Donald John Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States on November 8th, 2016 in a stunning election victory that has shocked Washington and the world. The long Tuesday night after over a year of explosive, populist and polarizing campaign between Hillary Clinton, the Democratic party nominee and Trump, the Republican party nominee that took relentless aim at the institutions and long-held ideals of American democracy, is a searing rebuke to President Obama, who had pleaded with voters that his hope-and-change agenda was at stake in this election.
For the first time in many decades the Republican party is expected to have control over the Presidency, the US Senate and the US House of Representatives. The Republicans continue to have a 51 seat majority in a Senate which has a total membership of 100, while the grand old party of Lincoln will also have a majority in the House, holding onto at least 236 seats, with the Democrats winning 191 seats.
Donald John Trump defied the skeptics who said he would never run, and the political veterans who scoffed at his slapdash campaign. Hillary Clinton had been seeking to make history as the first woman to win the White House, but instead the 70-year-old Trump made history of another sort, becoming the first person elected to the top job without having held a high government office or military command.
The shocking outcome, defying almost all preelection polls that showed Hillary Clinton with a modest but persistent edge, threatened convulsions throughout the country and the world, where skeptics had watched the triumph of Trump, a real estate developer-turned-reality television star with no government experience, was a powerful rejection of the establishment forces that had assembled against him, from the world of business to government, and the consensus they had forged on everything from trade to immigration.
The coming together of the Blacks, the Hispanics, and the Women was not enough to the decisive demonstration of power by a largely overlooked coalition of mostly blue-collar white and working-class voters who felt that the promise of the United States had slipped their grasp amid decades of globalization and multiculturalism.
Nationwide exit polls underscored America’s stark divide. Male white voters backed Trump, while women backed Clinton by a double-digit margin. Nearly nine in 10 black voters and two-thirds of Latinos voted for the Democrat. He fired up white, working-class American voters who were angry at the Washington establishment and felt left behind by globalization.
Analysts say, people of this oldest and greatest constitutional democratic nation have voted convincingly, expressing that they are fed up with eight years of a sluggish economy and a growing disconnect with their leaders in Washington, voting to send businessman and political novice Donald Trump to the White House, guaranteeing one of the biggest shakeups in political history.
His message resonated especially in the Midwest, where a stunning victory in Ohio helped give Trump the Electoral College votes he needed to win. Unexpected and upset victories in the states of Pennsylvania and Wisconsin gave him enough projected electoral votes to win the White House. The battleground states of Florida and North Carolina cleared the way for his Brexit-style upset.
But his ultimate triumph was driven less by region than by race and class. His winning coalition consisted of restive whites and scarcely anyone else. He is projected to win 289 electoral college votes with Hillary Clinton winning 214 electoral college votes out of 538 electoral college votes needed to win the White House.
Trump has so far won 28 US states, smashing into Clinton’s vaunted electoral firewall in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, states that have not supported a Republican presidential candidate since 1988 and 1984 respectively. He also prevailed in Iowa, which has not elected a Republican since 2004. Trump held on to solidly Republican territory, including in Georgia, Arizona and Utah, where the Clinton campaign had invested resources in the hope of flipping the states.
Hillary Clinton, the former first lady, former senator and former Secretary of State, whose quartercentury in Washington — and the long list of stumbles, including a scandal over a secret email server — is reported to have made her anathema for too many voters.
Trump powered his campaign with a simple mantra to “Make America great again” and he vowed to live up to that charge as president, saying he would rebuild the country’s inner cities, improve care for veterans, double economic growth and forge alliances with other nations willing to work with him. He attacked the norms of American politics, singling out groups for derision on the basis of race and religion and attacking the legitimacy of the political process.
Trump ignored conventions of common decency, employing casual vulgarity and raining personal humiliation on his political opponents and critics in the media. In his triumph, Trump has delivered perhaps the greatest shock to the American political system in modern times and opened the door to an era of extraordinary political uncertainty at home and around the globe.
The son of a wealthy real estate developer in New York, Trump spent decades pursuing social acceptance in upscale Manhattan and seeking, at times desperately, to persuade the wider world to see him as a great man of affairs. Ridiculed by critics on the right and left, shunned by the most respected figures in American politics, including every living former president, Trump equated his own outcast status with the resentments of the white class.
The US president-elect took to the stage with his family at his victory rally in a New York hotel ballroom and said: “I just received a call from Secretary Clinton. She congratulated us on our victory. “Hillary has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time, and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country.”
In an uncharacteristically gracious and conciliatory speech, US President-elect Donald Trump, in his post-win speech, first thanked opponent Hillary Clinton for her “service to the nation” and hinted at healing a country bruised by a grueling and divisive campaign season.
Even though he would later talk of putting America front and centre by “no longer settling for anything less than the best” and “reclaiming the country’s destiny”, he started his speech saying he “will be President for all of America”, even for those “who’ve chosen not to support me.”
“We are going to fix our inner cities, we are going to rebuild towns, schools, hospitals….which will become second to none… and we will put millions of our people to work. We will also finally take care of our great veterans. Everyone in this country will realize their potential, the forgotten men and women won’t be forgotten anymore,” Trump said. aving been accused of excessive protectionism and an inward approach to foreign policy, today’s post-win Trump also made sure to give a conciliatory shout out to the rest of the world. “We will put America’s interests first, but we will deal fairly with everyone,” Trump said. He added: “It is time for us to come together as one united people.” He pledged: “I am your voice.”