Questions you may be asking after the election
At Liberty University’s voting precinct (the second precinct of the third ward) Republican Donald Trump received the majority of votes with 2,739 while Democrat Hillary Clinton received 140.
On-campus Liberty students registered at the Vines Center cast a total of 3,205 votes Nov. 11 compared to the 3,347 cast in the 2012 presidential election between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.
Dean of Students Robert Mullen said that although there is no way to know for sure, he believes the lower amount of votes cast in 2016 can be attributed to working with the Lynchburg Registrar’s Office to get students’ voting records cleaned up as well as making sure commuter students were registered at their off-campus location.
With the students at the Annex who voted at Sheffield Elementary School and commuter students, Mullen estimates that a total of 4,000 Liberty students voted in the area.
Mullen said that about 500 students lined up to vote at 6 a.m., and the wait time was an hour when the polls opened. But throughout the day, the maximum wait time was 30 minutes.
Mullen said the effort by the school to help students get registered and fix any mistakes allowed Election Day to go smoothly at Liberty.
“As a consequence of those efforts, there were very few issues at the polls on Election Day as far as students not being properly registered,” Mullen said. “In 2012, there were a lot of mistakes.”
Students voiced their opinions about third-party candidates by casting 137 votes for Libertarian Gary Johnson, 156 for Independent Evan McMullin, and four for Green Party candidate Jill Stein and 29 write-ins.
Mullen said he believes more students voted third-party than in the past because there were more options and students felt they could vote for whoever they felt was best.
“I was encouraged to see that our students felt like they could think for themselves and come to a decision and a conclusion and did not feel that they were constrained to vote a particular way,” Mullen said.
Dustin Wahl, spokesperson of Liberty United Against Trump (LUAT), said the third-party vote turnout at the Vines Center was impressive, even though the results did not shock LUAT.
“As for the on-campus precinct, I and my team at LUAT were not surprised with the results,” Wahl said. “We have always known that many Liberty students would likely vote for Trump, even though a lot of them wouldn’t chose to associate their school’s brand with Trump.”
In the congressional election also taking place Nov. 11, Republican Bob Goodlatte was reelected to another term, taking 94 percent of the vote with 2,842 ballots cast for him.
The makeup of President-elect Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton can be broken down into key demographics that ultimately decided the outcome of the race.
The presence of three demographics in particular — race, location and education — shifted significantly enough to undermine core voting blocs Clinton was counting on to show up at the ballots, thus securing a largely-unexpected victory for Trump.
According to data from the Pew Research Center, Trump won white voters by a 21-point margin, almost identical to Romney’s 20-point win of white voters. What was critical to Clinton’s loss was her slip in African-American and Hispanic voters.
Clinton received 7 percent less African-American voters than Barack Obama did in 2012 (87 percent to 80 percent) and 8 percent less Hispanic voters than Obama (44 percent to 36 percent).
A large swing in the votes of those without a college degree further helped Trump’s secure his victory. Data from the same Pew Research Center report showed Trump winning 8 percent more voters without a college degree than Clinton, a contrast from 2012 where Obama won 4 percent more voters of the same demographic than Romney.
The 12-point swing in Trump’s favor absorbed Clinton’s nine-point lead in voters that have a college degree (52 percent to 43 percent).
Finally, and most critically, rural voters showed up to the ballots strongly in Trump’s favor. Exit polls show that Trump won rural and small towns in Michigan by a 19-point margin (57 percent to 38 percent), more than doubling Romney’s seven-point win (53 percent to 46 percent) of the same group.
In Pennsylvania, another swing state that ultimately decided the election, Trump similarly won over rural voters by a margin of 71-26. In Wisconsin, he won the demographic 63-34.
Overall, Clinton won a mere 29 percent of rural voters, a nine-point decrease from the amount Obama won in 2012. That, along with a lower than expected turnout of voters in urban areas and stagnant Democratic support amongst females, effectively handed the election to Trump.
Never before has a presidential candidate divided so many in the evangelical community. While many evangelical leaders endorsed Trump as one who would nominate conservative justices to the Supreme Court and protect religious freedom and the unborn, others condemned his character as unfit to hold the office.
In the end, Trump brought them together and earned 81 percent of their votes, according to Religion News Service.
“The bottom line is, I think what we expected and thought would happen (Tuesday) did, in fact, occur, which is a historic turnout of voters of faith fueled by the largest turnout of evangelicals … since exit polling began,” Chairman of the Faith & Freedom Coalition Ralph Reed said.
Though Trump earned a vast majority of the evangelical vote, many of those votes were specifically from white evangelicals, and Ed Stetzer, executive director of the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism, said many non-white evangelicals feel betrayed.
“Many are asking, ‘How can white evangelicals shut their eyes to the reality of a man (Trump) who seemingly allows and even perpetuates painful and ongoing wounds that many of our brothers and sisters deal with each day — prejudice, harassment, marginalization, violence, and rejection?’” Stetzer wrote for Christianity Today.
Johnnie Moore, former Liberty University senior vice president and current spokesman for My Faith Votes, pointed out in an interview with Newsmax that Trump reached out to Christians like no candidate in the past.
“(I’ve never seen anybody) with so much power and so much influence go to the effort he went to build individual relationships with not dozens of significant Christian leaders, but thousands of them,” Moore said.
Even as issues such as immigration, the Supreme Court, and gun control rose to prominence in the 2016 election, Americans still listed the economy as their top concern, according to the Pew Research Center. It’s therefore no surprise that all eyes were on the stock market as Trump’s odds of winning continued to increase throughout the night.
Essentially, the markets adjusted in the months and weeks before the election based off whom investors thought would win.
In 2016, Clinton was the clear favorite. News that favored Clinton eased fears of investors and caused stocks to rise and vice versa. For example, the day after FBI Director James Comey cleared Clinton of all charges after a second review of her emails, stocks jumped up.
After the sharp drop of the Dow futures as Trump started winning battleground states, the Dow Jones index rose sharply in the coming days, finishing with its best week since December 2011, according to CNBC.
Markets in Asia dropped sharply after Trump’s win, and Liberty business professor Dr. Andrew Light said it was because Trump thinks the current trade deals with China are unfair.
“People think he will become what we call ‘protectionist,’ and if you do that, like increase tariffs on imported products … they are concerned that trade, especially between the U.S. and China will decrease and that will hurt their economy because China is an export-oriented economy,” Light said.
James Mackintosh of The Wall Street Journal explained after the election why he believed analysts were wrong about a potential stock plummet in the U.S. because of Trump’s win.
“By the time markets opened Wednesday, Mr. Trump was confirmed as president-elect, and the market had switched from worrying about the bad stuff he promised to the possible good side,” Mackintosh wrote.
As the afternoon turned to evening and evening turned to night Nov. 8, the nation watched as Donald Trump defied odds and the polls to take the presidency.
CNN’s final poll before before Election Day gave Hillary Clinton a 3-point lead. NBC News’s poll Nov. 7 gave Clinton a 6-point lead. Out of RealClear Politics’s 45 featured polls the day before the election, 34 had Clinton winning.
There may not be one clear reason why many polls did not predict the upset victory, but, slowly but surely, theories are being compiled.
1. Women who voted Trump may have been particularly hesitant to speak with pollsters (David Paleologos of Suffolk University).
2. Polls missed some large demographic changes, including “complete collapse of support for Clinton among white voters without college degrees” (Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight).
3. Undecided voters made up their minds at the last minute (Sam Wang of Princeton University).
4. There was an over-emphasis on belief that the rising demographic diversity would be enough for a Clinton victory (Geoff Garin, a veteran democratic pollster who worked for the pro-Clinton super PAC
Dr. Darrell Scott, a pastor and early supporter of Trump, said he believed there was absolutely a hidden Trump vote of people who did not say who they were supporting, but when it came to the voting booth, they chose Trump.
“In order to avoid argument or to avoid an attack or avoid being bullied … they just kept their vote to themselves,” Scott said.
Though theories are being constructed, this historic election will take months to decipher.