Story by Caroline Roffe, Jamie Altman, Rebeccah Glaser, Jackie Cohen and Caroline McNally.
After a controversial election season, the results are in and Republican Donald Trump has been elected president.
More than 100 students gathered in the Student Union for the Election Day Watch Party, which was hosted by Civic Engagement and featured CNN streaming and live polling. The Panther interviewed event attendees throughout the afternoon and evening.
“I like everything about (Trump),” said Kara Mendez, a junior strategic and corporate communication major. “He’s not a politician, he’s not a criminal, he’s not married to a serial rapist. It’s getting hilarious. The media totally got it wrong. They’ve been blasting him since the beginning and they were wrong.”
Trump won by a projected 61 electoral votes, according to FiveThirtyEight as of Tuesday night. The election results went against national predictions by The New York Times, which had forecasted Tuesday morning that Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton had an 85 percent chance of winning the election, and others including The Washington Post.
“We were wrong,” wrote Aaron Blake from The Post. “The polls were wrong. We fundamentally misunderstood this election. We thought Hillary Clinton might be winning red states. But Donald Trump won blue states.”
The results went against not only national news outlets but also against the political demographic at Chapman. According to a survey distributed by The Panther, 72 percent of 241 polled students said they were planning on voting for Clinton, as of late October.
“It’s hard to put into words. I feel let down,” said Marvin Roca, a freshman political science major who sported a “Make America Gay Again” T-shirt on election night. “I don’t hate Donald Trump, him as a man. I feel let down from the almost 60 million people who voted for him. I voted for love, they all voted for hate. It’s not a nice feeling when you come from a minority. It just… it sucks.”
As of 6 p.m. Tuesday, 67 percent of students at the watch party said that they were not happy with the results of the election so far, according to live polling conducted by Civic Engagement. At that point, Trump was already leading in the electoral votes.
Despite the predictions that called for a Clinton presidency, Roca said that a silent majority in favor of Trump made itself known on Election Day.
“I think people were embarrassed to say they were voting for him, and so there was a big ‘undecided voters’ who all along did support him and were afraid of the outlash they would receive,” Roca said.
Jackson Gatthard, a freshman strategic and corporate communication major, is concerned about how a Trump presidency will affect his personal life.
“It’s not comforting to know that I live in a country where people don’t accept who I am, who don’t want me to be able to have equal rights as them,” said Jackson Gatthard, a freshman strategic and corporate communications major.
About 15 percent of students polled in October by The Panther planned to vote for Trump in the election.
Luke Bradbury, a sophomore communication studies and health sciences major, voted for Trump to see a president who isn’t a politician.
“It’s going to be interesting having a Republican in office, especially someone who comes from a non-political background,” Bradbury said. “He hasn’t been taught to (expletive) for his entire life. In all of his speeches, he’s very straightforward about what he wants to do. And he has no grace when he does that, but I think one of the reasons people like him is because he’s so honest.”
Dominic Vaccher, a sophomore economics major, said that he voted for Trump to prevent an increase in taxes, and was willing to overlook the more controversial parts of Trump’s campaign.
“I was going to vote Republican no matter what, but those recent scandals with the ‘Grab them by the whatever,’ I thought was just idiotic,” said Dominic Vaccher, a sophomore economics major. “It was hard to support him after that, but I’m still going to and I stand by my beliefs for the most part … Get over it, get over the fact that it’s over. Just unify. Let’s make America great again, that’s all I can say.”