Daily Video

November 9, 2016

Trump wins U.S. presidency in major upset

Essential question

Given the close outcome of the race, what do you think President-elect Trump will focus on in the coming months?

Republican Donald Trump became the 45th president of the United States Tuesday in a surprising victory that defied many experts’ expectations.

Early polls had predicted Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton as the victor in Tuesday’s race, but as repeated battleground states fell to Trump Tuesday night it became clear that the reality star and businessman, viewed as a political outsider from the beginning, would win.

“To all Republicans, Democrats and independents across the nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people,” Trump told supporters gathered at a hotel in Manhattan to watch the results of the race. “I pledge to every citizen of our land, that I will be president of all Americans.”

Trump discussed his plans to build America’s economy and work with nations around the world. “We have a great economic plan. We will double our growth and have the strongest economy anywhere in the world. At the same time, we will get along with all other nations willing to get along with us,” Trump said.

By midday Wednesday, the numbers showed Trump with a total of 279 of the 270 electoral votes needed to win, although it appeared Clinton would win the popular vote.

Clinton had reportedly called Trump to concede early Wednesday morning. Later on Wednesday she appeared to publicly thank her supporters and talk about the future. 

“We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought,” Clinton said. “But I still believe in America and I always will. And if you do, then we must accept this result and then look to the future. Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and a chance to lead.”

Clinton also addressed her supporters who were hoping that she would be elected the first woman president of the United States.

“I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but someday, someone will and hopefully sooner than we think right now,” she said. “And to all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.”

Republicans also pulled off key victories in races for both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, giving the GOP a majority in both legislative bodies.

Key terms

Electoral College — a body of people representing the states of the US, who formally cast votes for the election of the president and vice president.

poll — collection of opinions on a subject, taken from either as elected or a random group of persons, as for the purpose of analysis

exit poll — a poll of people leaving a polling place, asking how they voted and why

Warm up questions (before watching the video)
  1. Who won the 2016 presidential election?
  2. How many votes does it take to win the Electoral College?
  3. How many votes did Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump receive in the Electoral College? In the popular vote?
Critical thinking questions (after watching the video)
  1. Many polls predicted Hillary Clinton would win the presidency. Were you surprised by the outcome of a Trump victory?
  2. Which groups of people heavily supported Trump, according to exit polls?
  3. What electoral factors played a role in Clinton losing to Trump?
  4. Do you think we will one day see a woman president in the U.S.? If so, when?

Extension activity:

Screen Shot 2016-11-09 at 9.58.13 AMHave students examine PBS NewsHour’s 2016 electoral map individually or as a class. Discuss the outcome in battleground states like Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio and North Carolina and how they influenced the overall race. Note the overall shifts in the Senate and House and ask students to consider how the makeup of those legislative bodies will impact Donald Trump’s presidency.

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