Tori Roper Bedsole
Donald Trump will have the next four years to “Make America Great Again.”
With 290 electoral votes and 47.5 percent of the popular vote, Trump came out on top in this election, according to CNN. (Will update)
Trump managed to secure four major swing states — Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and Pennsylvania — with Michigan still too close to call as of Wednesday afternoon.
The Republican Party also won a majority in the House and Senate. The Republicans now hold a 51-48 majority in the Senate and a 238-193 majority in the House.
In Pike County, Trump secured 59.0 percent of the popular vote, with Clinton falling behind with only 38.7 percent, according to CNN data.
“(Trump) comes in with a large mandate with his party also winning both the House and Senate,” Maryam Stevenson, assistant professor of political science, said. “The key will be in him not alienating those members and working together to get policy passed.”
Although the Republicans now have control of the White House and Congress, Stevenson believes that change in the party is inevitable.
“I think if he is successful, change will be very slow,” Stevenson said. “It’s just a question of when, and it could still be a ways off. The mandate given to Congress and the presidency shows us that.
“A lot of what has happened tonight was not predictable by political scientists.”
According to Stevenson, the first 100 days of a president’s term are “typically the most noteworthy.”
“That’s when historically the president and Congress attempt to accomplish their policy goals,” Stevenson said. “The fact that this election has been so unusual, and combined with Trump’s lack of a solid policy plan means I don’t know what to expect.
“I think his greatest weakness is inexperience. But I guess the American people elected him with the hope that it’s his greatest strength as well.”
Leigh Ann Hewes, a social work lecturer, said she had hoped that a majority of the country would support one candidate.
“I had hoped for a majority of our nation to support one candidate wholeheartedly, but realistically — and historically — I knew that wasn’t going to occur,” Hewes said. “Candidates always promise change in one form or another, and I tend to be on the bus that likes and appreciates change — particularly if it is in the form of making our nation feel more cohesive, optimistic and forward-thinking.”
Hewes said that she believes the country is socially divided right now, and the divide will grow during the Trump presidency.
“I have faith that a country as strong as ours will survive and thrive in the end,” Hewes said.
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“Progress can come in many different forms, and it doesn’t always come in the forms we expect.”
This election has impacted the younger generation in different ways, especially for first time voters.
“I am excited about the results,” Austin Jaramillo, a senior risk management insurance major from Dothan, said. “It shows that the people of the country have a voice because if they didn’t, Hillary Clinton would be in office since Obama said he wanted her to win.”
“The government doesn’t talk to the people like people talk to people,” Jaramillo said. “That’s why Trump won.”
“After a year filled with constant political debate that didn’t always encourage all people to feel like they were part of the discussion, I’m glad it’s done,” Blakeley Davenport, a junior political science and communications double major from Spanish Fort, said. “I’m disappointed with the presidential election results because I feel that the same groups who weren’t included in the discussion were let down by America’s choice.
“Women, minorities, LGBTQ and the disabled were forgotten about when their fellow citizens chose Donald Trump.
Davenport said that many people who are disappointed in the election results will “become motivated to participate even more so in the political process.
“There’s a long road ahead, but I think America is ready to heal and work towards a more unified country,” Davenport said.
Douglas Dick, a junior risk management insurance major from Panama City, Florida, said that, as a man of faith, he does not trust in a worldly leader but in God.
“I was very surprised in the outcome of this election,” Dick said. “People like to buy in to the atypical candidate that offers a picture of an outsider shaking up Washington, D.C., and a broken government.
“There’s brokenness on both ends of the spectrum. Both parties have shown disrespect, hate, immaturity and ignorance. But there is hope laid before the world in Jesus. He is the true king.”