More than 500 days later, the world’s most powerful office’s glass ceiling remains intact after one-time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) lost the race for the White House, winning only 218 electoral votes on Tuesday night.
The former New York senator seemed poised to become the first female president of the United States, with most major polling and analytics sites giving her between a 75 and 85 percent chance of winning the contest.
In the end, it was not enough to overcome Republican counterpart Donald Trump, who won more than half the states on Tuesday night.
Her campaign was marred by controversies, the majority of which stemmed from a private email server she used while acting as the nation’s chief diplomat.
While much of this controversy died down after FBI Director James Comey testified to Congress that he would not recommend any criminal charges be filed, it was brought up again less than two weeks before the election after Comey notified the House of Representatives that the agency had found potentially relevant emails on former Congressman Anthony Weiner’s computer.
These emails were ultimately found to be irrelevant to Clinton, or duplicates of emails already submitted to the FBI.
Clinton was seen as untrustworthy, in part due to her connection to the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the American Embassy in Benghazi and her refusal to release the transcripts of her speeches to various Wall Street organizations.
Many pollsters gave her between a two and 14-point lead two weeks before the election, including the Pew Research Center. This lead was heavily diminished after Comey’s remarks, but those polls did not account for the final results.
Clinton last ran for president in 2008, losing the primary challenge to then-Illinois Senator Barack Obama. In the eight years since, she has served as Secretary of State until 2013, before acting as a paid speaker working with the Clinton Foundation.
Clinton was expected to carry several states by winning over Hispanic and black voters. On Tuesday, polls showed she actually earned a smaller share of votes from both groups.
Third-party candidates also earned a significant share of the national vote, with 9 percent of people aged 18-29 choosing a third-party, along with 8 percent of those aged 30-44.
In 2012, third-party candidates combined won less than 3 percent of the popular vote, roughly meaning they earned nearly three times the share of votes Tuesday night.
Clinton’s loss comes with both the Senate and the House of Representatives remaining in the hands of Republicans. This marks the first time since 2008 that one party has obtained full control of both the Executive and Legislative branches of government.
While the branches were divided between the Republican and Democratic parties, government officials had trouble passing certain bills or achieving certain goals, with Congress blocking hearings for the next Supreme Court justice and trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act more than 50 times.
It is likely that Trump will be able to confirm a Supreme Court justice within a few months, and force the repeal of the ACA, popularly known as Obamacare after its primary sponsor.
Trump has not proposed a replacement to the act.
The 2016 presidential election results signal a change, where a nontraditional politician will lead the world’s most powerful nation. Reactions on Twitter varied, but several posters noted that America is a resilient nation.
Nikhilesh De is the news editor of The Daily Targum. He is a School of Engineering senior. Follow him on Twitter @nikhileshde for more.