In a perhaps fitting end to the 2016 presidential election, an election where the conventional wisdom was trumped at every corner, the race ended with an upset, a shock to the press, the Clinton campaign, and the Trump campaign.
As of publication, Republican Donald Trump won the Electoral College with 289 electoral votes to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 218 electoral votes. New Hampshire, Michigan, and Minnesota, and one electoral vote from Nebraska remain outstanding.
The night began jubilant for Democrats with their eyes on the White House, the Senate, and a closer margin in the House of Representatives. Publicly, Democrats were confident, buoyed by a strong ground game. Republicans privately were pessimistic about Trump’s chances with their internal model showing him losing.
However as the night went on, the small tide that would eventually form a wave started to show. Early results from swing states showed a close race with a small Trump lead. The pivotal swing state of Florida remained close throughout the night, but votes were counted quickly in contrast to the typical drawn-out nature of Floridian presidential results.
Even Virginia, Democratic vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine’s home state, leaned towards Trump for the majority of the night. The way, or more accurately when, Virginia reports its votes typically gives Republicans an early lead in the state. However, Clinton was expected to win the state easily. Instead, it was too early to call for most of the night.
The key to Trump’s victory came from working class workers in cities like Scranton, Pennsylvania. Trump visited Scranton twice and economically depressed cities were key to his victory. Lackawanna County, Scranton’s county, was won by President Obama with over 60% of the vote in 2012. Clinton won with 50.2%. Throughout the country, Trump held her victories low while winning himself.
And when Wisconsin was called for the Republican, Trump became the President-elect.