Wins in key battleground states Pennsylvania, Ohio spur Trump to victory in closely contested race
Raymond Arke | Asst. News Editor
Running as an outsider the entire campaign, Republican Party nominee Donald Trump delivered a stunning upset in a close race over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, becoming the 45th President of the United States.
The real estate mogul and former host of “The Apprentice” engineered a victory Tuesday that stunned the world, surpassing polling expectations that predicted a Clinton win. Republicans also managed to hold on to their House and Senate majorities. Trump will be inaugurated Jan. 20, 2017.
The margin of victory was slim. As of Wednesday, Trump won 279 electoral votes to Clinton’s 228, just barely passing the 270 threshold. However, Clinton has appeared to win the popular vote by roughly 200,000 votes.
Trump’s key to victory was his ability to turnout and win the demographic of white voters. Polling done by Edison Research for the National Election Pool showed that 69 percent of the electorate Tuesday night was white, and of those white voters, 58 percent voted for Trump. About 77 percent of the U.S. population is white, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Compare that to 88 percent of black voters, 65 percent of Latino voters and 65 percent of Asian voters who favored Clinton, according to exit polls from Edison Research for the National Election Pool.
He was also helped by a lack of enthusiasm on the Democratic side. According to polls from CNN and NPR, Secretary Clinton underperformed among youth, African-American, and Latino voters — three blocks that were crucial to President Obama’s victories in 2008 and 2012.
However, college-age students still did vote overwhelmingly for Clinton. According to a CNN Politics poll, 55 percent of 18 to 29-year-olds voted for the Democratic nominee.
John Hanley, assistant professor of political science at Duquesne, said the election of Donald Trump will have an ambiguous effect on the college-age population.
“[Donald Trump’s] education policy hasn’t been fleshed out that much,” Hanley said.
Hanley believes that students should ask some tough questions about the president-elect’s education plans.
“What will happen with student loans? What will happen to federal research money?” he said.
One crucial impact of the election is how it will affect the economy and job market for students.
“The potential for major market disruption and uncertainty about trade will seem to threaten young people,” Hanley said.
Whether or not there will be long-term positive or negative effects are yet to be seen, he added.
As it became clearer that Trump was taking a lead in electoral votes, the Dow Jones futures index plunged nearly 800 points, which is lower than it was following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The Standard & Poor’s 500 and NASDAQ 100 futures both dropped 5 percent. However, the markets rebounded Wednesday once the uncertainty cleared.
The unexpected outcome of this election can be attributed to incorrect polling data, Hanley said.
“The issue is related to how they figured who was a likely voter … their models underestimated the people key to Trump support,” he said.
The biggest impact of election, in Hanley’s opinion, is how this will affect the Supreme Court. The Court has been operating with only eight of the nine justices since Justice Scalia’s death earlier this year. Senate Republicans have refused to hold hearings on President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland.
“The Supreme Court will stay conservative for sometime — potentially, it could turn very conservative for a long time,” Hanley said.
Trump will appoint at least one new justice and might appoint an additional three over the next four years.
“This would drastically change the Court’s interpretation of the Constitution, especially regarding the role of the federal government, civil liberties,” and more, said Hanley.
Trump’s appointments to the Court will have a long-lasting impact.
“[A conservative Court] for many, will be the most meaningful and durable impact of the election,” Hanley explained.