Why Donald Trump Won the Election
Its been a little over a year since Donald J. Trump won the 2016 Presidential Election: an election that took many people by surprise. It seemed that many polls had Hillary Clinton winning by a landslide. Pundits and columnists predicted a several percentage point victory for Clinton. But in the early hours of November 9th, the election outcome was clear. Why did voters choose Donald Trump?
Let’s be fair, many of the pundits were right. Hillary Clinton did win the popular vote by several percentage points as predicted. But Donald Trump won the electoral college, therefore he won the presidency (in the future, I might write an article about why I support the electoral college, but for now, let’s say that I support the system).
I’m sure the media told you about swing states. These are states like Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Iowa, etc. Winning these states were crucial to either candidate winning the presidency. Other states like California and Alabama are examples where neither candidate campaigned much or ran ads because the electorate in those states were much already determined (I would rephrase this sentence—maybe divide the ideas into two sentences so it is not so much of a run-on). If the popular vote determined the election outcome then candidates would have campaigned very differently. So why did Donald Trump win swing states?
It all comes down to one word, Authenticity.
Now I did not support Trump in the GOP primary for various reasons and don’t support some of his policies today. However, it’s hard to disagree with the notion that Donald Trump isn’t authentic, at least in comparison to Hillary Clinton. This is the reason, I believe, among others, that Donald Trump won the election. Both candidates targeted their message and sold themselves in swing states, but it was Trump that resonated with a majority of voters in swing states. A majority of voters in the swing states trusted Trump over Clinton. Independents in swing states tend to support a candidate that they feel like they can trust.
Looking back on past elections, I think this common theme is true: Obama vs. Romney. Obama vs. McCain. Bush vs. Kerry. Bush vs. Gore.
Dictionary.com describes ‘authentic’ as “representing one’s true nature or beliefs; true to oneself.” Working in social media, I find that the best brands are the ones that apply an authentic image to their audience. This is the advice I give to businesses looking to breakthrough on social media. I have learned that being genuine and honest are important to being successful. There have been many political candidates who try to emulate Donald Trump’s personality. It doesn’t usually work for them because, well, only Donald Trump can be Donald Trump.
So this holiday season, let you be you. There are almost 2 billion people on social media and 7 billion people in the world. No one can be like you better than you.