What. A. Night. If any of you reading this were like me, you probably stayed up well into the wee hours of the morning just to catch the end of the results. In a near unprecedented turn of events, Donald J. Trump locked up the necessary majority of electoral votes last night to become the 45th President of the United States.
The news sent shock waves throughout the world, tanked the nation’s stock market and essentially decimated the Democratic party who failed to pick up both the House and Senate majorities as well, making it the first time in 10 years that this has happened (the 109th Congress during Bush’s second term was the last).
So what exactly happened? Well let’s take a quick look at the numbers first. The New York Times has the current electoral standings on their homepage at 279 for Trump, 218 for Clinton. Trump’s path to victory came by locking up a number of key swing states, most notably Florida (with a whopping 29 electoral votes), North Carolina with 15 votes. Especially in Florida, enormous third party turnout for candidates Johnson and Stein had a significant impact on the final count, as they scooped up around 5 percent of the vote, which presumably helped Trump to lock up the state. In Michigan, another key state which as of this morning is still too close to call, third party candidates also garnered 5 percent of the total vote, thus why the state is leaning red right now. Trump also gobbled up substantial electoral votes by taking other key states that voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012 such as Iowa, Pennsylvania (with 20 votes), Ohio and Wisconsin.
According to this interesting New York Times map, Trump actually reshaped the electoral map by increasing the portion of the country voting Republican from Romney’s election in ’12. He won big among the rural Midwest in particular, where the leading demographic is whites without a college education. Clinton on the other hand won most of the major cities but failed to capture smaller cities especially in the Midwest.
As of this morning, four states are still too close to call: Michigan, Arizona, Minnesota and New Hampshire. But either way, Trump has secured the 270+ majority and will now lead our country for four years, in tandem with a Republican led Congress. There will be many repercussions from this, both short and long term but the full scope of the effect remains to be seen. One thing is for certain: last night America wholeheartedly rejected the political institutions that have been in place for the past 200+ years in favor an outsider. They are disillusioned, disheartened and fed up with government and are willing to vote for anyone that promises to shake things up. Trump for better or for worse is now our commander in chief, and it’s up to Congress and the American people to decide whether to remain a nation divided, or come together in the spirit of bipartisanship. We shall see.