WHY FAVOURITE CLINTON LOST
On Tuesday, Americans went to the polls with high expectations that Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party nominee, would become the country’s 45th and first female President. In a stunning development, however, the person who won is Donald Trump. A man who has variously been dismissed as a dangerous demagogue, inept and unabashedly misogynistic. To understand why this happened and the implications of the outcome, especially for Kenyans and other foreigners living in the US — legally or illegally — one must first understand that in America, a President is not elected by popular vote. Whoever becomes President is determined by the electoral college, which is comprised of electors from each state apportioned by each state’s representation in the Congress. A candidate who wins the majority of the votes in the state gets all of the electoral votes available for that state and one needs 270 such votes to win a presidential election.
Generally, there are half-dozen or so states that are deemed to be “battleground” states, meaning either party’s nominee can win the state in any given election, depending on the mood of the voters in those states, influenced by a number of factors and considerations.
Given the electoral map this year, Clinton only needed to have won all the states President Barack Obama won in 2012 and one other state from this year’s battleground states.
Her opponent, Trump, not only needed to win all the remaining battleground states but also win at least one of the big states Obama won in 2012 — something everyone other than he and his cult-like followers knew was all but impossible, given the various vote blocs he has offended on his campaign trail. Well, the demagogue has done the impossible in that he has just pulled off one of the biggest electoral upsets in American history: Sending half of the country into shock, unclear how long it would take for many to recover.
Several questions consequently emerge as a result, chief among them being what happened and what does this mean for America and the world at large? Tomes will be written to answer these and other questions, but, for starters — given time and space considerations — a few things can be noted:
First, this unlikeliest of presidential candidates became the Republican Party nominee because all he did was tap into a growing anger among an increasingly antigovernment segment of white Americans who resent immigrants they blame for their own miseries. Not surprisingly, all of these die-hard supporters are people without college education and Trump easily manipulated them to get to the White House.
Second, even as half of the country loathed Trump, and couldn’t even imagine the thought of him becoming President, the other half equally loathed Clinton and couldn’t imagine the thought of her getting to the White House.The election, therefore, became a question of who of these two would voters hold their noses and vote for and, as we now know, their choice was Trump with all his flaws.
Third, Clinton’s campaign simply failed to protect the states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, which they took for granted.Trump won them.
Fourth, a large number of voters, especially the so-called blue-collar workers who to a man voted for Trump, were not ready for a female President. Finally, despite all the tough talk about deporting everyone who is in the US illegally, that will just not happen. To be sure, there will be a spike in deportations upon the man assuming office, but one can rest assured the actions will fall to normal levels simply because the man only used the issue to get elected. Once in office, he will become your average President.