Constitution Daily

Smart conversation from the National Constitution Center

Trump goes over Electoral College margin

November 9, 2016 by NCC Staff


Donald Trump has won the majority needed in the Electoral College to become the next President of the United States, based on projections of the electoral college vote in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

trumpaccepts456Trump needed at least 270 votes in the Electoral College, the system established under the Constitution, to win the White House. Multiple media outlets called Trump’s win in Pennsylvania around 2 a.m.; wins in Florida and North Carolina greatly helped Trump’s efforts. Trump was also leading easily in Arizona, and in the Midwest states of Michigan and Wisconsin when he was declared the winner in Pennsylvania.

CNN then projected Wisconsin for Trump without calling Pennsylvania for Trump. Then, the Washington Post called the election around 2:30 a.m. The Associated Press also called the election and CNN reported that Clinton called Trump to concede.

The projected vote total for Trump was 289 votes, as of early Wednesday morning, after his wins in Pennsylvania, Arizona and Wisconsin. Several states remained outstanding at the time, including Michigan, Minnesota and New Hampshire. Clinton led by a slight margin in the overall popular vote.

At 2 a.m. Wednesday, Clinton adviser John Podesta sent supporters home from the Javitz Center in New York, saying that Clinton would not be speaking until all votes were counted.

Barring any potential recounts or legal challenges after Election Day by December 13, the electors representing Trump and Clinton will meet in their states on December 19 to formally cast their votes, as indicated in Tuesday’s state-by-state popular vote.

In voting for the United States Senate, the Republicans retained control of the chamber that will work with a new President to confirm at least one new Supreme Court Justice. The Republicans also retained control of the House of Representatives.

Trump’s appeal to blue collar workers and his efforts to campaign in the Midwest apparently made a key difference in the final days of the presidential campaign.

His win continues the long-term trend of American voters opting for a change of parties in the White House after consecutive incumbent terms. Only George H.W. Bush in 1988, Herbert Hoover in 1928, Franklin Roosevelt in 1940 and 1944, and Harry Truman in 1948 were able to give their parties a third or fourth consecutive term in the presidency in the past 100 years.


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