The votes are in. In a shocking turn of events, Donald Trump won the Presidential election on Tuesday November 8, 2016. The electoral vote count stands with Donald Trump receiving 290 electoral votes, and Hillary Clinton falling short at 232 electoral votes. The only state that has not been officially declared is Michigan. With only 270 votes needed to win, Michigan makes no difference at this point. Although Trump won by a substantial margin of electoral votes and took the Presidency, Hillary Clinton took the popular vote. The current popular vote tally has Hillary Clinton with 47.8 percent of votes, and Donald Trump with 47.3 percent.
2016 proved to be a very contentious year in politics, with the Presidential campaign focusing less on political issues, and more on the individual candidates themselves. Donald Trump made several questionable remarks during his campaign, but his biggest challenge was prior statements that came out during the election. Derogatory remarks about women and sexual assault were revealed to have been made by Trump, although he later apologized for making them. Women have also come forward accusing him of sexual assault. With Hillary Clinton, there was an intense focus on her email scandal, Benghazi, and her husband’s prior infidelity. During one of the debates, three women who had previously accused former President Bill Clinton of sexual assault were present at the invitation of Donald Trump. Aside from all the personal blows, campaign promises saw Clinton focusing on families and children, while Trump’s focus was radical views on immigration.
Polls across the United States slated Hillary Clinton for the win.
Polls across the United States slated Hillary Clinton for the win. The final poll update by the New York Times before the election had Clinton with an 84 percent chance of becoming the next President of the United States. The final CNN poll showed Clinton with a three-point lead. Clearly, the polls got this one wrong. The American Association for Public Opinion Research says that it will take up to six months for them to do complete research into what exactly went wrong. One thing is certain; far more voters turned out for Donald Trump than any poll predicted.
The 2016 election focused mainly on crucial swing states, which had the possibility of voting for Trump or for Clinton. These states included: North Carolina, Florida, Virginia, Ohio, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Iowa. Both campaigns focused greatly on these states, holding rallies up until Election Day. Of these crucial states, Trump won North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Iowa. Clinton won Virginia and Nevada. Trump also won Wisconsin, which was not considered a battleground state, and has consistently voted democrat in past Presidential elections.
Trump gave credit to Clinton for a hard fought campaign…
Shortly before 3 a.m. on November 9th, Trump appeared at his victory party in New York City to speak to his supporters, and the nation. Although the electoral votes were showing he was guaranteed victory, he waited to speak until after hearing from Hillary Clinton. Trump gave credit to Clinton for a hard fought campaign, and noted gratitude towards her many years of public service. Although his campaign was full of ideals that polarized the nation, he attempted to be more unifying in his acceptance speech. Trump stated, “Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division; have to get together. To all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people. It’s time. I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans, and this is so important to me.”
Although Hillary Clinton conceded the election to Donald Trump on election night, she did not speak until the next day. In her concession speech, Clinton thanked all of her supporters, and talked through her disappointment. She asked her followers to look forward, saying, “We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought. But I still believe in America and I always will. And if you do, then we must accept this result and then look to the future. Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.” She also added, “I am so grateful for our country and for all it has given to me. I count my blessings every single day that I am an American. And I still believe as deeply as I ever have that if we stand together and work together with respect for our differences, strength in our convictions and love for this nation, our best days are still ahead of us.”
For approximately half the country, they must adjust to having a President they did not want, or vote for.
Now that the election is over, the transition process begins. The current White House administration will work with President-Elect Trump’s staff to switch over control and answer any questions that they might have. Vice President-Elect Mike Pence has been put in charge of Trump’s transition team, as Americans eagerly await crucial staffing decisions. The nation is also in a point of transition. For approximately half of the country, they must adjust to having a President they did not want, or vote for. The nation must adjust to the new administration and say goodbye to the one they have known for the last eight years. This will not be an easy process. Already, there have been protests in cities all over the country with voters protesting Donald Trump’s victory. Although the majority of these protests have been peaceful, there have also been outbursts of violence. There have also been reports of increased discriminatory activity from people claiming to be celebrating Donald Trump’s victory.
The important thing now, is to try to have hope. Hope that these discriminatory practices will cease. Hope that Donald Trump will represent all of us as President of the United States. But we also have a say in how this Presidency goes. We can be informed Americans, and hold our elected officials accountable. Ernie Johnson put it best before a sports broadcast on November 9th when he said “and for me to be part of it, I have to look in the mirror and I have to say: ‘How am I going to be a better man? How am I going be a better neighbor? How am I going to be a better citizen? How am I going to be a better American? How can I be a fountain and not a drain?” Professor Kevin Lee from Campbell University Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law also had inspiring words for our country, “Despite our differences, there is a common humanity. Even in the lowest among us there is dignity and hope, because the immediate awareness of another person holds the potential for the beauty of kindness. In short, we need to find room in our hearts to care for one another.”