The United States presidential election was held on November 8, 2016. The Republican Donald Trump won a victory and became the 45th American President (Payne). The Democratic candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton admitted defeat on the day after the election. The results of the U.S. presidential election will have a powerful impact on the global economy and financial system, regardless of the tab currency areas and new economic centers of supranational configurations. The paper discusses the course of the presidential election and the influence of Electoral College.
The aggressive presidential campaign in the United States illustrates that American society is split and shifted to the left as well as that the Electoral College occupies a vital role in the election process. The Electoral College was mostly influenced by debates which focused on the personal issues between the candidates rather than on the real discussion of public matters. The candidates for the United States presidency exchanged personal attacks instead of examining current social issues. Public debates during the presidential campaign become popular not only in the United States but also in Europe. Taking into consideration the U.S. foreign policy of the candidates, unexpected Republican Donald Trump and predictable Democrat Hillary Clinton demonstrated an absolutely different vision on the growth of the national economy, on the relations with Russia, and on the role of NATO in resolving migration problems. However, the unexpected choice of the voters not only defined who would be the next president of the USA but also proved the need of profound transformation in the country. In fact, Barack Obama might feel even more defeated than Hillary Clinton because the current situation means that he failed to unite the nation and to make desirable changes in the society. Moreover, many of his achievements, especially compulsory health insurance program, are now under threat. Having lost the support of the voters, he is leaving with the feeling that he should have done more.
The presidential race showed that Americans are eager for a change in their country. In this context, it is important to note that while Clinton is the epitome of the American establishment, Trump chooses to defend the American society from the political establishment. In addition to the opposing views on the domestic issues, foreign policies of the candidates also differ. The controversies embody the deeper and broader change in social attitudes to the problems. Trump and Clinton have a diametrically opposite approach in the field of economic policy. While Clinton supports the global course of American participation, Trump offers a transition from policies and projects aimed at globalization to those based on the principle of Americanism.
The outcome of the presidential election depends on the voter turnout. In many cases, the Electoral College makes the final decision. It aims to avoid various issues that are related to the popular vote. Due to the fact that the United States is considered to consist of different social groups, the Electoral College fosters individual interests by providing a unique vote to each state. Thus, “Trump led Clinton 279 to 218” (Payne). Although Clinton has a higher popular vote, she received them mostly from several states, such as New York and California. Moreover, the electorate of Donald Trump came from different parts of the country. Thus, he won in more states with a weak margin. Payne emphasizes that it is the fifth time in the history of the presidential elections in the United States when a candidate failed to receive a victory despite winning the popular vote.
The results of the presidential election are based on the low participation of the voters. For the last two weeks before the election, Hilary Clinton had been trying to increase the participation of voters in the election. She spent great resources on that campaign. However, according to Regan, “more than 58 percent of eligible voters went to the polls during the 2016 election.”.There was a stark contrast between the key states. Thus, in Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, and Iowa, Trump received the support because of public apathy toward Clinton’s candidacy. Moreover, a great number of voters did not participate in the election. In fact, turnout rates have significantly dropped in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Iowa. In addition, fourteen states established restrictive voting laws that targeted the minorities (Payne). Particularly, voter ID laws decreased the turnout in high-poverty districts. Furthermore, Trump received the support of the white population. Clinton’s main target group consisted of women. At the same time, Democratic blocs, including blue-collar workers, did not support Clinton. Though, African Americans gave 88 percents of votes to Clinton (Payne). “One thing that has marked out the past two elections is that turnout among the African American population eclipsed that among white voters for the first time” (Scott). Nevertheless, their support did not help Clinton to become the president. Therefore, the last election represents the division of popular vote based on gender, age, and education.
In conclusion, Donald Trump became the President of the United States. His electoral campaign had many contradictions and differences comparing to Clinton’s main strategies of national development. Mainly, he offers populist ideas of bright future for the United States. Indeed, Hilary Clinton won the popular vote but she did not manage to receive equal support from every state. In addition, the results of the election relate to the decrease in voter rates. Moreover, restrictive voting laws influenced negatively the minorities’ participation in the election process. The United States presidential election of 2016 proves that society demands a change in the country.