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The Great Upset: American Presidential Election 2016

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Haley Brown ’17

More stories from Haley Brown '17

On Tuesday, November 8, America saw one of the most unpredicted presidential elections in our history. Most people on social media in the hours since the election began yesterday have been comparing this to the 2000 election with Al Gore and Bush. Through this election and the months prior, the media kept portraying Secretary Hillary Clinton as the winner, no question.

Then came the upset.

Early on, Clinton seemed to be taking states by storm, as we’d come to expect. She’d won Vermont, Bernie Sanders’ home state, as expected, along with the major win of California and their 55 electoral votes. Donald Trump was winning states early on as well, but those particular states were low in electoral votes. It seemed that if all states who were reliably Democratic remained true to form, Clinton would be the first female president.

As we now know, that isn’t how this election went. Though Florida’s polls closed at 7:00 p.m., their votes took hours to come in. Clinton had won certain areas of larger cities with more population, while Trump was winning more smaller areas with less overall population, keeping the race for Florida neck and neck. At this point, if Clinton won Florida, it would be by a very small margin. As Americans waited for Florida’s final results, other states seemed to be swinging towards Trump, such as Texas and Utah.

In the late hours of Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, the last few states were left. These were mostly comprised of swing states, such as Pennsylvania, and Trump was only ahead in all of these polls by a very small margin. In an unexpected turn, states began to pop up red all over the country. Trump won Florida, and his electoral college votes skyrocketed over Clinton’s. The swing states began to turn red as well, such as New Hampshire and eventually Pennsylvania, taking Trump to the required 270 electoral college votes, naming him the next President of the United States around 2:50 Wednesday morning.

This upset has left half of America in despair, and the other half to cheer. It was an extremely close call between a multitude of states where there might have been only tenths of a difference between the two candidates. America is in a state of shock on both ends, because it seemed that Clinton was the winner in the media up until last night. By a difference of only about 200,000 votes, this proved to be an example of how a candidate can lose the popular vote but win the election.

There is no more campaigning. This is what the American people have chosen, and, as with every election, we can only wait and see if the choice was in our favor.

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The Great Upset: American Presidential Election 2016