Political outsider Donald Trump upsets Hillary Clinton


Kathryn Nicolai, Staff Writer

“Our democracy is failing; I can say that.” -Jackson Pierce ’18

The unprecedented and tumultuous 2016 presidential campaign ended in perhaps an even more astonishing outcome on Nov. 8 with a resounding win for Donald Trump. The Republican nominee largely overturned polling predictions and defeated opponent Hillary Clinton with 279 electoral votes; only 270 votes are needed to clinch the presidency. Clinton, meanwhile, received 228 electoral votes.

Six key swing states contributed to Trump’s victory: Florida, Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, which he won by only one percent of the vote. Clinton won Virginia, running mate Tim Kaine’s home state, and pulled away with Nevada and Colorado. In Pennsylvania, Lewisburg’s Union County was among the majority of Pennsylvania counties to vote Republican.

As the 45th president of the United States, billionaire, real estate developer and reality television star Trump will be the oldest president sworn into office at 70 years old. Trump’s outsider status in the political arena is but one of the numerous peculiarities and unprecedented political characteristics that have been attributed to his campaign.

“The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer,” Trump said to supporters in New York after his victory early Nov. 9. His anti-establishment stance resonated with a large swathe of voters, specifically white, non-college educated Americans in the northeast and midwest. Trump also made large gains across rural America according to exit polling from The New York Times.

On campus, students registered in Pennsylvania voted from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Donald H. Eichhorn Middle School, Union County Courthouse, Weis Center for the Performing Arts, and Larison Hall. Polling places were determined by on-campus residency.

Zachary Krivine ’18, an intern at the Bucknell Institute for Public Policy (BIPP), emphasized the importance of voting despite his lack of ardent support for either candidate.

“I don’t think Trump represents my views or the views of what the United States stands for. I wouldn’t want him representing the United States on an international stage,” Krivine said.

Professors and students gathered Tuesday night at the Pizza & Policy forum in the Terrace Room to discuss projections and watch the Electoral College results with Associate Professor of Political Science Chris Ellis.

At the event, numerous students expressed their dissatisfaction with this year’s election. Jackson Pierce ’18 described the presidential race as “bizarre. Our democracy is failing; I can say that.”

For Anna Gorman ’18, as well as many other college students, this was her first time being eligible to vote in a presidential race.

“I’m excited to be participating in such a historic election, but I’ve been discouraged to see how divided the country is and I think this whole election has brought that out,” Gorman said.

Many Americans have expressed shock and concern with Trump’s controversial past, which includes calling Mexicans rapists and criminals, proposing the banning of Muslims, and making derogatory statements towards women.

“I don’t know what Trump will try to accomplish in terms of policy,” Professor and Department Chair of Political Science Michael James said. “Since Republicans control both houses of Congress and Trump will appoint the pivotal fifth Justice of the Supreme Court, I expect a lot of the standard Republican policy initiatives, i.e. tax cuts and the repeal of Obamacare,” James said.

James also questioned whether Trump would follow through with his outlandish proposal to build a wall between the United States and Mexico but stated definitively that “immigration reform is dead.”

President Barack Obama congratulated Trump on Nov. 9, according to a statement from the White House Office. Obama met with Trump at the White House on Nov. 10 to discuss his transition to the presidency, in which Obama advised Trump, “If you succeed, the country succeeds,” according to CNN. Trump called Obama a “very good man” to reporters on his way out of the White House. Trump is scheduled to take the oath of office on Jan. 20, 2017.

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