Donald J. Trump is the 45th President of the United States. He officially claimed the presidency last night after an extremely close election that defied early predictions of an easy win by his opponent, Hillary Clinton.
His win comes on the back of a hugely contentious election cycle. Trump and Clinton, the Democratic nominee, were the two most unpopular presidential candidates in history, according to an Aug. poll by ABC News and the Washington Post.
The defining moment for the Trump campaign last night was his victory in Florida, which gave him 29 electoral votes from a state which had been one of the major tossups between the two candidates.
For many students at Seattle University, Trump’s win comes as a surprise and disappointment. An election viewing party hosted in the Campion lobby on Tuesday night was packed, but silent, as students watched in shock as the results came in.
Students watch the election results in the Campion lobby.
Marginal Discrepancies in Some States
This presidential election saw several states become real battlegrounds on Election Day, many with less than 10 percentage point differences between Clinton and Trump. Texas, a state that has not voted for a Democratic president in 40 years to elect Jimmy Carter, was an alarmingly close call—Clinton received 44 percent of the vote, Trump 52 percent. Florida, a classic swing state, saw one of the closest elections between the two candidates, with 49 percent for Trump and 47 percent for Clinton, according to the New York Times. Another close state was Michigan, with 48 percent for Trump and 46 percent for Hillary.
The Third-Party Impact
Third-party voters had a large impact on the election. Gary Johnson received small percentages of votes from many states. O en times, the percentage of third-party votes made up for the discrepancy between Clinton and Trump votes. One of Johnson’s strongest states was New Mexico, with a reported 9 percent Johnson vote according to the New York Times. In Utah, conservative third-party candidate, former CIA agent and devout Mormon Evan McMullin won 22 percent of the state’s vote. In the close state of Florida, the gap between Clinton and Trump was 1.4 percentage points, while 3.2 percent of votes were for third-party candidates.
Financial Markets Plunge After Early Election Results
Stocks plunged Tuesday night following the election of Donald Trump. On Monday night, investors bet heavily on a Clinton election. Following the surprising shift, the market reacted violently. The Dow Jones dropped a whopping 700 points. Markets in London, Hong Kong, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand were among the many that dropped. The Mexican peso plunged significantly and the Mexican market is expected to suffer following Trump’s election due to his plans to build a wall along the Mexican-American border and to renegotiate their trade agreement. Trump’s election, which follows Brexit, leads financial analysts to anticipate volatility ahead for the world markets.
Looking at Local Results
In other news, local and state politics still exist: five out of nine executive officials were replaced on Tuesday along with a slew of ballot initiatives, advisory notes and local measures. A sample of the results include the following: Jay Inslee was reelected as governor of Washington State. 55 percent of voters chose to approve Sound Transit 3, a plan to funnel $54 billion into massive transit improvements over the next two and a half decades.
Pramila Jayapal will represent Washington’s 7th Congressional District after pulling a surprise win over Brady Walkinshaw, an equally progressive democrat with whom she quarreled weeks ago over a pointed ad campaign criticizing her efficacy in the state senate. Initiative 732, the nation’s first carbon tax of its kind, was passed. I-1433 was also passed, which means the state minimum wage will incrementally rise over the next four to five years and employers will be required to provide paid sick leave for their workers. Initiative 1491, which would allow courts to issue protection orders to temporarily restrict access to rearms for the mentally unstable, was passed, and 1464, which restricts lobbyists and promotes publicly funded campaigns by giving voters prepaid vouchers, will likely be denied.
What is Means for the Country
Since the beginning of his campaign in early 2015, Trump has run on the promise that he will “make America great again,” denouncing the Obama Administration and alluding to new policies to address issues such as immigration reform and terrorism in the U.S.
Though many of the country’s leading publications, including the New York Times, predicted Clinton would have a sure—if close—victory, last night was proof that nothing is certain until the votes are in.
Ultimately, it is impossible to tell at this point what a new presidency will mean for the country. At least now we can put a face to it.
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