On November 8, 2016, 120 million Americans will go to the polls to decide whether billionaire Donald Trump or former Sectary of State Hilary Clinton will become the 45th President of the United States of America. 

The 2016 election has proven to be a race like no other as Clinton and Trump battle into Election Day, known as “Decision Day” to Americans. There are two very different candidates:  Trump supporting radical change and new reform as Clinton takes on her vision of solution and continued fight on key stances similar to President Obama. Throughout the campaign both candidates have received widespread media coverage and international attention, becoming known as one of the most publicized and harsh political races yet.Election Day in the United States of America is the Tuesday following the first Monday in November. It can fall on or between November second and November eighth. This is the day ballots are held to select public offices that include national, state, and local government representatives at all levels up to the President. Each state allows Americans to vote by popular candidates for public offices at these levels. The most important vote and largest race, however, is the election of the President. Once elected President, the candidate is able to serve up to two terms, or eight years. One term is equal to four years and once the first term finishes, the candidate must re-run and be elected to serve a second term for another four years.

The U.S. election works by each 50 states and Washington DC having a set number of “electors” in the electoral college. The electoral college is a body of voters that officially cast the votes for each state that decide who will win the presidency. This number represents the appropriate number and proportion in size of each state. The number for each state is equal to the number of seats the specific state has in the House of Representatives and the Senate. Based off the higher number of votes the specific party candidate receives from each state results in that state being either Republican or Democratic and the respected candidate winning the state.

To win an election the candidate will need to accumulate 270 electoral votes from a total of 538 electors. This is half plus one of the total elector votes given during an election. 

During the election phase, presidential candidates typically support one of the two main presidential parties. Democrats, represented by the color blue and the symbol of the donkey, or Republican, represented by the color red and the symbol of the elephant. Each party aims to win the presidential election by targeting specific states and traveling to each to campaign. Each candidate’s campaign usually lasts for about a year and a half. Many states vote accordingly to the last election. For example, California, being the largest state and having 55 electoral votes, has voted Democratic (blue) for the last seven elections. The last time California voted Republican was in the 1988 election for George W. Bush. Contrary to this, Texas, with 38 electoral votes, has voted Republican for the past 36 years and nine presidential elections.

There is a way that America predicts the outcome of the presidential election using an electoral college map. This lists states that are solid Republican and Democratic compared to the states that are considered “lean” Republican and Democratic. Then you have the battleground states that are considered “swing states.”

Typically, presidential candidates can assume which states will vote their party. However, there are several “swing states” that over recent elections have gone both ways. There is a group of 15 states that “swing” back and forth between voting Republican and Democrat in each election. These states are much less predictable from election to election and someone’s individual vote in these swing states is much more likely to affect which party the state results in. Many times, these states hold the key to winning the election.

The 15 following swing states are Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin. These states do not identify as either a strong Republican or Democratic state.


Many ask what does it mean to be a Democrat and Republican. The basic differences are that the two parties usually disagree on  tax policy, social issues (Republicans tending to be more conservative and Democrats more progressive), labor and free trade, health care, social programs, foreign policy, energy issues and the environment, education, crime and capital punishment, and individual liberty. Usually most Democrats share a strong opposite view of Republicans. In this specific presidential race, it has become extremely clear how polar opposite these two candidates are.

Democrat Hilary Clinton represents her home state of New York and is the former Secretary of State serving from 2009-2013. She is an American lawyer and politician who has served State under Barrack Obama. She has previous political experience as Senator and First Lady to President Bill Clinton (1993-2001). Her 2016 Presidential Campaign, “Hilary for America,” promotes her top issues on a fair tax system, gun violence prevention, universal, quality, affordable health care, immigration reform to full and equal citizenship, LGBT rights and equality, debt-free college, the support of veterans, the Armed Forces and their families, and taking on the threat of climate change. Clinton supports many more issues on numerous topics that represents her vision for America. President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama endorse Clinton on these issues and her as the next President. Clinton is the first woman to be nominated for the US Presidential election and if wins will become the first woman President of the United States of America. 

Republican and billionaire Donald Trump also represents his home state of New York. He is an American businessman and Chairman and President of the Trump Organization. His organization is an international, privately-owned company that owns many real estate holdings, commercial and residential properties, club facilities, and a number of other properties. Together, his ownership of these holdings has a net worth of about 3.7 billion USD. Trumps campaign, “Make America Great Again,” holds high conservative positions on the Constitution and Second Amendment, maintaining the right of the people to keep and bear Arms. He also has strong positions on cybersecurity, foreign policy and defeating ISIS, a veteran affairs reform, education, infrastructure, national defense, trade, a new tax plan, and U.S. regulations.

It has been recently questioned, “How great is America really?” With a global election look it has been taken into research and development how the US measures up to the rest of the world. Trump’s promise “To make America great again” and Clinton’s view of America “already being an exceptional national” has voters really questioning certain issues. The economy, health care system, immigration, environment, and terrorism are the top key issues that have been discussed during this election to the concerned voters. There are few things Trump and Clinton campaigns agree on, but one point of agreement between candidates and voters is that everyone is ready for this race to be over.

Clinton is currently predicted to win the election. However, the race will be a close call. Many Americans cannot wrap their heads around the prospect of Trump’s presidency, American people asking themselves if they need to prepare for this possible reality. With continuous toss-up states and the predicted close race already, will American have a possible upset?

There is only one way to have a certain optimism and that is for the American people to get out and vote! With the race “too close to call” it will be a nerve-racking night continued into an anxious morning for the United States. Americans must continue to fight for our country and whatever the outcome to remember to be kind and always do “the next right thing.” American people are still the heart of this country.