Exclusive: ‘Renegade Deplorables’ Talked Trump Team off Ledge on Election Day

Evan Vucci/AP

A new book reveals that Donald Trump’s presidential campaign used a secret team of outside pollsters, who called themselves the “Renegade Deplorables” — and who calmed nervous Trump staffers on Election Day, reassuring them they could win.

The book, How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution is co-written by Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Joel Pollak and historian and New York Times bestselling author Larry Schweikart. It alternates between Pollak’s on-the-ground reporting from the campaign trail, and Schweikart’s retelling of the history of the campaign, including new and voting data.

Schweikart assembled a team of volunteers who fed information — including data about early voting, and private poll results — directly to the Trump campaign on a daily basis, and who began calling themselves the “Renegade Deplorables,” embracing the pejorative term used by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to mock Trump voters in front of her donors.

In the book, Schweikart describes the “Renegade Deplorables” as follows:

In addition to myself (a professional historian), we were a pollster, an aerospace engineer in the defense industry, an obstetrician, an investment banker, and one analyst who still wishes to remain entirely anonymous. We were not full-time politicos, but we managed to beat the professional politicos with our own analysis, predictions, and spot-on advice to the Trump campaign.

These amateurs saw Trump’s strength early, and some of us predicted his success far earlier than anyone else. On Election Day, we came together to provide real-time data to the Trump campaign that even Team Trump didn’t have. Using data from all of us, the pollster in our group of “Renegade Deplorables” was able to call states for Trump with certainty up to an hour before the major networks broke the news.

Our band of Deplorable brothers, beginning long before Election Day, fed streams of information, voter registration changes, absentee ballot numbers, real-time early-voting observational data, polling, and other insights directly to the top of Team Trump.

In addition to predicting Trump wins in Ohio and Florida well ahead of the election, based on their unique sources, Schweikart writes, “Our group of misfits and renegades ‘called’ Florida an hour before the networks, Pennsylvania hours before, and Michigan days before. Our only miss of the night, Wisconsin, was a pleasant surprise. ”

Earlier on Election Day, he says, his group soothed fears among Trump staffers who believed media reports that all was lost:

On Election Night, all the major staff was at work at Trump Tower, with Trump on one floor and everyone else, including [Steve] Bannon, [KellyAnne] Conway, and the seventy- to hundred-member campaign staff in the “war room” on a different floor. Early on they seemed baffled and, yes, panicked by early returns in Florida and Ohio. I got a call from Deplorable Drew, who had flown to New York to be on hand with Team Trump wondering what was going on. “We’re collapsing across the board,” he fretted.

“No, you aren’t,” I replied. “You’re just seeing the early and absentee votes that we have been tracking for the past three months actually be posted. And as you know, these always favor the Democrats. Relax.”

Over the next several hours, as the Schweikart’s “Deplorables” had predicted, Trump won — and he would have won by an even larger margin, Schweikart argues, if it had not been for the Access Hollywood tape released in October, which he argues likely swung New Hampshire into Clinton’s column, and also prevented Trump from scoring an upset victory in Minnesota.

How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution is being released by Regnery Publishing as an e-book on Tuesday, January 17 via Amazon (Kindle) and Barnes & Noble (Nook), and will be released in paperback form on Monday, Feb. 27. Those who do not own Kindle devices and Nook readers can still download the book at Amazon and Barnes & Noble using e-book apps.



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