Donald Trump shocked the world last night by scoring a major upset in the presidential election. Some other stuff happened, too. Here’s all the stuff that happened and why it happened the way it did.
Donald Trump wins the presidential election
Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States. Here’s the electoral map – Hillary fans, you may want to look away.
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Trump’s path looks pretty much like the best-case scenario from our election preview. He won Florida, which he had to do. He went on to win North Carolina and Pennsylvania, sealing the election. The AP call of Pennsylvania essentially ended the night. For good measure, Trump won Iowa and it looks like he will win Michigan.
Votes are still being counted, and it seems all but certain that Clinton will end up having more of them than Trump – just not in the states she needs. Clinton becomes the fifth presidential candidate to win the popular vote but lose the electoral vote. The most recent was Al Gore in 2000.
Trump won primarily because he was able to run up huge leads among working-class and rural whites. The electoral map holds some advantages for candidates who appeal to rural areas, and Trump did that in historic fashion.
The Republicans hold on to the Senate
Senate control was very much up for grabs last night, but Republicans rode the wave of Trump’s big win to a few key wins in Senate races. Richard Burr won in North Carolina, Roy Blunt won in Missouri, Todd Young won in Indiana, and Pat Toomey won in Pennsylvania. Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto won in Nevada, but the Dems were the incumbent party there.
The Dems could still steal a seat in New Hampshire, where the race between Maggie Hassan and Republican incumbent Kelly Ayotte is still too close to call, but that won’t be enough. The Republicans already have guaranteed themselves a majority in the Senate.
The Republicans hold on to the House
No surprises here. The Republicans were never in much danger of losing enough seats to lose the house, and they were particularly safe on a night that turned out to be pretty great for the GOP.
Parties split in governors’ races
In the competitive governor’s races, Republicans did fairly well: Eric Holcomb (who served as Vice President-elect Mike Pence’s Lt. Governor) moved up to the big job in Indiana, Chris Sununu won the battle of the names in New Hampshire, and Eric Greitens won in Missouri. In New Hampshire and Missouri, Democrats were the incumbent party.
Dems did okay too, though: Jim Justice prevailed in West Virginia, despite Trump’s overwhelming victory there. And North Carolina appears to have given Pat McCrory the boot in favor of Democrat Roy Cooper.
Legal weed for everyone!
California, Massachusetts, and Nevada all voted to legalize recreational marijuana last night, and a few other states approved medical marijuana ballot items.
Legal death penalties for everyone!
California, Nebraska, and Oklahoma all voted on the death penalty last night. Capital punishment got the okay from all three states, though the vote was reasonably tight in California.
California did approve another measure designed to expedite the death penalty process. The measure will tweak legal rules (limiting successive petitions, expanding polls of lawyers in charge of death penalty appeals) so that California can hurry and kill some of these people already. That measure squeaked by with 50.9% of the vote.