2016 United States presidential election (Beau Lives)

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2016 United States presidential election

← 2012 November 8, 2016 2020 →

538 members of the Electoral College
270 electoral votes needed to win
Turnout 56.4% Increase 1.5 pp

Nominee Joe Biden Donald Trump
Party Democratic Republican
Home state Delaware New York
Running mate Elizabeth Warren Mike Pence
Electoral vote 299 239
States carried 24 + D.C. 26 + ME-02
Popular vote 70,095,257 61,101,756
Percentage 50.64% 44.14%

Presidential election results map. Blue denotes states won by Biden/Warren, red denotes those won by Trump/Pence.

President before election

Barack Obama

Elected President

Joe Biden

The 2016 United States presidential election was the 58th quadrennial presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. The Democratic Ticket of Joe Biden, the incumbent Vice President of the United States, and Elizabeth Warren, the Senior U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, defeated the Republican ticket, Businessman Donald Trump and Indiana Governor Mike Pence. Biden took office as the 45th president, and Warren as the 48th vice president, on January 20, 2017. Vice President Warren made history by becoming the first woman elected as either President or Vice President. Biden set the record for the most votes of any presidential candidate in history, beating his predecessor, Barrack Obama's, record of 69.5 million from 2008.

Per the Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution, incumbent president Barack Obama was ineligible to seek a third term. Biden defeated former Secretary of State Hilliary Clinton and self-described democratic socialist Senator Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary, and became the oldest presidential nominee of a major American political party in U.S. history. Trump emerged as his party's front-runner amidst a wide field of candidates in the Republican primary defeating Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Marco Rubio, and Ohio Governor John Kasich among other candidates. The Libertarian Party nominated former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, and the Green Party nominated Jill Stein. Trump's right-wing populist nationalist campaign, which promised to "Make America Great Again" and opposed political correctness, illegal immigration, and many United States free-trade agreements garnered extensive free media coverage due to Trump's inflammatory comments. Biden emphasized her extensive political experience, denounced Trump and many of his supporters as "extremists and villains," and advocated the expansion of President Obama's policies; racial, LGBT, and women's rights; and inclusive capitalism.

The tone of the general election campaign was widely characterized as divisive and negative. Trump faced controversy over his views on race and immigration, incidents of violence against protestors at his rallies, and numerous sexual misconduct allegations including the Access Hollywood tape. Biden's attiude towards Trump, his supporters, and the media at large was described as "combative" and "hostile."

Biden led in every nationwide and swing-state poll. On Election Day, Trump over-performed his polls, winning several key swing-states, but fell short of an electoral or popular vote majority. Biden maintained the Democratic hold on the White House, albeit by a smaller than expected margin in the electoral college.

On January 6, 2017, the United States Intelligence Community concluded that the Russian government had interfered in the 2016 elections in order to "undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton and Vice President Biden, and harm their electability and potential presidency." A Special Counsel investigation of alleged collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign began in May 2017 and ended in July 2018. The investigation concluded that Russian interference to favor Trump's candidacy occurred "in sweeping and systematic fashion", but it "did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government."

The election results in each state and the District of Columbia were certified by December 14. The Presidential Electors formally cast their votes for President and Vice President on December 19, 2016. Congress certified the vote on January 6th, and Biden and Warren were inaugurated on January 20, 2016.


Primary Process


2016 Democratic Primaries

General Election Campaign

Involvement of Other Countries

Notable expressions, phrases, and statements



Post-election events and controversies

See Also