The 2016 presidential election was a highly contentious Presidential race that pitted Republican candidate Donald Trump against Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Clinton was the first female politician to lead a major political party in a presidential race. Trump was the first businessman and reality star to run for presidential office. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 48% while Trump got 45.9%, but Trump defeated Hillary in the race because he won the controversial electoral vote Trump won 306 electoral votes to Clinton’s 232 electoral votes which made him the winner. This was the 5th election where the candidate won the election by winning the electoral vote and not the popular vote. Trump’s win made many people raise the question if the electoral vote is still relevant today and if the rule should be changed.
Donald Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again!” attracted many disgruntled working class white Americans. His campaign appealed to many workers because he spoke about bringing jobs back from overseas. The Republican candidate’s platform also focused on addressing immigration issues. Trump promised to build a wall on the United States border and move the Israeli embassy to Nazareth, ban immigration of Muslims, and deport illegal immigrants. Making public appearances in places Hillary did not focus on and being active on twitter also helped Trump’s campaign become successful. To prove he was a serious conservative, he chose the highly conservative Mike Pence to be his running mate. Trump did not address education or climate change during his campaign.
During the race, he faced problems that hurt his campaign. A recording from an Access Hollywood tape of him boasting about sexual assault emerged. His behavior in the tape made people believe he was not fit for office. Mitt Romney accused him of hiding something in his tax returns. This caused people to demand that he release his tax returns which he responded by saying he has been under audit for years. Hillary Clinton launched her campaign with a rally on June 13. Her campaign slogan was “We are Stronger Together,” which was an attempt to portray unity. Her campaign focused on white-collar educated voters as well as millennials and minorities. She chose Tim Kaine as her running mate because he was a moderate democrat and pro-life. Her campaign platform promised economic equality, regulating Wall Street banks, and criminal justice reform. She spent nearly $80 million on ads to boost her campaign.
During her campaign, her email’s became a controversial topic. An FBI investigation surrounding her use of a private email server to conduct government business surfaced. Another issue that arose, was the Democratic National Convention and Hillary’s chairman’s emails were hacked and leaked to embarrass her. Donald Trump’s winning coalition was composed of the group his campaign targeted: working class white Americans. They voted for Trump in hope that his campaign platform promises of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, improving healthcare, and strengthening America’s immigration system would come true. Donald Trump won the election with a total of 306 electoral votes. Trump won North Carolina, Arizona, Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania. He also managed to flip normally democratic states like Michigan and Wisconsin.
Trump’s campaign strategy was effective in securing the path to gaining the majority of the electoral votes. During the week leading up to the election, Trump traveled to the states like Wisconsin and Michigan because they were key to his victory. Clinton continued to work her campaign on the east coast states by attending concerts put on by her wealthy friends and do all the things that drove working class America away from her. Donald Trump won the 2016 Presidential election because his campaign hit on issues that affected all American citizens. The issues of healthcare, economy, and immigration. He attended countless rallys and displayed his demeanor through complete honesty. He used social media platforms like twitter often which connected him to the voters.