After nearly 20 months of campaigning – from the primaries to the general election – the American people have cast their votes, and Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States in January of 2017. Election coverage ran well past 1 a.m. Central Time.
Following the results of what many are calling the most consequential and divisive election in US history, social media exploded Wednesday with extreme reactions of both support and opposition to the Trump victory.
On a national level, news sources from the New York Daily News to the Washington Post are reporting riots breaking out across the country on college campuses in response to Trump’s victory. Trump won the Presidency with 279 electoral votes to Clinton’s 228 electoral votes; however, Clinton took the popular vote by a margin of 200,000 votes, according to the Associated Press.
On the state level, US Senate Incumbent Chuck Grassley, as well as House of Representatives Incumbents Rod Blum and David Young, won reelection.
“Well, I have to say that this is insane!” said Sydney Lundgren, junior communications major and Chair of the UNI College Republicans. “A billionaire with no political experience is our next president. It truly is a ‘we the people’ movement, and here’s to hoping we start to see real change in our country.”
Lundgren referred to this election as being a “circus” from the start, with the multitude of candidates in the Republican primary making it difficult to engage voters.
Lundgren said that once the general election began, voters could focus on which candidate best represents them.
“This is a movement,” Lundgren said. “People from all walks of life have come together to tell their government that enough is enough, and that in itself is historical.”
The mood at Clinton headquarters became increasingly somber and bleak as results poured in. Cameras from both NBC and CNN panned across a scene of disappointed voters, including some in tears.
Aaron Friel, an active member of the Northern Iowa Democrats, explained that this election has been a trying time.
“I am very proud of the work my fellow Democrats and I have done on campus,” Friel said. “Many of us have put in 10 to 20 hours a week or more […] I hope that America can heal, and that we can see a country that works for every single one of its people […] I sincerely hope that I will be proven wrong in my estimation of Trump as being fascistic.”
Many UNI students were voting in their first presidential election this year, and some felt that the election cycle was quite toxic.
“I think this election is the most controversial lately because I feel like we’re picking between the shiniest of two turds,” said senior music education major Kyle Geesey.
Geesey said that he felt ambivalent about the election, but for students like Laticia Aossey, a social work and communications double major, the results of the election presented a harsh reality.
Aossey explained that she voted for Clinton and that the election could have a tremendous impact on her life.
“If [Clinton] doesn’t win, I’m kind of screwed,” Aossey said before the results had been delivered. “I’m a foster kid, and most of my scholarships are from being in foster care. And my boyfriend’s an immigrant, along with a lot of my family. No more college for me pretty much. No more boyfriend for me. I’d be pretty devastated.”
At the state level, Donald Trump won Iowa by more than nine points. However, Clinton did take home Black Hawk county with a seven point margin.