Defying pollsters, expectations and conventional political wisdom, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump sailed to victory Nov. 8 with a projected minimum of 274 electoral votes, according to multiple news outlets.
In a victory speech given at 2 a.m. Nov. 9 in New York, Trump promised to unite the country and follow through on his campaign promise to “make America great again.”
“Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division,” the real estate mogul said to an enthusiastic crowd of supporters.
“To all Republicans, Democrats and independents across the nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people. We must reclaim our country’s destiny, and be big and bold and daring.”
Trump said his Democratic opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, called to offer him her congratulations.
Clinton did not make a concession speech, however, and her campaign released a statement that she would address her supporters sometime on the morning of Nov. 9.
Trump consistently trailed Clinton in national polls leading up Election Day, with many pundits predicting a possible landslide for the former first lady. Yet strong turnout nationally from Republicans propelled not just his victory, but also helped the GOP to maintain control of Congress.
Trump won a series of hotly contested battleground states in the South, Midwest and Rust Belt, including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, to secure his election as the 45th president of the United States.
At 71, he will become not only the oldest president in American history at the time of his inauguration, but also the first to be elected with no prior political or military experience. He campaigned instead on his business acumen and history of diverse ventures, including reality television.
His campaign message also expressed a strong nationalist and protectionist sentiment that resonated with many white, working-class voters.
Republicans strong down ballot
Strong turnout from Republican voters helped not only Trump, but also Republican legislators in Kansas and throughout the rest of the country.
Nationwide turnout was being estimated around 60 percent. In Cowley County, it was 63.3 percent, according to unofficial preliminary results.
Kansas’ Republican Congressional delegation maintained its one-party status, with the vast majority of precincts reporting Nov. 9:
- Sen. Jerry Moran, 63 percent; Democrat Patrick Wiesner, 32 percent
- Dr. Roger Marshall, 66 percent; independent Alan LaPolice, 27 percent
- Rep. Lynn Jenkins, 61 percent; Democrat Britani Potter, 33 percent
- Rep. Kevin Yoder, 50 percent; Democrat Jay Sidie, 42 percent
- Rep. Mike Pompeo, 61 percent; Democrat Dan Giroux, 29 percent
About the only setback for Kansas Republicans was the failure of an effort by many groups to oust several Kansas Supreme Court and Kansas Court of Appeals justices, a reaction to several recent unpopular decisions concerning abortion and the death penalty.
The targeted judges all retained their seats, but their average winning margin of 57.5 percent — 54.72 percent in Cowley County — was considerably lower than normal for these sorts of retention elections, indicating the recall campaign made at least some impact on local voters.
A constitutional amendment to reaffirm the rights of Kansans to hunt, fish and trap passed easily with 82 percent of the statewide vote.
Unopposed candidates all won with more than 95 percent of the vote in the Cowley County, including:
- House District 79 Rep. Ed Trimmer, D-Winfield — 4,842 votes;
- Jim McNiece, Kansas Board of Education District 10 — 7,933;
- Cowley County District Court Judge Nicholas St. Peter — 9,989;
- District Court Judge-elect Christopher Smith — 10,476;
- Cowley County Clerk Karen Madison — 11,207;
- Cowley County Treasurer Maci DeCoudres — 11,315;
- Cowley County Register of Deeds Toni Long — 10,141;
- Cowley County Attorney-elect Larry Schwartz — 11,070;
- Cowley County Sheriff-elect David Falletti — 11,044.