Trump secures a surprising victory

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Trump won the electoral vote with 306 electoral votes to Clinton’s 232. Arizona and Michigan are Trump, while New Hampshire is for Clinton (the vote count isn’t technically done yet).

Evan Rocha, Staff Writer

The results of the presidential election came as a surprise to a great deal of people, mainly because of Trump’s path to victory. Most assumed that if the unlikely situation that he won occurred, it would be through victories in Nevada and New Hampshire, and that this would just barely push him to the 270 required electoral votes to win. However, on election night many were surprised to see Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin all going for Trump. North Carolina and Florida, both key swing states in the election, also ended up choosing Trump.

In our very own state, Trump’s victory was greatly due to a major swing in Pinellas County. Both of the last two elections had nearly the same result as this election, except with one key difference: a shift in Pinellas County from Democrat to Republican.

Other major surprises occurred in Virginia, where Trump very nearly took the state despite it being considered a Democrat stronghold, and Minnesota, where Trump did far better than expected. Of course, many were extremely surprised at the turn of much of the Rust Belt to Trump, with key victories in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan pushing him over 270 electoral votes. These were strongly predicted by many polls to be solid Democrat states, with Wisconsin not having voted Republican since Reagan’s landslide victory in 1984. Some have attributed Trump’s success in these areas to his many speeches in these states. Clinton had largely put off campaigning in these states, instead opting to host rallies in Ohio and Florida, both of which also inevitably voted for Trump.

Trump failed to take Nevada and New Hampshire, but by very small margins. In fact, he very nearly won Maine and Minnesota, and performed extremely well in Colorado. He also beat Romney’s share of the vote in much of New England, bringing normally unanimous Democrat states like Connecticut and Delaware to <7% margins.

Trump didn’t win everywhere, though. Clinton clinched the popular vote by about 200,000 total votes. She produced huge turnouts in California, New York, and Illinois, but these states would’ve voted Democrat regardless, and these added votes ultimately did not help her campaign. She also received the highest margin of victory of any state in the US with the DC vote choosing her 93% to Trump’s 4%. Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party generated about half as many votes as Trump in DC, demonstrating how unpopular Trump is in the area. In various voter polls, Trump also lost among Moderates, Liberals, Democrats, minorities, women, Jews, Muslims, nonreligious people, LGBT voters, younger voters, college graduates, the poor, and city dwellers. Despite this somewhat massive list, he did win among Independents, evangelicals, rural areas, and the middle-class.

Many protests by student groups have begun over the last few days, claiming that the electoral college should be abolished and that Clinton should’ve won. Consequently, the millennial turnout was low this year, as it always is. However, despite the toxicity of the election, the aftermath has been somewhat better, at least through political discourse. Trump congratulated Clinton on her campaign in his acceptance speech, and President Obama invited Trump to meet with him to discuss his future presidency.