The election results pose some significant challenges for the GOP since the Trump revolution may not have been as far-reaching as many would like to believe.
Donald Trump did not make significant gains nationally, earning only a few more votes than the Republican candidates in the past three campaigns, as Mark Levin has pointed out.
According to Cook Political Report’s latest tally, which is continuously being updated, Trump earned about 62 million votes.
That’s about the same as George Bush received in 2004 and Mitt Romney got in 2012. Even John McCain got 60 million votes in 2008.
In 2008, for example, more than 129 million went to the polls, giving Barack Obama nearly 69.5 million votes and a landslide in the Electoral College. In 2012, more than 129 million went to the polls, providing Obama with more than 65 million.
Hillary Clinton will fall short of Obama’s popular vote in the last election, but not by much. All told, the number of people voting also will fall short of the last campaign.
As the results indicate, Trump did well in the 13 swing states needed to win. According to Cook, Trump got 22.1 million votes in the swing states, while Clinton received 21.2 million. That is a shift of 5.5 percent over 2012, but the razor-thin victories in Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan underline a continuing need to work hard over the next four years to keep these states in the GOP column.
It was unclear how many conservatives voted for Trump, although exit polls showed overwhelmingly that people wanted a change from Obama. Forty-six percent of voters said they wanted policies enacted by the next president to be “more conservative” than Obama’s policies, according to ABC News’s election exit polling.
I voted reluctantly for Trump. I credit Trump for bringing more conservatives into his administration so far, which may solidify the GOP’s appeal on the right. The key test to expand the GOP base will be his success in building a more robust economy.
Trump’s election surprised most people. But it’s important to realize that it was not a revolution. It will take a lot of hard work to keep the GOP in power when 2018 and 2020 roll around.
Christopher Harper is a recovering journalist who worked for The Associated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and The Washington Times and teaches media law.