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ECCE Speaker Series: What Happened in The 2016 Election?

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UIS hosted Luis Fraga in the Student Union Ballroom on Oct.29 to speak on how changing demographics impacted the 2016 presidential election, as part of the ECCE Speaker Series.

Fraga is the director for the Institute of Latin American Studies and the acting chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame. In his presentation, Fraga discussed how the decline in the Caucasian demographic and the steady increase in the Hispanic and African American demographics, and the geographic dispersion of these demographic shifts, are changing the face of the American political process.

In particular, Fraga discussed how these shifts had seemed to be moving in a direction of support for the Democratic party, with former President Barack Obama seeming to fully capture this shift and gain full advantage from it. The problem for the Democratic party in 2016, according to Fraga, was that unlike Obama, former Secretary Hilary Clinton was unable to regain his diverse coalition. The fact that the Clinton campaign simply assumed it would receive the same support created its own set of problems for the party. While many voters did not care for Donald Trump, many of the voters who had supported Obama were not fond of Clinton either.

Fraga also discussed how this tied into the failure of the “blue wall” that the Clinton campaign had been counting on for its victory. This wall included the states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, each of which went for Trump in the 2016 election by a slim margin. Had these states gone in favor of Clinton, the electoral math dictates she would have won. Fraga discussed how Clinton’s failure to recapture Obama’s coalition, the articulation of Trump’s anti-globalization message, and low Democratic turn-out overall in these areas led to Clinton’s victory in the popular vote by approximately 2.3 million votes, but loss in the electoral college by 46 electors’ votes.

The next ECCE event is Blacks in Green; Principles of Green Village Building, it will be held on Nov. 9, at 6:00 p.m. in Brookens Auditorium.

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ECCE Speaker Series: What Happened in The 2016 Election?