2016 United States presidential election
This election for President of the United States of America took place on November 8, 2016. Voters selected electors who in turn (on 19 December) nominated candidates for the office. In practice the electors were already pledged to particular candidates, and their names do not even appear on the ballot papers in many states. As the presidency is limited to two terms, the incumbent, Barack Obama, was not eligible to serve again. On the basis of provisional figures announced overnight, everyone, including his opponent, accepted that Donald Trump had won. The electoral vote, officially confirmed on 6 January, is 304 for Trump, 227 for Clinton, 3 for Colin Powell, and 1 each for John Kasich, Ron Paul, Bernie Sanders and Faith Spotted Eagle (). Provisional figures show Clinton with more popular votes than Trump, but under half the total cast.
Throughout 2015 and into 2016, several potential candidates sought selection for the official nomination from their own political party. In July 2016, Donald Trump was formally adopted as the Republican candidate, and Hillary Clinton as the Democratic Party nominee. The Republican contest was more split than the Democrat race, until Ted Cruz and John Kasich withdrew in May, following Marco Rubio in March. Bernie Sanders, the second-placed contender for the Democratic nomination, formally endorsed Clinton in July; some of the other Republican contenders, on the other hand, refused to endorse Trump.
Other candidates for the presidency included Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party, Jill Stein of the Green Party and independent Evan McMullin, who sought support mainly from anti-Trump Republicans. The authorities in each state decided which candidates were important enough to appear on the ballot paper, though many also allowed write-in votes (details varied).
By November, both Clinton and Trump had become embroiled in various scandals over their earlier conduct. On election day, most polls showed a lead for Clinton over Trump, and in particular majorities of under-45s, minorities and women gave the Democratic nominee their support. However, Trump convincingly defeated Clinton on November 8, 2016 as several states with a heavy conservative turnout handed the Republican nominee victory. Although the Clinton camp did not openly accept defeat on the night, Clinton did concede to Trump over the phone. Trump entered office as the 45th president on 20 January 2017.