By Martha Zaragoza-Díaz, CABE Lobbyist
Recap of Presidential Election—
Trump Defies Polls
The United States 2016 presidential election was held November 8, 2016. The Republican Party nominee, businessman, and reality television star Donald Trump from New York, along with his running mate, Governor Mike Pence of Indiana defeated Democratic Party nominee former Secretary of State and Senator, Hillary Clinton from New York and her running mate Senator Tim Kaine from Virginia.
For the first time in American history that a woman was nominated by a political party for presidency!
Although former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 2.5 million votes, Trump is expected to win the electoral votes. Voters selected as presidential electors will vote, based upon the votes of their jurisdiction, on December 19, 2016 for a new president and vice-president. There are 538 members of the Electoral College and 270 electoral votes is necessary to win the presidency. Trump is projected to receive 306 of the electoral votes—enough to make him president. He will be the 45th President and will take the oath of office on January 20, 2017. Governor Mike Pence is expected to become Vice-President and will be the 48th Vice-President.
Donald Trump will become the 5th person to become president, despite receiving a lower share of the popular vote!
As we all well know, this presidential election was a hard and brutal one to watch and follow! The outcome continues to be difficult to understand and accept, as evidenced by the recount effort that will take place in Wisconsin, with further recounts proposed in Pennsylvania and Michigan.
The GOP Keeps Control of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate
In addition to the U.S. presidental election, elections were also being held in 34 states for Senate seats as well as 435 seats in the House of Representatives. Republicans kept control of the House of Representatives and hung on to their majority in the U.S. Senate. As was the underestimation of the Republican nominee Donald Trump, Democrats failed to account for the resiliency of some of the GOPs most endangered incumbents.
While the Democratic party gained 2 seats in the Senate, Republicans continue to be the majority; 51-48. The 2 independent members are included in the Democratic count since they caucus with the Democrats. The Democratic party gained only 6 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives resulting in a 240-194 majority for the Republicans. Senators Barbara Boxer (D), Barbara Mikulski (D), Harry Reid (D), Dan Coats (R), and David Vitter (R) did not seek re-election in 2016.
“Gridlock” to Continue
Despite “one-party” rule in the U.S. Congress, political pundits state this may not result in the easing of partisan battles or the persistent gridlock that has been representative of Congress for nearly a decade. Compounding this situation is the fact that Trump broke rank with Republican “orthodoxy” on issues such as trade and foreign policy that may result in conflict with many congressional Republicans. Some state this dysfunction could be eased if Trump works in a “bi-partisan” fashion, but many agree that this will be extremely difficult in light of the very polarized election that took place!
(Continued in next post.)