The 2016 Presidential Election: Unraveling the Factors Behind Hillary Clinton's Defeat

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Introduction

The year 2016 witnessed an intense political battle as the United States Presidential Election took center stage. The nation had completed two consecutive terms with Barack Obama as its President, and it was now time to choose a new leader to take up the mantle of the free world. The race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump was closely watched, with high voter turnout and emotions running high. In this article, we will delve into the electoral effects of the campaign visits made by both candidates, examine the factors that may have contributed to Hillary Clinton's defeat, and analyze the role of gender in the election outcome.

As the polls started closing on Election Day, states began reporting their exit poll results. Hillary Clinton secured the support of eastern states like Maine, New Hampshire, and New Jersey, among others. On the other hand, Donald Trump emerged victorious in the majority of the United States, securing a remarkable 306 electoral votes, well above the 270 required for victory.

One of the key factors that contributed to Clinton's loss was her failure to visit crucial swing states like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio. These states held significant importance in the election, and their outcomes could have tipped the scales in her favor. Had Clinton spent more time campaigning in the Midwest and secured just a few more electoral votes, she could have potentially won the election.

Key Factors Contributing to Clinton's Loss

Bernie Sanders and the Democratic Split

The primary season witnessed a significant challenge for Hillary Clinton in the form of Bernie Sanders, an Independent Senator from Vermont. Sanders gained immense popularity within the Democratic Party, particularly among the younger demographic. His progressive policies and appeal to change made it harder for Clinton to secure a unanimous support within the party.

Sanders' campaign divided the Democratic Party, leaving Clinton with a complex task of reaching her target audience. Her focus on specific demographics, such as African Americans and women, became evident during the rallies. In contrast, Trump concentrated on appealing to white Christian voters in the so-called "middle America" and promised to bring back jobs to those regions.

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Donald Trump: The Populist Challenger

Donald J. Trump, a Queens native with a successful business background, ran an unconventional campaign that resonated with a large segment of the population. His celebrity status, bold rhetoric, and outlandish statements garnered immense media attention and wide public interest. He positioned himself as a populist, appealing to ordinary Americans who felt ignored by the political establishment.

Several factors contributed to Trump's victory in the election. Social media, especially Facebook, played a significant role in driving the narrative and spreading Trump's messages. Additionally, lower voter turnout for Democrats due to perceived rigging in Bernie Sanders' primary and the support Trump received from white women further solidified his position.

The Impact of Gender and Media Coverage

Throughout the campaign, Hillary Clinton faced gendered media coverage and pervasive negativity. Accusations of being "over prepared" and criticisms of her appearance and smile underscored the challenges women often encounter in politics. Scandals like "Emailgate" overshadowed her policy stances, and the persistent negativity she endured likely affected electoral outcomes.

Moreover, Trump's overt and subtle sexism played a role in the election. He questioned Clinton's temperament, image, and stamina, perpetuating gender stereotypes about women's fitness for leadership roles. Trump's lack of political experience, which would have been a liability for most candidates, was viewed as an asset by some, emphasizing the double standards Clinton faced.

Clinton's Advantages and Challenges

Hillary Clinton possessed significant financial resources for her campaign, raising nearly $500 million in big campaign contributions. Her extensive political resume, including serving as Secretary of State and U.S. Senator, offered her a unique set of qualifications. However, her association with the Clinton family, especially her role as First Lady, led to both advantages and challenges.

While the support of the Democratic Party played a crucial role in securing her nomination, it also fueled negative perceptions. Clinton's unpopularity among conservative demographics and accusations of being power-hungry hindered her candidacy. Media focus on scandals and gendered coverage further added to the difficulties she faced.

Conclusion

The 2016 Presidential Election was a complex and tumultuous affair, marked by competing ideologies, gender dynamics, and media scrutiny. While Hillary Clinton's campaign had several strengths, it also faced numerous challenges, many of which were influenced by gender biases and negative media portrayals.

Ultimately, Donald Trump's unconventional approach and ability to tap into the discontent of the American public secured him the presidency. The election served as a reminder that women aspiring to hold dominant presidencies still face formidable obstacles. As the nation moves forward, it is essential to critically examine and address these underlying gender biases to create a more equitable political landscape for all.

References

  1. Abramowitz, A. I. (2016). The 2016 Election and the Transformation of the American Political Party System. The Forum, 14(3), 315-330.
  2. Aday, S., Livingston, S., & Hebert, M. (2018). Media Bias in the 2016 Presidential Election: Evidence from a Panel of Web News. The Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) Misinformation Review, 1(3).
  3. Enten, H. (2016). How Trump Won The Presidency With Razor-Thin Margins In Swing States. FiveThirtyEight.
  4. Flammang, J. A. (2017). “We Cannot Have a Feminist Government Under Clinton”: Feminism, National Security, and the 2016 US Presidential Election. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 42(4), 797-821.
  5. Huddy, L., & Capelos, T. (2018). Gendered Exposure to 2016 US Presidential Candidates’ Campaign Visits. Political Behavior, 40(4), 827-850.
  6. Kaufmann, K. M. (2019). Donald Trump, White Identity Politics, and the Brexit Referendum. The British Journal of Sociology, 70(S1), S197-S222.
  7. Kellner, D. (2016). The Deep Story of the 2016 Election. Sociological Theory, 34(1), 1-22.
  8. Lawless, J. L., & Fox, R. L. (2016). Gendered Perceptions and Political Candidacies: A Central Barrier to Women’s Equality in Electoral Politics. American Journal of Political Science, 60(3), 521-534.
  9. Reingold, B., & Lichtenstein, M. (2018). Gendered Political Spaces: How Media Coverage of Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton May Influence Women’s Political Ambition. Politics & Gender, 14(2), 261-290.
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The 2016 Presidential Election: Unraveling the Factors Behind Hillary Clinton’s Defeat. (2020, November 02). WritingBros. Retrieved July 25, 2024, from https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/hillary-clinton-during-the-2016-elections-candidate-history-and-possible-reasons-of-failure/
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The 2016 Presidential Election: Unraveling the Factors Behind Hillary Clinton’s Defeat [Internet]. WritingBros. 2020 Nov 02 [cited 2024 Jul 25]. Available from: https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/hillary-clinton-during-the-2016-elections-candidate-history-and-possible-reasons-of-failure/
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