Donald Trump elected President, U.S. reacts


Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore/Flickr

The American people voted, and our President-elect is Donald Trump.

It is an outcome that most news media never saw coming. Hillary Clinton and her supporters were shaken up, and many took to social media and the streets to voice their opinions as Clinton failed to secure enough electoral votes in loss to Donald Trump.

By the numbers

It is estimated that over 121 million voters turned out for the 2016 election, with the number still rising. Though that number looks big, it was the lowest voter turnout in two decades. Of those voters, Clinton received just over 61 million votes, about 700,000 more than Trump’s 60.4 million votes. Clinton’s victory in the popular vote is currently at 0.5 percent, but The New York Times is projecting that the vote will end at 1.5 percent. However, Clinton’s popular vote victory was not enough to claim the 270 electoral votes necessary. Trump secured the needed 270 electoral votes after winning major swing states Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Trump also secured other battleground states, including Wisconsin and Iowa, and could still win a total of 306 electoral votes.

Clinton’s victory in the popular vote means she has never lost the popular vote in an election she ran in. In the 2008 Democratic primary, Clinton defeated President Obama 48 percent to 47.3 percent in the popular vote, but failed to secure the needed votes from delegates.

Trump, who was favored to get a large percent of the white vote heading into the election, received 58 percent of the vote compared to Clinton’s 37 percent. This was actually down from the 59 percent Romney received versus Obama in 2012. The black and Latino votes went in Clinton’s favor. Clinton secured 88 percent of the black vote and 65 percent of the Latino vote, as compared to Trump’s eight percent and 29 percent. Despite the large margin, Trump again performed more successfully than Romney did in the 2012 election.

A major difference in votes could also be seen in those who were college-educated versus those who were not. During a speech in the Republican primary, Trump admitted he wanted to target uneducated voters. Trump received 51 percent of this vote.

Clinton received only 54 percent of the female vote compared to Obama’s 55 percent in 2012. Trump secured 42 percent, including 62 percent of white female voters without college degrees.

One of the more surprising numbers was the number of registered party members who voted against their candidate. Nine percent of registered Democrats that voted put in a ballot for Trump, whereas seven percent of registered Republicans voted for Clinton. Many politicians were shocked that Trump polled so favorably among his own party, while the favorability of Bernie Sanders may have hurt Clinton among some of her peers.

Photo courtesy of Marc Nozell/Flickr

Photo courtesy of Marc Nozell/Flickr

Battleground states breakdown

There are about eight to twelve states that are considered battleground or swing states in any presidential election. Among those states, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Nevada, New Hampshire, Virginia, and Wisconsin are considered the most important. What may come as a surprise to many is that in the 2012 presidential election, Obama and Romney split the swing states where Florida and North Carolina went to Romney and the others to Obama. Many seemed to believe that, after so many swing states had been blue during the 2012 election, they would vote blue again in 2016. However this was not the case. Clinton won Nevada and Virginia, while Trump took Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, and North Carolina.

According to the BBC, Trump won 50.5 percent of the popular vote in North Carolina, 49.1 percent in Florida, and 52.1 percent in Ohio. Clinton won 49.9 percent in Virginia and 47.9 percent in Nevada.

According to their projections as to swing state totals on Nov. 5 was that Clinton would secure Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

The reason that these states are considered “swing” is that they historically cannot consistently back one political party. Florida is infamous for being a huge swing state to get. It went to Obama both in 2008 and in 2012; however, it went to George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004, after it had gone to Bill Clinton in 1996. In 2000, Florida went to Bush and decided his defeat of Al Gore by a narrow 537 votes. Florida became such a key state to obtain because Gore and Bush were tied. When Florida finally went to Bush, he received its 29 electoral votes as well, giving him five more electoral college votes than Gore to secure the presidency with 271 electoral votes.

Photo courtesy of Kevin O’Reilly

Photo courtesy of Kevin O’Reilly

Protests and conflict

Following Trump’s victory, many voters crowded  the streets to protest the results of the election. The hashtag #notmypresident took social media by storm as the protest grew nationwide to reject Trump as the victor. Clinton and Trump supporters posted to social media to show instances of hate against both parties. Various Clinton supporters posted photos and stories about being attacked or called racial slurs after Trump’s victory.

Locally, a Muslim woman and student at San Diego State University was attacked by two men who were reportedly wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat, supportive gear from Trump’s campaign, as well as saying racial slurs and pro-Trump remarks. SDSU police are investigating the matter as a hate crime.

Various crimes have also been reported involving protests against Trump supporters and police. A video surfaced on Facebook showing a Trump supporter in Chicago being beaten by a group of men for his support of Trump. Police in Oregon and Washington claimed several protests had become riots after protesters threw objects and projectiles at police and vehicles.

Many have also criticized the protests for burning American flags and flying American flags upside down, a symbol that the U.S. is under great distress, seen as a sign of disrespect by many military members and veterans. Despite the disgust revolving around this act, it is protected by the First Amendment right of all U.S. citizens. Many anti-Trump protesters also posted remarks regarding Trump’s possible assassination on Facebook.

Despite several aggressive protests,thousands have gathered in multiple peaceful protests around the country. Over the weekend protesters marched the streets in downtown San Diego and Balboa Park.

In an email addressed to University of San Diego students, Carmen M. Vazquez, MSW, CSW, Vice President for Student Affairs, Denise Dimon, PhD, Associate Provost, International Affairs, and Esteban del Río, PhD, Associate Provost, Inclusion & Diversity addressed the concern and safety of various demographics that may be experiencing hatred, fear, or animosity due to their race.

“For international students, students whose parents are undocumented, DACA students, or others who have questions about safety and status or are feeling anxious and concerned, please contact the International Center,” the email stated.

The email also urged students to take part in discussions about the election in an open and respectful way.

“Many spaces have opened up inside and outside of classes for students to talk about the election and what it means; bring your best selves to these conversations,” the email said. “Listen to each other, understand each other, respectfully disagree, deliberate, and do so as a community united by our mission and the spirit of Changemaking.”

Faithless electors and the electoral college

Currently the projections of the election have Trump at 302 electoral votes and Clinton at 232. These results are technically not finalized yet. When an individual votes, they are voting to select representatives or electors to speak on their behalf in the electoral college. For instance, when a state is worth four electoral votes, and the popular vote in that state is for the Republican Party, four electors from the party in that state will be sent to vote for the president.

In 29 states, these electors or representatives are required by law to vote with their party’s delegate. That means that their electoral vote has essentially been locked for Trump or Clinton by the popular vote. Traditionally, the electoral college votes with the state’s majority, and this year they will vote on Dec. 19.

However, in 21 states, electors can choose to be what is called a faithless elector. Although a faithless elector is rare, it is possible for them to vote against their party’s designated candidate. Trump won 17 of the 21 states that legally allow electors to act as faithless electors, during the election. Various Republican representatives have already voiced their consideration to become faithless voters, including Alaska’s electors Sean Parnell, Jacqueline Tupou, and Carolyn Leman.

For Trump to not be elected, 36 of the projected electors would have to flip against him. Electors have flipped before, but not often. In all of American history, 157 electors have acted as faithless electors, with 72 coming due to the death of a candidate between the general election and electoral college. That leaves only 82 times where electors have voted against their designated party. The last time multiple faithless electors acted in one year, not due to the death of a candidate, was in 1896.

The electoral college was put in place to represent the interest of the U.S. based on the knowledge that over 50 percent of the U.S. population is held in a small variety of U.S. cities. The electoral college was set in place so that states without major populations can play a significant role in the process and policy can represent the U.S. as a whole rather than major cities.

The electoral college was updated in 2012 and is based on the amount of U.S. senators and representatives each state is entitled to. It is unlikely that the electoral college will ever be abolished, since making an amendment to the Constitution requires three-fourths of the states to ratify it. Less populated states would have no interest in doing so.

There are proposed ways around this, including changing the winner-take-all allocation of votes to a proportional allocation for each state. Still, many have called for a disbanding of the electoral college altogether. Since Tuesday, a petition has circulated online urging electors to pick Clinton on Dec. 19. The petition currently has 4,300,000 signatures.

For now, the U.S. will wait to see if the electoral college will confirm Trump as president and pass on the result to be approved to Congress or if, for the first time in history, the college will flip the result of the general election.

Photo courtesy of Ca. Attorney General’s Office/Wiki

Photo courtesy of Ca. Attorney General’s Office/Wiki

Women make history

Through the election turmoil and drama, many missed the various firsts for U.S. elections. Kamala Harris, California’s Attorney General, became the first Black U.S. senator from California, the second Black woman to serve as a senator, and the first Indian-American senator. Harris was backed by President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden during her senate run.

Catherine Cortez Masto became the first Latina senator in U.S. history after winning Nevada, and Stephanie Murphy, who immigrated from Vietnam when she was one-years-old, became the first Vietnamese-American women to win a seat in congress.

Oregon became the first state to elect an openly LGBT governor, Kate Brown. Ilhan Omar, who escaped the Somalian civil war, became the first Somali-American legislator, and Pramila Jayapal was the first Indian-American woman to hold a seat in the House of Representatives. Kellyanne Conway, the woman in charge of Trump’s campaign, became the first women to lead a victorious presidential campaign.