Since February 1st, Donald John Trump and Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton have been hard at work. That day they were announced as the Republican and Democratic Primary Candidates for the Presidential Election. Both candidates, along with their party, fought long and hard to get where they were on election night. But somehow, it felt like Trump had more of an uphill battle. Ever since he first announced his intentions to run he was dismissed as hopeless.Few people took him seriously, and when they realized they had to, they simply slandered him. Criticising his belligerency, aggressive nature or just the way he talks. Now, there were some instances in which Mr. Trump shot himself in the foot for sure, but the media, and the general population just saw a big red target on his back (not to say Mrs. Clinton didn’t receive emails, er, complaints of her own). Several documented instances of the media stretching the truth, people running smear campaigns and just plain old rumors really distracted many of us from the legitimacy of it all. From February all the way to mere hours before the race was over, experts said Trump was doomed to fail. But who doesn’t love an underdog? And so the race was on. And after many long, hard nights for both candidates, Clinton and Trump had given their last speeches, held their final rallies, and kissed their last babies. Tuesday night, it was finally time for them to step back and let their efforts, and the people, speak for themselves.  As the voting booths opened early that morning, Hillary roared out to a fast start and a big lead. Mrs. Clinton was popular in large cities. Even in states she didn’t win, like Ohio, she still won in all the big cities like Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati. With live trackers of the election placing her probability to win as high as 70% through the better part of the day. But any good football team will tell you that the 4th quarter is what really counts. And that’s when the Trump supporters came out in full strength. People in rural areas, small towns, blue collar workers and even a surprising number of minorities worked to launch Mr. Trump right back into the thick of the race, where he pulled ahead and never looked back. Winning the Presidential Election with 279 electoral college votes to Hillary Clinton’s 228, despite the fact that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 202,340 votes.

By all accounts, Trump’s victory is shocking and surprising. Politics are rarely ever kind to underdogs. It’s an unforgiving game where one slip of the tongue or a single moment of weakness can taint an image and banish anyone to political anonymity. So how did Donald do it? Well sit down and strap in cause that’s why we’re here.

As many of you know, in order to win Presidency, a candidate needs to win 270 Electoral College votes, which are acquired by winning the majority of votes in a state. Each state has a set number of Electoral College votes assigned to it based on population. Win enough states and you’ll reach that coveted 270. Easy enough, right? Well here’s why it’s not. There are 51 states (Washington D.C. counts as 1) to win. And most states have a predictable pattern as to who they will vote for. A state is either blue, voting democratic (Hillary), red, voting republican (Donald), or a swing state. A swing state is historically documented as wishy-washy. Regularly switching their vote between elections. Democrat one year, Republican the next. These swing states are the most valuable and the candidates put the most work into these states because candidates that win swing states become presidents more times than not.                                                                                                                                                                                Some final set-up here. There are, as of 2016, 20 blue states and 26 red states along with 5 swing states. Hillary got the ball rolling by winning some big blue states such as New York, good for 29 votes and California, which has the most votes in the union at 55. 2 states, 84 votes. Not a bad start. But Trump was able to fire back with Texas, which gave him 38 votes, and basically all of middle America. But the red and blue states don’t do much in the way of decision making. The states that hold the key to victory are the swing states. Of which there were 5 this election. And Trump managed to pull all of them. Which was good for 83 votes and the win. Seeing as he won by 51 votes, it’s obvious that these swing states were the deciding factor. Here’s the breakdown.

When it comes to Swing States, there was Iowa, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. And these states were the deciding factor in this year’s presidential race.  Here is a bit of a look at how Trump won these states and why it matters.

Ohio                                                                                                                                                                          The great state of Ohio is good for 18 electoral college votes. A pretty fair chunk. And it has been a heated battleground between candidates for every election since the 1900s. Here’s the interesting thing , the candidate that won ohio, has won the whole thing every year since the 1960 election. That’s a 14 president streak, way more than any other state. In 2012, Ohio voted for Barack Obama. The final vote count in Ohio that year was only 48% Republican. In 2016 however, when Trump came to town, Republican voting shot up to 52%. Which was enough to win ohio.

Iowa                                                                                                                                                                        The Hawkeye State offers 6 electoral college votes to anyone with the right stuff. So it’s no breadwinner but it has proved crucial in many elections for building momentum and public favor. In 2012Iowa voted only 46% Republican, but Donald Trump was able to raise that by 6% and move Republican voting to 52%. More than enough to get that coveted 6 votes.

Florida                                                                                                                                                                   Florida is the most sought after swing state in the union. Offering a juicy 29 votes to the top dog. Candidates fight fiercely over this state every single election. However this year, the Republicans won it. Perhaps due to some Divine (or Liberal) Intervention. See, in 2012, Republicans were unable to win the state with only 49.1% of votes. Yet this year, Trump could only bring in 49.2% of votes…and won…how is this? Well listen to this cause it is truly fascinating. I mean seriously, pay attention. The difference this year for the Democrats, was a drop from 50% of Florida votes in 2012 to only 47.7% in 2016. Between ’12 and ’16 Republicans went up only 0.1%, but Democrats dropped 2.3%. What’s missing? I’ll tell you what’s missing. Gary Johnson and Jill Stein of the Libertarian and Green parties respectively. Both of these candidates ran in 2012 and again in 2016. Here are their number for Florida. in 2012, Gary Johnson reeled in 0.5% of votes while Jill Stein managed a modest 0.1%. But in 2016, Johnson jumped to 2% and Stein earned 0.7% of votes. That’s a combined increase of 2.1%. And from whom did they steal those votes? Hillary Clinton. A small portion of Florida voters switched their vote from Democratic to Green or Libertarian. That small shift in voting was enough to give Republicans the lead in Florida. And to think, the little old Libertarian and Green parties cost the big bad Democrats 29 votes. Switch that around, and it’s Hillary 257, Trump 250. Oh that’s juicy.

Pennsylvania                                                                                                                                                       Fun Fact, the last time Pennsylvania voted Republican was 1988. In favor of George H.W. Bush. So Trump pulled off a mighty feat on Tuesday by winning a typically blue state. Swinging the Republican voting percentage from 46% in ’12 to 48% in ’16. Securing 20 votes no one thought he would have.

Wisconsin                                                                                                                                                              The state of Wisconsin was the final brick in Trump’s Presidential Wall (irony acknowledged). Winning Wisconsin’s 10 electoral college votes is what pushed Trump over the 270 vote goal early Wednesday morning. I mean like 3 A.M.. Wisconsin is another state that was for the most part considered blue until Trump swung it. In 2012, Republicans could only squeeze 46% of votes out of Wisconsin but Trump pulled out 48% and secured his spot as President number 45.

So, love him or hate him, Donald J. Trump is our president now. And he earned it. The least we can do is give him a chance to lead us. We need to put our differences aside and work together as a country to “Make America Great Again” (sigh). Despite that sigh, we’d like to point out that African Bean Bags works very hard to stay neutral and only bring you interesting facts. Mostly to avoid silly internet fights, but still. We’re always up for a good debate. So if you have questions, comments, concerns or rude remarks, feel free to contact us or just leave a comment down below, remind us to actually respond and we promise we’ll try to. Thank you my beautiful people. Godspeed to you,and good luck to President Trump.

Oh. And remember, even the smallest handful of votes could make a difference. You saw what happened in Florida. Make sure you vote, don’t take that privilege for granted. Do your research and get to the polls for the next election. Thank you and have a Trumpular day.

Sources:  http://www.nytimes.com/elections/results/president                                                                          http://www.270towin.com/states/Florida                                                                                                http://www.270towin.com/states/Ohio                                                                                                      http://www.270towin.com/states/Pennsylvania                                                                                    http://www.politico.com/2016-election/results/map/president

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