By ARDEN IGLEHEART and LIZ MACLEAN
Pollsters did not predict the outcome of the election on Tuesday night. Fivethirtyeight.com, known for accurate election predictions, almost consistently showed the odds in Hillary Clinton’s favor. Even Hillsborough County, whose vote has predicted every election since George W. Bush’s win, fell short. The American public decided: Donald Trump will become the next president.
He won by an unexpected wide margin, taking major swing states Florida, Ohio and North Carolina.
“I think that he won for the people who are sick and tired of the usual status quo in Washington D.C.,” said Danny Driscoll, junior criminology major and president of the College Republicans.
The Republican party kept their control of congress by four seats. In Florida, Republican senator Marco Rubio retained his seat, and Republican representative Jackie Toledo won.
Clinton’s plan outlined that families earning less than $85,000 a year would be able to send their children to a public university for free. She also said that by 2021, this would include families earning less than $125,000. Clinton also claimed that she would cut interest rates on student loans so that the federal government doesn’t earn a profit, as well as offer refinancing programs.
“For UT students specifically, it would be more geared toward his income-based payment scale and his student loan forgiveness plan, which starts around the 15 year mark,” Driscoll said. “Personally, I think he will help our students more than Clinton would. There were a lot of misconceptions around ‘free college’ that would hurt our students rather than help them. Granted, education is an important issue, but I don’t think it will be one of his main focuses at the beginning of his presidency.”
Trump said in September that he would push for colleges to lower tuition.
“If universities want access to all of these federal tax breaks and tax dollars paid for by you,” Trump said during a Philadelphia rally, “they have to make good faith efforts to reduce the cost of college.”
He has not put forth a clear plan beyond this.
“I really don’t foresee college tuition going down or up. If something did change, it would be long down the road,” said Brianna Robinson, junior political science major and College Republicans secretary.
Trump proposed cutting taxes for all Americans and lowering the number of tax brackets from seven to three. He has also called for a 35 percent tariff on Mexican imports, and a 45 percent tariff on Chinese imports, which he said will create jobs and help American manufacturing. Trump also proposed a tax break for families with children that would be equal to the cost of childcare.
Mike Pence, Trump’s vice president, became the 50th governor of Indiana in 2012 and took office in 2013. Pence put in place the largest tax cut in the history of Indiana and passed the first Indiana law giving state funding for pre-kindergarten education.
Pence also passed one of the most extreme “religious freedom” laws in 2015. This law would have allowed businesses to refuse serving LGBT people if it went against their religion. When Pence was in Congress, he opposed federal funding to treat people with HIV and AIDS. He also was hesitant to change hate-crime laws that included acts against LGBT people. Pence also was against ending the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that dealt with gays in the military.
“I long for the day that Roe v. Wade is sent to the ash heap of history,” Pence said during his time in Congress.
Trump plans to build a wall between the US and Mexico, which he says Mexico will pay for, and will begin plans for this on his first day in office. During his time in office, anyone caught entering the US illegally will be detained and then deported. He will also remove any criminal immigrants at the start of his term and work with federal and state law enforcement to make sure this is done throughout the US.
Trump says he wants to make America energy independent. In his energy plan, he aims to conserve natural habitats and resources. He also wants to access the untapped shale, oil, and natural gas and coal reserves. He plans to encourage Americans to use natural gas to reduce emissions and the price of energy. Trump points out in his energy plan that President Obama has enforced several anti-energy orders, and he says this has weakened US security and made the country more dependent on energy sources from other nations.
“It’s really heartbreaking to see the division within America,” said College Democrats Vice President Kathleen Becker, a sophomore public health major, as the election results were coming in.
Arden Igleheart can be reached at email@example.com and Liz MacLean can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.