United States presidential election, 2016
| Presidential election results map.|
Red denotes states projected for Trump/Pence;
Blue denotes those projected for Clinton/Kaine;
Numbers indicate electoral votes allotted to the winner of each state. The electoral college will vote on December 19, 2016.
2016 U.S. presidential election
The United States presidential election of 2016 was the 58th and most recent quadrennial American presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. Businessman Donald Trump and Governor Mike Pence, running on the Republican ticket, defeated the Democratic Party's nominees former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator Tim Kaine. President Barack Obama could not run again due to term limits put in place by the Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Voters selected presidential electors, who in turn will vote, based on the results of their jurisdiction, for a new president and vice president through the Electoral College on December 19, 2016. By early morning November 9, 2016, initial vote counts indicated that Trump was projected to obtain over 270 electoral votes, a majority of the 538 electors in the electoral college required to make him the president-elect of the United States. The victory, considered unlikely by most pre-election forecasts, was characterized by various news organizations as an "upset" and the most "shocking" American presidential election result since Harry Truman's upset victory in 1948. Trump is expected to take office as the 45th President on January 20, 2017; Pence is expected to take office as the 48th Vice President.
Despite leading the popular vote by more than 2.5 million votes, 1.9% of all votes cast, Clinton is projected to lose the Electoral College by 74 votes, with 30 states and Maine's 2nd congressional district going to Trump, and 20 states and the District of Columbia going to Clinton. Trump will be the fifth person, after the winning candidates of the 1824, 1876, 1888, and 2000 elections, to become president despite losing the nationwide popular vote.
The 2016 election marked the first time in American presidential history that a candidate was elected without any prior experience in public service, and the first time a woman was nominated by a major party. The election was also the third time both major party nominees' home state was New York, and the fourth time the president-elect lost his home state but won the election. The estimated 136.2 million votes cast for president surpassed the 2008 election in being the largest number of votes cast in a presidential election in American history. With 62.7 million votes, Trump received more votes than any other Republican candidate in history. With 65.2 million votes, Clinton received more votes than any candidate other than the incumbent Obama in 2008 and 2012.
A total of 29 third party and independent presidential candidates appeared on the ballot in at least one state. Favorite son independents Evan McMullin and Senator Bernie Sanders received 21.4% and 5.7% of the vote in their home states; Sanders received the highest write-in draft campaign percentage for a statewide presidential candidate in history. Former Governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson and physician Jill Stein repeated their 2012 roles as the nominees for the Libertarian Party and the Green Party, respectively. With ballot access to the entire national electorate, Johnson acquired 4.5 million votes, the highest nationwide vote share for a third-party candidate since Ross Perot in 1996, while Stein received 1.4 million votes, the most for a Green nominee since Ralph Nader in 2000.
Aside from Florida, the states which secured Trump's victory are situated in the Great Lakes/Rust Belt region. Wisconsin went Republican for the first time since 1984, while Pennsylvania and Michigan went Republican for the first time since 1988. This election also marks the first time since 1968 that the winner did not carry their home state. Stein petitioned for a recount in these states, which is currently underway in Wisconsin and scheduled to begin in Michigan; the recount effort in Pennsylvania was later dropped. The Clinton campaign pledged to participate in the recount efforts, while Trump backers are challenging the effort in court.
Article Two of the United States Constitution provides that the President and Vice President of the United States must be natural-born citizens of the United States, at least 35 years old, and residents of the United States for a period of at least 14 years. Candidates for the presidency typically seek the nomination of one of the political parties of the United States, in which case each party devises a method (such as a primary election) to choose the candidate the party deems best suited to run for the position. Traditionally, the primary elections are indirect elections where voters cast ballots for a slate of party delegates pledged to a particular candidate. The party's delegates then officially nominate a candidate to run on the party's behalf. The general election in November is also an indirect election, where voters cast ballots for a slate of members of the Electoral College; these electors in turn directly elect the President and Vice President.
President Barack Obama, a Democrat and former U.S. Senator from Illinois, was ineligible to seek reelection to a third term due to restrictions of the Twenty-second Amendment; in accordance with Section I of the Twentieth Amendment, his term expires at 12 noon on January 20, 2017.
2008 presidential election
In the 2008 election, Obama was elected president, defeating the Republican nominee, Senator John McCain of Arizona, with 53% of the popular vote to McCain's 46%, and 68% of the electoral vote, succeeding two-term Republican President George W. Bush, the former Governor of Texas. Since the end of 2009, Obama's first year in office, polling companies such as Gallup have found Obama's approval ratings to be between 40–50%.
2010 midterm elections
In the 2010 midterm elections, the Democratic Party suffered significant losses in Congress; the Republicans gained 63 seats in the House of Representatives – taking back control of the chamber in the process – and six seats in the Senate, though short of achieving a majority. As a result of the Republicans' recapture of the House after losing it to the Democrats in the 2006 midterm elections, John Boehner became the 53rd Speaker of the House of Representatives, making Obama the first President in 16 years to lose the House of Representatives in the first half of his first term, in an election that was characterized by the economy's slow recovery, and the rise of the Tea Party movement.
2012 presidential election
In the 2012 presidential election, Obama defeated former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney with 51% of the popular vote and 62% of the electoral vote. Meanwhile, despite minor losses, Republicans retained their majority of seats in the House of Representatives while Democrats increased their majority in the Senate.
Speculation about the 2016 campaign began almost immediately following the 2012 campaign, with New York magazine declaring the race had begun in an article published on November 8, two days after the 2012 election. On the same day, Politico released an article predicting the 2016 general election would be between Clinton and former Governor of Florida Jeb Bush, while a New York Times article named Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker as potential candidates.
2014 midterm elections
In the 2014 midterm elections, voter turnout was the lowest since 1942: 36% of eligible voters voted. The Republicans retained control of the House of Representatives, increasing their majority to its largest since March 4, 1929, and gained a majority in the Senate.
The series of presidential primary elections and caucuses took place between February and June 2016, staggered among the 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. This nominating process was also an indirect election, where voters cast ballots for a slate of delegates to a political party's nominating convention, who in turn elected their party's presidential nominee. Businessman and reality television personality Donald Trump became the Republican Party's presidential nominee on July 19, 2016, after defeating Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, and 15 other major candidates in the Republican primary elections. Former Secretary of State and Senator for New York Hillary Clinton became the Democratic Party's presidential nominee on July 26, 2016, after defeating Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Both Clinton and Trump were seen unfavorably by the general public.
Vice President of the United States
Governor of Indiana
Seventeen major candidates entered the race starting March 23, 2015, when Senator Ted Cruz from Texas was the first to announce his candidacy: former Governor Jeb Bush of Florida, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson from Maryland, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, businesswoman Carly Fiorina from California, former Governor Jim Gilmore of Virginia, Senator Lindsey Graham from South Carolina, former Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, former Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Governor John Kasich of Ohio, former Governor George Pataki of New York, Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky, former Governor Rick Perry of Texas, Senator Marco Rubio from Florida, former Senator Rick Santorum from Pennsylvania, businessman Donald Trump from New York and Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin. This was the largest presidential primary field for any political party in American history.
Prior to the Iowa caucuses on February 1, 2016, Perry, Walker, Jindal, Graham and Pataki withdrew due to low polling numbers. Despite leading many polls in Iowa, Trump came in second to Cruz, after which Huckabee, Paul and Santorum withdrew due to poor performances at the ballot box. Following a sizable victory for Trump in the New Hampshire primary, Christie, Fiorina and Gilmore abandoned the race. Bush followed suit after scoring fourth place to Trump, Rubio and Cruz in South Carolina. On March 1, 2016, the first of four "Super Tuesday" primaries, Rubio won his first contest in Minnesota, Cruz won Alaska, Oklahoma and his home of Texas and Trump won the other seven states that voted. Failing to gain traction, Carson suspended his campaign a few days later. On March 15, 2016, the second "Super Tuesday", Kasich won his only contest in his home state of Ohio and Trump won five primaries including Florida. Rubio suspended his campaign after losing his home state, but retained a large share of his delegates for the national convention, which he released to Trump.
Between March 16 and May 3, 2016, only three candidates remained in the race: Trump, Cruz and Kasich. Cruz won most delegates in four Western contests and in Wisconsin, keeping a credible path to denying Trump the nomination on first ballot with 1,237 delegates. Trump then augmented his lead by scoring landslide victories in New York and five Northeastern states in April and he grabbed all 57 delegates in the Indiana primary of May 3, 2016. Without any further chances of forcing a contested convention, both Cruz and Kasich suspended their campaigns. Trump remained the only active candidate and was declared the presumptive Republican nominee by Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus on the evening of May 3, 2016.
|Donald Trump||Mike Pence|
|for President||for Vice President|
| Chairman of
The Trump Organization
Governor of Indiana
Other major candidates
Major candidates were determined by the various media based on common consensus. The following were invited to sanctioned televised debates based on their poll ratings.
Trump received 14,010,177 total votes in the primary. Trump, Cruz, Rubio and Kasich each won at least one primary, with Trump receiving the highest number of votes and Ted Cruz receiving the second highest.
|Candidates in this section are sorted by reverse date of withdrawal from the primaries|
|John Kasich||Ted Cruz||Marco Rubio||Ben Carson||Jeb Bush||Jim Gilmore||Carly Fiorina||Chris Christie|
Governor of Ohio
Johns Hopkins Hospital
Governor of Florida
Governor of Virginia
Governor of New Jersey
|Rand Paul||Rick Santorum||Mike Huckabee||George Pataki||Lindsey Graham||Bobby Jindal||Scott Walker||Rick Perry|
Governor of Arkansas
Governor of New York
from South Carolina
Governor of Louisiana
Governor of Wisconsin
Governor of Texas
1 write-in vote in New Hampshire
1 write-in vote in New Hampshire
Vice presidential selection
Donald Trump turned his attention towards selecting a running mate after he became the presumptive nominee on May 4, 2016. In mid-June, Eli Stokols and Burgess Everett of Politico reported that the Trump campaign was considering New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich from Georgia, Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, and Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin. A June 30 Washington Post report also included Senators Bob Corker from Tennessee, Richard Burr from North Carolina, Tom Cotton from Arkansas, Joni Ernst from Iowa, and Indiana Governor Mike Pence as individuals still being considered for the ticket. Trump also stated that he was considering two military generals for the position, including retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn.
On July 14, 2016, several major media outlets reported that Trump had selected Pence as his running mate. Trump confirmed these reports in a message on Twitter on July 15, 2016, and formally made the announcement the following day in New York. On July 19, the second night of the 2016 Republican National Convention, Pence won the Republican vice presidential nomination by acclamation.
U.S. Secretary of State
U.S. Senator from New York
First Lady of the United States
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who also served in the U.S. Senate and was the First Lady of the United States, became the first Democrat to formally launch a major candidacy for the presidency. Clinton made the announcement on April 12, 2015, via a video message. While nationwide opinion polls in 2015 indicated that Clinton was the front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, she faced challenges from Independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who became the second major candidate when he formally announced on April 30, 2015, that he was running for the Democratic nomination. September 2015 polling numbers indicated a narrowing gap between Clinton and Sanders. On May 30, 2015, former Governor of Maryland Martin O'Malley was the third major candidate to enter the Democratic primary race, followed by former Independent Governor and Republican Senator of Rhode Island Lincoln Chafee on June 3, 2015, former Virginia Senator Jim Webb on July 2, 2015, and former Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig on September 6, 2015.
On October 20, 2015, Webb announced his withdrawal from the Democratic primaries, and explored a potential Independent run. The next day Vice-President Joe Biden decided not to run, ending months of speculation, stating, "While I will not be a candidate, I will not be silent." On October 23, Chafee withdrew, stating that he hoped for "an end to the endless wars and the beginning of a new era for the United States and humanity". On November 2, after failing to qualify for the second DNC-sanctioned debate after adoption of a rule change negated polls which before might have necessitated his inclusion in the debate, Lessig withdrew as well, narrowing the field to Clinton, O'Malley, and Sanders.
On February 1, 2016, in an extremely close contest, Clinton won the Iowa caucuses by a margin of 0.2 points over Sanders. After winning no delegates in Iowa, O'Malley withdrew from the presidential race that day. On February 9, Sanders bounced back to win the New Hampshire primary with 60% of the vote. In the remaining two February contests, Clinton won the Nevada caucuses with 53% of the vote and scored a decisive victory in the South Carolina primary with 73% of the vote. On March 1, 11 states participated in the first of four "Super Tuesday" primaries. Clinton won Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia and 504 pledged delegates, while Sanders won Colorado, Minnesota, Oklahoma and his home state of Vermont and 340 delegates. The following weekend, Sanders won victories in Kansas, Nebraska and Maine with 15–30-point margins, while Clinton won the Louisiana primary with 71% of the vote. On March 8, despite never having a lead in the Michigan primary, Sanders won by a small margin of 1.5 points and outperforming polls by over 19 points, while Clinton won 83% of the vote in Mississippi. On March 15, the second "Super Tuesday", Clinton won in Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio. Between March 22 and April 9, 2016, Sanders won six caucuses in Idaho, Utah, Alaska, Hawaii, Washington and Wyoming, as well as the Wisconsin primary, while Clinton won the Arizona primary. On April 19, Clinton won the New York primary with 58% of the vote. On April 26, in the third "Super Tuesday" dubbed the "Acela primary", she won contests in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania, while Sanders won in Rhode Island. Over the course of May, Sanders accomplished another surprise win in the Indiana primary and also won in West Virginia and Oregon, while Clinton won the Guam caucus and Kentucky primary.
On June 4 and 5, Clinton won two victories in the Virgin Islands caucus and Puerto Rico primary. On June 6, 2016, the Associated Press and NBC News reported that Clinton had become the presumptive nominee after reaching the required number of delegates, including pledged delegates and superdelegates, to secure the nomination, becoming the first woman to ever clinch the presidential nomination of a major United States political party. On June 7, Clinton secured a majority of pledged delegates after winning primaries in California, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota, while Sanders only won in Montana and North Dakota. Clinton also won the final primary in the District of Columbia on June 14. At the conclusion of the primary process, Clinton had won 2,204 pledged delegates (54% of the total) awarded by the primary elections and caucuses, while Sanders had won 1,847 (46%). Out of the 714 unpledged delegates or "superdelegates" who were set to vote in the convention in July, Clinton received endorsements from 560 (78%), while Sanders received 47 (7%).
Although Sanders had not formally dropped out of the race, he announced on June 16, 2016, that his main goal in the coming months would be to work with Clinton to defeat Trump in the general election. On July 8, appointees from the Clinton campaign, the Sanders campaign, and the Democratic National Committee negotiated a draft of the party's platform. On July 12, Sanders formally endorsed Clinton at a rally in New Hampshire in which he appeared with Clinton. On July 22, three days before the start of the Democratic National Convention, the Clinton campaign announced that Virginia Senator Tim Kaine had been selected as her running mate.
|Hillary Clinton||Tim Kaine|
|for President||for Vice President|
U.S. Secretary of State
| U.S. Senator|
Other major candidates
The following candidates were frequently interviewed by major broadcast networks and cable news channels, or were listed in publicly published national polls. Lessig was invited to one forum, but withdrew when rules were changed which prevented him from participating in officially sanctioned debates.
Clinton received 16,849,779 votes in the primary.
|Candidates in this section are sorted by date of withdrawal from the primaries|
|Bernie Sanders||Rocky De La Fuente||Martin O'Malley||Lawrence Lessig||Lincoln Chafee||Jim Webb|
(1984 to present)
Governor of Maryland
Governor of Rhode Island
13,167,848 primary votes and 1,846 delegates
67,457 primary votes and 0 delegates
4 write-in votes in New Hampshire
2 write-in votes in New Hampshire
Vice presidential selection
In April 2016, the Clinton campaign began to compile a list of 15 to 20 individuals to vet for the position of running mate, even though Sanders continued to challenge Clinton in the Democratic primaries. In mid-June, The Wall Street Journal reported that Clinton's shortlist included Representative Xavier Becerra from California, Senator Cory Booker from New Jersey, Senator Sherrod Brown from Ohio, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro from Texas, Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti from California, Senator Tim Kaine from Virginia, Labor Secretary Tom Perez from Maryland, Representative Tim Ryan from Ohio, and Senator Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts. Subsequent reports stated that Clinton was also considering Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, retired Admiral James Stavridis, and Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado. In discussing her potential vice presidential choice, Clinton stated that the most important attribute she looked for was the ability and experience to immediately step into the role of president.
On July 22, Clinton announced that she had chosen Senator Tim Kaine from Virginia as her running mate. The delegates at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, which took place July 25–28, formally nominated the Democratic ticket.
Third parties and independents
Third party and independent candidates that have obtained more than 100,000 votes nationally and one percent of the vote in at least one state, are listed separately.
- Gary Johnson, 29th Governor of New Mexico. Vice-presidential nominee: Bill Weld, 68th Governor of Massachusetts
- Jill Stein, Physician from Lexington, Massachusetts. Vice-presidential nominee: Ajamu Baraka, Activist from Washington, D.C.
- Evan McMullin, Chief policy director for the House Republican Conference. Vice-presidential nominee: Mindy Finn, President of Empowered Women
- Darrell Castle, Attorney from Memphis, Tennessee. Vice-presidential nominee: Scott Bradley, Businessman from Utah
|Presidential ticket||Party||Ballot access||Votes||Percentage|
|States||Electors||% of voters|
|Trump / Pence||Republican||50 + DC||538||100%||62,676,271||46.15%|
|Clinton / Kaine||Democratic||50 + DC||538||100%||65,223,761||48.02%|
|Johnson / Weld||Libertarian||50 + DC||538||100%||4,460,146||3.28%|
|Stein / Baraka||Green||44 + DC||480||89%||1,432,067||1.05%|
|McMullin / Finn||Independent||11||84||15%||629,369||0.46%|
|Castle / Bradley||Constitution||24||207||39%||197,409||0.15%|
- Candidates in bold were on ballots representing 270 electoral votes, without needing write-in states.
- All other candidates were on the ballots of fewer than 25 states, but had write-in access greater than 270.
- Democratic Party
- July 25–28, 2016: Democratic National Convention was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
- Republican Party
- July 18–21, 2016: Republican National Convention was held in Cleveland, Ohio.
- Libertarian Party
- May 26–30, 2016: Libertarian National Convention was held in Orlando, Florida.
- Green Party
- August 4–7, 2016: Green National Convention was held in Houston, Texas.
- Constitution Party
- April 13–16, 2016: Constitution Party National Convention was held in Salt Lake City, Utah.
This is an overview of the money used in the campaign as it is reported to Federal Election Commission (FEC) and released in September 2016. Outside groups are independent expenditure only committees—also called PACs and SuperPACs. The sources of the numbers are the FEC and Center for Responsive Politics. Some spending totals are not available, due to withdrawals before the FEC deadline. As of September 2016, ten candidates with ballot access have filed financial reports with the FEC.
|Candidate||Campaign committee (as of September 30)||Outside groups (as of October 16)||Total spent|
|Money raised||Money spent||Cash on hand||Debt||Money raised||Money spent||Cash on hand|
|Rocky De La Fuente||$7,351,270||$7,354,663||-$3,392||$7,334,250||$0||$0||$0||$7,354,663|
|Gloria La Riva||$29,243||$24,207||$5,034||$0||$0||$0||$0||$24,207|
Clinton was endorsed by The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Houston Chronicle, the San Jose Mercury News, the Chicago Sun-Times and the New York Daily News editorial boards. Trump, who has frequently criticized the mainstream media, was not endorsed by a major newspaper, with the tabloid National Enquirer and the Las Vegas Review-Journal his highest profile supporters. Several papers which endorsed Clinton, such as the Houston Chronicle, The Dallas Morning News, The San Diego Union-Tribune The Columbus Dispatch and The Arizona Republic, endorsed their first Democratic candidate for many decades. USA Today, which had not endorsed any candidate since it was founded 34 years ago, broke tradition by giving an anti-endorsement against Trump, declaring him "unfit for the presidency". The Atlantic, which has been in circulation since 1857, gave Clinton its third-ever endorsement (after Abraham Lincoln and Lyndon Johnson).
Other traditionally Republican papers, including the New Hampshire Union Leader, which had endorsed the Republican nominee in every election for the last 100 years, The Detroit News, which had not endorsed a non-Republican in its 143 years, and the Chicago Tribune, endorsed Gary Johnson. Trump received favorable coverage, but no explicit endorsement, from Breitbart, an alt-right news and opinion website.
There were many ways to try to predict the outcome of the 2016 election. Since the advent of scientific polling in 1936, opinion polls have been a nearly universally accepted method to predict the outcome of elections throughout the world. More recently, prediction markets have been formed, starting in 1988 with Iowa Electronic Markets.
Academic scholars have constructed models of voting behavior to forecast the outcomes of elections. An early successful model which is still being used is The Keys to the White House by Allan Lichtman. PollyVote takes a simple average of six types of inputs: Prediction markets, index models, expert judgment, citizen forecasts, poll aggregators and econometric models.
For the 2016 election, there were many competing election forecast approaches including Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight, The Upshot at The New York Times, Daily Kos, Princeton Election Consortium, Cook Political Report, Rothenberg and Gonzales, PollyVote, Sabato and Electoral-Vote.
These models mostly showed a Democratic advantage since the nominees were confirmed. Pollsters were puzzled by the failure of mainstream forecasting models to predict the 2016 election outcome. Further confusion was attributed to The New York Times' live presidential election forecast website for misleading graphing after analyst Alp Toker identified the use of pseudorandom jitter to give the impression of live fluctuations in its outcome predictions.
Primary election debates
General election debates
The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), a non-profit organization, hosted debates between qualifying presidential and vice-presidential candidates. According to the commission's website, to be eligible to opt to participate in the anticipated debates, "... in addition to being Constitutionally eligible, candidates must appear on a sufficient number of state ballots to have a mathematical chance of winning a majority vote in the Electoral College, and have a level of support of at least 15 percent of the national electorate as determined by five selected national public opinion polling organizations, using the average of those organizations' most recently publicly-reported results at the time of the determination."
The three locations chosen to host the presidential debates, and the one location selected to host the vice presidential debate, were announced on September 23, 2015. The site of the first debate was originally designated as Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio; however, due to rising costs and security concerns, the debate was moved to Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.
On August 19, Trump's campaign manager confirmed that he would participate in a series of three debates. Trump had complained that two of the scheduled debates, one on September 26 and the other October 9, will have to compete for viewers with National Football League games, referencing the similar complaints made regarding the dates with low expected ratings during the Democratic Party presidential debates. According to a survey by Rasmussen Reports, the majority of American voters believed that the debate moderators at the presidential debates would be helping Hillary Clinton.
The Free & Equal Elections Foundation announced plans to host an open debate among all presidential candidates who had ballot access sufficient to represent a majority of electoral votes. In October 2016 Free & Equal extended the invitation to all candidates with ballot lines representing at least 15% of the electoral vote. The nominees of the Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, Green, Constitution, Reform, and Socialism and Liberation parties, as well as independent candidate Evan McMullin, were invited to participate. The debate was held at the University of Colorado Boulder's Macky Auditorium on October 25, 2016. It was moderated by Ed Asner and Christina Tobin, with Darrell Castle, Rocky De La Fuente, and Gloria La Riva participating.
|P1||September 26, 2016||9 p.m. EDT||Hofstra University||Hempstead, New York||Lester Holt|| Hillary Clinton|
|VP||October 4, 2016||9 p.m. EDT||Longwood University||Farmville, Virginia||Elaine Quijano|| Tim Kaine|
|P2||October 9, 2016||8 p.m. CDT||Washington University in St. Louis||St. Louis, Missouri|| Anderson Cooper
| Hillary Clinton|
|P3||October 19, 2016||6 p.m. PDT||University of Nevada, Las Vegas||Las Vegas, Nevada||Chris Wallace|| Hillary Clinton|
|P4||October 25, 2016||7 p.m. MDT||University of Colorado Boulder||Boulder, Colorado|| Ed Asner
| Darrell Castle|
Rocky De La Fuente
Gloria La Riva
|= Sponsored by the CPD; = Sponsored by Free & Equal|
The election was held on November 8, 2016. Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton cast her vote in the New York City suburb of Chappaqua, while Republican candidate Donald Trump voted in a Manhattan public school. Throughout the day, the election process went more smoothly than many had expected, with only a few reports of long lines and equipment problems.
Early exit polls favored Clinton. However, as polls closed and the results came in throughout the night, those exit polls and forecasts proved inaccurate as the Republican candidate performed surprisingly well in all battleground states, especially Florida, Ohio and North Carolina. Even Wisconsin and Michigan, states that were predicted to swing blue, were won by Trump.
On November 9, 2016, at 3:00 AM Eastern Time, Trump secured over 270 electoral votes, the majority of the 538 electors in the Electoral College, enough to make him the president-elect of the United States. Clinton called Trump early on Wednesday morning, conceding defeat. Clinton asked her supporters to accept the result and hoped that Trump would be "a successful president for all Americans". In his victory speech Trump appealed for unity saying "it is time for us to come together as one united people" and praised Clinton who was owed "a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country".
Six states plus a portion of Maine that Obama won in 2012 switched to Trump. These are (with Electoral College votes in parentheses): Florida (29), Pennsylvania (20), Ohio (18), Michigan (16), Wisconsin (10), Iowa (6), and Maine's second congressional district (1). Trump won exactly 100 more Electoral College votes than Mitt Romney in 2012. Thirty-nine states swung more Republican compared to the previous Presidential election, while eleven states and the District of Columbia swung more Democratic.
It is estimated that 136.2 million Americans cast a ballot in 2016. 65.2 million of those ballots have been counted for Clinton and 62.7 million for Trump, representing 20.1% (Clinton) and 19.3% (Trump) of the U.S. Census Bureau estimate of U.S. population that day of 324.9 million. Considering a voting age population (VAP) of 251.1 million people and voting eligible population (VEP) of 231.6 million people, this a turnout rate of 54.2% VAP and 58.8% VEP. Voting turnout percentage was down compared to 2008 (58.2% VAP) and 2012 (54.9% VAP), but more votes were cast in the 2016 election than any prior election due to an increase in the voting population.
|Presidential candidate||Party||Home state||Popular vote|| Electoral
|Count||Pct||Vice-presidential candidate||Home state||Elect. vote|
|Donald Trump||Republican||New York||62,686,675||46.14%||306||Mike Pence||Indiana||306|
|Hillary Clinton||Democratic||New York||65,240,114||48.02%||232||Tim Kaine||Virginia||232|
|Gary Johnson||Libertarian||New Mexico||4,460,666||3.28%||0||William Weld||Massachusetts||0|
|Jill Stein||Green||Massachusetts||1,440,193||1.06%||0||Ajamu Baraka||Illinois||0|
|Evan McMullin||Independent||Utah||642,386||0.47%||0||Mindy Finn||District of Columbia||0|
|Darrell Castle||Constitution||Tennessee||198,576||0.15%||0||Scott Bradley||Utah||0|
|Needed to win||270||270|
Note: Popular vote count is preliminary until all states have certified their results.
According to unofficial totals, Trump has received more votes than any other Republican in any presidential election, at least 600,000 more than George W. Bush in 2004. Clinton has also won more votes than any Democrat except Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. Electoral vote figures are only projected, with the Electoral College voting on December 19, 2016.
Both major-party candidates were unusually old. At 70 years of age, Trump became the oldest person ever to be elected to a first term as president, surpassing Ronald Reagan, who was 69 upon winning the 1980 election. Clinton would have been the second-oldest after Reagan.
Along with Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, Trump was born in 1946; this is the first time a single birth year has produced three presidents. (1946 was a year of unusually numerous births, marking the first year of the post–World War II baby boom.) Trump will become the fifth president to be born in the state of New York, after Martin Van Buren, Millard Fillmore, Theodore Roosevelt, and Franklin D. Roosevelt; he will be the second president born in New York City after Theodore Roosevelt. Trump will also become the third president, after James K. Polk in 1844, and Woodrow Wilson in 1916 to win an election despite losing his home state.
Trump became the first person since Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952 to be elected president without having been elected to any other previous office, and the only individual to be elected president without any prior political or military experience. Among other presidents with limited military or political experience, William Howard Taft never served in the military and had been elected to political office only once, as an Ohio state judge, although he later held a number of appointed federal government positions, including in the Cabinet of a president before being elected president himself. Herbert Hoover did not serve in the military and never held elected office, but he led two federal government agencies during and after World War I and served in the Cabinets of two other presidents. However, Trump is unique in not having any state or federal government experience: military, appointed or elected.
Results by state
|States won by Clinton/Kaine|
|States won by Trump/Pence|
- WTA – Winner-takes-all
- CD – Congressional district★
| Hillary Clinton
| Donald Trump
| Gary Johnson
| Jill Stein
| Evan McMullin
| State or
|District of Columbia||WTA||282,830||90.48%||3||12,723||4.07%||–||4,906||1.57%||–||4,258||1.36%||–||–||7,858||2.52%||–||312,575||DC||Official|
★Two states (Maine and Nebraska) allow for their electoral votes to be split between candidates. The winner within each congressional district gets one electoral vote for the district. The winner of the statewide vote gets two additional electoral votes. Results are from the Associated Press.
Presidential campaigns focus their resources on a relatively small number of competitive states, referred to as swing or battleground states. Some potential swing states are Florida, Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina, and Ohio. Florida is the largest swing state and has been won by the overall winner every election since 1996. Ohio is another large swing state and has had a perfect bellwether record since 1964. The states regarded as competitive can fluctuate, as the polls fluctuate.
Some consensus among political pundits developed throughout the primary election season regarding swing states. From the results of presidential elections from 2004 through to 2012, generally the Democratic and Republican parties start with a safe electoral vote count of about 150 to 200. The margins required to constitute a swing state are vague, however, and local factors can come into play. It was thought that left-leaning states in the Rust Belt could become more conservative, as Trump mostly appealed to blue-collar workers. They represent a large portion of the American populace and were a major factor in Trump's eventual nomination. Trump's primary campaign was propelled by victories in Democratic states, and his supporters often did not identify as Republican.
In Maine and Nebraska, two electors are given to whoever has the most votes statewide, and the winner of each congressional district receives one electoral vote. Every other state awards all of its electoral votes to the candidate with the highest vote percentage. Media reports indicated that both candidates planned to concentrate on Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio and North Carolina.
Among the Republican-leaning states, potential Democratic targets included Nebraska's second congressional district, Georgia, and Arizona. Trump's relatively poor polling in some traditionally Republican states, such as Utah, raised the possibility they could vote for Clinton, despite easy wins there by recent Republican nominees. Many analysts asserted that Utah is not a viable Democratic destination.
Sites and individuals publish electoral predictions. These generally rate the race by the probability either of the two main parties wins each state. "Tossup" is generally used to indicate that neither party has an advantage, "lean" to indicate a party has a slight edge, "likely" to indicate a party has a clear advantage, and "safe" to indicate a party is heavily favored. Ratings from The Cook Political Report, Sabato's Crystal Ball, or the Rothenberg-Gonzales Political Report are included in the table below. The state's 2014 Cook PVI and the latest swing for each state are also listed.
|Arizona||11||9.1 R||R+7||Lean R||Tossup||Tilt R||Lean R||2000||3.6 R|
|Colorado||9||5.4 D||D+1||Lean D||Tossup||Likely D||Likely D||2008||4.9 D|
|Florida||29||0.9 D||R+2||Tossup||Tossup||Tilt D||Lean D||
|Georgia||16||7.8 R||R+6||Lean R||Tossup||Lean R||Likely R||1996||5.7 R|
|Iowa||6||5.8 D||D+1||Lean R||Tossup||Tilt R||Lean R||
|Maine (statewide)||2||15.3 D||D+6||Likely D||Tossup||Likely D||Likely D||1992||2.7 D|
|Maine (CD-2)||1||8.6 D||D+2||Tossup||Tossup||No rating||Lean R||
|Michigan||16||9.5 D||D+4||Lean D||Tossup||Lean D||Lean D||
|Minnesota||10||7.7 D||D+2||Likely D||Lean D||Likely D||Likely D||1976||1.5 D|
|Nebraska (CD-2)||1||7.2 R||R+4||Tossup||Likely R||No rating||Lean R||2012||3.3 R|
|New Mexico||5||10.2 D||D+4||Likely D||Tossup||Safe D||Likely D||2008||8.3 D|
|Nevada||6||6.7 D||D+2||Lean D||Tossup||Tilt D||Lean D||2008||2.4 D|
|New Hampshire||4||5.6 D||D+1||Lean D||Tossup||Lean D||Lean D||2004||0.2 D|
|North Carolina||15||2.0 R||R+3||Tossup||Tossup||Tilt D||Lean D||2012||3.7 R|
|Ohio||18||3.0 D||R+1||Lean R||Tossup||Tossup||Lean R||
|Pennsylvania||20||5.4 D||D+1||Lean D||Tossup||Lean D||Lean D||
|Virginia||13||3.9 D||EVEN||Likely D||Tossup||Likely D||Likely D||2008||5.3 D|
|Wisconsin||10||6.9 D||D+2||Lean D||Lean D||Tilt D||Likely D||
- Maine split its electoral votes for the first time since 1828.
- In early elections, beginning with the election of George Washington, many electors were chosen by state legislatures instead of public balloting and, in those states which practiced public balloting, votes were cast for undifferentiated lists of candidates, leaving no or only partial vote totals. Some states continued to allocate electors by legislative vote as late as 1860.
- The Roosevelts and their opponents were both from New York in the 1904 and 1944 elections. Home-state losers happened in 1844, 1916 and 1968.
- Statewide Nebraska race rated as Likely R
Red denotes states (or congressional districts that contribute an electoral vote) won by Republican Donald Trump; blue denotes those won by Democrat Hillary Clinton.
States where the margin of victory was under 1% (50 electoral votes; 46 won by Trump, 4 by Clinton):
- Michigan, 0.23%
- New Hampshire, 0.36%
- Wisconsin, 0.81%
- Pennsylvania, 0.81%
States where the margin of victory was between 1% and 5% (84 electoral votes; 56 won by Trump, 28 by Clinton):
- Florida, 1.20%
- Minnesota, 1.52%
- Nevada, 2.42%
- Maine, 2.68%
- Nebraska's 2nd Congressional District, 3.38%
- Arizona, 3.57%
- North Carolina, 3.66%
- Colorado, 4.88%
States/districts where the margin of victory was between 5% and 10% (96 electoral votes; 78 won by Trump, 18 by Clinton):
- Virginia, 5.32%
- Georgia, 5.46%
- New Mexico, 8.21%
- Ohio, 8.55%
- Texas, 9.11%
- Iowa, 9.50%
On November 25, with 90 minutes remaining on the deadline to petition for a recount to the state's electoral body, Stein filed for a recount of the election results in Wisconsin. She signaled she intended to file for similar recounts in the subsequent days in Michigan and Pennsylvania. The next day, Clinton campaign general counsel Marc Elias stated that their campaign would join Stein's recount efforts in Wisconsin and possibly others "in order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides." Stein had by that date raised nearly six million dollars in donations to petition for the recounts.
President-elect Donald Trump issued a statement denouncing the recount request saying, "The people have spoken and the election is over." Trump further commented that the recount "is a scam by the Green Party for an election that has already been conceded."
Stein filed the recount petition in Pennsylvania on November 28. On November 29, Stein delivered $3.5 million needed to initiate the presidential vote recount in the state of Wisconsin. With payment received, Wisconsin Elections Commission has ordered recount of the 2016 presidential election to begin on December 1. Stein filed for a manual recount in the state of Michigan on November 30, paying the $973,250 fee required for filing. On the same day, American Delta Party/Reform Party presidential candidate Rocky De La Fuente requested a recount in five counties in Nevada and paid $14,000 required for the effort.
On December 1, Trump campaign challenged Michigan's recount arguing that the recount couldn't be finished on time and that Stein's petition wasn't properly notarized, delaying the planned recount which was to begin the next day.
On December 3, Stein dropped her court case to initiate a statewide recount in Pennsylvania. Lawyers for the Green Party stated they were unable to pay the court-ordered $1 million bond by the deadline on December 5. However, Green Party backed efforts to analyze election software in some Pennsylvania precincts continued. The following day, the Green Party signaled that it would file a federal lawsuit on December 5 to force a recount in Pennsylvania, claiming that the state court system was not equipped to adequately address their case.
Protests were held in many cities across the nation for several days after the election. Furthermore, suicide crisis hotlines reported a major increase in calls, and online privacy and security workshops also burgeoned.
Electoral College lobbying and petitions
Intense lobbying (some amounting to harassment and death threats) and grass-roots campaigns have been directed at various GOP electors of the United States Electoral College to convince a sufficient number of them (37) to not vote for Trump, thus precluding a Trump presidency. Members of the Electoral College themselves have started a campaign for other members to "vote their conscience for the good of America" in accordance with Alexander Hamilton's Federalist Paper No. 68.
Electronic vote tampering concerns
After the election, computer scientists, including J. Alex Halderman, the director of the University of Michigan Center for Computer Security and Society, urged the Clinton campaign to request an election recount in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania (three swing states where Trump had won narrowly) for the purpose of excluding the possibility that the hacking of electronic voting machines had influenced the recorded outcome. However, statistician Nate Silver performed a regression analysis which demonstrated that the alleged discrepancy between paper ballots and electronic voting machines "completely disappears once you control for race and education level". On November 25, 2016, the Obama administration said the results from November 8, “accurately reflect the will of the American people.” The following day, the White House released another statement saying, “the federal government did not observe any increased level of malicious cyberactivity aimed at disrupting our electoral process on Election Day.”
Results by state, shaded according to winning candidate's percentage of the vote
Results by Vote Distribution Among States. Each state's pie chart is proportional to the number of electoral votes they have.
Results by county. Red denotes counties that went to Trump; blue denotes counties that went to Clinton.
Results by county, shaded according to winning candidate's percentage of the vote.
Results by congressional district
Results by county, shaded according to percentage of the vote for Trump
Results by county, shaded according to percentage of the vote for Clinton
Results by county, shaded according to winning candidate's percentage of the vote (Red-Purple-Blue view)
County swing from 2012 to 2016
County swing from 2012 to 2016, relative to national swing
Electoral vote cartogram
Voter demographic data for 2016 were collected by Edison Research for the National Election Pool, a consortium of ABC News, The Associated Press, CBS News, CNN, Fox News and NBC News. The voter survey is based on questionnaires completed by 24,537 voters leaving 350 voting places throughout the United States on Election Day including 4,398 telephone interviews with early and absentee voters. Trump nearly doubled his support from Muslims compared to 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney. While exit polls are useful, they have in the past overstated or given partial portraits of the electorate, and further study with additional data is generally required.
|2016 Presidential vote by demographic subgroup|
|Demographic subgroup||Clinton||Trump||Other|| % of|
|Party by gender|
|Gender by marital status|
|Hispanic (of any race)||65||29||6||11|
|Gender by race/ethnicity|
|Latino men (of any race)||62||33||4||5|
|Latino women (of any race)||68||26||5||6|
|All other races||61||32||5||6|
|Religious service attendance|
|Weekly or more||40||56||4||33|
|A few times a year||48||47||5||29|
|White evangelical or born-again Christian|
|White evangelical or born-again Christian||16||81||3||26|
|18–24 years old||56||35||9||10|
|25–29 years old||53||39||8||9|
|30–39 years old||51||40||9||17|
|40–49 years old||46||50||4||19|
|50–64 years old||44||53||3||30|
|65 and older||45||53||2||15|
|First time voter|
|First time voter||56||40||4||10|
|High school or less||45||51||4||18|
|Some college education||43||52||5||32|
|Education by race/ethnicity|
|White college graduates||45||49||4||37|
|White no college degree||28||67||4||34|
|Non-white college graduates||71||23||5||13|
|Non-white no college degree||75||20||3||16|
|Issue regarded as most important|
|Cities (population 50,000 and above)||59||35||6||34|
|Age and Race|
|White 65 and older||39||58||3||13|
|Black 65 and older||91||9||0||1|
|Latino 65 and older||73||25||2||1|
Total television viewers
Total cable TV viewers
Cable TV viewers 25 to 54
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States that allow write-ins in the general election, and don’t have write-in filing laws, are legally obliged to count all write-ins: Alabama, Iowa, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Vermont.... Only one state, South Carolina, has a law that says that although write-ins in general elections are permitted, they are not permitted for president.
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