After what felt like the most heated and controversial election cycle in American history, voters went to the polls on Election Day 2016 and elected Republican Donald Trump to the presidency. The real estate billionaire's shocking upset over Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has left many scratching their heads, wondering how this could have happened.
So how did this scenario that seemed so unlikely to so many unfold? It was a very close race, with Clinton actually winning the popular vote by nearly half a million votes. It proved to be the electoral college that was vital in Trump's win. In spite of the popular vote, Trump won in all the key battleground states, most notably in Florida, where his win by just one percentage point gave him a big boost of 29 electors. Trump ended the night with 290 electoral votes to Clinton's 228.
This election is historic and represents a huge shift in the direction of American politics. The traditional two party system is dying and people are realizing the change they want will not come with either party (Case in point, voter turnout was at its lowest in 20 years, the choice of Clinton or Trump forced many to stay home).
On the one side, the Republican leadership has been completely turned on its head and will soon be taken over by the anti-establishment, populist base represented in the election of Donald Trump. In addition to winning the White House, the Republicans won control of both houses of Congress. The last time that happened was 1928. So, like it or not, the direction of this party will have a big impact on the direction of America.
For the Democrats, the party is on the verge of a civil war after Clinton's shock loss to Trump. The era of Clinton, Barack Obama and Debbie Wasserman Schultz is over, and a new brand of progressives have led a charge to take control and move the party to the left, led by Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Keith Ellison (the possible new chair of the DNC.)
Everyone from the media pundits to political experts on both sides of the aisle expected we would be coronating a new president Clinton. Instead, we have President elect Trump, to the dismay of pretty much the entire world. But who is chiefly responsible for this result? The blame can be put squarely on the Democratic Party.
Despite his popularity, Trump could have been defeated. Polls show that had the Democrats nominated Sanders, he would have won easily. However the Democratic Party refused to listen to all the signs showing that change was the theme of this election. Clinton does not represent that change, making her a very weak candidate. Now they have to deal with the fallout of allowing the Republicans gain total control of the government.
Hopefully, Trump goes back on some of his more ridiculous campaign promises, as he has already done on Obamacare, and these four years pass by as quick and pain free as possible.