the huge Clinton rally in Philadelphia Monday night, it almost had the air of an early victory party. But I wonder in retrospect whether some Clinton staffers knew they were trying to pull a rabbit out of a hat.

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