Why Donald trump won the election [45 marks]
Donald Trump won the 2016 Presidential election with 304 electoral college votes to Hilary Clintons 227 electoral college votes, after the votes of the rouge electors were taken into account. Despite the fact that Donald trump lost the popular vote to Clinton he still successfully won the election, this was due to the success of his small America approach to the election. The reasons for his success can be classified into three area his policy, his approach and the electoral system.
One reason that can be considered important in Trumps winning of the election is his policy, in particular his small America focus. Trump focused a large part of his campaign on focusing on small areas, claiming that he would take back American jobs and reduce unemployment. This can be considered to have been a contributing factor to his success as unemployment rates in the US in 2016 were around 5%, due to the tightness of the election Trump reaching this 5% would’ve given him the extra votes in smaller areas needed to gain the electoral college vote. The success of his small America policies is evident from his winning of 2,622 predominantly small counties compared to Clinton winning 460 of the larger populated counties. The success of Trump in so may smaller counties shows that he reached many of the smaller areas which is a success of his focus on small scale improvements.
Another one of Trumps policies that were significant in his victory in the presidential election was his Pro-life stance on abortion. During Trumps presidential election he took a pro-life stance on abortion this can be considered important for his success due to the division that the issue of abortion causes. This is evident from the fact that 78% of Catholic women voted for Trump, in the past catholics have been more affiliated to the Democrats than the Republicans, hence his stance can be considered to have swayed many of them to vote Republican. As Trump was likely to hold the protestant population due to their typical connection to the republican party the gaining of Cathoics as well would’ve meant that Trump could appeal to the majority of the religious groups in the US. Hence Trumps pro-life policy can be seen as an important contributing factor in his success.
Trumps approach to the presidential election, such as his use of money, was a signinficant factor in his election. In 2008 Obama refused to take matching funds during his presidential election as he didnt to use taxpayers money to fund his campaign, this was popular, Trump similarly used his method of funds to gain support, as he did not accept any funds raised by the Republicans instead only using the money he had raised himself. In the invisible primary Trump spent 5,828,922 of his own money whilst using none of his parties funds. this can be considered an important factor due to the fact that both Obama and Trump have succeeded in their presidential campaigns by funding their campaigns in alternative campaigns.
As part of Trumps method of campaigning he visited a substantial number of states from the invisible primaries to election day. During the election Trump visited a substantial number of states, mainly focusing on the swing states but also visiting Republican safe states. An example of the importance of these visits can be seen when looking at Florida, Trump visited the state 26 times in comparison to Clinton visiting 19 times through his visits Trump was able to build up support which resulted in him wining the state. The visitation of states by trump is highly significant as florida was won by 200,000 votes and is worth 27 Electoral college votes hence the visits were significant in contributing to Trumps overall victory. many americans consider the number of states a prospective presidential candidate visits as a sign of their fitness for the job, due to the large amount of travling involved in visiting different state the ability to reach many is seen to show the health of the candidate, as trump visited many more states than Clinton he was seen as in a better physically state.
The American disillusionment with the political system was another contributing factor to Donald Trumps victory. In the us turnout to presidential elections Is on average 60%, meaning that 40% of the voting age public do not vote, who Trump attempted to appeal to. Trump is not a career politician, having held no previous government post, whereas Clinton has been Senator, First Lady and Secretary of State thus making her a typical candidate that has proven to be unsatisfactory and representative in the past. This proved to be a contributing factor in the election as the many made protest votes 6.5 million people did, compared to 2million in 2012.