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Van Jones Reveals How He Knew More Than the ‘Data Dummies’ Who Got Election Wrong

Van Jones of CNN was one of the few liberal forecasters who effectively knew that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump stood a pretty good chance of defeating Hillary Clinton in the general election.

History will prove that Jones was right; he has since hosted the network special “The Messy Truth,” engaging with voters in states like Michigan and Wisconsin who handed the presidency to Trump. But as Jones recounted to Conan O’Brien on Conan Monday night, the CNN contributor foresaw things in the presidential forecasting that other missed out on. Many of these people are who Jones now refers to simply as “data dummies.”

“All they can talk about in politics is the data and the polls and numbers and this sort of stuff,” Jones said on TBS Monday night. “My life is a focus group… I started noticing stuff,” he said of the campaign trail.

As an experiment, Van Jones noted that when he stands on stage at a rally and speaks to a large group of people, invoking the name “Barack Obama” will usually elicit cheers of support. Even the name “Donald Trump” will invoke some sort of mixed response, even a balance between cheers and jeers.

But when it comes to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton? “Crickets,” said Jones. “And I said, ‘Something’s wrong. Something’s off.'”

Jones also hypothesized that people did not take the statistical warnings of Trump’s presidency seriously enough, even when the metrics suggested a long shot — at best — of the GOP candidate winning the White House. “Why would you work so hard to stop a John McCain and then do nothing to stop Trump except say ‘Oh Trump is terrible.’ That’s not going to stop him, and it didn’t.”

Watch above on TBS.

[image via screengrab]

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