The liberal media – which completely missed the election and had declared Hillary Clinton the winner even before the voting started – is now trying to save face by saying that the polls were not that far off, that Hillary Clinton may still win the popular vote and it will be close no matter who wins.

But it isn’t true that the race was that close because the race for the presidency is not about winning the popular vote, a lesson that Al Gore learned the hard way.

Donald Trump won with over 300 electoral votes. (He only needed 270.) That’s a big win. He won the states that he needed to win. And some, like North Carolina, which was listed as a battleground state but really wasn’t.

There was no way that Hillary Clinton was going to win North Carolina. Bill Clinton, who is enormously more popular than his lawful wife, never won North Carolina. And Barack Obama only won North Carolina in 2008.

It would be interesting to know what the real polling was on Sen. Richard Burr’s reelection. He was so sure he would win that he didn’t start campaigning until October. And he did win, not a landslide but by a comfortable six point margin.

I doubt if Deborah Ross ever was ahead. I think the polling data was probably adjusted in her favor. You only have to add in a few more Democrats than are expected to vote to the projections to come up with a very different result.

Gov. Pat McCrory may still win. The mainstream media are blaming his election results on House Bill 2 (HB2), the bathroom bill, but if that were the case than Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, who easily won, should be in the same boat.

Also, the state senators and representatives who voted for HB2 should have gone down. But the Republicans gained one seat in the state Senate and stayed even in the state House. So they continue to have veto-proof majorities in both houses, which means they can do what they want regardless of who is governor.

It’s hard to believe that McCrory took all the blame for HB2 if it wasn’t a factor in other races.

I do suspect that McCrory lost some of his moderate support. He ran as a moderate, governed as moderate mayor in Charlotte and then governed as a conservative in Raleigh.

It wasn’t all his fault. He had a legislature that was much more conservative than he is. He could have vetoed more bills, but that seemed like an exercise in futility since the two he vetoed were overridden by the legislature before the ink from the veto stamp was dry.

Some think it was the I-77 toll road that cost McCrory some of his core support. It is immensely unpopular.

As far as the loss of the majority on the North Carolina Supreme Court, Republicans have no one but themselves to blame.

The vast majority of the judicial candidates are completely unknown to the voters. With so much emphasis on the top of the ticket, not many folks bother to work their way down to do research on people running for judge. People appear to either vote for a party or for a name they like. That’s why in the past in North Carolina we have had some folks with famous names put a real scare into the legal community, because the people with those names didn’t have the qualifications that attorneys believed were necessary for the position.

In the case of Republican North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Bob Edmunds losing to Democratic Wake County Superior Court Judge Mike Morgan, there is no doubt who the Republicans wanted to win.

Also, if you throw out the party affiliation, Edmunds has 16 years on the Supreme Court and two before that on the NC Court of Appeals. Morgan, who has a reputation as a good Superior Court judge, has no experience as an appellate court judge. So from an experience standpoint Edmunds would be the better candidate.

But Edmunds got hit with a double whammy. For one, there was no party affiliation on the ballot. But what I think was worse is that Republicans were listed first in every other race. But in the state Supreme Court race the Democrat was listed first.

If you are a voter who has voted for Republicans all down the ballot and you come to two names you’ve never seen before, with no party affiliation, the natural assumption, and the assumption that I believe a lot of voters made, was that the Republican was listed first and the Democrat second, as in all the other races on the ballot.

Nobody knows what people were thinking, but there is good evidence that this is what happened.

In the five Court of Appeals races that followed the Supreme Court race on the ballot, the Republican won in every race. In some of those the Republican was clearly the better candidate, but not in all. It appears that people who went to the polls and voted for Trump and Burr, who both won statewide races, also voted for the Republicans in the judicial races, or rather all the judicial races where the party was listed.

In the Supreme Court race, with no party listed, why wouldn’t a voter assume that this race was like all the partisan races on the ballot and the Republican was first?

I know when I voted I was so used to hitting the box before the first of two names, I almost voted for Morgan myself, and had to look twice to make certain that Edmunds was the second name.

The Republicans control the legislature, the North Carolina State Board of Elections and the governor’s office. They could have made the Supreme Court race like the Court of Appeals races, where the party affiliation was listed. Failing that they could have found a way to make certain that Edmunds’ name was first on the ballot. They would have been criticized for it by the media, but they are criticized for whatever they do by the media.

It was repeatedly said at Republican rallies that the Edmunds race was the most important on the ballot, but his fellow Republicans put Edmunds in a position that made it extremely difficult to win.

But it’s not over. The Republicans can expand the state Supreme Court by two judges to make it nine, and appoint two Republicans. The legislature will get raked over the coals by the mainstream media and the Democrats, but if the shoe were on the other foot and the Democrats were in this situation, the Democrats wouldn’t hesitate to increase the number of justices on the state Supreme Court.

And the mainstream media, if the Democrats did just that, would write about how much more efficient the court would be with nine justices. The fact that it would change the partisan majority on what is supposed to be a nonpartisan court would hardly be mentioned.

Nearly 70 percent of the people in the country don’t believe the mainstream media are honest and truthful. The Republicans should embrace that statistic and stop being so worried about bad press. The Republicans in the legislature got terrible press for just about everything they did last session, including giving teachers a raise. It is foolish for the Republicans to try and appease the mainstream media. It can’t be done. The Republicans who control the legislature need to give up the idea that the mainstream media are ever going to support them and move ahead.

The mainstream media don’t support them, but the voters of North Carolina do, and that’s what counts.