After a late night at the polls this past Tuesday, all results from the Electoral College point toward uncharted territory for the United States. There is no doubt that 2016 has been a historic election year. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton running against reality TV star Donald Trump seems like a political landslide, but somehow it has become the most intense presidential race in decades.
Election night started off normally, every media source commenting on the percentages of poll votes as they trickled in. Commentators expected a win for Hillary Clinton, but as the night went on, it became apparent that the majority of states were equally divided, many of them ‘Too Close To Call’. By the nine o'clock hour, Clinton’s path to victory had narrowed considerably.
When Florida went red, giving Trump twenty-nine electoral votes, it soon became clear that Clinton would have a harder time nabbing the presidency. North Carolina followed soon after, delivering a major blow to Clinton's campaign, depriving her of fifteen electoral votes.
Eventually the race came down to three major battleground states: Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. If Trump won Pennsylvania, the race to 270 electoral votes would all be over. At approximately 1 a.m., Trump unexpectedly won Pennsylvania, a state on which Clinton had been depending on. By the next hour, Trump’s victory was certain. Clinton’s campaign manager announced to everyone in the Democratic Waiting Room that the administration would not give up just yet, and they would make a new announcement in the morning. Then he insisted that her supporters go home for the night.
Not a half hour later, the Trump administration informed the public that the former secretary had phoned Trump congratulating him on the presidency, conceding her defeat. With that, the 2016 presidential election had ended. Our president elect was chosen.
The final results revealed Trump with 279 electoral votes, Clinton ending with 228, and ironically the popular vote. This is only the fifth time in our nation's history that this system flaw has occurred, the last case being in 2000.
President-elect Trump gave his acceptance speech around 3 a.m. to a crowd of enthusiastic supporters. He promised unity and great change during his presidency, reaching out to the citizens that did not support him during the election.
“For those who have chosen not to support me in the past, of which there were a few people, I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so that we can work together and unify our great country.”
However, not everyone is happy with Trump’s election. Protests sparked the nation in at least twenty-five major cities with hundreds of thousands of angry people. Although there was some vandalism and general violence in a few of the big cities, the majority of the protests remained peaceful.
For better or for worse, Trump winning the election proves the famed politician Adlai Stevenson’s beloved belief that ‘in America, anybody can be president’.
But the election season does not end with the presidency for North Carolina. The run for governor between Pat McCrory and Roy Cooper is still being determined. Despite Cooper declaring himself the victor on Wednesday morning, it is still possible McCrory will come out on top. Cooper did win the race with a narrow margin of 4980 votes, but with McCrory calling for a recount, all of the uncounted provisional votes currently undergoing eligibility scrutiny, the election could go either way. The administration has until Nov. 18 to count the provisional ballots, and the winner will not be declared until Nov. 29.