2016 Presidential Election Results
Donald Trump, barring faithless electors, will become the 45th President of the United States. According to CNN, he won 306 electoral votes, but he will lose the popular vote by almost 3 million votes. This will be the fourth time in US. history that the winner of the Electoral College lost the popular vote.
Popular Vote (approx.) Electoral Vote
65,853,516 232 Hillary Clinton
62,984,825 306 Donald Trump
President-elect Donald Trump will begin his first term on January 20th, 2017.
The Electoral College vote on December 19th, 2016:
Donald Trump: 304
Hillary Clinton: 227
The actual electoral vote is different from the amount of electoral votes won on Election Day because electors chose to vote differently than how a majority of their state voted.
Consequences of and Reflections on this Election
Donald Trump winning this election is significant and incredibly telling of how many people in the United States feel about the current state of the country:
Firstly, Trump’s victory is a rebuke of President Obama’s legacy. Obama made campaigning personal: “I will considerate it a personal insult to my legacy…” Clinton campaigned as “Obama’s third term,” and voters clearly did not want more of Obama’s policies. Despite having President Obama (with an astronomical fifty-one percent approval rating) and Michelle Obama (arguably the most popular U.S. political figure) actively campaigning for her, Hillary Clinton was unable to win. A majority of voters do not want more of Obama.
Secondly, Trump’s victory is a rebuke of the Washington establishment. Many people are tired of seeing the childish bickering of veteran politicians and want to see compromise and progress. The sending of Trump to the White House is a way of shaking up Washington.
Thirdly, political parties are changing. Trump won this election with a coalition that the Republican Party cannot rely on because minorities are growing in importance. White men and women were the main supporters of Trump while minorities supported Clinton by large margins. Republicans must become inclusive of minorities if they hope to remain a viable, major party in the future. Democrats now know that they cannot win elections by simply vilifying Republicans, and they must advocate policies that work.
Fourthly, Trump will need to heal the sharp divide between many people. Partisan politics were especially ugly in this election, and the environment that allows government to best function was lost. Trump will need to stop his insensitive remarks and speak to each person where they are in their lives: whether it be the struggling single mother, the unemployed father, or the undocumented immigrant.
Results of the Battleground States
Going into Election Day, Clinton was thought to have many paths to winning the Electoral College, and Trump was thought to have few. Clinton was thought to have much room for error, and Trump was thought to have none.
The theme of the night was “Don’t count Trump out.” Of the 12 battleground states—states that can be won by either candidate—Clinton only won three of them.
Hillary Clinton won Colorado, Nevada, and Virginia.
Donald Trump won Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
The following states traditionally vote for Democratic presidential candidates—Wisconsin since 1984 and Michigan and Pennsylvania since 1992. Trump defied expectations and won all three of these states.
The 115th United States Congress
The 115th Congress will begin on January 3rd, 2017.
Republicans will retain narrow majorities in each house of Congress. Assuming cooperation between President Trump, House Speaker Ryan, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a conservative agenda seems poised to become law over the next two years. The issues most likely to be focused on are healthcare, immigration, taxes, and trade.
Republicans have a 52-48 majority in the next Congress.
Major races: Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Richard Shelby (R-Alabama), 2008 Republican Presidential candidate John McCain (Arizona), and 2016 Republican Presidential candidates Marco Rubio (Florida) and Rand Paul (Kentucky) were all re-elected.
House of Representatives
Republicans have a 241-194 majority in the next Congress.
Paul Ryan was chosen as Speaker of the House in an emergency election in October 2015. He was chosen to lead a group of GOP congressman that are plagued with disagreement and in-fighting. The Freedom Caucus, a small group of ultra-conservative congressman, complained loudly enough to oust John Boehner as Speaker, and Ryan may face the same ousting-threat during elections for Speaker in the next Congress.
Many of the complaints are of Ryan’s handling of Donald Trump. He refused to support Trump because of his hateful, racist, and misogynistic comments. In January’s Speaker elections, only 23 GOP congressman need to defect from the party to deprive Paul Ryan of an easy win. The Freedom Caucus has 42 members.
Pray for the country. Pray for Congress. Pray for Donald Trump.