2016 United States presidential election
The 2016 United States presidential election was the 58th quadrennial presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. The Republican ticket of businessman Donald Trump and Indiana governor Mike Pence defeated the Democratic ticket of former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and U.S. senator from Virginia Tim Kaine. Trump took office as the 45th president, and Pence as the 48th vice president, on January 20, 2017. It was the fifth and most recent presidential election in which the winning candidate lost the popular vote.Trump emerged as his party's front-runner amidst a wide field of Republican primary candidates defeating Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Marco Rubio, and Ohio Governor John Kasich among other candidates. Clinton defeated Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary and became the first female presidential nominee of a major American party. Trump's populist nationalist campaign, which promised to "Make America Great Again", opposed political correctness, illegal immigration, and many free-trade agreements garnered extensive free media coverage due to Trump's inflammatory comments. Clinton emphasized her extensive political experience, denounced Trump and many of his supporters as bigots and extremists, and advocated the expansion of President Obama's policies; racial, LGBT, and women's rights; and inclusive capitalism.The tone of the general election campaign was widely characterized as divisive and negative. Trump faced controversy over his views on race and immigration, incidents of violence against protestors at his rallies, and numerous sexual misconduct allegations including the Access Hollywood tape. Clinton's popularity and public image was damaged by concerns about her ethics and trustworthiness, and an FBI investigation of her improper use of a private email server, which received more media coverage than any other topic during the campaign.Clinton led in nearly every pre-election nationwide poll and in most swing state polls, leading some comparisons of Trump's victory to that of Harry S. Truman in 1948 as one of the greatest political upsets in modern U.S. history. While Clinton received 2.87 million more votes than Trump did, Trump received the majority in the Electoral College and won upset victories in the pivotal Rust Belt region. Ultimately, Trump received 304 electoral votes and Clinton 227, as two faithless electors defected from Trump and five defected from Clinton. Trump is the first president with neither prior public service nor military experience, and the oldest person to be inaugurated for a first presidential term.
The U.S. government's intelligence agencies concluded on January 6, 2017, that the Russian government had interfered in the 2016 elections in order to "undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency." A Special Counsel investigation of alleged collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign began in May 2017 and ended in March 2019. The investigation concluded that Russian interference to favor Trump's candidacy occurred "in sweeping and systematic fashion", but "did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government."