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The United States Presidential Election, 2016 (Swinging Pendulum)

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Results 2016
Electoral 2016

United States Presidential Election, 2016

The United States Presidential Election of 2016 was the 58th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 8 2016. Voters in this election select presidential electors to elect their choice for Presidential and Vice-Presidential elections.

Background

In 2012, Democratic President Barack Obama defeated his challenger Republican Governor Mitt Romney. The House and Senate were both taken by the Republicans by 2014. With the Republicans controlling the agenda in the federal government, Obama's approval rating decreased. By July 2016, Obama's approval rating was only at 36.2% on average. Media coverage described this approval rating as upsetting for Democrats especially since George Bush had the same downward approval rating his last two years in office.

Nominations

Democratic Party Nomination

The Democratic Party's Convention was located in New York City. It took place from July 18-21 of 2016.

Democratic Candidates

Hillary Clinton, Former U.S. Senator, Former Secretary of State to President Obama.

Jim Webb, Former U.S. Senator, (withdrew on October 17, 2015, endorsed Hillary Clinton).

Republican Party Nomination

The Republican Party's Convention was located in Cleveland, Ohio. It took place from June 27-30.

Republican Candidates

Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey.

Marco Rubio, U.S. Senator (withdrew June 27, 2016, endorsed Chris Christie).

Rand Paul, U.S. Senator (withdrew March 31, 2016, endorsed Chris Christie than endorsed Marco Rubio in early-May).

Mike Huckabee, Former Governor of Arkansas (withdrew March 21, 2016, endorsed Marco Rubio).

Rick Santorum, Former U.S. Senator (withdrew March 13, 2016, endorsed Chris Christie).

Jeb Bush, Former Governor of Florida (withdrew March 10, 2016, endorsed Chris Christie).

Rick Perry, Former Governor of Texas (withdrew March 7, 2016, endorsed Chris Christie).

Ben Carson, American author and former neurologist (withdrew February 7, 2016, endorsed Chris Christie).

Before Primaries

Debates were held for the Republican Candidates and a debate was also scheduled for the Democratic Candidates; however, Jim Webb suspended his candidacy for President two weeks before the debate. Instead, Hillary Clinton decided to continue the debate but instead of debating an opponent, she would speak with voters and answer their questions.

Marco Rubio was seen as a very strong candidate throughout the debates before the primaries. Media coverage of the election before the primaries noticed Hillary Clinton's large margins in polls dropped and suddenly Republicans and Democrats were even in the polls. Rick Perry was not very successful in the debates having run for president before and failed miserably, many people ignored his campaign assuming he would drop out before the primaries.

By early-November, it was understood by many that the Rick Santorum campaign was running way too negatively. He had bashed on commercials, talks, rallies, and during the debates every single candidate. Throughout November many politicians endorsed Hillary Clinton as their candidate. After another Republican Candidates Debate, Rubio again stood out from the rest with Rick Perry and Rand Paul falling behind from the others. Ben Carson's campaign was getting ripped apart by the media and other Republican candidates and their campaign because of the lack of his experience. However many voters liked the idea of having a President that was not originally from a large political background. He was 5th in the polls of most liked candidate for November. Although fifth out of eight people might seem bad, it was good for him considering his inexperience.

Jeb Bush fell in the polls when a scandal broke. A video of Jeb Bush swearing and stating that, “…the black man [President Obama] will run fast away from office like a Kenyan.” The video was considered authentic and Jeb Bush remained silent for weeks. It caused many to call him racists and it later broke out that the video was from the night of the 2008 Elections. On December 6th 2015, Jeb Bush confessed that the video was really authentic and apologized stating that it was never his intention to come out racists or oppress anyone of African-American descent.

In the last Republican Debate, Rubio triumphed again and Marco Rubio along with Chris Christie were seen as the front-runners.

Early Primaries/Caucuses

Rubio had exhausted a lot of his campaign money to survive the election season before the primaries. As a result, he did not fair well in the Iowa caucuses. Chris Christie won 21.9% of the vote and Rand Paul came in second with 16%. Ben Carson came in third with 15.7%. After his recent scandal, Jeb Bush only received a small 6.6% but still received two delegates.

During the Democratic Iowa caucuses Hillary Clinton, not surprisingly, won all 65 delegates and 100% of the vote (being unopposed and facing no serious opposition).

After the Iowa caucuses, Jeb Bush started rising again in the polls but never what they used to be before the scandal. His campaign, by many political leaders, was considered over and Rick Santorum stated: Everyone left the sinking ship, except for Bush.

The Republican Primary was going to obviously been long and dragged out when suddenly Rand Paul won the New Hampshire Primary. Bush came in second and lost with just 0.3% less than Rand Paul's vote. The New Hampshire Primary was very close. Every major candidate received 2 Delegates each except for Rick Santorum and Ben Carson who both received less than 9% of the vote.

Rubio took all 25 Delegates of South Carolina. He received 23.9% of the vote. Media coverage was forced to pull out of their original thinking that the front-runners were Marco Rubio and Chris Christie because suddenly the race was getting so tight no one knew who would take a single primary. With a long fought battle just beginning for the Republicans, they still held a comfortable lead ahead of Hillary Clinton. After South Carolina, Clinton was already getting ready for the General Election. With 3.7 million dollars raised, she became more than prepared stating that she would make sure she fought much harder than her failed 2008 primary.

Primaries

Rubio won in the Florida Primary and Christie won in the Nevada Primary. Despite the lack of front-runners, Ben Carson suspended his campaign after the Nevada Primary because he only received 2.6% of the vote and his funds were running lower than originally planned. The endorsement of Chris Christie from the Ben Carson Campaign caused great struggles for the Marco Rubio Campaign. At this point in the primary, Marco Rubio had 79 Delegates, Mike Huckabee had 45 Delegates, Rand Paul received 42 Delegates, and Chris Christie trailed off with 41 Delegates. Jeb Bush and Rick Perry were considered the next candidates to suspend their campaign however Jeb Bush’s Campaign still had a lot of money and suddenly, Bush was endorsed by John McCain. McCain stated voters should get passed the scandal because Bush was less Conservative. He also stated the Republican Party needs more people like Bush, more centralist, because the party needs to start adapting to modern times and move away from right-wing politics.

Santorum enjoyed an upwards trend in the polls just shortly before Super Tuesday. But his enjoyment of the polls ended abruptly when Jeb Bush won his first state. Bush took Michigan with 23.5% of the vote. Afterwards, he was endorsed by many Republican Senators including former New Hampshire Senator, Kelly Ayotte. Huckabee took Georgia, Ohio, and Virginia. Many candidates were enjoying victories but with only 9 Delegates, Rick Perry suspended his campaign and endorsed Governor Christie for the presidency.

Super Tuesday typically narrows down a primary to a candidate or two but each candidate won at least won state leaving the Republican Party completely split and undecided.

Hillary Clinton was down in the polls with only 32.5% of people saying they would support her presidency. Many of her ideas were similar to President Obama’s.The highly popular Clinton could not break away from the unpopular President Obama thus tarnishing her reputation as being unique.

For almost four months, the leaked video hurt the Jeb Bush Campaign. His own brother, former President George Bush stopped campaigning since the release of the video to media stations. Bush argued that the next president needed to be more centrist than the Tea Party leaders such as Rand Paul and Rick Santorum. He agreed on most issues with Christie therefore he pulled his race out and endorsed Christie as the Republican Candidate. Just three days later, Rick Santorum also suspended his campaign and endorsed Christie.

Marco Rubio, of Hispanic Heritage, was crushed when he lost the Puerto Rico Primary to Chris Christie. With a difference of 5% in the Puerto Rican Primary, Chris Christie and Marco Rubio were even but Marco Rubio was suffering heavy losses in fundraising. Christie was getting more money than any other candidate (except for Hillary Clinton who now had 4 million dollars raised). But Rubio received a small upward trend when Mike Huckabee endorsed him and pulled out of his own campaign by March 21. This would help the financial crisis of the Rubio Campaign. Rubio even won the Louisiana Primary which was a big victory considering he lost every single primary since Super Tuesday. Shortly after the win, Paul left the race and endorsed Christie.

A scandal broke out on Christie throughout the month of April leaving Marco Rubio shining with nearly every victory for an entire month. However, it was not enough to take Christie down. Christie had 672 Delegates total and Rubio had 485 Delegates by April 25. Between April 2 and April 25, Republicans started going down in the polls with a swing of -3.4%. It became apparent that the close race was ruining the Republican base but neither candidates was willing to step down. Rand Paul, after a full month of supporting Chris Christie, moved his support to the Rubio Campaign stating: too many things are coming out that Christie will never make it alive come November.

Final Primaries and Vice-Presidential Nominees

On May 15, noisy protesters were standing outside a rally in North Carolina where Hillary Clinton was speaking. They carried signs saying “Go Home” along with Anti-Obama slogans. After her speech, a fight broke out against the protesters and a group of people who attended the rally. A woman was seriously injured but recovered. Clinton spoke that same day saying that a life is worth more than an election. When Obama started campaigning for Clinton, the polls started to drop for her. She went from 39.9% approval in April to 38.7% in May.

By May 23, Rubio and Christie were still fighting for the nominations. Although polls were showing Rubio overpowering Christie, the delegation was in the favor of Christie. The Libertarian National Convention started and Republicans were in a panic. Their National Convention was to be held on June 27 but the last primary was set for June 4. No one was receiving an absolute majority. By May 30th, Christie had 974 Delegates, Rubio 579 Delegates. Rubio won California and New Jersey while Christie won New Mexico. The New Jersey Primary was a shock considering Christie was New Jersey’s Governor. Rubio continued to keep going with his campaign and received outstanding support. But the delegation from earlier in the campaign was not enough to put Rubio in the lead. After the last primaries, the final delegation was 1,029 Delegates for Christie and 894 Delegates for Rubio and about 2,000 other delegates counted towards other suspended candidates. On June 27, Rubio at the National Convention suspended his campaign and declared Chris Christie the winner. Nikki Haley was declared the Vice-Presidential Candidate and became a part of the Christie Campaign. The Christie/Haley Campaign at the commencement of the Convention, were up in the polls 46.1% to Hillary Clinton’s 34.6%.   

Speculation on the Vice-Presidential nominee for Hillary Clinton’s campaign was talked about heavily in the weeks leading up to the Democratic National Convention. In mid-July it was announced that Jim Webb would be the Vice-Presidential nominee. She respected his bravery in going up against her. But many criticized her choice because many felt the only reason he was running in the Democratic Primary was to become a member of the, “VP candidate short-list.” Others were hoping to have an all-female campaign with the VP nominee also being a female. But Clinton counterattacked that by saying that gender should not be a deciding factor of any nomination, but she felt the Republican VP nomination was all because of Nikki Haley's gender, to try to neutralize the female-dominated Democrats and avoid a large victory for Clinton. Hillary Clinton pointed out the same thing happened in the 2008 Presidential Election. The Democrats nominated a black man so the Republicans chose a Republican female to try to neutralize any tension between race and gender.

Regardless of the winner, a female would be placed in the White House; Hillary Clinton with the Democratic Presidential Nomination and Nikki Haley with the Republican Vice-Presidential Nomination. This was a revolutionary time for women because for the first time in history the two major political parties of the U.S. had both one male and one female representative for their party during the presidential campaigns.

General Election  

Due to the unhappy public with President Obama, it was increasingly difficult for Clinton to succeed in campaigning. But with the amount of money the Ready For Hillary Campaign was able to produce, it significantly increased widespread attention. By September 2016, the Clinton/Webb Campaign raised $1 Billion dollars while the Christie/Haley Campaign raised $1Billion just before the last week of the election season.

Many media channels and stations across the country broadcasted the 2016 elections and made a serious impact on voter’s opinions.  After a poll taken on Election Night 2016, it was calculated that roughly 70% of voters felt easily persuaded by the media. By early-September the General Election was on its way and the media was very negative towards the Republican Party because of the Republican Primary which really hurt the Christie/Haley Campaign in the beginning stages. Christie campaigned against Clinton arguing that she would continue on the terrible path of Obama and was an extremist. Clinton argued with Christie on several issues and said he would reverse all the good things Obama did in 2009-2011 when he had the support of Congress. Jimmy Carter helped Clinton campaign and hosted many rallies and fundraisers in her name.

Swing States for the 2016 election were determined as New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Colorado, and Nevada, and Florida.

MSNBC projected in late-September that if the election were held that month Clinton would win with 312 electoral votes. Clinton was not winning by a landslide as expected back in 2013 and 2014. This was largely due to the rising concern of her age, health, leadership, and most of all her political party which was weakening more than ever anticipated.

Same-sex marriage, abortion, immigration, legalization of marijuana, and ISIS were all hot topics for discussion during the election. In May, 2016 Congress Declared War on ISIS which was a major concern to American citizens. Democrats argued against it saying that by declaring “war,” nothing will get accomplished (similar to the War on Drugs and War on Terror). Clinton proposed that the War on ISIS really is just a branch off of the War on Terror, and it will never end. Christie had a more less complex approach, stating that Congress should re vote on this matter come 2017 and would support whatever Congress decided. Both Clinton and Christie agreed that the legalization of marijuana may be decided by states but there must be laws set in stone for those states that legalize it the amount that’s legal and also the amount at which someone can be arrested must be agreed to at the federal level. With 36 states with legalized gay marriage, Clinton’s stance was to increase their protection and keep them from being oppressed such as in Utah and Idaho who had marriage laws pending for almost an entire year. Christie, on fear that he would lose the LGBTQ vote, flipped his stance and stated that he finds civil unions as a perfect compromise. Abortion was also another sensitive topic with Clinton pro-choice and Christie pro-life.

The first debate was held on October 2, 2016 and was mainly about issues on American soil. Christie was seen by the media as the winner but some news stations such as MSNBC and CNN said Clinton’s points were more accurate with the Democratic Party and Christie was “flip flopping.”

Only a week after the debates, Clinton fell slightly behind in the polls and FOX news showed that Clinton would have only 231 electoral votes and Christie 251. Ohio, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina were complete tossups. Other swing states like New Jersey and Florida were learning to the Republican Campaign. Haley and Webb debated and were very even in terms of what voters thought. Half of people felt Haley did well in the debate while the other half of people across the nation thought Webb did well also. The race was becoming closer than anticipated. Republicans thought they would win by a large margin and so did the Democrats but it was starting to develop into another very close election with news stations saying it was the closest election since 2000.

Shortly after the second presidential debate was held, Christie made a minor error in an interview with Meet The Press. He stated that he would approve of same-sex marriage and the next day stated that he would reject civil unions. Democratic political leaders stated Christie was a “flip flopper on issues just like Mitt Romney.” But Obama’s growing unpopularity helped Christie keep the election close. Chris Christie triumphed in the third presidential debate. Clinton looked tired and worn out with heavy bags under her eyes and her appearance looking much older than usual.

Eight days before election night, a politico poll showed Christie leading by just 0.8% of the vote and the electoral vote was predicted to be 265 electoral votes for Christie and 257 electoral votes for Clinton with Ohio being completely undecided. The last poll of the 2016 election showed Christie up by 1.8%.

At 12:45AM EST in the morning of November 9, 2016, six hours after the first polls closed, Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Democratic nominee for President of the United States won Florida putting her to 274 electoral votes, enough to be projected the 45th President-elect of the United States of America.

Results

Clinton received 304 electoral votes while Christie was awarded 234 electoral votes; which is a swing of minus twenty eight electoral votes for the Democrats from the Presidential Election of 2012 when Obama, Democratic nominee was awarded 334 electoral votes. The combined vote for the other candidates not affiliated with the Democrats or Republicans was 3.9% which was more than the 2012 election which only had 1.7%. Voters were disappointed and were unhappy with the primary election season when the Republican Party went against each other and resulted in a severe injury to the Republican base. In the Senate, Republicans lost their majority originally 54 seat majority and the Democrats got control of the Senate with 49 seats (51 seats when including Independents who tend to caucus with Democrats) to the Republican’s 49 seat minority. Although both major parties recieved 49 seats, both Independents tend to caucus with Democrats thus placing the Democrats in control of the Senate. Harry Reid lost his senate seat. Thus, the Democratic Senate had to pick a new majority leader. In January 2017, they chose Elizabeth Warren, Senator of Massachusetts to become the Democratic Majority Leader of the Senate.  In the House, Republicans retained their majority with 242 seats and the Democrats at 193 seats and John Boehner retained his position of Speaker of the House for a third term while the House Minority Leader became Nancy Pelosi again for a third term.

Polls

January 2016

Hillary Clinton – 42%

Republican Challenger 38%

Undecided – 20%

February 2016

Republican Challenger – 49%

Hillary Clinton – 38%

Undecided – 13%

March 2016

Republican Challenger – 48%

Hillary Clinton – 33%

Undecided – 19%

April 2016

Republican Challenger – 49%

Hillary Clinton – 37%

Undecided – 14%

May 2016

Republican Challenger – 40%

Hillary Clinton – 40%

Undecided – 20%

June 2016

Republican Challenger – 45%

Hillary Clinton – 32%

Undecided – 23%

July 2016

Chris Christie – 46%

Hillary Clinton 35%

Undecided – 19%

August 2016

Chris Christie – 48%

Hillary Clinton – 45%

Undecided/Other – 17%

September 2016

Chris Christie – 42%

Hillary Clinton – 42%

Undecided/Other – 16%

October 2016

Hillary Clinton – 45%

Chris Christie – 43%

Undecided/Other – 12%

November 2016

Chris Christie – 46%

Hillary Clinton – 45%

Undecided/Other – 9%

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