Steve Kornacki: ‘We are seeing something unexpected’
Steve Kornacki remembers the moment he saw the night begin to change. Shortly after doing a TV appearance focusing on returns from the key battleground state of Florida, he checked the returns.
“The statewide vote total has gone from Clinton up 110,000 to Clinton up 4,000. So her lead has crashed.
“You’re thinking, ‘What just happened?’ ” Kornacki said.
And then he saw it: “astronomical turnout” in Republican areas of Florida.
“That’s the first time I thought, ‘We are seeing something unexpected,’ ” he said.
That impression was solidified as results came in from the Rust Belt states.
Soon Trump was ahead in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan.
“She was about 70,000 votes down in Pennsylvania, and you think, ‘Gosh, it is inconceivable that she is going to get the votes to overcome this kind of deficit.’ ”
After the network’s coverage wrapped up after 4 a.m., a “wired” Kornacki realized there was no chance he would sleep before he had to go back on-air for the “Today” show at 7 a.m. So he made use of his time another way.
“I walked past the hotel where Trump was. You are in the middle of Manhattan and there were a couple of pick-up trucks with Trump flags — not something you see so often,” he said.
“Then I made my way over to the Javits Center. It was a ghost town.”