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Professor Bill Schneider (REUTERS) Americans don’t think Trump is qualified. Why they elected him anyway.
November 10, 2016

“Up the Establishment!” That was the message voters sent when they elected Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States. It was a message of anger and frustration – and defiance.

Trump's success defied all the conventional political rules. Sixty percent of the voters had an unfavorable opinion of Trump, according to the exit polls – higher than Hillary Clinton's 54 percent unfavorable. And yet Trump won. Sixty-three percent said Trump is not honest and trustworthy – higher than Clinton's 61 percent. And yet Trump won.

Only 38 percent said Trump is qualified to serve as president, while 52 percent said Clinton is qualified. And yet Trump won. Americans elected a candidate they don't believe is qualified!

The vote was a vehement repudiation of the status quo by half the electorate. As the final votes were being tallied Wednesday morning, Trump and Clinton were running neck and neck in the popular vote. Many of the Trump voters were Republicans enraged by the liberalism of the Obama administration. A lot of Republicans had qualms about Trump and did not regard him as a true conservative. In the end, however, they came home because the prospect of another liberal administration led by Clinton alarmed them. Ninety percent of Republicans ended up voting for Trump.

Trump also attracted a huge following of working-class white voters, many of whom had voted Democratic in the past. They felt threatened by the changes happening in the country: globalization, job loss, immigration and political correctness. His supporters were thrilled by Trump's show of defiance toward Washington, the media, the Republican establishment and received wisdom. Example: Trump has called climate change “a hoax, a money-making industry.” He defies science!

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