The 58th presidential election to decide the 45th president of the United States occurred on November 8th, 2016. Incumbent president Barack Obama was unelligible to run again, having completed two full terms in office. Republican candidate Donald Trump won a surprise victory, carrying several Rust Belt states unobtainable in prior elections, despite losing in nearly all polls to opponent and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Notable third party candidate Evan McMullin largely underperformed, failing to carry any electoral votes.
For the entire presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton was considered to be the front runner by nearly all reliable polling sources. Conservatives were largely divided between supporting political outsider Donald Trump, an unhinged campaigner who frequently attacked establishment Republicans, and several other rogue splinter campaigns. By Labor Day weekend, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson was polling near 12 percent nationally. This would be his peak, as several campaign trail hiccups greatly limited his support by election night. Utah, a traditionally solid red state, was a near tossup between Donald Trump and Evan McMullin (also a conservative).
The presidential debates were largely considered to have been won by Hillary Clinton. Following the first debate, Hillary Clinton's lead over Donald Trump increased by six percent. In October, Access Hollywood audio recordings of Donald Trump speaking lewdly were released by the Washington Post, causing a major controversy surrounding the electability of the candidate, and furthering the disenfranchisement of the Republican Party. Several political pundits expected this scandal, along with Hillary Clinton's prior lead, to secure her a solid victory. Online "political forecasts" run by various organizations gave Hillary Clinton a 70 to 98 percent chance of winning on election night.
Despite Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote by a margin of nearly 3 million, her stunning defeat in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin caused her to lose the electoral college 306-232.
Multiple people voting in the electoral college deflected from their state's winning candidate on voting day. Three electors in Washington state cast their vote for Republican Colin Powell instead of winning candidate Hillary Clinton.
|Candidate||Popular vote||Electoral votes|
|Donald Trump / Mike Pence||62,985,106||304|
|Hillary Clinton / Tim Kaine||65,853,625||227|
|Gary Johnson / Bill Weld||4,489,233||0|
|Evan McMullin / Mindy Finn||729,824||0|
|Other candidates||3,022,813||7 (faithless electors)|
On the IssuesEdit
|Candidate/Issue||Donald Trump||Hillary Clinton|
|Abortion||Pro life, believes states should decide on abortion legality. Repeal Roe v Wade.||Strongly pro choice, believes in keeping first and second trimester abortion legal and available for all women.|
|Gun control||Gun owners don't need additional restrictions. End gun free zones.||Restrict ownership of guns by increasing regulations. Prevent mentally ill, criminals from purchasing through legal loopholes.|
|Immigration||Deport all illegal immigrants back to their country of origin. Build a border wall along the US-Mexico border.||Create a simple pathway to US citizenship for illegal immigrants with no criminal record. Allow Syrian refugees.|
|Obamacare||Repeal and replace with something "more affordable". Agrees with cutting red tape for private medical insurers.||Continue the Affordable Care Act, and other health care policies left under Barack Obama.|
|Sustainable energy||We cannot afford sustainable energy. Continue production of nuclear power and increase power of oil corporations. Build DAPL.||Invest in sustainable energy for future generations. Continue regulation of oil companies.|
- The 2016 presidential election will likely be considered a major realignment for future elections. Several states not carried by Republicans since George Bush Sr were won by Donald Trump. Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin effectively have become tossup states following their surprise Republican wins. Minnesota was also surprisingly close, but still managed to be won by Hillary Clinton. The "blue wall", states which were close but debatably solid blue before this election crumbled.
- Iowa transitions from a tossup state to a red state. White rural moderates, a significant population in the state, opposed many of Hillary Clinton's socially liberal policies. While the group has been slowly becoming more Republican for decades, they have swung the greatest in this election, costing Democrats the state. Donald Trump won Iowa by 10 percentage points.
- Hillary Clinton's tight victory in Virginia proves its continuing toss up status, despite some claims from political pundits of it becoming "solid blue" before the election.
- Arizona, Georgia, and Texas remain red, but the margin is tighter than previous elections. All three states are showing some signs of becoming tossup states in the next ten years.
- Western support for Hillary Clinton remains strong. She carries Colorado and Nevada, two swing states, easily. This is despite failing to carry toss ups and many lean blue states east of the Rockies.