I'm James Oliphant, political correspondent for Reuters. Although there was really no way to write it, it was more of a feeling, as I traveled around Wisconsin two weeks before the election. The difference in enthusiasm between the people who supported Trump and the people who supported Clinton was so clear.
It was a reminder that sometimes, as political journalists, we can outsmart ourselves. The bottom line is, when I was in Wisconsin, only one campaign was doing work. And that was the Trump campaign. Clinton never went to Wisconsin, and this was true all over the Midwest. Trump was showing up, his campaign was showing up.
The Republicans were working the campaign, and the Democrats just weren't. And the reports I was getting out of Milwaukee, and places that Clinton needed to win, were not good. We heard similar stories in Ohio and Michigan. If you look at two candidates and pretend you don't know their names, you don't know one is Donald Trump, and you don't know one is Hillary Clinton.
And you say, well, one gets the big crowds, one has all the enthusiasm, one seems to have all the momentum, and the other one instead has a hard time generating that kind of enthusiasm, you would think that the first candidate would be the favorite. But we never treated Donald Trump that way.
We always thought that the numbers, in the end, would come out in Clinton's favor. And they almost did, to her credit and in her defense. And at the end of the day, even though election night felt like a surprise, maybe it shouldn't have been.