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Election Reveals Two Americas

November 4, 2016, 2:27 PM UTC

A few election-related thoughts to ponder as we head into the blessedly final weekend of this endless campaign:

-Two Americas, and you can see them on a map. The concept of two or more Americas that coexist without interacting is an old one, and it’s on flamboyant display now as so many Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton supporters regard one another as natives of a land they barely recognize. The two Americas are conventionally defined by demographic measures like income and education, but this year they’re easily visible on a map. The latest RealClearPolitics electoral map shows a striking pattern: Every state that favors Clinton (except for one, Colorado) is on America’s periphery – each borders an ocean, a Great Lake, Canada, or Mexico. A New York Times reporter marveled recently that he drove 3,000 miles across the northern U.S. noticing endless Trump signs but traveled nearly 2,500 miles before seeing the first Clinton sign. It’s not so surprising. You can easily drive across the country east to west, starting at the Atlantic Ocean anywhere south of Virginia, and stay entirely in red states until reaching the solidly blue West Coast. It’s an unfortunate reality regardless of which side you favor, if you believe today’s venomous partisanship is bad for the country. The geographic nature of the partisan divide makes it easier for inhabitants of the two Americas to avoid even crossing each other’s paths.

-Predictable Democrats and disrupted Republicans. Last year about this time Fortune published its annual predictions for the year ahead. (This year’s edition will appear soon.) Our predicted Democratic ticket was exactly right: Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine. But our clairvoyance dimmed when we turned to the Republicans: We foresaw Marco Rubio and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. It’s a reminder of how utterly Trump’s success blindsided everyone, I think including Trump. Already we’re accommodating our thinking to the reality of him as the nominee, but we shouldn’t let that happen. We need to remember the magnitude of the Trump phenomenon, that just 12 months ago it was unthinkable, and acknowledge that we’re still nowhere near understanding it fully.

-Start thinking about presidential appointees, if you haven’t started already. The people surrounding the president are almost as important at the president himself or herself. Take a look at Politico’s speculation about who might sit in West Wing offices under a President Trump or a President Clinton. We’ve met some of them in the campaign – Trump’s daughter Ivanka, his fired campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, not to mention Bill Clinton and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. Others are surprises. Some are both – would Trump really make New Jersey Governor Chris Christie attorney general? Once we know who’s president, those appointees will play a powerful role in shaping our world.

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What We're Reading Today

Wells Fargo scandal widens
Senators Elizabeth Warren, Ron Wyden, and Robert Menendez have questioned why Wells Fargo dismissed hundreds of brokerage employees for improper sales practices. For Tim Sloan's company, the query could extend the fake-accounts investigation from the bank's retail unit into its brokerage business, Wells Fargo Advisors. CNBC

Dalian Wanda buys Dick Clark Productions for $1 billion
It's a further move into Hollywood by Wanda's owner and China's richest man, Wang Jianlin. The company already owns Legendary Entertainment and AMC Entertainment Holdings, and earlier this fall, it said it would market Sony Pictures films. Dick Clark Productions owns rights to a number of televised award shows. Fortune

Takata still considering bankruptcy
Shigehisa Takada's company may file for bankruptcy as it seeks financial support while replacing millions of faulty airbags. It would prefer to reach a deal with automakers to fund the effort and pay back creditors out of court, but there's still no agreement. Reuters

Donald Trump's income
Trump has refused to release his tax returns, saying his candidate financial disclosures provide more information. But the financial forms appear to list his businesses' revenues rather than profits. For instance, Doral golf resort had revenues of $50 million in 2014, which Trump described as income. But a document he filed in a property tax dispute says the resort lost $2.4 million after accounting for operating costs. NYT

Building A Better Leader

Former eBay CEO John Donahoe says his career...
…never moved in a straight line. "There wasn’t one moment when I was in the middle of it that I felt, ‘Great, I’ve got this all figured out.’ I still don’t,” he said. Stanford Insights

When you're forced to evaluate your own unit...
...take an outsider's perspective. If the unit can't succeed, or if the capital invested in it would be better used elsewhere, be sure to protect your employees from the fallout. Fortune

The downside of high salaries
Over 60% of employees who feel unmotivated and trapped in their jobs received above-market salaries. Inc.

New Work Strategies

Life without a CEO
Swiss luxury goods giant Cie. Financière Richemont announced that CEO Richard Lepeu would step down, and it has no plans to find a replacement. Instead, top executives at each of the company's brands (which include Cartier and Montblanc) will report directly to the board. Directors believe the structure will enable the businesses to move faster. WSJ

UBS gets rid of assigned desks and laptops
At its new London building, most UBS employees will no longer have assigned desks. Instead, they will  log onto computers throughout the office. Personal items can be stored in lockers. Such workspaces are common in tech firms but rare in the investment banking world.  NYT

Microsoft tries to change the way you work
When Satya Nadella's company unveiled its new collaboration tool, Teams, it wasn't just entering a growing market led by Slack. The company saw that the way we work is changing and wants to be a player in the transformation. Fortune

Up or Out

Target's head of grocery, Anne Dament, has stepped down. Fortune

Symantec has hired Nick Noviello as CFO, replacing the departing Thomas Seifert. Nasdaq

Fortune Reads and Videos

Melania Trump says she would fight cyberbullying... First Lady. Online commenters wanted to know if that meant fighting her husband's Twitter barrages. Fortune

CBS posted record earnings...
…thanks in part to the election. Les Moonves's company also to0k in 40% more in retransmission fees because more distributors signed up for its streaming services. Fortune

AB-InBev buys Karbach Brewing
It's the ninth craft brewer the company has bought. Fortune

Starbucks announces its first iced holiday drink
The Spiced Sweet Cream Nariño 70 Cold Brew includes cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, and vanilla. Fortune

Quote of the Day

"Get in there and swing...I’ve been the CEO of two companies. I’ve had four children, dual careers, a lot of experiences. You can’t bat .900 in life. All you’ve got to do is bat .350 and don’t be afraid to get in there and swing." -- Former eBay CEO John Donohoe  Stanford Insights

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Produced by Ryan Derousseau