By Nathan Cinnamond
At 11pm local time, the crucial state of Florida endured a seismic swing as Donald Trump snatched its 29 electoral colleges to mark what would be the turning point of election night. Hitherto, Hillary Clinton was busily carving out her path to the Oval Office and matching the incredibly favourable odds offered to her by the clear majority of pollsters. With unbreakable strongholds in California and New York – the two biggest states in EC terms – the centrifugal was certainly needed to outweigh the centripetal as Trump bet heavily on winning where Mitt Romney fell short four years ago. Indeed, the Sunshine State was in a glistening mood for the Donald and it accompanied other generous donors, most notably Pennsylvania and Ohio, where Trump won impressively by 8.6 points despite a 3-point Democratic lead last time around. Not bad for a bunch of deplorables.
Nate Silver, famed for calling 49 of the 50 states in the 2008 US Presidential Election, continually underestimated Trump’s chances at the White House and rated Clinton’s shot at the Presidency as high as 71.4% as late as polling day. Any answer for this embarrassing miscalculation of the electorate must involve a preliminary analysis into the demographic voting results, which make for stunning reading. While the blue team won women by 12 points, it was the Republicans who claimed most white women and women without college education, noticeably in swing states that were simply tactical necessities for HRC. Likewise, Trump made history by winning the male vote 63 points to 31. A post-mortem into why Clinton lost is beyond the scope of this article, but this is what happens when you run an election based on undermining the morals and cultural attitudes of the electorate, thereby alienating your core.
Trump has a very busy couple of months before his inauguration in the New Year. He and his team must now be carefully carved into a group that can effectively pick up the baton from the Obama administration. I do believe Trump’s lack of prior governmental experience has been overstated, however with momentous upcoming political events, both foreign and domestic, such as the upcoming intrusion of Mosul in Iraq, a stable administration that can be relied upon to swiftly enact decisions is an absolute necessity.
There is a tendency in liberal circles to think that the rise of Trump forms an inverse relationship with our US ‘special relationship.’ To the contrary, I would advocate that a Trump presidency will empower our relationship with the U.S, and there are already encouraging signs. To take an unpopular example, in the lead up to the EU referendum, Obama broke protocol by chiming in with a threat of putting the UK “at the back of the queue” for trade deals. This claim was of course reversed on the day of the referendum, and was unveiled as yet another poorly opportunistic attempt to sway foreign elections for domestic benefit by the President. Donald Trump, however, was a vehement backer of the Brexit campaign and has repeatedly voiced his support for the democratic will of the nation to be pushed through as well as for the US-UK relationship to be strengthened in the process.
I hope the electorate affords him the chance to make his mark before judging him. After all, a democratically elected President deserves the time and support of the people, and I will support the leader of the free world in his effort to undertake this mission.
Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr.