It’s Over. It’s Official. Trump will be President.
After one of the most acrimonious presidential elections in American history, it is finally over. As instructed by our constitution, electors in the fifty states plus the District of Columbia met in their state capitols and officially elected Donald J. Trump as the 45th president of the United States. Usually, this part of the presidential election is just a routine formality as electors cast their ballots for the November winner of their respective states. However, this year’s electoral college vote was surrounded by controversy since anti-Trump forces mounted a campaign to convince electors to overturn the results of the November election.
There were letters and emails sent to electors. Several Hollywood celebrities, including Martin Sheen, Noah Wyle and Debra Messing, appeared in an ad trying to persuade electors to not to vote for Trump. On a darker side, many electors were even threatened with bodily harm. After all of that, today’s official vote was anticlimactic.
The Republican nominee received 304 electoral votes to his Democratic rival’s 227. Ironically after all the pressure put on Republican electors to defect, there were only two of his electors that defected but five Democratic electors defected from Hillary Clinton in which General Colin Powell received three of those votes.
This will be the second time that Hillary failed to capture the presidency. In 2008, she was pounced by now-president Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination. This year, the former secretary of state had difficulty with an insurgent challenger in the Democratic primaries, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Senator Sanders literally came out of nowhere and started to seriously contend for the Democratic nomination. Hillary was backed by the establishment and she had more name recognition and the money to go along with it. After vanquishing Sanders, she was heavily favored to win the general election.
On the Republican side, there were seventeen hopefuls seeking the nomination. The GOP field included three rising stars: Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and Texas Senator Ted Cruz. However, the early frontrunner was the son and brother of two former presidents, Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida. Jeb had the advantage in fundraising and name ID as well, even though the polls showed that the Bush name was more of a negative because American voters were getting weary of both the Bush and Clinton families.
As the 2016 cycle was approaching, it looked like it was going to be another Bush v. Clinton matchup. Then everything changed on June 16, 2015. On that day, Real Estate Mogul and Star of Apprentice, Donald J. Trump announced his intentions to seek the Republican nomination. Instantaneously, the presidential race was turned on its head. Trump’s campaign style was unconventional and unorthodox and many pundits did not consider his candidacy as serious even though he was quickly rising in the polls.
By the time of the New Hampshire primary, the Donald had survived several incidents that would have sunk more traditional candidates including a feud with 2008 Republican Nominee John McCain. As it looked like that the real estate mogul was going to capture the nomination, many figures of the Republican establishment publicly denounced him. Both President Bushes refused to support him and 2012 Republican Nominee Mitt Romney gave a highly publicized speech calling him a “con man and a phony.” On top of that, several Republican elected officials refused to endorse him.
Going into the general election, the GOP was deeply divided while Hillary’s chief rival, Senator Sanders, had wholeheartedly endorsed her and was willing to go across the country to campaign for her. Not only did she have Sanderson her side, her husband Former President Bill Clinton, and both President and Michelle Obama were also on the campaign trail stomping for her. She was in a strong position and most of the experts were predicting a cakewalk election against her GOP rival.
However, this Trump v. Clinton race was cantankerous as well as unpredictable. Hillary called Trump “unfit” and “dangerous” while insulting his voters as being “unredeemable” and “deplorable.” Trump retorted back to Clinton as being “corrupt” and “crooked.” Then surprising all the pundits on Election Day, Trump won enough electoral votes to capture the White House.
Today’s electoral college vote confirmed his victory and now it is time for America to unite behind him as he assumes the presidency on January 20.