The worst 2016 election predictions of the year
On June 29, 2016, former Obama campaign head David Plouffe was beyond confident that Donald Trump didn't stand a chance in November's presidential election. So confident, in fact, that he tweeted "The race is not close. And it won't be on November 8th. 350+ electoral votes for Clinton." Following Trump's upset, Plouffe said that he had "never been as wrong on anything on my life."
Plouffe was not alone.
Throughout the presidential primary season, and well into the general campaign between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, 2016 was a year filled with twists, turns, 3 a.m. tweets and incorrect predictions that Trump didn't stand a chance at winning the title of commander in chief.
Trump was consistently at the forefront of the year's worst predictions and, to the dismay of many, he proved the "losers" and the "haters" wrong perpetually throughout his presidential campaign.
In March of 2016, former ESPN/MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann confidently proclaimed that not only was a Trump presidency "impossible," but even the Republican nomination for the billionaire businessman was a fever dream.
"I don't think he has a reasonable chance of being elected. At this point, from what I'm hearing, I don't even think he's going to get the nomination. Because I think the Republican Party is going to say, everybody who is in the Republican Party goes if he wins, we all lose our jobs," Olbermann said during an appearance on ABC's "The View."
But political pundits weren't the only ones wrong in 2016. Political scientists also took a pretty significant hit. Polling wizard Nate Silver's Election Forecast gave Trump only a 30 percent chance of winning on Election Day -- and his site's model is held in high esteem as one of the most accurate political predictors.
The New York Times' UpShot forecast on the other hand gave Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton an 85 percent chance of winning. VoteCastr, a startup that claimed to provide users an unprecedented glimpse of "the game as it unfolds," still had Clinton leading in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin and Iowa at 9 p.m. on election night. Trump would go on to win all of those states.
Newsweek prematurely printed an entire special edition of its magazine commemorating Clinton's historic victory that never was. New York Times columnist Ross Douthat declared multiple times "it won't be Trump." President Obama and his staff reportedly couldn't imagine a Trump victory.
Ezra Klein of Vox.com didn't take Trump's chances seriously during the primaries or general election. Clinton's own staff were so sure they were on the brink of history that they reportedly popped the cork on the celebratory champagne hours before polls closed on Election Day.
While many, many, 2016 election predictions were wrong, online radio upstart and liberal's favorite punching bag of 2016 Bill Mitchell was not one of them.
Mitchell often faced ridicule for his tweets confidently proclaiming Trump to be winning, often in the face of polling that showed otherwise. "Trump's groundgame isn't in a computer, it's in our hearts," Mitchell once tweeted.
Mitchell ended up making the small list of talking heads who guessed right regarding the 2016 election, along with Ann Coulter and Michael Moore.