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The US 2016 Presidential election, being the 58th of its kind, was held on November the Eigth, 2016. Democratic Candidate Hilary Clinton, formerly First Lady, Senator, and Secratary of State, and her Vice President Senator Bernard Sanders, overcame Donald Trump of the Republican Party and Ted Cruz of the New Conservative Party.
While initially it appeared to be a simple election between Governor of Florida John Ellis Bush and Clinton, the upsurge of outsider politics including Senator Sanders of the Democrats and Reality Show star and business mogul Donald Trump of the Republicans drastically changed the election. Trump was able to secure the nomination of the GOP with a plurality. After being chosen in a brokered convention many Republicans left the party under the leadership of Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell and formed the New Conservative party, rallying around Senator Ted Cruz for their presidential pick.
The campaign was renowned for its savage nature and mudslinging, but due to the split in the Republican party Hilary Clinton became the frontrunner and was able to win with safe margins. The assassination of Madame President Clinton eighteen months later has also greatly affected perceptions of this campaign.
The election has a massive turnout of more than 65% of the country, the largest turnout since 1904. Additionally, due to the split in the Republican party, this election has often been compared to the election of 1912, where Theodore Roosevelt split off into the Progressive party. This election is often heralded as being the cause of the split of the Republican party.
Before the Election
As President Obama was unable to run due to the 22nd amendment, many assumed Hilary Clinton, whom Obama had defeated in 2008, would be the Democratic Candidate. Additionally, the onset of the tea party and the Republican victory in the 2014 midterm elections suggested a solid chance for the Republicans.
- Hilary Rodham Clinton - Former First Lady of the United States under Bill Clinton, Senator of New York, and Secretary of State under Barack Obama. She became the nominee.
- Bernard Sanders - Senator of Vermont.
Due to her close defeat in 2008, many assumed Clinton to be the Democratic Nominee without much challenge. She enjoyed initial success on the campaign trail as other Democrats gathered little momentum. The anouncement from Vice President Joe Biden that he would not run narrowed the field down between her and Senator Sanders.By the Iowa Caucus, Sanders had gained momentum and was challenging her across the board. She won narrowly in Iowa and lost significantly in New Hampshire. But by Super Tuesday she had regained her momentum and Sanders' chances were dashed. Hilary Clinton received enough delegates to become nominee, and made an agreement with Sanders that he would become her Vice President.
- John Ellis "Jeb" Bush - Governor of Florida
- Marco Rubio - Senator of Florida
- John Kasich - Governor of Ohio
- Ben Carson - Retired Neurosurgeon
- Donald Trump - Reality TV star and Business Mogul. Became the nominee.
- Ted Cruz - Texas Senator.
The field, initially crowded with many candidates, initially suggested Jeb Bush as likely candidate throughout mid-2015. Donald Trump announced his campaign over the summer and built up quick momentum with his radical ideas for immigration and mass media attention. He became the frontrunner by fall 2015 and the field quickly thinned through the early elections. While Trump lost the Iowa caucus, he won New Hampshire and South Carolina handidly, and soon after Super Tuesday all who remained were Trump, Cruz, and Kasich.
While there were many efforts by the Republican party to stop Trump, a victory in California gave Trump a plurailty of Delegates going to the convention. However, he lacked the number of delegates needed and a brokered convention ensued. The second round of voting revealed a likely Kasich/Cruz ticket, but after Trump gave a speech at the convention, he became the nominee. It is purported by insiders that Trump threatened the delegates with mob violence and support for the Democrats, but Trump has denied this and there has been no further evidence for this.
- Ted Cruz - Texas Senator
- Marco Rubio - Florida Senator
- Jeb Bush - Florida Governor
- John Kasich - Ohio Governor
- Mitt Romney - Massachussets Governor
After the brokered convention, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave a speech to the Republican party and denounced Trump and the party and claimed that he was going to form a new party, the new conservative party. 46 Republican senators, including Cruz and Rubio, joined the party, as well as many governors, representatives, and others. While this movement was controversial, the pure numbers of all the New Conservatives prevented any action to stop it.
The New Conservatives held their own convention and five candidates pitched themselves: Ted Cruz, on the basis that he was the most popular with the people; Rubio, that he would have had the nomination had Trump not ran; Bush, that he was most experienced; Kasich, that he was more experienced than Bush; And Romney, that he had the best chance of beating Trump. After seven sessions of unpredictable voting, Cruz won and Kasich became Vice President.
General Election Campaign & Results
Following the New Conservative party nomination, poll numbers fluctuated violently. There were seven debates, each with no clear winner and all with record-breaking numbers. More money was spent in this campaign than the total of 2008 and 2012 spending combined. By august 2016, Clinton was leading in the poll numbers and on the election day she won with a comfortable margin.
Clinton's campaign strategy can be said to have played Trump and Cruz off of one another. Most of their campgain money was spent attacking the rest, while Clinton focused on the issues. Furthermore, the lynching of four protestors at a Trump rally cost him massively. For the Cruz campaign, support for Cruz wavered as the party regretted chosing him over Bush or Rubio.
There was record turnout this years, more than 65% of those elligible voting.