By Dhara Patel, National News Writer
On November 8, 2016, America had an unprecedented election with Donald Trump coming out as the winner. Though Hillary Clinton won the popular vote (Clinton: 62,125,844 votes; Trump: 61,017,295 votes), Trump swept the electoral vote (Trump: 290 electoral votes; Clinton: 232 electoral votes).
Many political forecasters and polls were surprised to see Trump win the election. Nate Silver, a renowned forecaster, predicted that Clinton would have a 70 percent chance of winning while Trump had 30 percent chance of winning. Most polls relayed the same situation but with a larger margin: Clinton was going to win by a landslide.
The question still in the minds of millions of Americans is: How did the happen? One reason why Trump won was due to his appeal to white blue-collar workers in the Midwest. The polls disregarded the “silent majority” and were unbelieving that those voters would show up to actually vote. As it turned out, they turned out in abundance. Clinton’s campaign did not think Wisconsin would vote Republican, and thus barely campaigned there along with Michigan. Trump even managed to get white college votes; according to Fiscal Times, he received 49 percent of the white college votes as opposed to the 47 percent Clinton received.
Another reason aiding Trump’s victory was low voter turnout, especially among the Democrats. CNN claims this may have been due to Clinton being chosen over Bernie Sanders by the Democratic Party. Sanders, like Trump, offered change—albeit of a different sort—but change nonetheless. In addition, many voters felt that both candidates left much to be desired, and thus voted for third party candidates. The Washington Post reported that more than half of voters believed Clinton to be corrupt. The low voter turnout and the visceral appeal of Trump to white Americans proved to be in his favor.
After the election results were announced, there were unsurmountable protests occurring in many major cities across the country. Disappointed citizens flocked into the streets and marched for days. Major highways were also shut down due to an influx of protestors blocking the highways.
President Obama had the answer to the outbursts. Obama commended Clinton’s hard work and her message to all girls. He reminded Americans to never lose faith and keep their heads held high. In his speech, Obama publically congratulated Trump and his team for the win and wished the president-elect the best. Obama remarked that Americans must come together, saying that “we are not Democrats first. We are not Republicans first. We are Americans first. We are patriots first.” Obama and his team will be working with Trump’s people during the transition of power in the upcoming weeks.
On November 13, 2016, Trump was interviewed on 60 Minutes; his first interview after being named president-elect. During the interview, many media outlets along with his supporters noticed he was calmer and conveyed a more serious tone. In the interview, Trump told Lesley Stahl that he would not be opposed to building a fence rather than a wall across the US-Mexico border. That was the first promise he made that seems like he will break. Many supporters were also displeased with the way he referred the Clintons as nice people. This could insinuate that he may not hire a special prosecutor to conduct an investigation on Clinton, which was another promise of the Trump campaign.
Trump announced in the interview that he will earn a nominal salary of $1 a year. This is one promise made during his campaign trail that Trump is keen on keeping. However, he is not the first to do so. BBC reported that former presidents Herbert Hoover and John F. Kennedy also took an annual salary of $1 while donating the rest to charity.
The business empire that Donald Trump has built will be managed by his children in a blind trust. This could prove difficult since a blind trust is usually given to a stranger with no connection to one. Trump’s three children are not only appointed to manage his assets but they are also members of his transition committee.
The 2016 presidential election has definitely been a surprising election with a result that has shocked many. As protests and disbelief continue, President Obama assured Americans that the sun will rise in the morning. On January 20, 2017, Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, November 22nd print edition.
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