Trump and the Russian Hand

Photo by Matt Johnson | CC BY 2.0

It is impossible to know for certain what happened in the United States presidential election of 2016. Donald Trump, the unlikely winner, won by a clear margin. His victory was guaranteed when he was able to defeat his Democratic Party rival, Hillary Clinton, in a handful of States in the Midwest. Trump won in each of the battleground States—Florida, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The margins were not always large, but he won nonetheless. Opinion polls had not shown this to be the case and most political pundits did not expect Trump to win. Indeed, there was even talk that Hillary Clinton would win States such as Utah—guaranteed to vote Republican—but this was not to be; Trump took Utah by a decent margin. Most of the experienced political operatives and journalists felt that Hillary Clinton might even win by a landslide. As it turned out, she won three million votes more than Trump, but by the peculiar logic of the U.S. election system, Trump won by 304 electoral college votes to Hillary Clinton’s 227.

A year and a half later, the U.S. public is still wondering how Trump won. Disbelief is the dominant mood among Democratic Party voters and those who have come to dislike Trump. How is it possible for this man, they say, to have won the election? One cannot say the turnout was low, for more people voted in the highly contentious election in 2016 than they did to re-elect Barack Obama in 2012. It is…

Read more