Election Recap 2016: How It All Went Down
By Peter Santo
I’d like to preface this piece by saying that my goal here is to recap the election and how the events of last night and this morning occurred, I will try to keep my stance as objective as possible. Also, as this is a sports blog, I’m going to draw as much of a connection between sports and politics as I can.
Well American politics had their Super Bowl last night, just as they do every four years. Coming into the election, Hillary Clinton was heavily favored to defeat Donald Trump in the race for the White House. However, as every sports fan knows, it’s never over until it’s officially over.
Trump was a heavy underdog coming in, and needed pretty much every swing state to go his way. One by one the dominoes began to fall, and while it took until the early hours of Wednesday morning and finished as one of the closest elections in history, Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States of America. The final tally had Trump defeating Hillary Clinton 279-228 in electoral votes.
This election was always going to come down to Trump’s ability to crack what experts called “The big blue wall.” In other words, Trump was going to need to win states that traditionally voted Blue.
The Trump camp first gained hope when word came out that Trump had won the swing state of Florida and its 29 electoral votes. The first must-win swing state had gone Trump’s way. And as the night went on, more and more states swung in favor of Trump.
When things were all set and done, Trump had emerged victorious in the swing states of Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Ohio, and Wisconsin. We knew that Trump was likely going to need a clean sweep of these states to have any chance of winning the White House, except no one thought he would actually do it.
This will go down as one of the biggest upsets in American history. Think Giants over Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, or Villanova over Georgetown in the 1985 NCAA basketball National Championship.
Let’s stick with this Patriots-Giants comparison, I thought long and hard of how I was going to compare this election to sports, and this is what I’ve come up with. This scenario won’t match perfectly with history, as Brady comes out victorious in 2016, but bear with me on this one.
Trump and Clinton could be considered very similar to the two quarterbacks in this analogy.
In one corner you’ve got Hillary Clinton, who has stepped out of the shadow of Bill Clinton and is now hoping for her own time in the spotlight. This is just like Eli Manning, Eli was hoping to step out of his brother Peyton’s shadow and make a name for himself.
In the other corner you’ve got Donald Trump, beloved by some, but hated by many. Just like Tom Brady, Brady is largely hated outside New England, but inside he is one of the most cherished figures in history. Trump is beloved in rural America, but in big cities, his appeal falls well short of that of Clinton.
It seems like no matter what happens on or off the field, Tom Brady just finds a way to win, and that’s exactly what Donald Trump did in this election. When everyone was hating on Tom Brady for Deflategate, he found a way to defeat Seattle and win Super Bowl XLIX. When everyone was hating on Donald Trump, he found a way to break down the big blue wall and win the Presidency.
The reaction on social media to Trump’s victory was one largely filled with hatred and disgust. If this election doesn’t prove what a small sample social media represents than I don’t know what will. If you only saw the reaction on Facebook and Twitter, you would’ve thought that Clinton won in a landslide.
The reality is that America wanted change, and they were going to get it no matter what. I have to give Trump credit here, he knew exactly what he was doing. He cast himself not as a Republican or a Democrat, but as an American, and as an American who would change the current state of America.
When we first think of America we think of the white collar major cities. We think of New York, Boston, Chicago, LA. But where Trump won this election is with blue collar rural America, places like Wisconsin, Iowa, Alabama, and rural Pennsylvania.
Time will tell how Donald Trump goes down in history, but for one night Trump won over America. He did what all good quarterbacks and presidential candidates do, he found a way to win when it mattered most.