Politics | Analysis
November 8, 2017 at 1:35 PM
This article has been updated.
One year ago Wednesday, Donald Trump accomplished the unexpected. Because of about 78,000 votes in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, he won the electoral votes needed to be elected president. Pundits generally expected Hillary Clinton to win, on the strength of national polling showing her with a slight edge. She did have that edge in the popular vote, but winning California in a landslide didn’t give her any more electoral votes to add to her total.
So Trump won — and he hasn’t stopped talking about it since.
In May, we tried to assess how often Trump had broached the subject. According to our analysis (leveraging the data collections at TrumpTwitterArchive and Factba.se), we found that he had mentioned the election on one out of every three days since Nov. 8, 2016.
Since then, the pace has slowed. Over the past 365 days, we found 77 on which he has either mentioned Clinton’s campaign or his victory. We excluded mentions of campaign promises, because those are not atypical for a president. Update: Trump tweeted about his win on Wednesday, so numbers throughout this article have been updated.
Instead, we logged comments such as this one, made five days after his inauguration: “I would’ve won the popular vote if I was campaigning for the popular vote. I would’ve gone to California, where I didn’t go at all. I would’ve gone to New York, where I didn’t campaign at all.”
Or this, from Tuesday: “It is interesting that it is one year, as of tomorrow, that we had our election victory. And it was a great victory, and a victory that made a lot of people very happy.”
We also included mentions of the role Russia played (or, per Trump, didn’t play) in the electoral outcome. Trump’s defenses against charges that his campaign colluded with the foreign power inflate the results to some extent. But most of the mentions are unrelated to Russia — and unprompted.
We didn’t include every mention Trump made of the election. On many days — including during his post-election campaign speeches — Trump has referred to his victory multiple times. Our point is the breadth of his interest in the outcome.
Without further ado, the past 365 days of Trump mentioning the 2016 election, coded by the manner in which he raised the subject.
There have been several lulls in Trump’s mentioning the campaign. One recent period was in the wake of the hurricanes that hit Texas and Florida, in late August.
Seventy-seven out of 365 days is about 21 percent of the days that Trump has been president. For what it’s worth, that’s almost exactly the same pace at which he has played golf since being inaugurated.
Trump has not yet mentioned his victory on its anniversary. According to our analysis, there’s a 1-in-5 chance that he will. Update: He beat the odds.
Includes only one example per day.
Nov. 9, 2016. Speech/comments.
“I can only say that while the campaign is over, our work on this movement is now really just beginning.”
Nov. 10. Twitter.
” Just had a very open and successful presidential election. Now professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair! “
Nov. 13. Interview.
“You and a few people that asked that question. Obviously, the public didn’t care because I won the election very easily. So they don’t care. I never thought they did care.”
Nov. 15. Twitter.
“If the election were based on total popular vote I would have campaigned in N.Y. Florida and California and won even bigger and more easily”
Nov. 18. Speech/comments.
“I said, ‘What about me? I won the election.’”
Nov. 23. Interview.
“I think that’s the genius of the electoral college. I was never a fan of the electoral college until now.”
Nov. 26. Twitter.
“The Democrats, when they incorrectly thought they were going to win, asked that the election night tabulation be accepted. Not so anymore!”
Nov. 27. Twitter.
“It would have been much easier for me to win the so-called popular vote than the Electoral College in that I would only campaign in 3 or 4-”
Nov. 28. Twitter.
“.@CNN is so embarrassed by their total (100%) support of Hillary Clinton, and yet her loss in a landslide, that they don’t know what to do.”
Nov. 29. Twitter.
“I thought that @CNN would get better after they failed so badly in their support of Hillary Clinton however, since election, they are worse! “
Dec. 9. Speech/comments.
“Until the election came and then, boy, did we blast by that 270, right? 306. 306.”
Dec. 12. Twitter.
“Can you imagine if the election results were the opposite and WE tried to play the Russia/CIA card. It would be called conspiracy theory!”
Dec. 15. Twitter.
“If Russia, or some other entity, was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act? Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?”
Dec. 16. Twitter.
“Are we talking about the same cyberattack where it was revealed that head of the DNC illegally gave Hillary the questions to the debate?”
Dec. 18. Twitter.
“If my many supporters acted and threatened people like those who lost the election are doing, they would be scorned & called terrible names! “
Dec. 19. Twitter.
“We did it! Thank you to all of my great supporters, we just officially won the election (despite all of the distorted and inaccurate media). “
Dec. 20. Twitter.
“Bill Clinton stated that I called him after the election. Wrong, he called me (with a very nice congratulations). He “doesn’t know much””
Dec. 21. Twitter.
“Campaigning to win the Electoral College is much more difficult & sophisticated than the popular vote. Hillary focused on the wrong states!”
Dec. 23. Twitter.
“Vladimir Putin said today about Hillary and Dems: “In my opinion, it is humiliating. One must be able to lose with dignity.” So true!”
Dec. 27. Twitter.
“President Obama campaigned hard (and personally) in the very important swing states, and lost.The voters wanted to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
Jan. 2, 2017. Twitter.
“Various media outlets and pundits say that I thought I was going to lose the election. Wrong, it all came together in the last week and…..”
Jan. 6. Twitter.
“Hillary and the Dems were never going to beat the PASSION of my voters. They saw what was happening in the last two weeks before the…”
Jan. 7. Twitter.
“Intelligence stated very strongly there was absolutely no evidence that hacking affected the election results. Voting machines not touched!”
Jan. 11. Twitter.
“I win an election easily, a great “movement” is verified, and crooked opponents try to belittle our victory with FAKE NEWS. A sorry state!”
Jan. 13. Twitter.
“have been allowed to run — guilty as hell. They were VERY nice to her. She lost because she campaigned in the wrong states — no enthusiasm!”
Jan. 14. Twitter.
“mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk — no action or results. Sad!”
Jan. 16. Interview.
“I had the biggest crowds anybody’s ever had for a presidential election and that’s tough and when I was fighting with Jeb Bush, ya know “low energy” Jeb, he would say, ‘Donald Trump is not a conservative,’ so I’d go in front of 25,000 people and, like in Michigan, where there’s massive — 32,000 people — and I’m screaming, ‘Jeb Bush says I’m not a conservative,’ they’re screaming, ‘Who cares?’ ”
Jan. 17. Twitter.
“The same people who did the phony election polls, and were so wrong, are now doing approval rating polls. They are rigged just like before. “
Jan. 19. Speech/comments.
“We all knew that last month of the campaign. I think a lot of us knew the first week of the campaign, but that last month of the campaign, we knew that something special was happening”
Jan. 21. Speech/comments.
“We were unbelievably successful in the election with getting the vote of the military. And probably almost everybody in this room voted for me, but I will not ask you to raise your hands if you did.”
Jan. 22. Twitter.
“Watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election! Why didn’t these people vote? Celebs hurt cause badly.”
Jan. 25. Interview.
“I would’ve won the popular vote if I was campaigning for the popular vote. I would’ve gone to California, where I didn’t go at all. I would’ve gone to New York, where I didn’t campaign at all.”
Jan. 26. Interview.
“So we have George Washington, Honest Abe Lincoln, we have Andrew Jackson, who they say was the most like my campaign because his was a vicious campaign.”
Jan. 28. Twitter.
“The failing @nytimes has been wrong about me from the very beginning. Said I would lose the primaries, then the general election. FAKE NEWS!”
Feb. 4. Twitter.
“After being forced to apologize for its bad and inaccurate coverage of me after winning the election, the FAKE NEWS @nytimes is still lost!”
Feb. 5. Interview.
“Now, we had a rough campaign. He was fighting better for Hillary than she did. He was vicious during the campaign toward me, and I was vicious toward him. We said horrible things about each other. And then we hopped into the car and we drive down Pennsylvania Avenue together.”
Feb. 6. Twitter.
“The failing @nytimes was forced to apologize to its subscribers for the poor reporting it did on my election win. Now they are worse!”
Feb. 13. Speech/comments.
“I’m just doing what I said I would do when we won by a very, very large electoral college vote.”
Feb. 15. Twitter.
“This Russian connection non-sense is merely an attempt to cover-up the many mistakes made in Hillary Clinton’s losing campaign.”
Feb. 16. Twitter.
“The Democrats had to come up with a story as to why they lost the election, and so badly (306), so they made up a story — RUSSIA. Fake news!”
Feb. 17. Speech/comments.
“We are going to rebuild this country and ensure that every forgotten community has the bright future it deserves. And by the way, those communities are forgotten no longer. The election took care of that. “
Feb. 18. Speech/comments.
“They stood up for us in this last election. We got numbers that nobody believed were possible from law enforcement and from military. Basically people they wear uniforms like us. Isn’t that nice.”
Feb. 24. Speech/comments.
“They’re largely — many of them are the side that lost, you know they lost the election. It’s like, how many elections do we have to have? They lost the election.”
Feb. 26. Twitter.
“Russia talk is FAKE NEWS put out by the Dems, and played up by the media, in order to mask the big election defeat and the illegal leaks!”
Feb. 27. Interview.
“The fact is, I did pretty well, much better than past people in the Republican Party in the recent election having to do with Hispanics. Having to do with African Americans. I did pretty well or I wouldn’t be sitting here.”
March 2. Twitter.
“…to win. The Democrats are overplaying their hand. They lost the election, and now they have lost their grip on reality. The real story..”
March 4. Twitter.
“How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!”
March 15. Speech/comments.
“Today, I will be visiting the home of Andrew Jackson on the 250th anniversary of his birth. And they say my election was most similar to his — 1828. That’s a long time ago. Usually they go back like to this one, or that one, 12 years ago, 16. I mean, 1828, that’s a long way.”
March 17. Speech/comments.
“I think we have a very unified party. I think, actually, more unified than even the election. You see when they talk about me, I seem to be very popular, at least this week within the party.”
March 20. Twitter.
“The Democrats made up and pushed the Russian story as an excuse for running a terrible campaign. Big advantage in Electoral College & lost!”
March 21. Speech/comments.
“We have so much potential. I see it now even more than I saw it in this great campaign, which turned out to be a movement, a movement like the world has never seen before actually.”
March 22. Interview.
“Remember they said there was no way to get to 270? Well, I ended up at 306. I had election night, 306. But there was no way to get to, in fact, I went to Maine four times, four times I went to Maine, because I had to get one vote, because there was no way to get to 270, but I ended up getting to 306.”
March 24. Speech/comments.
“Charter’s announcement follows a number of American businesses — from Exxon to Intel to Lockheed to Boeing to many others — that have recently announced billions of dollars in investment and thousands of jobs coming into the United States following my election victory.”
March 28. Speech/comments.
“I want to thank your entire leadership team, including your national president, Chuck Canterbury. I also want to thank you for your support during the election. I guess you probably know, the numbers were extremely lopsided, right? I’m just trying to figure out who were the few people that voted the other way. “
March 29. Twitter.
“Remember when the failing @nytimes apologized to its subscribers, right after the election, because their coverage was so wrong. Now worse!”
March 31. Twitter.
“Mike Flynn should ask for immunity in that this is a witch hunt (excuse for big election loss), by media & Dems, of historic proportion!”
April 3. Twitter.
“Did Hillary Clinton ever apologize for receiving the answers to the debate? Just asking!”
April 4. Speech/comments.
“Remember they said — because the electoral college is a very, very hard, they say, almost impossible for a Republican to win. The odds are stacked.”
April 5. Interview.
“They thought they were going to win. You know, winning the electoral college is, for a Republican, is close to impossible and I won it quite easily. And I think they are still recovering from that, but they are recovering now.”
April 12. Interview.
“We have never ever had the optimism that we have now over the last 90 days or since the Trump election. “
April 16. Twitter.
“Someone should look into who paid for the small organized rallies yesterday. The election is over!”
April 17. Twitter.
“The Fake Media (not Real Media) has gotten even worse since the election. Every story is badly slanted. We have to hold them to the truth!”
April 19. Speech/comments.
“Just a quick story about the coach. So I had won the primaries, and I’m now in this rather heated election that a few of you have read about. And he wrote me this beautiful letter after the primaries. ‘Congratulations.’ He said all sorts of things that were really good.”
April 21. Interview.
“The Democrats, they have a big advantage in the electoral college. Big, big, big advantage. I’ve always said the popular vote would be a lot easier than the electoral college. The electoral college — but it’s a whole different campaign (unintelligible). The electoral college is very difficult for a Republican to win, and I will tell you, the people want to see it.”
April 23. Twitter.
“…popular vote. ABC News/Washington Post Poll (wrong big on election) said almost all stand by their vote on me & 53% said strong leader.”
April 26. Interview.
“Democrats are using that faux — or fake — Russia story in order to make themselves feel better for losing an election that’s very hard for a Democrat to lose.”
April 27. Interview.
“Here, you can take that, that’s the final map of the numbers. It’s pretty good, right? The red is obviously us.”
April 28. Speech/comments.
“But it was in the middle of a historic political year, and in the middle of a truly historic election. What fun that was — November 8. Wasn’t that a great evening?”
April 29. Speech/comments.
“They are incompetent, dishonest people who, after the election, had to apologize because they covered it, us, me, so badly that they felt they were forced to apologize because their predictions were so bad.”
April 30. Interview.
“And, by the way, even my enemies on your show said, ‘We haven’t found anything that the Trump campaign did wrong.’”
May 1. Interview.
“The picture of Andrew Jackson I put up because they said his campaign and my campaign tended to mirror each other.”
May 2. Twitter.
“…Trump/Russia story was an excuse used by the Democrats as justification for losing the election. Perhaps Trump just ran a great campaign?”
May 11. Interview.
“And the reason they should have won it is, the electoral college is almost impossible for a Republican to win. Very hard. Because you start off at such a disadvantage. So, everybody was thinking they should have won the election.”
May 12. Twitter.
“Again, the story that there was collusion between the Russians & Trump campaign was fabricated by Dems as an excuse for losing the election. “
May 13. Interview.
“But the point is, that we were supposed to lose all three. And not only do we lose all three, they said it will be perhaps the greatest election failure in the history of this country. And I said, well, that’s bad. But I worked very hard, and we ended up winning all three instead of losing all three.”
May 18. Speech/comments.
“The FBI has not had that special reputation with what happened in the campaign, what happened with respect to the Clinton campaign, and even you could say — directly or indirectly — with respect to the much more successful Trump campaign.”
May 30. Twitter.
“Russian officials must be laughing at the U.S. & how a lame excuse for why the Dems lost the election has taken over the Fake News.”
May 31. Twitter.
“Crooked Hillary Clinton now blames everybody but herself, refuses to say she was a terrible candidate. Hits Facebook & even Dems & DNC.”
June 9. Speech/comments.
“That was an excuse by the Democrats who lost an election that some people think they shouldn’t have lost, because it’s almost impossible for the Democrats to lose the electoral college, as you know. We have to run up the whole East Coast, and you have to win everything as a Republican. And that’s just what we did.”
June 12. Speech/comments.
“… we can make for these people and the American Dream come true, make the American Dream come true for a lot of people that will not have had that experience without the election results that we had on November 8th.”
June 13. Twitter.
“A.G. Lynch made law enforcement decisions for political purposes…gave Hillary Clinton a free pass and protection. Totally illegal!”
June 15. Twitter.
“Why is that Hillary Clintons family and Dems dealings with Russia are not looked at, but my non-dealings are?”
June 16. Speech/comments.
“I have wonderful memories from our visit during the campaign. That was some visit. That was right before the election. I guess it worked, right? Boy, Florida, as a whole, and this community supported us by tremendous margins.”
June 21. Speech/comments.
“And those maps, those electoral maps, they were all red. Beautiful red.”
June 22. Twitter.
“Why did the DNC REFUSE to turn over its Server to the FBI, and still hasn’t? It’s all a big Dem scam and excuse for losing the election!”
June 23. Twitter.
“Just out: The Obama Administration knew far in advance of November 8th about election meddling by Russia. Did nothing about it. WHY?”
June 24. Twitter.
“Obama Administration official said they “choked” when it came to acting on Russian meddling of election. They didn’t want to hurt Hillary?”
June 25. Interview.
“I watched her campaigning for Hillary, and she was so angry, Hillary would be sitting back listening to her, trying to smile. But there were a lot of people in that audience that were going, wow, is this what we want? “
June 26. Twitter.
“From @FoxNews “Bombshell: In 2016, Obama dismissed idea that anyone could rig an American election.” Check out his statement — Witch Hunt!”
June 28. Speech/comments.
“For years, the pundits, journalists, politicians in Washington refused to hear your voices, but on Election Day, 2016, your voices were heard all across the entire world. Right? You better believe it.”
July 1. Twitter.
” . . . the 2016 election with interviews, speeches and social media. I had to beat #FakeNews, and did. We will continue to WIN!”
July 6. Speech/comments.
“The Poles have not only greatly enriched this region, but Polish Americans have also greatly enriched the United States, and I was truly proud to have their support in the 2016 election.”
July 9. Twitter.
“I strongly pressed President Putin twice about Russian meddling in our election. He vehemently denied it. I’ve already given my opinion.”
July 12. Speech/comments.
“When Hillary Clinton spent her ads — you know, she spent almost 100 percent of her ads on anti-Donald Trump ads. You know that. Every ad was an anti ad. When the election came, nobody knew what she stood for.”
July 16. Twitter.
“HillaryClinton can illegally get the questions to the Debate & delete 33,000 emails but my son Don is being scorned by the Fake News Media?”
July 19. Speech/comments.
“This issue is very important to me because, throughout the campaign and even after it, people would come up to me and express their concerns about voter inconsistencies and irregularities, which they saw. In some cases, having to do with very large numbers of people in certain states.”
July 23. Twitter.
“As the phony Russian Witch Hunt continues, two groups are laughing at this excuse for a lost election taking hold, Democrats and Russians! “
July 24. Speech/comments.
“And you know we have a tremendous disadvantage in the electoral college — popular vote is much easier. Because New York, California, Illinois — you have to practically run the East Coast. And we did. We won Florida. “
July 25. Interview.
“We had nothing to do with Russia. They lost an election and they came up with this as an excuse.”
July 29. Twitter.
“I love reading about all of the “geniuses” who were so instrumental in my election success. Problem is, most don’t exist. #Fake News! MAGA.”
July 31. Speech/comments.
“It’s all about making America great again. That’s what we’re going to do. That’s what I said. That’s how we won this big election.”
Aug. 3. Speech/comments.
“You know, we won the state by 42 points. Can you believe that? 42 points. I asked your Republican Party leader how would we be doing today versus November 8th and Election Day. He said honestly, President Trump, you are doing better.”
Aug. 7. Twitter.
“The failing @nytimes, which has made every wrong prediction about me including my big election win (apologized), is totally inept!”
Aug. 10. Speech/comments.
“We had a great team, and I guess I did a good job. And you know what, honestly, they spent much more money than I did, by a lot. You know that. They spent a lot more money, and, honestly, they did not do a very good job of campaigning.”
Aug. 19. Twitter.
“I want to thank Steve Bannon for his service. He came to the campaign during my run against Crooked Hillary Clinton — it was great! Thanks S”
Aug. 22. Speech/comments.
“This was the Democrats coming up with an excuse for losing an election. It’s an election that’s very hard for a Democrat to lose because the electoral college is set in such a way that it’s very hard to lose that election for a Democrat. They lost it.”
Sep. 1. Twitter.
“Wow, looks like James Comey exonerated Hillary Clinton long before the investigation was over…and so much more. A rigged system!”
Sep. 13. Twitter.
“Crooked Hillary Clinton blames everybody (and every thing) but herself for her election loss. She lost the debates and lost her direction!”
Sep. 22. Speech/comments.
“I took a pass on a lot of states, the electoral college, and I’ve never really been in favor of it, but now I appreciate it.”
Oct. 6. Interview.
“Everyone knows that that was just a statement put out by the Democrats so that they could have an excuse for losing an election that, in theory, they should have won because it’s very easy for the Democrats to win the electoral college. And not only didn’t they win, it was 306 to — what was it? — 223, if you could get the right number. It was 306 to 223.”
Oct. 11. Interview.
“An excuse for losing an election that, frankly, they should have won, because winning the electoral college is so easy for Democrats. They start off with three major states. To win the electoral college for a Democrat, it’s almost like a given. “
Oct. 16. Speech/comments.
“So that was just an excuse for the Democrats losing an election that, frankly, they have a big advantage in the electoral college. They should always be able to win in the electoral college, but they were unable to do it.”
Oct. 18. Twitter.
“As it has turned out, James Comey lied and leaked and totally protected Hillary Clinton. He was the best thing that ever happened to her!”
Oct. 21. Twitter.
“Crooked Hillary Clinton spent hundreds of millions of dollars more on Presidential Election than I did. Facebook was on her side, not mine!”
Oct. 25. Speech/comments.
“This was the Democrats coming up with an excuse for losing an election. It’s an election that’s very hard for a Democrat to lose because the electoral college is set in such a way that it’s very hard to lose that election for a Democrat. They lost it. They lost it very badly and very easily.”
Oct. 27. Twitter.
“‘WHAT HAPPENED’ ‘How Team Hillary played the press for fools on Russia’”
Oct. 30. Twitter.
“Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign. But why aren’t Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus?????”
Oct. 31. Twitter.
“…came to the campaign. Few people knew the young, low level volunteer named George, who has already proven to be a liar. Check the DEMS!”
Nov. 3. Speech/comments.
“You ought to look at Hillary Clinton and you ought to look at the new book that was just put out by Donna Brazile, where she basically bought the DNC, and she stole the election from Bernie. So that’s what you ought to take a look at.”
Nov. 4. Speech/comments.
“But when you think on Friday we hit the highest point in the history of our stock market when we picked up from November 8, which, can you believe it, is almost exactly one year? We going to be at China together? We’ll have to celebrate together. November 8.”
Nov. 5. Interview.
“What happened to Bernie Sanders with the DNC spearheaded by the Clintons and according to the new book by Donna Brazile was horrible.”
Nov. 7. Speech/comments.
“It is interesting that it is one year, as of tomorrow, that we had our election victory. And it was great victory, and a victory that made a lot of people very happy.”
And Wednesday’s addition: