On Tuesday, Donald Trump won the US presidential election and would become the 45th president of the United States of America. He had received the minimum 270 electoral votes.
The brash businessperson with a zilch background in politics, who has never held office, has changed the rules of the game and defied the polls, which had pointed to a comfortable win for Clinton.
An epic showdown that produced an epic upset in politics.
In fact, very few people thought he would actually run for the presidency – but he did. They thought he wouldn't climb in the polls – but he did. They said he wouldn't win any primaries – but still, he did. They said for sure, he wouldn't win the Republican nomination – yes, he did. Finally, they said there was no way he could compete for, let alone win, a general election. Now he's president-elect Trump.
Resisting repeated predictions of his political demise – after all, he was deliberately controversial – he marched through the primary contests by amassing votes from all geographical regions of the US.
It is the winner-takes-all contest that is the electoral college. Clinton may have won the popular vote but she lost the electoral college. More Americans voted for Clinton, but it’s Trump who takes top prize.
[Background info: A candidate needs to win 270 electoral votes – half of the total plus one – to win the White House.
An American president is not chosen directly by the people but by a group of officials known as the electoral college – as prescribed by the US constitution and a complex set of state and federal laws. In theory, the electoral college chooses the candidtate who won the most votes – but not always.
Each state has a number of electors in the electoral college proportionate to its population: the sum of its number of senators (always two) and representatives in the House. Technically, Americans on election day cast votes for electors, not the candidates themselves – although in most cases the electors’ names are not on the ballot.
The college system means that a candidate needs to get a spread of votes from across the country. To be fair, the system does usually reflect the popular vote – 48 out of 52 elections since 1804 produced a popular mandate].
Trump didn’t just win on the Republican ticket but his party also kept control of both the Senate and House. At least to me, it shows Barack Obama had been both a disappointment and a failure.
From an Asian perspective, a Donald Trump win had been widely seen as negative for Asia's economies because of some of the protectionist rhetoric he's talked about whilst on the campaign trail. He is viewed as the "great unknown" while Clinton is seen as an example of "better the devil you know." I would have to say, she is still the devil!