It’s official: Donald Trump is now president-elect of the United States. But if the polls and mainstream punditry were to be believed, this was not supposed to happen. After all, there were only a few days last July when the RealClearPolitics polling average had Donald Trump leading Hillary Clinton — and only by a percentage point.
In those days, the Trump campaign enjoyed a bump in the polls from the anti-Clinton vitriol of the RNC that proved popular with the party’s base. Around the same time, things on the Democratic side were not going so well. Party Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned shortly after WikiLeaks published hacked DNC emails that suggested the party had actively worked against Bernie Sanders’s primary campaign.
At this point in the campaign, Trump could have very easily sat back and let the media focus on the disarray in the Democratic Party. But that was never Trump’s style. Instead, at a press conference on July 27, he called on a foreign government — Russia — to find and publicize missing emails from the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
Trump’s brief lead in the polls disappeared and didn’t recover.
As the world knows now, it didn’t matter. What Trump didn’t get in the polls he ultimately got in the vote.
Watch this time capsule video to see several of the key moments from the 2016 election, including some of Hillary Clinton’s highs and lows, set against national polls, as the two candidates went head to head.