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US Elections | How Hillary Clinton Lost The Election And Donald Trump Won The Electoral College Vote – By Ronnie Mayanja

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Posted November 12, 2016 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Editorial ~ 2,160 views

     

President elect Donald D. Trump and his VP - Gov. Mike Pence make their acceptance speech after being declared winners of the US. General election

President elect Donald D. Trump and his VP – Gov. Mike Pence make their acceptance speech after being declared winners of the US. General election

By Ronnie Mayanja — On November 8th, like most Americans, I went to the polls to carry out my civic duty by exercising my right to vote as enshrined in the 15th Amendment of the U.S Constitution. In a race that had so divided these United States and saw a bitter campaign between two unpopular candidates, only one candidate would emerge victorious.

Hillary Clinton was favored to win by a wide margin, according to the liberal-leaning media, pundits and pollsters. The Clinton machine would also outspend Donald Trump by a ratio of about 3 to 1. According to the Washington Post campaign financing report, she also managed to raise $1.3 billion dollars vs Donald’s $795 million in the run-up to the general election. Hillary, who had been in Washington for 30 years, as First Lady, Senator and later Secretary of State– had a résumé unmatched by any of the candidates of the 2016 U.S Presidential elections and had become the heir apparent for the Democratic National Committee, after her loss to Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary race.

It is the votes of the Electoral College that decide the outcome for president and vice president, not the national popular vote, a system designed by the framers of the US Constitution meant to create a level playing field among the states and prevent undue dominance of more populated states. Each state has the number of electoral votes equal to the number of that state’s congressmen plus the two senators that every state is given. (US. Senate has 100 members, the House of Representatives 435 representatives and 3 votes are reserved for the District of Columbia which does not have direct representation in Congress, for a total of 538 electoral votes)

But it is the popular vote for each state that decides to which candidate the electoral votes will be given, in a winner-takes-all arrangement. States with a large population such as Texas, California and New York are assigned the greatest number of congressional districts, resulting in the most electoral votes. Currently a minimum of 270 electoral votes are needed to win the election for president and vice president. Donald J. Trump bagged 290 electoral votes compared to Hillary’s 228 and was quite competitive across the majority of the states, with the exception of New York and California that had huge popular vote counts in her favor. Even as more absentee and mail in ballots continue to trickle in Hillary’s popular vote has continued to grow but American elections are decided by an electoral college system.

This election marks the sixth time that a candidate has won a general election without winning the national popular vote. The last time we witnessed such a spectacle was in 2000 when Al Gore lost the electoral vote to George Bush.

On election night it was clear that in an election this close it was necessary to win “battleground states”, where the outcome was unclear according to the opinion polls, along with some states considered to be the firewall for either candidate. However when Trump breached the Rust Belt states that border on the Great Lakes it became clear that a Clinton win had evaporated, leaving many shell-shocked. With Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio voting Trump it was clear that Obama’s eight years had not impacted this region that had seen many factory jobs move overseas. Adding to the uncertainty came the fall of Florida, New Hampshire and North Carolina, states Obama had won comfortably in his previous elections, and it became clear that Hillary could not count on a majority of women or the minorities to vote for her consistently.

So it all came down to the math of adding up the electoral votes and here Trump would carry the day, receiving more than the required 270 votes needed to become President even while losing the popular vote to Clinton. This outcome is partly what is causing the many protests across America, as some voters claim that the system elected Donald Trump but the people voted for Hillary Clinton. However, true to American democracy, Hillary had called Trump at around 3:30am on Wednesday morning to concede the bitterly fought election, thus allowing continuity and preservation of the Union. It is interesting to note that Trump, in one of his famous tweets, once described the Electoral College as a rigged system!

Earlier on in the year I had accepted a request by a leading Ugandan Television Network (NBS TV) to give weekly updates on the race as we drew closer to the general election, which allowed me to do extensive research about this particular election and why it was going to be a do or die for the final two major party candidates. This election will go down as the most stressful negative election cycle in US history. Now that the election is over I wish to share some views on why I think Hillary lost the election to Donald Trump, who will be sworn in as our 45th President in January, succeeding Barack Obama whose departure from office leaves the Democratic party in turmoil.

For starters, the drawn out primary campaign between Hillary and Bernie Sanders was an eye-opener for me and it was partly during the primary debates that my support was crystallized for Bernie. However, by the time Clinton emerged as winner of the Democratic primary she was marred in scandal, owing to the Wikileaks exposé of the DNC. Her biggest blunder, in my view, was the failure to name Sanders as her running mate as way to win over the Sanders movement (millennials and young college voters) which had refused to embrace her campaign. Many of these supporters would stay away from the polls on election day. It can be added that the selection of Senator Tim Kaine did not help her ticket and Clinton struggled to win even in his home state of Virginia. Hillary’s flawed candidacy was propped up by surrogates and celebrities which drew large crowds while Trump’s rise came from a movement that in some ways was similar to Sanders’– people tired of politicians and Wall Street big banks, which tended to back Hillary. Trump had defeated all 17 Republican primary contenders and as a political outsider he embodied the change agent that many had been looking for, even succeeding in shaking off the Hollywood Access hot mic scandal.

The email controversy also showed poor preparation on Hillary’s part. She knew she would run for President and yet did not fully address the issue of her email server and an investigation re-ignited the issue with 9 days to the general election. This was also a game changer for many undecided voters who felt Hillary was hiding something, especially now that the FBI was reopening the case. Of course the FBI Director James Comey will be judged harshly for bowing to Republican pressure and influencing the outcome of the election. The Clinton Foundation and its grey areas in dealing with foreign governments during her tenure as Secretary of State was deemed a conflict of interest and exploited by the Republican base to seal her fate.

Another aspect I strongly feel hurt Hillary was to model her campaign on Obama’s legacy and the slogan Stronger Together. Some saw voting for Hillary as an election for Obama’s third term. With a nation divided by a strong anti-Obama sentiment on the Republican side, this was a risky gambit. The election boiled down to the Supreme Court nominations and the fear conservatives had that more liberal justices on the bench would lead to more radical changes in a nation whose foundation was “in God we Trust”. Trump was quick to exploit the notion that the failure to vote for him might lead to the appointment of liberal justices, since marriage as defined between a man and woman had seen major changes on Obama’s watch. He also exploited the Second Amendment, explaining to the voters that electing Hillary would jeopardize their right to bear arms.

Trump exploited Brexit, the UK vote to leave the EU, by rejecting the current immigration policies that had led, in his opinion, to home-grown terror. He appealed to many Americans in rural areas who had grown increasingly tired of politicians who only show up during an election cycle while their families were struggling to put food on the table. Part of Trump’s support was a repudiation of the Obama policies that some folks felt had not improved their standard of living or quality of life. Some will be quick to point to the statistics of economic growth during Obama’s 8 years in office, but the way people voted in favor of Trump, especially in rural areas, was similar in magnitude to votes Obama received in 2008, something that Hillary could not match, since her base was not as energized about her candidature. Further demonstrating how divided the nation had now become, the issues of race and immigration become central as some white rural voters saw their identity eroded by the Democrats and their liberal agenda!

Finally, I do blame the liberal media and pollsters for totally misleading the Clinton campaign. To many Clintonites this election was called even before the voting had begun, something that could have mobilized the Republican base, especially conservatives and evangelicals, who turned out in large numbers. To them Trump was simply a means to an end and they were willing to overlook his failed marriages, scandals and flaws, as many voters were simply determined to vote for a change candidate. It was therefore quite a shocker to see that this candidate, who lacked filters in his speech, could outperform previous Republican flag bearers like Mitt Romney and George W. Bush, to remain the last man standing in this election cycle!

Our leaders in Africa should be on notice that the type of movement that brought down a powerful prime minister in the United Kingdom with the Brexit referendum vote and ended Hillary’s hopes for the presidency could soon sweep the continent, as more disenchanted voters are emboldened by the new wave of defeats of popular politicians across the globe.

The world over people are getting tired of the status quo and politicians who have continually used them for personal gain. The defeat of the Democrats was a repudiation of Obama’s policies, in part because the Clinton campaign overlooked the issues at hand and concentrated on policy, ignoring the real needs of the American voter– a void Trump and his strategists were able to exploit and later fill in what will go down as the most shocking election in US. history.

May God Bless These United States and Help Preserve Their Union — For a Nation Divided Cannot Stand!

“It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything”  –Joseph Stalin

“Leadership is not about the next election, it’s about the next generation” –Simon Sinek

— Ronnie Mayanja
Ugandan Diaspora News | www.ugandandiasporanews.com |
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US | +1-978-235-2459 | UG +256-773-212-007 | +256- 794-999-898 |
Skype | ronnie.mayanja | Twitter | @rmayanjahttp://www.linkedin.com/in/ronniemayanja


About the Author

Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.

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