This paper talks about the 2016 presidential election. It explains Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s campaign, platforms, and scandals. People wonder how a businessman, Trump won the presidency over Hillary Clinton, a woman that has been in politics most of her life. Americans choose their president so why did a businessman defeat a politician? Trump won because of his want to “Make America Great Again.” Trump wanted to make the United States a better place. Donald Trump chose to run for president at the right time because of the many factors that were in place that would make him win. The cultural shift, want for change, and use of social media helped him win the 2016 presidential election.
After Obama’s last term, there was space for a new president. The two presidential candidates were Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Although Hillary won the popular vote, Donald Trump won in the electoral college which made him the president of the United States. Because Hillary won in the popular vote, many people were outraged that she did not win the election. Many people were distraught knowing that Trump would be their president for the next four years. Many people asked why Donald Trump won. Donald Trump won because of his want for change, the cultural shift, and his use of social media.
Donald Trump’s Campaign
Donald Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” was used extensively. On June 16, 2015, Donald Trump announced his presidential campaign (Calmes 2017). Trump said his main focuses were to be undocumented immigrants, federal debt, offshoring of jobs, free trade, terrorism and the media (Calmes 2017). Trump had many scandals involving sexual assault allegations, using his campaign to pay his businesses and many others, but the Russian scandal was the most important. The Russian scandal was about Russian government collusion in the 2016 presidential election. British Broadcasting Corporation explains it as, “[an allegation] that Russian hackers stole information linked to the campaign of his rival Hillary Clinton and passed it to Wikileaks so it could be released to undermine her (BBC 2018).” Russia was also involved in probing state voter databases, posting propaganda on social media (Abrams 2019). A great number of Trump’s supporters were male, white and poor (Washington Post). A significant amount of his support also came from those who were against immigrants and those who lived in parts of the United States with racial resentment (Thompson 2016). This is not a surprise with his strong immigration views. The main reason he won was because of his promise to better the American economy. With his experience of being a successful businessman, people believed in him and supported him.
Hillary Clinton’s Campaign
Hillary Clinton focused on raising middle class incomes, expanding women’s rights, and improving the Affordable Care Act (Ballotpedia). Hillary supported abortion, rights, marriage equality, and legalization of marijuana (Ballotpedia). For immigration she wanted a reform with a pathway to citizenship. Clinton also supported stricter gun control (Ballotpedia). A scandal during Clinton’s campaign was the $84 million dollars she received illegally. The money was not transferred to state parties, but instead it was sent to the DNC. Making this exchange illegal (Harvey 2018). Women were mostly likely to support Hillary. In a poll 54% of women were most likely to support Hillary. For those under the age of 50, 63% of them said they voted for Clinton (Pew Research Center 2018). The reason for this is her focus on increasing women’s rights and also because she could have been the first female president.
One reason Trump won was because of the Obama-Trump voter. Trump’s campaign was similar to Obama’s campaign of having change in America. 206 counties in America who voted for Obama, flipped to vote for Trump. For example, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and many others flipped from voting Obama to voting for Trump. The reason for this “flip” was Trump’s views on jobs. Trump wanted to bring back jobs to America and to prevent companies from giving jobs to other countries. The states previously listed is where the automobile industry is mostly located. Those states have been on the decline. Trump appealed to the “Forgotten Americans,” who were blue collar workers (Hains 2018).
Another reason on why Trump won was the cultural shift of the political left. Democrats shifted more to the left and politics became more polarized. In the past, Democrats were against illegal immigration. Former President Barrack Obama deported more than 2.5 million people (Marshall 2016). And now, Democrats do not see illegal immigration as a bad thing and want to help these people out. The sudden change influenced voters. Americans have become uncomfortable on how illegal immigrants are able to come in the country and stay here without any proper documents. People do not have a problem with legal immigrants but when someone comes illegally and has access to many programs that give them free money, people get upset. That is why Trump’s promise to increase border security, protect our borders, and send back illegal immigrants appealed to Americans that want our country to be more secure (Hains 2018).
The final reason why Trump won was, because of social media. Trump has a total of 125 million followers across Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook (McCaskill 2017). Trump’s tweets have been popular the past few years. With the use of the ability to retweet and his millions of followers who can retweet, his messages can get through millions of users in a short amount of time. Also, CNN helped Trump by giving him free publicity. CNN would constantly broadcast Trump and his political views and anything bad he has done. With the coverage, viewers may change their mind about Trump and agree with what he stands for. Trump says many controversial statements does many things that would give him free publicity. It also helped how Trump used to have his show “The Apprentice” which shows some experience of knowing how to get attention. Trump spent $398 million for his campaign while Hillary paid $768 million (Ingraham 2017). Because of the many outlandish things that Trump would say, Trump received about $5 billion in free media (Ingraham 2017).
I predict that Trump will win the 2020 presidential election because of what he has done in his term. Donald Trump’s achievements: 4 million new jobs, lowest unemployment rate in 49 years, median household income has been the highest ever recorded, Black and Hispanic unemployment is at the lowest rate ever recorded (WhiteHouse.gov). Those accomplishments make Americans want to give Trump another term.
Trump was not seen as a legitimate candidate to run for president in 2016. However, Trump has proven us all wrong. Trump won the election and stuck by his promises that he made for the American people. Of course, everyone has their flaws and whether you agree with him or not, people can say that Trump has done good things for our country. Hopefully, we can get another great term from Trump next election.
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