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History > 2016 > USA > Politics (I)




Donald Trump

Is Elected President

in Stunning Repudiation

of the Establishment


NOV. 9, 2016

The New York Times



Donald John Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States on Tuesday in a stunning culmination of an explosive, populist and polarizing campaign that took relentless aim at the institutions and long-held ideals of American democracy.

The surprise outcome, defying late polls that showed Hillary Clinton with a modest but persistent edge, threatened convulsions throughout the country and the world, where skeptics had watched with alarm as Mr. Trump’s unvarnished overtures to disillusioned voters took hold.

The triumph for Mr. Trump, 70, a real estate developer-turned-reality television star with no government experience, was a powerful rejection of the establishment forces that had assembled against him, from the world of business to government, and the consensus they had forged on everything from trade to immigration.

The results amounted to a repudiation, not only of Mrs. Clinton, but of President Obama, whose legacy is suddenly imperiled. And it was a decisive demonstration of power by a largely overlooked coalition of mostly blue-collar white and working-class voters who felt that the promise of the United States had slipped their grasp amid decades of globalization and multiculturalism.

In Mr. Trump, a thrice-married Manhattanite who lives in a marble-wrapped three-story penthouse apartment on Fifth Avenue, they found an improbable champion.

“The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer,” Mr. Trump told supporters around 3 a.m. on Wednesday at a rally in New York City, just after Mrs. Clinton called to concede.

In a departure from a blistering campaign in which he repeatedly stoked division, Mr. Trump sought to do something he had conspicuously avoided as a candidate: Appeal for unity.

“Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division,” he said. “It is time for us to come together as one united people. It’s time.”

That, he added, “is so important to me.”

He offered unusually warm words for Mrs. Clinton, who he has suggested should be in jail, saying she was owed “a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country.”

Bolstered by Mr. Trump’s strong showing, Republicans retained control of the Senate. Only one Republican-controlled seat, in Illinois, fell to Democrats early in the evening. And Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina, a Republican, easily won re-election in a race that had been among the country’s most competitive. A handful of other Republican incumbents facing difficult races were running better than expected.

Mr. Trump’s win — stretching across the battleground states of Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania — seemed likely to set off financial jitters and immediate unease among international allies, many of which were startled when Mr. Trump in his campaign cast doubt on the necessity of America’s military commitments abroad and its allegiance to international economic partnerships.

From the moment he entered the campaign, with a shocking set of claims that Mexican immigrants were rapists and criminals, Mr. Trump was widely underestimated as a candidate, first by his opponents for the Republican nomination and later by Mrs. Clinton, his Democratic rival. His rise was largely missed by polling organizations and data analysts. And an air of improbability trailed his campaign, to the detriment of those who dismissed his angry message, his improvisational style and his appeal to disillusioned voters.

He suggested remedies that raised questions of constitutionality, like a ban on Muslims entering the United States.

He threatened opponents, promising lawsuits against news organizations that covered him critically and women who accused him of sexual assault. At times, he simply lied.

But Mr. Trump’s unfiltered rallies and unshakable self-regard attracted a zealous following, fusing unsubtle identity politics with an economic populism that often defied party doctrine.

His rallies — furious, entertaining, heavy on name-calling and nationalist overtones — became the nexus of a political movement, with daily promises of sweeping victory, in the election and otherwise, and an insistence that the country’s political machinery was “rigged” against Mr. Trump and those who admired him.

He seemed to embody the success and grandeur that so many of his followers felt was missing from their own lives — and from the country itself. And he scoffed at the poll-driven word-parsing ways of modern politics, calling them a waste of time and money. Instead, he relied on his gut.

At his victory party at the New York Hilton Midtown, where a raucous crowd indulged in a cash bar and wore hats bearing his ubiquitous campaign slogan “Make America Great Again,” voters expressed gratification that their voices had, at last, been heard.

“He was talking to people who weren’t being spoken to,” said Joseph Gravagna, 37, a marketing company owner from Rockland County, N.Y. “That’s how I knew he was going to win.”

For Mrs. Clinton, the defeat signaled an astonishing end to a political dynasty that has colored Democratic politics for a generation. Eight years after losing to President Obama in the Democratic primary — and 16 years after leaving the White House for the United States Senate, as President Bill Clinton exited office — she had seemed positioned to carry on two legacies: her husband’s and the president’s.

Her shocking loss was a devastating turn for the sprawling world of Clinton aides and strategists who believed they had built an electoral machine that would swamp Mr. Trump’s ragtag band of loyal operatives and family members, many of whom had no experience running a national campaign.

On Tuesday night, stricken Clinton aides who believed that Mr. Trump had no mathematical path to victory, anxiously paced the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center as states in which they were confident of victory, like Florida and North Carolina, either fell to Mr. Trump or seemed in danger of tipping his way.

Mrs. Clinton watched the grim results roll in from a suite at the nearby Peninsula Hotel, surrounded by her family, friends and advisers who had the day before celebrated her candidacy with a champagne toast on her campaign plane.

But over and over, Mrs. Clinton’s weaknesses as a candidate were exposed. She failed to excite voters hungry for change. She struggled to build trust with Americans who were baffled by her decision to use a private email server as secretary of state. And she strained to make a persuasive case for herself as a champion of the economically downtrodden after delivering perfunctory paid speeches that earned her millions of dollars.

The returns Tuesday also amounted to a historic rebuke of the Democratic Party from the white blue-collar voters who had formed the party base from the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt to Mr. Clinton’s. Yet Mrs. Clinton and her advisers had taken for granted that states like Michigan and Wisconsin would stick with a Democratic nominee, and that she could repeat Mr. Obama’s strategy of mobilizing the party’s ascendant liberal coalition rather than pursuing a more moderate course like her husband did 24 years ago.

But not until these voters were offered a Republican who ran as an unapologetic populist, railing against foreign trade deals and illegal immigration, did they move so drastically away from their ancestral political home.

To the surprise of many on the left, white voters who had helped elect the nation’s first black president, appeared more reluctant to line up behind a white woman.

From Pennsylvania to Wisconsin, industrial towns once full of union voters who for decades offered their votes to Democratic presidential candidates, even in the party’s lean years, shifted to Mr. Trump’s Republican Party. One county in the Mahoning Valley of Ohio, Trumbull, went to Mr. Trump by a six-point margin. Four years ago, Mr. Obama won there by 22 points.

Mrs. Clinton’s loss was especially crushing to millions who had cheered her march toward history as, they hoped, the nation’s first female president. For supporters, the election often felt like a referendum on gender progress: an opportunity to elevate a woman to the nation’s top job and to repudiate a man whose remarkably boorish behavior toward women had assumed center stage during much of the campaign.

Mr. Trump boasted, in a 2005 video released last month, about using his public profile to commit sexual assault. He suggested that female political rivals lacked a presidential “look.” He ranked women on a scale of one to 10, even holding forth on the desirability of his own daughter — the kind of throwback male behavior that many in the country assumed would disqualify a candidate for high office.

On Tuesday, the public’s verdict was rendered.

Uncertainty abounds as Mr. Trump prepares to take office. His campaign featured a shape-shifting list of policy proposals, often seeming to change hour to hour. His staff was in constant turmoil, with Mr. Trump’s children serving critical campaign roles and a rotating cast of advisers alternately seeking access to Mr. Trump’s ear, losing it and, often, regaining it, depending on the day.

Even Mr. Trump’s full embrace of the Republican Party came exceedingly late in life, leaving members of both parties unsure about what he truly believes. He has donated heavily to both parties and has long described his politics as the transactional reality of a businessman.

Mr. Trump’s dozens of business entanglements — many of them in foreign countries — will follow him into the Oval Office, raising questions about potential conflicts of interest. His refusal to release his tax returns, and his acknowledgment that he did not pay federal income taxes for years, has left the American people with considerable gaps in their understanding of the financial dealings.

But this they do know: Mr. Trump will thoroughly reimagine the tone, standards and expectations of the presidency, molding it in his own self-aggrandizing image.

He is set to take the oath of office on Jan. 20.


Correction: November 10, 2016

An article on Wednesday about the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States carried an erroneous byline in some editions. The article was by Matt Flegenheimer and Michael Barbaro — not by Patrick Healy and Jonathan Martin.

Amy Chozick, Ashley Parker, Patrick Healy and Jonathan Martin contributed reporting.

Find out what you need to know about the 2016 presidential race today, and get politics news updates via Facebook, Twitter and the Morning Briefing newsletter.

A version of this article appears in print on November 9, 2016, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Trump Triumphs.

Donald Trump Is Elected President in Stunning Repudiation of the Establishment,
NOV. 9, 2016,






Big Money Rearranges

Its Election Bets


JUNE 4, 2016

The New York Times

SundayReview | Editorial



Like practiced horseplayers at a racetrack, wealthy campaign donors are adjusting their bets as the primary season ends and the political field narrows. This is particularly true of Republican megadonors who cannot abide Donald Trump and are thus doubling down on keeping G.O.P. control of the Senate as a firewall against a possible Democratic president, while investing heavily in keeping statehouses in Republican hands.

One constant is the vast amount of money sluicing through the political system in what is certain to be the most expensive election in the nation’s history. Experts estimate that campaign spending, which has risen inexorably in recent years, will easily surpass the $6.28 billion record set in the 2012 federal elections and could conceivably reach $9 billion, much of it for political advertising.

Both parties are busy exploiting the power of barely regulated super PACs to accept unlimited six- and seven-figure donations for candidates. At the same time, campaigns are concealing the names of other rich donors in “dark-money” operations palmed off as tax exempt “social welfare” agencies supposedly dedicated to doing good, not to bare-knuckle politics.

Prominent among the Republican super-spenders shying away from Donald Trump are the billionaire conservatives Charles and David Koch, whose political machine has invested $42 million-plus to keep control of the Senate. Other Republican contributors have also indicated a preference for spending on lesser races down the line rather than on the presidential campaign.

Some superstar check writers like Sheldon Adelson, the casino magnate, have no problem with Mr. Trump’s erratic policy proposals, bluster, and past vows to self-fund. Mr. Adelson is talking of a $100 million effort to boost Mr. Trump’s performance in the finale against Hillary Clinton. Mr. Trump, having flip-flopped on a primary promise to shun wealthy donors, now seems only too happy to accept a pledge by Mr. Adelson and others to raise as much as $1 billion for his campaign.

For now, Hillary Clinton, the Democratic front-runner, leads the fund-raising pack with a money machine that has sucked in more than $80 million in super PAC support. Democrats are not shying away from the big-check power of super PACs, creating a new $50 million operation started by major labor unions and the billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer. At the same time, Mrs. Clinton is campaigning on proposals to rein in the runaway money race. She says it undermines American politics.

What voters think of all this as the price of a particularly raucous display of democracy remains to be seen. But the power of money in politics has grown so much since the 2010 Citizens United decision that its presence is felt ever deeper down the ballot. Ominously, there has been a flood of special-interest money into state judicial races that raises questions about whether judges’ decisions might be affected, according to a Brennan Center for Justice study. The toughest race in Kansas this year is being waged by furious conservative Republicans aiming to oust four members of the state Supreme Court because of their decisions striking down the G.O.P. Legislature’s shortchanging of the state constitution’s school-aid requirements.

Shrewd big-money campaigns financed by the Koch brothers and others have upended the Democrats’ one-time dominance of state legislatures. There are now Republican majorities in 70 percent of two-party statehouses. That success, in turn, has created a farm system for the G.O.P.’s current control of Congress. There, the twin powers of big money and statehouse gerrymandering have made incumbents of both parties unbeatable 90 percent of the time, compounding the gridlock voters complain about. For all the job security, big donors are expected to drive this year’s congressional election spending well beyond the $3.8 billion record set two years ago. Much of this money will surely be wasted, further enriching the new breed of fat-cat campaign operatives, and further alienating voters with toxic advertising. But some of it may tip key races.

As the money torrent rises, it’s no coincidence that for the first time in history, most members of Congress are millionaires (268 of 534 House members), according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Republican control of the agenda has snuffed out Democratic proposals to control or at least disclose the true extent of the wealth now driving elections. Theoretically, this election should be a forum for dealing with this open invitation to political corruption. Unfortunately, big money’s main effect on the campaign so far has been a frenzied pace to raise and spend more of it.


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A version of this editorial appears in print on June 5, 2016, on page SR8 of the New York edition with the headline: Big Money Adjusts Its Election Bets.

Big Money Rearranges Its Election Bets,
June 4, 2016,






Super Tuesday:

Here's What

You Need To Know


February 27, 2016

5:09 AM ET



Everyone's talking about "Super Tuesday," what it means and that it's such a big deal in this presidential campaign. But why? Here's a quick explainer. Think of it as a frequently asked questions for Super Tuesday:

What is Super Tuesday?

It's when more states vote and more delegates are at stake than on any other single day in the presidential primary campaign.

Isn't it also called the SEC Primary?

That's a colloquial term used by some. It refers to the collegiate athletic conference, the Southeastern Conference, known for its powerhouse football teams. Several states holding contests on Super Tuesday have teams that play in the SEC (Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee and Texas). But many others do not.

When is it?

Tuesday, March 1

How many states are actually voting?

13, plus the territory of American Samoa and Democrats Abroad (expatriates who consider themselves Democrats). We will see results in only 12 of those states (11 for Democrats, 11 for Republicans), because Republicans in Wyoming and Colorado begin their caucuses that day but won't have a presidential preference poll.

Where will we see results?

Alabama (R&D), Alaska (R only), American Samoa (D), Arkansas (R&D), Colorado (D), Georgia (R&D), Massachusetts (R&D), Minnesota (R&D), Oklahoma (R&D), Tennessee (R&D), Texas (R&D), Vermont (R&D) and Virginia (R&D), plus Democrats Abroad.

Other contests occurring on March 1, but not producing results: Wyoming (R) and Colorado (R). They are included on our calendar since Republican voters in those states will be starting the voting process that day.

How many delegates are up for grabs?

1,460 (865 for Democrats, 595 for Republicans). For Democrats, there are an additional 150 unpledged delegates, otherwise known as "superdelegates," in Super Tuesday states. They are free to vote however they want at the national convention this summer. With superdelegates added in, Super Tuesday represents 22 percent of all delegates.

How big is Super Tuesday?

For perspective, so far, only about 2 percent of the pledged Democratic delegates and 5 percent of the Republican delegates have been allocated. After Super Tuesday, that will jump to almost a quarter (24 percent) for the Democrats and about 30 percent for the GOP.

That's not a majority, though: True. But it's the snowball effect. If Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina were the kids' snowball that started down the mountain, Super Tuesday is what happens when that snowball hits the steepest part of the slope.

What's the day with the second most states and delegates?

 March 15, when five big states vote — Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio. And the system changes. Those carry 1,058 delegates (691 for Democrats, 367 for Republicans). More states start to become winner-take-all. By the end of March, about half of all Democratic delegates (48 percent) and almost two-thirds of Republican delegates (63 percent) will have been allocated.

Super Tuesday: Here's What You Need To Know,
NPR, FEB. 27, 2016,






Little Separates

Bernie Sanders

and Hillary Clinton

in Tight Race in Iowa


FEB. 2, 2016

the New York Times



DES MOINES — Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont were locked in an intensely tight race in the Iowa caucuses on Tuesday as Mrs. Clinton’s strong support among women and older voters was matched by the passionate liberal foot soldiers whom Mr. Sanders has been calling to political revolution.

The close results were deeply unnerving to Mrs. Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, as well as her advisers, some of whom had expressed growing confidence in recent days that they had recaptured political momentum after weeks when Mr. Sanders was drawing huge crowds and rising in the polls. The Clintons had appeared optimistic at rallies over the weekend, thanking Iowans for their support as much as urging them to turn out to vote.

The close vote means that Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Sanders are likely to split Iowa’s share of delegates to the Democratic convention, and Mr. Sanders will be able to argue that the Iowa result was a virtual tie.

The Clinton team was counting on its huge, well-trained army of volunteers, covering all of Iowa’s 1,681 voting precincts, to counter the enormous enthusiasm of voters who jammed into events to hear Mr. Sanders. But his well-financed Iowa organization was able to convert the energy of his crowds into voters on Monday night, as he drew huge numbers of first-time caucusgoers, young people and liberals who responded to his rallying cry against the nation’s “rigged economy.”

The virtual tie between the two candidates instantly raised the stakes for their next face-off, the primary next Tuesday in New Hampshire. Mr. Sanders holds a solid lead in polls there and has the advantage of being from Vermont; candidates from neighboring states have won the state’s primary in recent decades, and Mr. Sanders is admired in the state.

Clinton advisers said late Monday night that Mr. and Mrs. Clinton were discussing bringing on additional staff members to strengthen her campaign operation now that a pitched battle may lie ahead against Mr. Sanders. The advisers said they did not know if a significant staff shakeup was at hand, but they said that the Clintons were disappointed with Monday night’s result and wanted to ensure that her organization, political messaging and communications strategy were in better shape for the contests to come.

At her caucus night party here, Mrs. Clinton sought to put the best face on a tight result that had nearly half of Democrats voting against her. “As I stand here tonight breathing a big sigh of relief — thank you, Iowa!” she said, joined on stage by Mr. Clinton and their daughter, Chelsea.

“I am excited about really getting into the debate with Senator Sanders about the best way forward to fight for us and America,” Mrs. Clinton said.

Mr. Sanders, who spoke shortly after she finished, laughed as his crowd chanted “feel the Bern,” his campaign’s unofficial slogan. “Thank you — Iowa, thank you!” Mr. Sanders said.

Noting that he began his Iowa campaign with “no name recognition” and “no money,” Mr. Sanders drew ecstatic cheers as he said he took on the Clintons — “the most powerful political organization in the United States of America” — and drove them into a tie.

“I think the people of Iowa have sent a very profound message to the political establishment, to the economic establishment, and by the way, to the media establishment,” Mr. Sanders said. “That is, given the enormous crises facing our country, it is just too late for establishment politics and establishment economics.”

The results suggested that Mr. Sanders would be a strong opponent of Mrs. Clinton’s for a long time. The voters sent a clear message that income inequality weighed on their minds, with more than one in four Democratic voters saying the issue was the most important facing the nation, according to surveys of voters leaving the polls.

Mr. Sanders’s strong performance in Iowa was a significant milestone in a campaign in which he began 40 percentage points behind Mrs. Clinton when they both declared their candidacies last spring. Many Democrats privately dismissed Mr. Sanders as a left-wing fringe candidate who had no real chance of defeating Mrs. Clinton anywhere other than his home state of Vermont, where his democratic socialist politics were not as exotic as many Democratic Party leaders found them.

But Mr. Sanders proved to be a rigorously disciplined candidate, delivering the same powerful message inveighing against establishment politics, Wall Street and the benefits enjoyed by the wealthy and the well-connected.

The Clintons are now hoping for a surprise performance in New Hampshire, where they have campaigned and connected with voters since 1992, when Mr. Clinton came in a strong second place in the state’s primary, and Mrs. Clinton won the 2008 primary over Barack Obama, then a senator who had earlier won the Iowa caucuses.

Steve Duprey, a Republican national committeeman from New Hampshire, said if Mrs. Clinton ekes out a clear victory in Iowa, however small, it would give her “some much-needed momentum in New Hampshire — and if she can build that into a New Hampshire win, I think it will start the death rattle of the Sanders campaign.”

George Maglaras, a Clinton supporter who is a commissioner of Strafford County, N.H., predicted that Mrs. Clinton would have a lock on the Democratic nomination if she won New Hampshire on top of a close race in Iowa.

“Any other combination means we are in for a longer nomination process than many had anticipated early on,” Mr. Maglaras, a former mayor of Dover, N.H., added. Referring to New Hampshire residents, he said, “If they vote with their heads it will be Clinton. If they vote with their hearts it will be Sanders.”

After losing the Iowa caucuses in 2008 to Mr. Obama, another insurgent candidate who she led in the polls for months, Mrs. Clinton vowed to campaign differently here this time around, holding small events with handpicked voters to learn about the lives and issues for voters here — and to be shown doing so, humbly and thoughtfully, in Iowa television newscasts. While she long said that Iowa would be a tight race, and improved upon her 2008 performance when she won 29.5 percent and fell to third place behind John Edwards, Mrs. Clinton nonetheless hoped that she would start exorcising the ghosts of 2008 with a victory here, and she campaigned hard for it.

Mrs. Clinton, 68, performed well on Monday night among women, moderates and older Iowans who rallied behind her promises to build on President Obama’s policies and fight for the needs of families. Her shifts to the left on trade, the environment and gay marriage helped her win over Democrats, though not the many liberals and young people who mistrusted her pragmatic style of politics and her ties to wealthy interests and Wall Street.

Mr. Sanders, 74, drew strong support from first-time Democratic caucusgoers, who accounted for more than four in 10 voters, according to polls conducted by Edison Research of voters as they entered caucus locations throughout the state Monday evening. But these voters made up a smaller share of the Democratic electorate on Monday than they did in 2008, when 57 percent of Democratic caucusgoers were first-timers. Mr. Sanders was also widely supported by younger voters and independents, but voters 65 and older accounted for about three in 10 Democratic voters and they strongly favored Mrs. Clinton.

As the results trickled in, the third candidate in the Democratic contest, former Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland, announced that he was pulling out of the race.

With Iowa accounting for only 1 percent of the delegates at stake in the Democratic nomination race, Mrs. Clinton is already far ahead of Mr. Sanders in the delegate count that matters most, given her support from several hundred superdelegates who count toward the nomination. The Clinton campaign has expressed confidence to allies that she can afford to lose Iowa, as well as the New Hampshire primary because of her strength in big-state, delegate-rich primaries and in the South .

Both candidates planned to fly to New Hampshire overnight and planned to resume campaigning there on Tuesday.

Mr. Sanders developed a better-financed operation here than the Clinton team expected, thanks to robust online fund-raising that netted $20 million in January alone, compared with $37 million for Mrs. Clinton in the last three months of 2015. (The Clinton campaign on Monday declined requests for its January fund-raising number.)

Sanders advisers say he now has both money — $28.3 million on hand, compared with $38 million for Mrs. Clinton — and the political momentum to compete vigorously not just in New Hampshire but in upcoming primaries in South Carolina, Massachusetts, and Georgia and caucuses in Nevada, Minnesota, and elsewhere.


Amy Chozick contributed reporting.

Find out what you need to know about the 2016 presidential race today, and get politics news updates via Facebook, Twitter and the First Draft newsletter.

A version of this article appears in print on February 2, 2016, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Little Separates Sanders and Clinton in Tight Race in Iowa.

Little Separates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton in Tight Race in Iowa,
NYT, FEB. 2, 2016,





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