Matt Drudge, the creator of the conservative media powerhouse “Drudge Report,” told Steve Bannon to ignore the media’s projections on election night that showed Hillary Clinton would win the presidency, according to a new book, “Devil’s Bargain,” by Bloomberg Businessweek correspondent Joshua Green.
Bannon was Trump’s campaign CEO at the time and is now the White House chief strategist. Per Green’s account, Bannon grew increasingly pessimistic about Trump’s chances as exit polls on election night showed Trump either tied with or falling behind Clinton in battleground states. Those numbers stood in contrast to a model created by Cambridge Analytica, the data mining company funded by Republican heavyweight donor Robert Mercer, which forecasted a Trump victory.
“The numbers tell two different stories,” Bannon told Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner that night. “If you believe one set, we’re killing it, it’s a change election, and everything lines up exactly like we thought. But, man, if you believe the other one, we’re getting crushed.”
As Bannon grew more worried about Trump’s chances, he reached out to Drudge.
“F–k the corporate media,” Drudge reportedly told Bannon. “They have been wrong on everything. They will be wrong on this.”
Though most polls predicted a Clinton victory, they also emphasised that a Trump victory could fall comfortably within the margin of error.
“People shouldn’t have been so surprised” that Trump won, data journalist Nate Silver told the Harvard Gazette in March. “Clinton was the favourite, but the polls showed, in our view, particularly at the end, a highly competitive race in the Electoral College,” Silver said.