Topic: US Elections 2016

Post-election breakdown as protests erupt across America

By Taiha Molyneux

Protests have erupted across America following the shock Presidential election result which has gone against all poll predictions across the nation and the world.

Republican candidate Donald Trump has been called as the Presidential elect and preparations are underway to hand the Presidential title over to the controversial businessman with no previous political experience next year.

The country is split over the result and many anti-trump protestors have taken to the streets to express their anger.

While previous Presidential elections have been called between 8-11 pm on election night, results were so unclear that a final call was not made until after 3 am US time.

Trump delivered his victory speech to a packed stadium in New York and informed those gathered that Hillary Clinton had called him to concede.

Voters in Washington DC were utterly gobsmacked by the result and given the District has voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Democrats in the past 10 elections, many were also clearly unhappy.

Despite most unsuccessful candidates delivering their concession speeches immediately or during the victory speech of the successful candidate.

Hillary Clinton did not deliver her concession speech or address her supporters or the media until the next day at around midday.

White House Meeting 

Following confirmation of his win President Elect Donald Trump was invited to the White House by incumbent President Barrack Obama to discuss the transition phase of him taking over one of the most powerful positions in the world.

 

US Voting Results

(Image sourced from http://www.politico.com)

Swing states played a key role in Trumps projected win and Florida was the focus for many on the night.

While Hillary Clinton inched ahead of Trump after winning 55 electoral college votes by taking California, many people held their breath as counting of votes in the state of Florida which was touted as a "must win" for either candidate continued to be tallied.

Trump winning Florida and the majority of other swing states pushed his voter tally over the 270 marker needed to win the Presidential Election,

According to Politico.com the latest results show Trump sitting at 290 Electoral College Votes and Clinton on 228.

While it has been widely reported that Clinton won the popular vote it is the Electoral College votes that matter and this is where Donald Trump took the lead and eventually win.

How does the US Electoral system work ?

The electoral system in America is a much more complicated system than the election process undertaken in New Zealand.

Under the American Constitution there are 3 branches of Government in the US.

1. The Legislative - which consists of Congress, Senate and the House of Representatives

2. The Executive - which consists of the President, the Vice President and Cabinet

4. The Judicial - which consists of the Supreme Court and other Federal Courts

According to official US Government the Legislative is the area of Government that makes laws, the Executive then implements and carries out the laws, while the Judicial evaluates laws and bases judgements on its interpretation of those laws.

What is the Electoral College and what role does it play in Presidential Elections?

The Electoral College is what ultimately makes the decision on who wins a Presidential Election and different numbers of electoral college electors are assigned to different states based on the population of those states.

By its own definition the Electoral College is;

"a process, not a place. The founding fathers established it in theConstitution as a compromise between election of the President by a vote in Congress and election of the President by a popular vote of qualified citizens.

The Electoral College process consists of the selection of the electors, the meeting of the electors where they vote for President and Vice President, and the counting of the electoral votes by Congress."

The Electoral College is made up of 538 electors and as stated previously  a majority of 270 electoral votes is required to elect the President.

According to the Electoral College each state’s "entitled allotment of electors equals the number of members in its Congressional delegation: one for each member in the House of Representatives plus two for the Senators."

Each candidate running for President in each state their own group of electors. The electors are generally chosen by the candidate’s political party, but according to the Electoral College again "state laws vary on how the electors are selected and what their responsibilities are."

Essentially the 538 electors from the Electoral College are the decising factor on who wins a Presidency, the Electoral College itself states on its website that American citizens votes,  "help choose your state’s electors when you vote for President because when you vote for your candidate you are actually voting for your candidate’s electors."

Below is one of many online videos providing a simplified and somewhat comical breakdown of the Electoral College

How did pre-election polls get is so wrong?

Political commentators  across the country have spent the past few days attempting to explain how the polls of major broadcasters and news services on a global scale got the poll predictions so wrong.

The New York Times went as far as tweeting "The polling and political analytics industries have suffered deep blows tonight."

As people continue to pick the poll results and actual outcome of the election apart, the nation as a whole remains divided over the outcome.

What Next ? 

Barrack Obama remains the US President until the 20th of January next year.

The 20th of January is the official inauguration day of the incoming President Elect, this is also the last day of the incumbent.

Millions gather in Washington DC, the Capitol of the US to witness the inauguration and swearing in of the President at midday who will take over running the country for the next four years.