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How Did President-Elect Trump Win?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Stony Brook chapter.

It was around 5:20 pm on Tuesday 11/8/16 when I took my phone out to call a friend. I was thinking a cheap bottle of wine would do us some good as we’d settle on her couch and catch the election on her wall-mounted TV. It was a little disappointing when she said she was away at her cousin’s house, so I dragged myself back to my place where I figured a live YouTube coverage would do just fine.

Days later, looking back on that fateful evening, I realized I still don’t understand what happened. It turned out that Clinton had won the popular vote, albeit by a small margin, while Trump had collected the necessary electoral votes. Therefore, he became President-elect.  Just how did Trump manage to win the 2016 election? What factors pushed beyond what was expected?

The White Vote

President-elect Trump won big in counties with low median household income- the white working class- and the white college graduates, a population that is larger than any of the nonwhite college graduates and non-graduates combined.

The Gender Gap

Women didn’t support Clinton as was expected.

According to Danielle Paquette in her article for the Washington Post, women voted along party lines. 54% of the female voters favored Clinton while President-elect Trump still received 42%, despite his sexist and repulsive comments. But most importantly, and perhaps the one thing that will be discussed for years to come is the shift of men voters towards the republican candidate. 53% men supported the President-elect compared to the 41% who favored Clinton – a 20 points gender gap – while President Obama and Romney respectively received 45% and 52% of the male vote.

The Desire for Change

When asked why they voted for President-elect Trump, some people answered that he tells it like it is.

The 2016 election had been seen as the ultimate choice between two very unpleasant candidates. But regardless, people wanted someone who could bring about needed change. They wanted someone they could more or less trust.

The private email scandal that surrounded Clinton didn’t cost her the election, but it certainly didn’t help her either. It portrayed the President-elect as more trustworthy while she was seen as more harmful. So people voted, and they did quite in favor of Trump and more against Clinton.

Her Campus Stony Brook Founder and Campus Correspondent Stony Brook University Senior Minnesotan turned New Yorker English Major, Journalism Minor