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The election of Donald Trump was a surprise to pollsters, pundits and, perhaps most of all, the Democratic Party. With Republicans in power in the White House, Senate and House of Representatives, Democrats will now have to figure out their role as the minority party.

Here are four questions the Democrats will have to grapple with as they think about the future.

America has a new President-elect: Donald J. Trump. Emory University political scientist Andra Gillespie, Charles Richardson, editorial page editor for The Telegraph in Macon and Fannin Focus publisher Mark Thomason join us for a round of thoughtful analysis about how the election played out in Georgia and the nation.
 

Then, what should America’s next big national conversation be in the wake of the 2016 election? We get perspectives from Georgians at both ends of the political spectrum. 

John Locher / AP Photo

Today on "Political Rewind," the race to the White House concluded early Wednesday morning with a President-Elect Donald Trump. The billionaire businessman defeated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton against the predictions of many experts. Our panel discusses the question remaining, what kind of president will Trump be?

Kamala Harris, Catherine Cortez Masto and Rep. Tammy Duckworth made historic inroads on Election Day, becoming, respectively, the first biracial woman in the Senate, the first Latina senator, and the first Thailand-born senator.

And in the House of Representatives, Pramila Jayapal of Washington state was one of several candidates of Indian origin to claim office, in a group that includes Harris (whose mother is an Indian-American) and new House members Ro Khanna of California and Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois. All are Democrats.

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Finally, we have come to the end, the end of a presidential process that began well over one year ago, kicking off in primaries that included close to 20 Republican candidates and half a dozen Democrats.

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If there's anything to say about the results of the presidential race— it's that it defied expectations. Many expected to wake up Wednesday morning to hear from President-elect Hillary Clinton. Instead, it was Donald Trump wh o came out on top.

President Obama, saying "we are all rooting for his success," vowed his staff would work as hard as it can to ensure a successful transition of power to president-elect Donald Trump.

Obama spoke in the White House Rose Garden with Vice President Joe Biden at his side. The president had phoned Trump at 3:30 Wednesday morning to congratulate him on his upset victory over democrat Hillary Clinton, and invited Trump to the White House Thursday to discuss transition matters.

Republicans have been vowing for six years now to repeal the Affordable Care Act. They have voted to do so dozens of times, despite knowing any measures would be vetoed by President Obama.

But the election of Donald Trump as president means Republican lawmakers wouldn't even have to pass repeal legislation to stop the health law from functioning. Instead, President Trump could do much of it with a stroke of a pen.

Proposition 60, California's controversial ballot measure that would require adult film performers to use condoms, has been rejected by a margin of nearly 54 percent against and 46 percent in favor, with 99 percent of precincts reporting.

The measure has been a topic of heated debate, pitting the Free Speech Coalition, the adult entertainment industry's trade association, against the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

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This country has had 44 presidents. Every single one of them had either served in public office or in the military or both before being elected.

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When Donald Trump came down the escalator in June of 2015 in the tower he named for himself in Manhattan, few of us who do politics for a living took his off-the-cuff announcement for president seriously.

But the past 17 months have been a lesson to all of us who flattered ourselves — as campaign pros, polling pros and media pros — that we knew more about politics than he did.

What have we learned? That Trump was being taken very seriously, indeed, by the people who ultimately mattered: voters.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton finds herself on the wrong end of an electoral split, moving ahead in the popular vote but losing to President-elect Donald Trump in the Electoral College, according to election results that are still being finalized.

As of midday Thursday ET, Clinton had amassed 59,938,290 votes nationally, to Trump's 59,704,886 — a margin of 233,404 that puts Clinton on track to become the fifth U.S. presidential candidate to win the popular vote but lose the election.

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Let's go next to the city of Istanbul, Turkey. It's on the dividing line between Europe and Asia. And it's where NPR's Peter Kenyon covers the Middle East. He's been listening to responses to last night's election here, what people are saying there. Hi, Peter.

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It is exceedingly rare for a president to serve two full terms and then be succeeded by a president of his own party.

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Andrew Jackson did it. Franklin Roosevelt succeeded himself. There's Ronald Reagan - only a few others.

Democrat Paul Penzone has ended controversial Arizona lawman Joe Arpaio's 24-year tenure as the sheriff of Maricopa County. Arpaio has faced multiple legal challenges to his stance on immigration; the loss comes despite raising more than $12 million from donors.

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And let's get some reaction now on this side of the border. NPR's Hansi Lo Wang is in Manchester, N.H., which was one of the swing states that remained very close late into the evening. Hansi, good morning.

HANSI LO WANG, BYLINE: Good morning, David.

Donald Trump's presidential campaign, like the business career that preceded it, was unpredictable, undisciplined and unreliable. Despite those qualities — or perhaps, in part, because of them — it was also successful.

So what should we expect from President-elect Trump, mindful that his path to the White House has defied expectations at every turn?

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This country has had 44 presidents. Each had either served in public office or in the military before being elected.

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Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States.

That's remarkable for all sorts of reasons: He has no governmental experience, for example. And many times during his campaign, Trump's words inflamed large swaths of Americans, whether it was his comments from years ago talking about grabbing women's genitals or calling Mexican immigrants in the U.S. illegally "rapists" and playing up crimes committed by immigrants, including drug crimes and murders.

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And let's listen to one more reaction this morning to yesterday's election results. We have Attica Locke on the line with us. She's a California novelist who often writes about black America. She's also a writer on the TV series "Empire." Good morning to you.

On Monday in North Carolina, Donald Trump promised to pull off a "Brexit, Plus, Plus, Plus." He was referring to the surprise vote in June by people in the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.

Given the polls at the time in the U.S., pollsters in London saw that boast as a stretch — but early Wednesday morning, Trump delivered on that pledge.

DONALD TRUMP: Thank you, thank you very much. Sorry to keep you waiting. Complicated business, complicated business. Thank you very much.

I've just received a call from Secretary Clinton. She congratulated us — it's about us — on our victory. And I congratulated her and her family on a very, very hard-fought campaign. She fought very hard.

Hillary has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country. I mean that very sincerely.

Updated at 10:45 ET Wednesday

While votes are still being counted, some high-profile ballot initiatives already have returned clear results — including a slew of states opting in favor of medical or recreational marijuana, and several more raising the minimum wage.

You can see our full list of key ballot measures here, or check out a sample of the highlights:

The legalization of marijuana continued to expand as several states voted to legalize recreational and medical marijuana.

By a wide margin, California and Massachusetts voted to legalize recreational pot on Tuesday. Arkansas, North Dakota and Florida voted to legalize medical marijuana.

It's still too early to tell which way ballot initiatives in Arizona, Maine, Montana and Nevada will go. But the trend is positive for those in favor of legalizing marijuana and it's also part of a larger trend across the country.

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