BY Elizabeth Carlson (’17)
The United States of America has a new president-elect on his way to the White House. He is Donald Trump.
News coverage of Election Day results started early. Reporters looked at all the different states and their polling sites and interviewed voters as they left the polls. The first polls to close were on the East Coast at 8:00 p.m. It took quite a long time for some states to get all the votes counted, largely due to absentee and provisional ballots.
The swing states are vital to the electoral vote total. In order to win the presidency, a candidate had to receive 270 electoral votes. By the end of the night, Trump had 289 electoral votes and Clinton had 218, making him the winner. Since then, more votes have been counted, giving Trump 290 votes to Clinton’s 232.
Clinton won the popular vote. She received 47.9% (61,993,136) with Trump close behind with 47.1% (60,948,836). These totals were taken from the live updates on CNN election coverage website as of November 17.
Throughout the night, it was a close race in the swing states. According to Politico, the 11 swing states included Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. These states would either win or lose the election for either candidate.
For the 2016 election, the swing states and their electoral votes went to Trump. He won Florida (29), Pennsylvania (20), North Carolina (15), Ohio (18), Wisconsin (10) and Iowa (6). The swing states that Clinton won were Virginia (13), Colorado (9), Nevada (6) and New Hampshire (4). Michigan is the only state that has not officially reported its results.
The image above is a screenshot that I took on my computer of the CNN election page. I was constantly looking at the page throughout the coverage to see who was winning each state.
The presidential election made history. It is the first time the U.S. electorate chose someone who has a business background and who has never held elective office. It returned control of the White House to the Republicans, who also maintained control of the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Emotions across the country the day after the election ranged from happy and excited to devastated, angry, sad and confused. The closeness of the popular vote echoed the continuing division among voters.
Reporters, political strategists and pollsters continue to analyze the results of the election, looking for trends and insights as to how messaging and communications techniques like social media contributed to the outcome. The evolution of traditional campaigning and messaging from mass media to social and mobile media that began with the election of President Obama in 2007 continued.
Communications industry specialists will pay particular attention to what the election results say about reaching a more diverse electorate that gets its news and information from a variety of sources that either didn’t exist or were just taking form 10 years ago. It is an interesting time to be part of that industry.
Elizabeth is a senior graphic design major and an advertising minor. When she is not in the classroom, she is Assistant Design Editor for The Wood Word, or she is playing for the women’s soccer team at Marywood.