This paper is about how Obamas presidency in somewhat shape or form contributed to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential victory. The 2016 campaign ended with a surprising and inconclusive outcome. The first factor that contributed to Trumps win is the party coalitions had become more polarized by race and education during Obama’s presidency. Second, Trump’s focus on political issues connected to ethnic and social identities choices in 2016 than they had been in 2012 (Faber, 2017) IntroductionHillary Clinton won the popular vote but lost the Electoral College to Donald Trump. Two factors help explain this outcome. First, the electoral college split swayed due to race and education in the Republican candidate favor after Obama’s presidency leading up to Trumps victory. Second, Trumps political issues involved with social and ethnical identities.
On November 9, 2016, the New York Times announced, “Donald Trump’s Victory Is Met With Shock Across a Wide Political Divide” (Peters, 2017). This headline captures two features of the 2016 U. S. presidential election. The first is how shocking the outcome was. Pollsters had estimated that the chances that Hillary Clinton would win would be 75% to 99%, so Trump’s victory was quite surprising to the majority. The second is the degree of political polarization the 2016 election cycle even though America just had its first Black president, a “post-racial” America never occurred making race matter even more in the 2016 presidential election. Trumps victory boomed in last minute. Key blue states that turned red: Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, gave Trump the presidency, with an expected 306 Electoral College votes against Clinton’s 232. However, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 2. 1 points (48. 0 to 45. 9 percent), or almost 2. 9 million people. Literature Review Education level was the biggest factor in explaining the swings, with higher educated voters likely to swing to Clinton, and lower educated voters to Trump.
The states Trump gained had a greater proportion of non-University educated whites. US analyst Nate Silver shows education level explained the swings. In the Midwest, the proportion of non-University educated whites is higher than nationally, and there are few Hispanics. Blacks vote heavily for Democrats, but their turnout was down as Obama was not the candidate. To understand how Trump won the Electoral College, we must consider the factor of increasing racial and ethnic polarization in the Democratic and Republican party coalitions. Particularly during Obama’s presidency, voters increasingly sorted themselves by party on the basis of identities and views related to race and ethnicity. An identity-focused framing of the election heightened Trump’s appeal to white voters, and particularly those without a college education—demographics with a strong presence in key swing states. To understand Trump’s victory in the Electoral College one must look back about eight years, to the initial election of Barack Obama. Many hoped that Obama’s election would inaugurate a “post-racial” America.
Instead, Obama’s candidacy and then presidency made race matter more. Divisions over race were palpable throughout Obama’s presidency. Surveys revealed that opinions on virtually every issue connected to Obama became associated with people’s race and, among white voters, with attitudes toward African Americans (Tesler, 2016). By 2016, nonwhites had become increasingly Democratic. Pew Research Center data show that among Latinos, self-identified Democrats outnumbered Republicans by 36 points in 2016, as compared to 23 points in 2002 (Tyson & Maniam, 2016). In exit polls, Asian Americans’ support for Democratic presidential candidates increased from 31 percent in 1992 to 73 percent in 2012. 7 Blacks also came to identify even more strongly with the Democratic Party. By 2015, white voters with a high-school degree or less broke for the Republican Party by 24 percentage points (57 percent to 33 percent). Meanwhile, college-educated whites moved toward the Democratic Party [Cornell]. Evidence suggests that views on immigration were especially relevant to voter choice in 2016.
Donald Trump’s signature issue of immigration was made clear during his campaign train on June 2015, calling Mexians “rapist and drug dealers. ” Trump promised to change all policies that had been set down by the Obama Administration. The consequence was a historically large education divide among white voters that came down in large part to attitudes about race and ethnicity. The education divides among whites provided Trump with a narrow path to victory. With black Democratic support and turnout returning to their pre-Obama levels, the large share of whites without a college degree in the key states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin helped to put Trump over the top in the Electoral College. Faber article examines how race, education, and political issues contributed to Trumps 2016 presidential victory.
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