BLOG: Armstrong Commons residents, Dr. Rita Kirk weigh-in on Election Night

By Evie Dole

SMU students attending the Armstrong Commons watch party found themselves in an intense waiting-game for the next President of the United States. At the beginning of the party, students seemed to enjoy the suspense with confidence that Clinton would win. But as the race jumped back and forth between Clinton and Trump, watch party-goers took on a more serious mood, as when Trump was said to have 216 electoral votes to Clinton’s 197.

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Photo credit: Evie Dole

The race continued to work through several ebbs and flows and the American people, including SMU students, continued to endure an emotional roller-coaster in this historical election.

Dr. Rita Kirk, Professor and Director of Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility at SMU, and attendee at the Armstrong Commons watch party, explained that Trump needed to win Florida and North Carolina to stay viable. At that point, Trump had secured at least one of those important battleground states.

“The story of the night will be watching this division take shape in the country. There is a clear gender divide but there is also a clear racial divide.”

Dr. Kirk also said that when this election is decided, “there will be a huge shift within our country regardless of who wins.”

With Trump sitting a little more comfortably in important states like Florida, student supporters for Trump and Pence expressed their hope that Trump pulls through.

Sophomore SMU student Livie Pakula said, “Obviously Clinton still has a good chance but it is starting to look better for Trump. No one like Hillary should be in our highest elected office because if anyone else had done what she had done with their emails, they would be in jail.”

Election years are stressful for a huge part of the electorate in many aspects of everyday life. Social media is constantly throwing out new posts about this candidate or that candidate doing this or that illegal thing but at least at the end of November 8, voters hoped to have a new leader of the free world.

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