Trump Wins the White House! 5 Need to Know Facts!
VOICE OVER: Matthew Wende
Written by Matt wende
After months of some of the most gruelling campaign America has ever seen, The United States has chosen Donald Trump as the next President. How did he win? Who voted for him? How was the election called? How did the candidates react? How did voters make the decision? What happens next? Watch to find out!
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After one of the most heated campaigns in United States history, the people went to the polls on November 8th, 2016 to elect their next President. And, in what many considered a huge twist, Donald Trump was chosen to lead America for the next four years. Welcome to WatchMojo News, the weekly series where we break down news stories that might be on your radar. In this installment, we’re counting down 5 crucial facts you should know about the 2016 U.S. election result.
#5: How Did Election Night Turn Out?
After the bitter and often vitriolic campaign between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, many pundits not only predicted relatively low turnout at the polls, but also had Clinton winning the presidency almost unanimously by a fairly sizable margin. However, the opposite turned out to be true in both cases, as on Tuesday, November 8th, record numbers of American citizens came out to cast their vote. As the first polls closed, Trump took an early lead, with Clinton catching up and picking up states where she could. As the numbers came in from states heading westward, the race became extremely close, but as Trump managed to clinch several vital battleground states, he finally cemented a decisive lead and just before 3am Eastern Standard Time, he took the stage to thank supporters in his first speech as President-Elect.
#4: How Did Voters Make Their Decision?
Americans had their work cut out for them, as both candidates had serious issues with image: the heated campaign highlighted serious character flaws in both parties’ candidates. For example, Hillary Clinton came off as the uncharismatic, quintessential Washington insider who had spent years wheeling and dealing behind closed doors and making illicit deals to get her where she is today – a fact especially highlighted by the scandal surrounding her private email server. Donald Trump, on the other hand, was more than an outsider; he had no experience in politics. As a result, his platform was often vague. Even so, his agenda was clear: he wanted to “Make America Great Again.” Because of these issues, many voters expressed the feeling that they were simply picking the lesser of two evils. What’s more, despite the inflammatory remarks Trump made about women that surfaced during the campaign, the gender gap was surprisingly tight between white Republican men and women: 91 percent of white, female Republicans toed their party line and voted for Trump. Surprisingly, Trump also had a relatively solid showing among minority voters, receiving more minority votes than Republican Mitt Romney did in 2012. Meanwhile, Clinton was unable to win African-American and minority voters over as drastically as was expected. In addition, voters in several rural areas showed significant support of Trump, with states like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin proving especially affected by this fact. But ultimately, the American people voted for change, and that was a fact Secretary Clinton could not overcome.
#3: What Is the Electoral College and What Does it Show?
When an American casts a vote for their president, they are not technically voting for the president. In what is called an indirect vote, they are actually casting their vote for electors, who in turn vote to elect the President. In order to make sure that all states are fairly represented across the nation, each state is assigned a number of electors essentially based on population size. For example: California, the most populous state in the country with more than 39 million people, is assigned 55 electoral votes. As a state votes, the party with the most votes in that state is assigned those electors in most cases. The first party to gain 270 electors wins the election. In the past, this has proven to be a problematic system, as it has happened that the winner of the election actually lost the popular vote, meaning more American citizens actually voted for the losing candidate. This was the case in 2000 when Al Gore nabbed 266 electoral votes to George W. Bush’s 271, but actually earned over half a million votes more than Bush. And it was the case in 2016, when Clinton took the popular vote but lost the electoral vote.
#2: How Did the Candidates Take the Result?
With lingering battleground states still labeled as too close to call into the early hours of Wednesday, supporters of both candidates sat waiting for hours for an official decision to be announced. Reports came out that Trump’s campaign was “euphoric” about the results, but weren’t willing to make an announcement – whether towards victory or otherwise – before the Clinton campaign. In the end, Clinton’s campaign broke the silence first, with her campaign chairman John Podesta announcing that Hillary would not be making any address before the morning. Reports later emerged that Clinton called Donald Trump to concede the victory, and at nearly 3am Eastern Time, the Associated Press announced Trump as the winner. Trump soon took the stage to make his victory remarks, giving a speech that seemed to make an attempt at uniting rather than dividing. After sincerely congratulating Hillary Clinton’s campaign, he called upon all Americans to unite in order to move forward and change America for the better.
#1: What’s Next for the Country?
Aside from the Presidency, Republicans also successfully took control of the House of Representatives and the Senate, meaning that the president will theoretically have the support he needs from Congress to pass bills. Also, after the death of Judge Antonin Scalia in February 2016, there is an open seat on the Supreme Court. Although outgoing President Barack Obama did nominate Merrick Garland to replace Scalia in March of that same year, his nomination has been stalled in the Senate. So, if Garland is not confirmed and the Trump administration is therefore able to confirm a new Supreme Court Justice, it could mean a Republican-dominated federal government. The fate of the economy is up in the air as well, as the stock market took a dive of more than 800 points in the midst of voting. To put that in context, in the days following the 9/11 attacks, it dropped about 650 points. Regardless of what comes next, Donald Trump has changed the nature of politics in America, and only time will tell what this means for the future of elections and the United States.
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