United States presidential election, 2016

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Template:Infobox election

Template:US 2016 presidential elections series The United States presidential election of 2016, scheduled for Tuesday, November 8, 2016, will be the 58th quadrennial U.S. presidential election. Voters will select presidential electors, who in turn will vote for a new president and vice president through the Electoral College. The term limit established in the Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution prevents the incumbent president, Barack Obama of the Democratic Party, from being elected to a third term. The 2016 election will determine the 45th President and 48th Vice President of the United States (assuming President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden serve out the remainder of their terms).

The series of presidential primary elections and caucuses took place between February 1 and June 14, 2016, staggered among the 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. This nominating process is also an indirect election, where voters cast ballots for a slate of delegates to a political party's nominating convention, who in turn elect their party's presidential nominee. The Republican National Convention took place from July 18–21, 2016, in Cleveland, Ohio, while the Democratic National Convention took place from July 25–28, 2016, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Businessman and reality television personality Donald Trump became the Republican Party's presidential nominee on July 19, 2016, after defeating Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Ohio Governor John Kasich, Florida Senator Marco Rubio and several other candidates in the Republican primary elections.[1] Former Secretary of State and New York Senator Hillary Clinton became the Democratic Party's presidential nominee on July 26, 2016, after defeating Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Clinton is the first female presidential candidate nominated by a major political party. It is also the first election since 1944 that had major party candidates from the same home state.

Various third party and independent presidential candidates are also running in the election. Two such candidates have obtained enough ballot access to mathematically win the electoral college and have been featured in major national polls: the Libertarian Party nominee, former Governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson; and the Green Party nominee Jill Stein.[2][3] Johnson and Stein ran as their parties' presidential nominees in the 2012 election.


Barack Obama, the incumbent president, whose term expires in January 2017

Article Two of the United States Constitution provides that the President and Vice President of the United States must be natural-born citizens of the United States at least 35 years old, and a resident of the United States for a period of at least 14 years. Candidates for the presidency typically seek the nomination of one of the political parties of the United States, in which case each party devises a method (such as a primary election) to choose the candidate the party deems best suited to run for the position. The primary elections are usually indirect elections where voters cast ballots for a slate of party delegates pledged to a particular candidate. The party's delegates then officially nominate a candidate to run on the party's behalf. The general election in November is also an indirect election, where voters cast ballots for a slate of members of the Electoral College; these electors in turn directly elect the President and Vice President.

Obama, a Democrat and former U.S. Senator from Illinois, is ineligible to seek reelection to a third term due to restrictions of the Twenty-second Amendment; in accordance with Section I of the Twentieth Amendment, his term expires at 12:00 noon on January 20, 2017.

2008 presidential election[edit]

In the 2008 election, Obama was elected president, defeating the Republican nominee, Senator John McCain of Arizona, with 52.9% of the popular vote and 68% of the electoral vote,[4][5] succeeding two-term Republican President George W. Bush, the former Governor of Texas. Since the end of 2009, Obama's first year in office, polling companies such as Gallup have found Obama's approval ratings to be between 40–50%.[6][7] Analysts such as Larry Sabato have noted that Obama's approval ratings could impact the 2016 campaign, either to the benefit or detriment of Clinton's campaign.[8][9]

2010 midterm elections[edit]

In the 2010 midterm elections, the Democratic Party suffered significant losses in Congress; the Republicans gained 63 seats in the House of Representatives – taking back control of the chamber in the process – and six seats in the Senate, though short of achieving a majority. As a result of the Republicans' recapture of the House after losing it to the Democrats in the 2006 midterm elections, John Boehner became the 53rd Speaker of the House of Representatives, making Obama the first President in 16 years to lose the House of Representatives in the first half of his first term in an election that was characterized by the economy's slow recovery, and the rise of the Tea Party movement.[10]

2012 presidential election[edit]

In the 2012 presidential election, Obama defeated former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney with 51.1% of the popular vote and 61.7% of the electoral vote.[11] Meanwhile, despite minor losses, Republicans retained their majority of seats in the House of Representatives while Democrats increased their majority in the Senate.[5]

Speculation about the 2016 campaign began almost immediately following the 2012 campaign, with New York magazine declaring the race had begun in an article published on November 8, two days after the 2012 election.[12] On the same day, Politico released an article predicting the 2016 general election may be between Clinton and former Governor of Florida Jeb Bush, while a New York Times article named Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker as potential candidates.[13][14]

2014 midterm elections[edit]

In the 2014 midterm elections, voter turnout was the lowest since 1942: 36.4% of eligible voters voted.[15] The Republicans retained control of the House of Representatives, increasing their majority to its largest since March 4, 1929,[16] and gained a majority in the Senate.

Democratic Party[edit]

Template:Hillary Clinton series Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who also served in the U.S. Senate and was the First Lady of the United States, became the first Democrat to announce a major candidacy for the presidency. Clinton made the announcement on April 12, 2015, via a video message.[17] While Nationwide opinion polls in 2015 indicated that Clinton was the front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, she faced challenges from Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders,[18] who became the second candidate when he made a formal announcement on April 30, 2015, that he was running for the Democratic nomination.[19] September 2015 polling numbers indicated a narrowing gap between Clinton and Sanders.[18][20][21] On May 30, 2015, former Governor of Maryland Martin O'Malley was the third candidate to enter the race.[22] On June 3, 2015, Lincoln Chafee, former Independent Governor and Republican Senator of Rhode Island, became the fourth Democrat to announce his candidacy.[23][24] On July 2, 2015, former Virginia Senator Jim Webb became the fifth Democrat to announce his candidacy.[25] On September 6, 2015, former Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig became the sixth and final Democrat to announce his candidacy.[26]

On October 20, 2015, Webb announced his withdrawal from the Democratic primaries, and explored a potential Independent run.[27] The next day Vice-President Joe Biden decided not to run, ending months of speculation, stating, "While I will not be a candidate, I will not be silent."[28][29] On October 23, Chafee withdrew, stating that he hoped for "an end to the endless wars and the beginning of a new era for the United States and humanity."[30] On November 2, after failing to qualify for the second DNC-sanctioned debate after adoption of a rule change negated polls which before might have necessitated his inclusion in the debate, Lessig withdrew as well, narrowing the field to Clinton, O'Malley, and Sanders.[31]

On February 1, 2016, in an extremely close contest, Clinton won the Iowa caucuses by a margin of 0.2% over Sanders. After winning no delegates in Iowa, O'Malley withdrew from the presidential race that day. On February 9, Sanders bounced back to win the New Hampshire primary with 60% of the vote. In the remaining two February contests, Clinton won the Nevada caucuses with 53% of the vote and scored a decisive victory in the South Carolina primary with 73% of the vote.[32][33] On March 1, 11 states participated in the first of four "Super Tuesday" primaries. Clinton won Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia and 504 pledged delegates, while Sanders won Colorado, Minnesota, Oklahoma and his home state of Vermont and 340 delegates. The following weekend, Sanders won victories in Kansas, Nebraska and Maine with 15- to 30-point margins, while Clinton won the Louisiana primary with 71% of the vote. On March 8, despite never having a lead in the Michigan primary, Sanders won by a small margin of 1.5% and outperforming polls by over 19 points, while Clinton won 83% of the vote in Mississippi.[34] On March 15, the second of four "Super Tuesday" primaries, Clinton won in Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio. Between March 22 and April 9, 2016, Sanders won six caucuses in Idaho, Utah, Alaska, Hawaii, Washington and Wyoming, as well as the Wisconsin primary, while Clinton won the Arizona primary. On April 19, Clinton won the New York primary with 58% of the vote. On April 26, in the third of four "Super Tuesday" primaries dubbed the "Acela primary," she won contests in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania, while Sanders won in Rhode Island. Over the course of May, Sanders pulled off another surprise win in the Indiana primary[35] and also won in West Virginia and Oregon, while Clinton won the Guam caucus and Kentucky primary.

Former Sanders supporter supporting Clinton after Sanders endorses her

On June 4 and 5, Clinton won two victories in the Virgin Islands caucus and Puerto Rico primary. On June 6, 2016, the Associated Press and NBC News reported that Clinton had become the presumptive nominee after reaching the required number of delegates, including pledged delegates and superdelegates, to secure the nomination, becoming the first woman to ever clinch the presidential nomination of a major United States political party.[36] On June 7, Clinton secured a majority of pledged delegates after winning primaries in California, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota, while Sanders only won in Montana and North Dakota. Clinton also won the final primary in Washington, D.C. on June 14. At the conclusion of the primary process, Clinton had won 2,204 pledged delegates (54% of the total) awarded by the primary elections and caucuses, while Sanders had won 1,847 (46%). Out of the 714 unpledged delegates or "superdelegates" who will vote in the convention in July, Clinton has received endorsements from 560 (78%), while Sanders has received 47 (7%).[37]

Sanders has not dropped out of the race, but announced on June 16, 2016, that his main goal in the coming months would be to work with Clinton to defeat Trump in the general election.[38] On July 8, appointees from the Clinton campaign, the Sanders campaign, and the Democratic National Committee negotiated a draft of the party's platform.[39] On July 12, Sanders formally endorsed Clinton at a rally in New Hampshire in which he appeared with Clinton.[40] On July 22, three days before the start of the Democratic National Convention, the Clinton campaign announced that Virginia Senator Tim Kaine had been selected as her running mate.



Democratic Party (United States)
Democratic Party Ticket, 2016
Hillary Clinton Tim Kaine
for President for Vice President
Hillary Clinton by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
Tim Kaine crop.jpg
U.S. Secretary of State
U.S. Senator from Virginia
Clinton Kaine.svg

Other major candidates[edit]

The following candidates were frequently interviewed by the broadcast networks and cable news channels. and were listed in publicly published polls. Lessing was invited to one forum, but withdrew when rules were changed in order to prevent him from participating in officially sanctioned debates.

Clinton received 16,849,779 votes in the primary

Candidates in this section are sorted by date of withdrawal from the primaries
Bernie Sanders Martin O'Malley Lawrence Lessig Lincoln Chafee Jim Webb
Bernie Sanders September 2015 cropped.jpg
Governor O'Malley Portrait.jpg
Lessig (cropped).png
Lincoln Chafee (14290233225) (cropped).jpg
Jim Webb official 110th Congress photo (cropped).jpg
U.S. Senator from Vermont (2007–present)
Governor of Maryland
Harvard Law Professor
Governor of Rhode Island
U.S. Senator
from Virginia
LN: Jul 26, 2016
13,167,848 primary votes and 1,846 delegates
W: Feb 1, 2016
110,423 votes
W: Nov 2, 2015
4 write-in votes in New Hampshire
W: Oct 23, 2015
0 votes
W: Oct 20, 2015
2 write-in votes in New Hampshire

Vice presidential selection[edit]

In April 2016, the Clinton campaign began to put together a list of 15 to 20 individuals to vet for the position of running mate, even though Sanders continued to challenge Clinton in the Democratic primaries.[49] In mid-June, the The Wall Street Journal reported that Clinton's shortlist included Representative Xavier Becerra of California, Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro of Texas, Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti of California, Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, Labor Secretary Tom Perez of Maryland, Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio, and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.[50] Subsequent reports stated that Clinton was also considering Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, retired Admiral James Stavridis, and Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado.[51] In discussing her potential vice presidential choice, Clinton stated that the most important attribute she looked for was the ability and experience to immediately step into the role of president.[51]

On July 22, Clinton announced that she had chosen Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia as her running mate.[52] The 2016 Democratic National Convention, taking place July 25–28, formally nominated the Democratic ticket.

Republican Party[edit]

Template:Trump Series Seventeen major candidates entered the race starting March 23, 2015, when Senator Ted Cruz of Texas was the first to announce his candidacy: former Governor Jeb Bush of Florida, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson of Maryland, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, businesswoman Carly Fiorina of California, former Governor Jim Gilmore of Virginia, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, former Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, former Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Governor John Kasich of Ohio, former Governor George Pataki of New York, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, former Governor Rick Perry of Texas, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, businessman Donald Trump of New York and Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin. This was the largest presidential primary field for any political party in American history.[53]

Prior to the Iowa caucuses on February 1, 2016, Perry, Walker, Jindal, Graham and Pataki withdrew due to low polling numbers. Despite leading many polls in Iowa, Trump came in second to Cruz, after which Huckabee, Paul and Santorum withdrew due to poor performances at the ballot box. Following a sizable victory for Trump in the New Hampshire primary, Christie, Fiorina and Gilmore abandoned the race. Bush followed suit after scoring fourth place to Trump, Rubio and Cruz in South Carolina. On March 1, 2016, the first of four "Super Tuesday" primaries, Rubio won his first contest in Minnesota, Cruz won Alaska, Oklahoma and his home of Texas and Trump won the other seven states that voted. Failing to gain traction, Carson suspended his campaign a few days later.[54] On March 15, 2016, the second of four "Super Tuesday" primaries, Kasich won his only contest in his home state of Ohio and Trump won five primaries including Florida. Rubio suspended his campaign after losing his home state,[55] but retained a large share of his delegates for the national convention, which he plans to release to Trump.[55]

Between March 16 and May 3, 2016, only three candidates remained in the race: Trump, Cruz and Kasich. Cruz won most delegates in four Western contests and in Wisconsin, keeping a credible path to denying Trump the nomination on first ballot with 1,237 delegates. However, Trump scored landslide victories in New York and five Northeastern states in April and he grabbed all 57 delegates in the Indiana primary of May 3, 2016. Without any further chances of forcing a contested convention, both Cruz[56] and Kasich[57] suspended their campaigns. Trump remained the only active candidate and was declared the presumptive Republican nominee by Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus on the evening of May 3, 2016.[58]



Republican Party (United States)
Republican Party Ticket, 2016
Donald Trump Mike Pence
for President for Vice President
Donald Trump August 19, 2015 3 by 2.jpg
Mike Pence February 2015 cropped color corrected 2 by 3.jpg
Chairman of
The Trump Organization
Governor of Indiana
Trump-Pence 2016.svg

Other major candidates[edit]

Major candidates were determined by the various media based on common consensus. The following were invited to sanctioned televised debates based on their poll ratings.

Trump received 14,010,177 total votes in the primary. He, Cruz, Rubio and Kasich each won at least one primary.

Candidates in this section are sorted by date of withdrawal from the primaries
John Kasich Ted Cruz Marco Rubio Ben Carson Jeb Bush Jim Gilmore Carly Fiorina Chris Christie
Governor John Kasich.jpg
Ted Cruz, official portrait, 113th Congress (cropped 2).jpg
Marco Rubio, Official Portrait, 112th Congress.jpg
Ben Carson by Skidmore with lighting correction.jpg
Jeb Bush Feb 2015.jpg
Jim Gilmore 2015.jpg
Carly Fiorina NFRW 2015.jpg
Chris Christie April 2015 (cropped).jpg
Governor of Ohio
U.S. Senator
from Texas
U.S. Senator
from Florida
Dir. of Pediatric Neurosurgery,
Johns Hopkins Hospital
Governor of Florida
Governor of Virginia
CEO of Hewlett-Packard
Governor of New Jersey
W: May 4
4,287,479 votes
W: May 3
7,811,110 votes
W: Mar 15
3,514,124 votes
W: Mar 4
857,009 votes
W: Feb 20
286,634 votes
W: Feb 12
18,364 votes
W: Feb 10
40,577 votes
W: Feb 10
57,634 votes
Rand Paul Rick Santorum Mike Huckabee George Pataki Lindsey Graham Bobby Jindal Scott Walker Rick Perry
Rand Paul, official portrait, 112th Congress alternate (cropped).jpg
Rick Santorum by Gage Skidmore 8 (cropped2).jpg
Mike Huckabee by Gage Skidmore 6 (cropped).jpg
Governor of New York George Pataki at Northeast Republican Leadership Conference Philadelphia PA June 2015 NRLC by Michael Vadon 11 (cropped).jpg
Lindsey Graham by Gage Skidmore 3.jpg
Bobby Jindal 26 February 2015.jpg
Scott Walker March 2015.jpg
Rick Perry February 2015.jpg
U.S. Senator
from Kentucky
U.S. Senator
from Pennsylvania
Governor of Arkansas
Governor of New York
U.S. Senator
from South Carolina
Governor of Louisiana
Governor of Wisconsin
Governor of Texas
W: Feb 3
66,781 votes
W: Feb 3
16,622 votes
W: Feb 1
51,436 votes
W: Dec 29, 2015
2,036 votes
W: Dec 21, 2015
5,666 votes
W: Nov 17, 2015
222 votes
W: Sept 21, 2015
0 votes
W: Sept 11, 2015
0 votes

Vice presidential selection[edit]

Donald Trump turned his attention towards selecting a running mate after he became the presumptive nominee on May 4, 2016.[96] In mid-June, Eli Stokols and Burgess Everett of Politico reported that the Trump campaign was considering New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich of Georgia, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, and Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin.[97] A June 30 Washington Post report also included Senators Bob Corker of Tennessee, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Joni Ernst of Iowa, and Indiana Governor Mike Pence as individuals still being considered for the ticket.[98] Trump also stated that he was considering two military generals for the position, including retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn.[99]

In July 2016, it was reported that Trump had narrowed his list of possible running mates down to three: Christie, Gingrich, and Pence.[100]

On July 14, 2016, several major media outlets reported that Trump had selected Pence as his running mate. Trump confirmed these reports in a message on Twitter on July 15, 2016, and made the announcement the following day in New York.[101][102][103][104][105] On July 19, the second night of the 2016 Republican National Convention, Pence won the Republican vice presidential nomination by acclamation.[106]

Major third parties[edit]

Parties in this section have obtained ballot access in enough states to theoretically obtain the minimum number of electoral votes needed to win the election. Individuals included in this section have completed one or more of the following actions: received, or formally announced their candidacy for, the presidential nomination of a third party; formally announced intention to run as an independent candidate and obtained enough ballot access to win the election; filed as a third party or non-affiliated candidate with the FEC (for other than exploratory purposes). Within each party, candidates are listed alphabetically by surname.

Libertarian Party[edit]

Template:Gary Johnson series

Ballot access for the Libertarian Party
  On ballot
  Not yet on ballot

Ballot access to 456 electoral votes: All states except: Alabama, Connecticut, Washington D.C., Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, Virginia.[107][108][109][110][111]


Libertarian Party Ticket, 2016
Gary Johnson William Weld
for President for Vice President
Gary Johnson campaign portrait.jpg
Bill Weld campaign portrait.jpg
Governor of New Mexico
Governor of Massachusetts
Johnson Weld 2016 2.png

Green Party[edit]

Template:Jill Stein series

Ballot access for the Green Party
  On ballot
  Not on ballot, write-in access
  Not yet on ballot

Ballot access to 425[114] electoral votes:[115] Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Washington D.C., Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas,[116] Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri,[117] New Jersey,[116] New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania,[118] South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin. As write-in: Indiana, North Carolina.


Green Party of the United States New Logo.png
Green Party Ticket, 2016
Jill Stein Ajamu Baraka
for President for Vice President
Jill Stein by Gage Skidmore.jpg
from Lexington, Massachusetts
from Washington, D.C.
Jill 2016.png

Other third parties and independents[edit]

Parties and candidates in this section have attained ballot access in one or more states but have yet to obtain access to the minimum number of electoral votes needed to theoretically win the election. Unless otherwise specified, individuals included in this section have taken one or more of the following actions: formally announced their candidacy for the presidential nomination of a minor party; formally announced intention to run as an independent candidate; filed as a minor party or non-affiliated candidate with the FEC (for other than exploratory purposes). Candidates are listed by party and then alphabetically by surname.

Constitution Party
Ballot access for the Constitution Party
  On ballot
  Not yet on ballot

Ballot access to 187 electoral votes: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.[118][121][122]

Party for Socialism and Liberation / Peace and Freedom Party

Ballot access to 135 electoral votes: California, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Vermont, Washington.[125][126][127][128][129][130]

American Delta Party / Reform Party
Ballot access for the American Delta and Reform Party
  On ballot
  Not yet on ballot

Ballot access to 125 electoral votes: Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Utah, Vermont.[132][133][134][135][136][137][138][139][140]

America's Party

Ballot access to 44 electoral votes: Arkansas, Colorado, Florida.[142][143][132]

Socialist Workers Party

Ballot access to 43 electoral votes: Colorado, Louisiana, New Jersey, Washington.[145][127]

Independent (Lynn Kahn) / Voters United Party

Ballot access to 35 electoral votes: Arkansas, New York.

  • Lynn Kahn, Doctor of Clinical Psychology from Maryland. Vice-presidential nominee: Kathleen Monahan.
Independent American Party

Ballot access to 27 electoral votes: Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah.[146]

  • Farley Anderson, activist from Utah.[146] Vice Presidential nominee: undeclared.
Socialist Party USA / Natural Law Party

Ballot access to 25 electoral votes: Colorado, Michigan[147]

Prohibition Party

Ballot access to 21 electoral votes: Arkansas, Colorado, Mississippi.[145][149]

Independent (Evan McMullin) / Better for America

Ballot access to 15 electoral votes: Arkansas, Colorado.[152][153]

Veterans Party of America

Ballot access to 15 electoral votes: Colorado, Mississippi.[156][157]

Workers World Party

Ballot access to 14 electoral votes: New Jersey.

United States Pacifist Party

Ballot access to 9 electoral votes: Colorado.[162]

American Solidarity Party

Ballot access to 9 electoral votes: Colorado.[163]

Independent (Laurence Kotlikoff)

Ballot access to 9 electoral votes: Colorado.[145]

Nutrition Party

Ballot access to 9 electoral votes: Colorado.[145]

American Party (South Carolina)

Ballot access to 9 electoral votes: South Carolina.[166]

American Freedom Party

Ballot access to 6 electoral votes: Mississippi.[167]

Battleground states[edit]

Most media outlets announced the beginning of the presidential race about twenty months prior to Election Day. Soon after the first contestants declared their candidacy, Politico listed Virginia, Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire, Florida, Nevada, and Ohio as the seven states most likely to be contested in the general election. However, the article was released before Donald Trump entered the Republican presidential race.[169] According to some analysts, the major campaign locations may be different than expected if the race turns out to be close. States such as Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and even Michigan may be in play with Trump as the nominee.

A broad pundit consensus, although not clearly evaluated, came forth throughout the primary election season regarding the battleground states for the upcoming presidential election. Contributors included Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball, Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight, and analysts at 270ToWin.[170] From the results of presidential elections from 2004 through to 2012, a general conclusion was reached that the Democratic and Republican parties start with a default electoral vote count of about 191 each.[171] In this scenario, the twelve competitive states are Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Ohio, Iowa, Virginia, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, Colorado, and North Carolina.[172]

The margins required to constitute a swing state are vague, however. In addition, local factors may come into play – for example, Utah was the reddest state in 2012, despite being not that Republican in general.[173] In addition, some reports have even suggested a Democratic presidential victory in the Beehive State, especially if there is a nationwide blowout.[174] Left-leaning states in the Rust Belt could become more conservative, as Trump mostly appeals to blue-collar workers. Wages have dropped for many of these citizens during the Obama administration.[175] However, they now represent a large portion of the American populace, and were a major factor in Trump's eventual nomination.

Finally, the nominations of candidates such as Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton could conceivably alter such assumptions. In addition, underdog Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders generally performed well in rural and more conservative areas, and drew much of his support from the most liberal voters. Trump's proficiency in these states was less overt. However, his campaign was propelled by victories in Democratic states, and his supporters often did not identify as Republican. Sanders' preferred primary locations formed a unique combination with the more traditional and highly religious parts of the country, which eventually became strongholds for the second-placed Republican candidate, Ted Cruz. Due to this paradox, a match-up between outsiders such as Sanders and Trump may have flipped many established political conventions.

In Maine and Nebraska, two delegates are given to whoever has the most overall votes, and the winner of every congressional district receives one electoral vote.[176] Every other state awards all of its electoral votes to the candidate with the highest vote percentage.[177] Recent presidential campaigns have generally focused their resources on a relatively small number of competitive states, which some refer to as battlegrounds.[178] Media reports indicate that Trump plans to concentrate on Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio and North Carolina.[179] Meanwhile, Clinton will campaign mostly in North Carolina, Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Colorado, and Virginia.[180]

The battleground states for the 2016 election are generally regarded as Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, Minnesota, and Florida. Among the Republican-leaning states, potential Democratic targets include Nebraska's second congressional district, Montana, Missouri, Indiana, Georgia, and Arizona.[181] Trump's relatively poor polling in Utah has raised the possibility that it could vote for Clinton, despite easy wins there by recent Republican nominees.[182] However, multiple analysts have asserted that it is not yet a viable Democratic destination.[183] Meanwhile, Trump may aim to capture blue states such as New Mexico, Oregon, and Maine's second congressional district.[184] Other states may also become competitive if 2016 becomes a landslide election.[185]

Election prognosticator projections[edit]

Several sites and individuals publish periodic electoral predictions. These projections generally rate the race by the probability that either of the two parties wins each state. The term "tossup" is generally used to indicate that neither party has an advantage, "lean" to indicate that one party has a slight edge, "likely" to indicate that one party has a clear advantage, and "safe" to indicate that one party is heavily favored. All states classified without a rating of "safe" from any of the Cook Political Report, Sabato's Crystal Ball, or the Rothenberg-Gonzales Political Report are included in the table below. The state's Cook PVI and the latest swing for each state are also listed, as well as competitive congressional districts in Maine and Nebraska. The states and districts considered safe for Clinton by all prognosticators total up to 178 electoral votes, while safe Trump states total up to 136 electoral votes, leaving 224 available electoral votes.

State Electoral
Cook PVI 2012
May 27
August 11
July 1
August 10
Arizona 11 Template:Party shading/Republican | R+7 Template:Party shading/Republican | 53.7 R Lean R Lean R R Favored Tossup 1996
Colorado 9 Template:Party shading/Democratic | D+1 Template:Party shading/Democratic | 51.5 D Lean D Likely D Tilt D Lean D 2004
Florida 29 Template:Party shading/Republican | R+2 Template:Party shading/Democratic | 50 D Lean D Lean D Tilt D Tossup 2004
Georgia 16 Template:Party shading/Republican | R+6 Template:Party shading/Republican | 53.3 R Lean R Lean R R Favored Tossup 1992
Indiana 11 Template:Party shading/Republican | R+5 Template:Party shading/Republican | 54.1 R Likely R Likely R R Favored Lean R 2008
Iowa 6 Template:Party shading/Democratic | D+1 Template:Party shading/Democratic | 52 D Tossup Lean D Lean D Tossup 2004
Maine CD-2 1 Template:Party shading/Democratic | D+2 Template:Party shading/Democratic | 52.9 D Likely D Likely D Template:Party shading/Nonpartisan | No rating Tossup 1988
Michigan 16 Template:Party shading/Democratic | D+4 Template:Party shading/Democratic | 54.2 D Lean D Likely D D Favored Tossup 1988
Minnesota 10 Template:Party shading/Democratic | D+2 Template:Party shading/Democratic | 52.7 D Likely D Likely D D Favored Lean D 1972
Missouri 10 Template:Party shading/Republican | R+5 Template:Party shading/Republican | 53.8 R Likely R Likely R R Favored Tossup 1996
Nebraska CD-2 1 Template:Party shading/Republican | R+4 Template:Party shading/Republican | 53 R Tossup Lean R Template:Party shading/Nonpartisan | No rating Lean R 2008
Nevada 6 Template:Party shading/Democratic | D+2 Template:Party shading/Democratic | 52.4 D Lean D Lean D D Favored Tossup 2004
New Hampshire 4 Template:Party shading/Democratic | D+1 Template:Party shading/Democratic | 52 D Tossup Lean D Tilt D Lean D 2000
New Mexico 5 Template:Party shading/Democratic | D+4 Template:Party shading/Democratic | 53 D Safe D Safe D D Favored Lean D 2004
North Carolina 15 Template:Party shading/Republican | R+3 Template:Party shading/Republican | 50.4 R Tossup Lean D Tossup Tossup 2008
Ohio 18 Template:Party shading/Republican | R+1 Template:Party shading/Democratic | 50.7 D Tossup Lean D Tilt D Tossup 2004
Oregon 7 Template:Party shading/Democratic | D+5 Template:Party shading/Democratic | 54.2 D Safe D Safe D D Favored Lean D 1984
Pennsylvania 20 Template:Party shading/Democratic | D+1 Template:Party shading/Democratic | 52 D Lean D Likely D Lean D Lean D 1988
Utah 6 Template:Party shading/Republican | R+22 Template:Party shading/Republican | 72.8 R Safe R Likely R R Favored Lean R 1964
Virginia 13 Even Template:Party shading/Democratic | 51.2 D Lean D Likely D Tilt D Lean D 2004
Wisconsin 10 Template:Party shading/Democratic | D+2 Template:Party shading/Democratic | 52.8 D Lean D Likely D Tilt D Lean D 1984

Party conventions[edit]

Template:Location map many

Libertarian Party
  • May 26–30, 2016: Libertarian National Convention was held in Orlando, Florida.[191][192]
Republican Party
Democratic Party
  • July 25–28, 2016: Democratic National Convention was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[195]
Green Party

Campaign finance[edit]

This is an overview of the money used in the campaign as it is reported to Federal Election Commission (FEC) and released in July 2016. Outside groups are independent expenditure only committees - also called PACs and SuperPACs. Several such groups normally support each candidate, but the numbers in the table are a total of all of them. This means that a group of committees can be shown as technically insolvent (shown in red) even though it is not the case of all of them. The Campaign Committee's debt are shown in red if the campaign is technically insolvent. The source of all the numbers is Center for Responsive Politics.[198] Some spending totals are not available, due to withdrawals before the FEC deadline. As of late July 2016, eight candidates with ballot access have filed with the FEC regarding their fundraising.

Campaign committee (as of June 30) Outside groups (as of July 21) Total spent
Money raised Money spent Cash on hand Debt Money raised Money spent Cash on hand
Hillary Clinton[199] $264,374,319 $220,013,289 $44,361,030 $144,100 $110,211,121 $70,402,825 $39,808,296 $290,416,114
Donald Trump[200] $88,997,986 $68,787,021 $20,210,966 $0 $9,744,105 $7,620,376 $2,123,729 $76,407,397
Rocky De La Fuente[201] $6,453,224 $6,422,331 $30,892 $6,436,234 $0 $0 $0 $6,422,331
Gary Johnson[202] $1,363,290 $904,309 $458,981 $0 $0 $0 $0 $904,309
Jill Stein[203] $859,155 $623,947 $235,208 $40,000 $0 $0 $0 $623,947
Darrell Castle[204] $10,289 $7,313 $2,976 $2,500 $0 $0 $0 $7,313
Gloria La Riva[205] $20,487 $6,840 $13,646 $0 $0 $0 $0 $6,840
Peter Skewes[206] $6,994 $3,399 $7,189 $8,000 $0 $0 $0 $3,399


Primary election debates[edit]

General election debates[edit]

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The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), a non-profit organization controlled by the Republican and Democratic parties, plans to host debates between qualifying presidential and vice-presidential candidates. According to the commission's website, to be eligible to opt to participate in the anticipated debates, "... in addition to being Constitutionally eligible, candidates must appear on a sufficient number of state ballots to have a mathematical chance of winning a majority vote in the Electoral College, and have a level of support of at least 15 percent of the national electorate as determined by five selected national public opinion polling organizations, using the average of those organizations' most recently publicly-reported results at the time of the determination."[207] The three locations chosen to host the presidential debates, and the one location selected to host the vice presidential debate, were announced on September 23, 2015. The site of the first debate was originally designated as Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio; however, due to rising costs and security concerns, the debate was moved to Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.[208]

As of August 2, 2016, Republican Donald Trump has not committed to participate in the debates, which have become a staple of presidential election cycles for over a half-century.[209][210][211] Trump has complained that two of the scheduled debates, one on September 26 and the other October 9, will have to compete for viewers with National Football League games, referencing the similar complaints made regarding the dates with low expected ratings during the Democratic Party presidential debates.[212]

Debates among candidates for the 2016 U.S. presidential election
No. Date Time Host City Moderator Participants
Template:CPD September 26, 2016 Template:TableTBA Hofstra University Hempstead, New York Template:TableTBA Template:TableTBA
Template:CPD October 4, 2016 Template:TableTBA Longwood University Farmville, Virginia Template:TableTBA Template:TableTBA
Template:CPD October 9, 2016 Template:TableTBA Washington University in St. Louis St. Louis, Missouri Template:TableTBA Template:TableTBA
Template:CPD October 19, 2016 Template:TableTBA University of Nevada, Las Vegas Las Vegas, Nevada Template:TableTBA Template:TableTBA
P4 October 25, 2016 4 pm MT University of Colorado Boulder Boulder, Colorado Template:TableTBA Template:TableTBA
Template:Colors = Sponsored by the CPD; Template:Colors = Sponsored by Free & Equal

The Free & Equal Elections Foundation plans to host an open debate among all presidential candidates who have ballot access sufficient to represent a majority of electoral votes.[213] It is to be held at the University of Colorado Boulder's Macky Auditorium on October 25, 2016.[214] As of May 2016, the nominees of the Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, and Green parties qualify for this debate.

Opinion polling[edit]

General election polling
Democratic primary polling
Republican primary polling

See also[edit]


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External links[edit]

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