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Election 2016: ASWSUV holds nail biting election party

Election Day finally arrived amidst great anticipation and trepidation last Tuesday, and ASWSUV held an election party so that students could gather in the Firstenburg Student Commons and watch the election results together.

As the night progressed, tensions rose for supporters of both candidates, and students began to wonder what the next four years in America might look like.

There are two different votes that the presidential candidates can win: the popular vote and the electoral vote. The popular vote is cast by American citizens of voting age. It is their responsibility to send in ballots or go to the polls to vote for their candidate of choice.

The electoral vote is cast by elected officials from each state in the Electoral College, and this is the vote that determines who will win the presidency. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote with a slim margin of 48% to the 47% of Donald Trump.

With a final electoral vote tally of 290, Donald Trump won the presidency, surpassing the 270 electoral votes required to win. Hillary Clinton received 228 of these votes. Post election analyses report that 42% of Americans did not vote, compared to only a slightly higher turnout in 2012.

On election night, Washington State University Vancouver students got to watch together as the election results rolled in. Throughout the night, emotions among supporters of both candidates were tense. The VanCougar got a chance to sit down with a few students to help capture the feelings of the night.

 

Emily Bratcher (EB): What is your prediction for the outcome of this election?

Jose Scott (JS): Too close to call.

Megan Poole (MP): Trump.

Derrick Smith (DS): Honestly, I think there is tentative lean towards Hillary Clinton by one or two votes.

Christian Tejada-Hernandez (CT): Trump.

Andrew Cloclouth (AC): Hillary by a hair.

 

EB:  In your opinion, who will make a better president?

JS: Not Trump, any of the Obamas.

DS: With the split in the government, nobody will get anything done. Trump will have an easier time of getting things by, but Trump will not make a good president.

CT: Trump.

AC: I don’t think either one will make a better president.

 

EB: How do you think the media impacted this election?

JS: We live in a society where America is so busy, the media is their only way of learning, education is a privilege in this country, tuition is rising, the only way one can learn is through the news.

MP: So much. I think that the majority of the media leans left, look at all the media: ABC and NBC. I feel like both sides use specific words to grab people in even though they are not showing both sides of the [story].

 

While there were a wide range of opinions from across the political spectrum, students like Poole hoped that whoever the new president was would make changes in America. Many students felt that this has been a controversial election, but some hoped future elections will not be as divisive. “My hope that this is a wake up call for everyone. I think whoever will become president people will realize what we need to do, take a breather and come back together again,” Smith said.

The election party wrapped up before the election results were announced. By the end of night however, many were shocked to see Trump leading in numbers.

In the days after the election on campus, many students were left speechless by the results.  A wave of protests in Portland and other cities expressing anger over Trump’s win also surprised students.

Come January, Republicans will control the presidency, the Senate and the House of Representatives. Trump is one of the first Republican candidates to win the vote from both battleground states of Florida and Ohio. Trump will be the 45th president of the United States and at 70 years old also the oldest to be sworn in.

Compared to Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, Trump received more of the minority vote. Romney received 27% of the minority vote in 2012, while Trump received 29% in the 2016 election.

Within days of the election, protests, rallies and even riots broke out across major cities in the US. Many communities have held peaceful rallies protesting against Trump’s win.

Portland was among the first cities to see a violent outbreak. Interstate 5 going southbound was shut down for a period of time due to protesters blocking the freeway. Windows were broken and vandalism occurred, in addition to the freeway closure. Twenty-six people were arrested in Portland as a result of the violent outbreak. Portlanders have also come together for many more peaceful rallies as well.

Following the election, WSU Vancouver held a time for students to come together and let their voices and opinions be heard. This talk included themes of media in politics, the shock of the election results and fears that students might be having about the future of America.

Students from diverse communities voiced fears that America might lose the progress the nation has made. Students came together from all parties and communities, and talked about how Americans need to unite rather than divide as a population because of the election results.

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