The 2016 Presidential election shocked a lot of people — including pundits.
But if you were a small business owner, it might not have been so surprising. The chances are you might have been behind the winner, President-elect Donald Trump.
That’s according to our presidential reader poll conducted in August of this year, which showed Trump winning among small business owners, 53 percent to 23 percent over Secretary Hillary Clinton. That’s more than 2 to 1, with nearly 3,000 votes cast.
The actual election results, which are still being tabulated, ended up being much closer than our poll. At this point, it appears that Secretary Clinton won the popular vote by a small margin.
What counts, however, is that Trump logged a resounding win in the Electoral College vote.
As of publication time, the New York Times is forecasting 306 Electoral College votes for Trump when all is said and done. That compares to 232 for Secretary Clinton.
The Media Became Part of the Story
This was a crazy election where the mainstream media became part of the story. Trump called out the media for what he claimed were lies. Supporters followed suit.
— Millie Weaver (@Millie__Weaver) October 15, 2016
Wikileaks, whose founder, Julian Assange has been given sanctuary in the Ecuadorean Embassy for the past four years, began leaking documents from the Clinton campaign daily. Those leaks showed that more than 65 members of the mainstream media had a cozy relationship with the Clinton campaign, feeding voter distrust.
It's truly astonishing that some guy hiding in the Ecuadorean Embassy is doing more for TRUTH in this election than all the American press.
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) October 25, 2016
At times, it seemed like two alternative universes of messaging: One set by mainstream media outlets such as the Washington Post and TV news and another by alternative sources.
A large part of the electorate lost faith in the mainstream media this election season. Instead, they turned to sites that, previously, might have been considered “fringe,” such as InfoWars.com, Breitbart.com, and most of all, DrudgeReport.
Amazingly, millions of Americans trusted such sites more than the established press.
Social media also played a huge role, with Donald Trump’s rallies being livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube. A news outlet called Right Side Broadcasting took the place of the main TV networks and cable outlets for Trump to spread the word.
Social Memes and Hashtags Were Crucial
A candidate who had nearly the entire establishment against him turned lemons into lemonade. President-elect Trump used his Twitter and Facebook accounts (each with over 12 million followers). And he also used other social media and alternative outlets.
Memes and hashtags were how followers banded together to support their candidates.
Slogans like #MakeAmericaGreatAgain, its abbreviation #MAGA and #DrainTheSwamp became rallying cries on social sites like Twitter.
— Shane Hodge (@TheShaneHodge) November 9, 2016
Both sides used images and (sometimes sharp) humor to convey how they felt.
— Mama Jones (@Mama_Jones2013) November 7, 2016
Fears of a Contested Election Were Premature
Clinton gave no concession speech on election night but called Trump to concede. She gave a gracious concession speech the next morning.
— Randy Susan Meyers (@randysusanmeyer) November 9, 2016
The Market Was Volatile
When it appeared Trump would be victorious, markets around the world reacted as predicted. Pundits did get that right.
The Dow Futures market took a severe dip, losing more than 800 points in one instance. As the day after the election has progressed, the markets have stabilized and seen gains across the board.
— POLITICO (@politico) November 9, 2016
And How are Small Business Owners Feeling?
It depends on which candidate you supported.
The Clinton campaign had created a narrative picked up by the press about small businesses that had not been paid by Trump’s company.
— Rick Spence (@rickspence) November 8, 2016
— Speak out! (@Anna_ohlala) November 4, 2016
Jon Taffer, the host of Spike TV’s Bar Rescue, contends that the Trump election is a big win for small business.
— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) November 9, 2016
In October, Trump did announce the formation of a small business advisory panel to get input on small business issues. The group identified five areas of concern: governmental regulation, the Affordable Care Act, taxation, labor issues and access to capital.
Fellow Republication and former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin may have summed up the reason for Trump’s win the best when she said, “We need leaders who will stand up for the little guy and listen.”
And a leader for the little guy — the forgotten man and woman — is what America got.
Such a beautiful and important evening! The forgotten man and woman will never be forgotten again. We will all come together as never before
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 9, 2016
Image: The Daily Mail