The public took the media's vitriol and hate directed at Trump as the highest recommendations he could possibly get. That's why the media, the pundits, the celebrities and even the polls were all in mass denial about Trump's chances until the very night of the election.
"For many Republicans who weren't enthusiastic Trump supporters but wanted something to like about him, his refusal to give the media a free pass on their combative bias was a big thing," wrote Stephen Kruiser at the PJMedia website. That, by the way, is why Trump spent so much less than Hillary Clinton on his campaign. The media covered him heavy and hard, thinking it would take him down. The over-the-top, saturation coverage did just the opposite.