November 7th, 2016:
Almost a week after once again being soundly defeated in the Presidential election, the Republican party is trying to pick up the pieces and asking questions of how it will be a viable national party in the future. Four years after losing an election they thought they could win against Barack Obama, this time the GOP had no illusions of winning going into election day as Hillary Clinton soundly defeated Marco Rubio 383-155 in the electoral college and by 8% in the popular vote. The first female President-elect, Mrs. Clinton and her running mate Brian Schweitzer were able to expand the electoral map for the Democratic Party, capturing Arizona, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, and North Carolina after those states had voted for Romney in 2012. 2016 marked the second election in a row in which the Republican standard bearer could not win his own home state, with Rubio losing Florida. The Republicans did manage to win Vice-Presidential candidate Nikki Haley's home state of South Carolina.
Democratic Senate and House candidates rode the coattails of the Clinton-Schweitzer ticket to expand upon their majorities in the Senate and House of Representatives. The Democrats picked up 5 seats in the Senate and 20 seats in the House. Of particular note were losses by Republican Senators John McCain, Chuck Grassley, and Rand Paul, and House members Michelle Bachmann and Paul Ryan. Notable victories by Democrats included Gabrielle Gifford's return to the House of Representatives.
The 2016 electorate looked somewhat similar to the electorate of 2012. The Democrats improved their numbers with white voters (winning 43%) while expanding their margins with women and younger voters. The presence of Rubio on the Republican ticket and his support of immigration reform helped improve Republican numbers with Latinos slightly, with Rubio garnering 35% of the Latino vote to Romney's 27% performance in 2012. However, the Latino vote comprised 12% of the electorate this year, compared to 10% in 2012. The non-white vote came in at 30% of the electorate this year, compared to 28% in 2012. Overall turnout was up from 2012, as almost 128 million votes have been counted so far in the Presidential Election.
President-elect Clinton is said to be working closely with outgoing President Barack Obama in the transition effort, after Mr. Obama and Mrs. Obama campaigned vigorously for Mrs. Clinton after she secured the Democratic nomination in a relatively easy primary season for her.
Reaction to the elections among Republicans was markedly more muted and sober than they were four years ago. Gone were the predictions of national calamity and decline and the onset of socialism that ran rampant in 2012 after Obama's re-election. The vigorous recovery and growth of the economy during President Obama's second term enabled Mrs. Clinton to run on a positive note, with Rubio's call for massive tax cuts and spending cuts and massive defense spending increases finding little appeal. With budget deficits now decreasing each year, exit polls revealed that voters were concerned about Republican policies increasing the debt. Clinton's pitch for the improvement of "Obamacare" with a 'public option' and her support for nationalizing same-sex marriage rights marked a notably more liberal stance from her in 2016 than her previous run in 2008 - perhaps to prevent a primary challenge from the left.