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Roundtable: Trump Wins, Chargers Lose: Parsing The Results Of Election 2016

President-elect Donald Trump smiles as he arrives to speak at an election night rally early Wednesday morning in New York.
Evan Vucci AP
President-elect Donald Trump smiles as he arrives to speak at an election night rally early Wednesday morning in New York.

Roundtable: Trump Wins, Chargers Lose: Parsing The Results Of Election 2016
Parsing Results of Election 2016HOST:Mark SauerGUESTS:Michael Smolens, politics and government editor, The San Diego Union Tribune Amita Sharma, investigative reporter, KPBS News Alison St John, North County Bureau, KPBS News Carl Luna, professor, San Diego Mesa College, honorary journalist

Words like "stunned" and "shocked" don't seem to do the job. A man who ran a campaign which featured many falsehoods, personal attacks on a variety of people, and revelations of inappropriate behavior toward women was elected president of the United States this week. Donald J. Trump lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton but won the Electoral College. We're going to start with back-to-back clips from each, just after the election. Here's Hillary Clinton: So what happened here? Michael Smolens, were you surprised? Michael, who voted for Trump and why? Who put Trump over the top? Carl, what did you think of Hillary Clinton as a candidate? Her credentials would seem to undeniably make her qualified to be president. How much of Trump's support relied on sexism, racism and willful ignorance? Alison, To all -- What were the things that hurt her candidacy the most? Did her gender hurt her? How badly did the whole e-mail brou ha-ha hurt her, including the late FBI revelation of more emails? Van Jones, a political activist and commentator for CNN, was quite emotional on Wednesday about what he sees as one of the big reasons for Trump's win. Here he is. Pretty strong words. What do you think? Was this a whitelash, and if so, what does it bode for the future? We have had thousands in the streets of cities from California to New York, including red states, protesting Trump's election; sometimes violently. Ever happened before? Amita, Trump famously faces a lawsuit in federal court here alleging fraud over his notorious Trump University. You covered a hearing yesterday, what's the status of that 6-plus year old suit? Amita, one group of people very worried about a Trump victory are the Dreamers, those in the DACA program (deferred action for childhood arrivals) Explain that situation for us. Why are they worried? Does Donald Trump appear to be a man who can, as he said, make us one united people? What is dividing us? What do his supporters feel Trump will do for them? To all: So why did a Trump victory take us so much by surprise? Salena Zito, writing in the Atlantic, said of Trump: "The press takes him literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally." Did the media not do their job? How relevant is what we call the "mainstream media" today? Carl -- For the 2nd time in 16 years, a Democrat has won the popular vote and lost the election. how did the Electoral College come to be and why do we still elect presidents this way? Republicans control all three branches of government now; what happens to climate change? The Supreme Court? Immigration reform? What immediate changes might Trump make, like the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate accords? One of many protests groups out in force this week calling themselves Yes California. They rallied in Sacramento Wednesday and aim to put the issue of California succeeding from the union on the 20-18 ballot, for a special 20-19 election. Is Calexit now possible? Let's turn now to California, one of America's bluest states. Several progressive ballot measures were approved. Michael, marijuana will be legal here for personal use; we may all need it after this week. What will it mean in San Diego? What are the most important state measures voters passed? And we extended a hike on income taxes for the wealthy, what will that mean for the state budget going forward? One thing Californians shot down was an end to the death penalty, choosing to streamline the capital-offense process instead. The practical impact of that? In San Diego, the big vote concerned the Chargers' proposal for a stadium-slash-convention center expansion downtown. That didn't fare too well. What now? Alison, we had 2 important county measures on the ballot. What were they and what happened? Voters did not approve SANDAG's plan to raise billions over many years through a half-cent sales tax for transit, highways and other improvements. Why did voters shoot that down? What are long-term ramifications? Also, voters dumped the effort by developers of the Lilac Hills project in North County from getting around the county's general plan. Alison, explain what happened there and what happens to that project now? Michael, Carl: How would you compare the San Diego electorate to voters in the other big cities -- LA and the Bay Area? How are we different, or are we?

President Trump

Well, here we are. Donald Trump is president-elect.


His election took most pundits, pollsters and media by complete surprise. Most. But not all.

The USC/LA Times poll consistently measured Trump's support as much stronger compared to the more conventionally conducted polls.

And then there's Michael Moore. In July 2016, the liberal activist-cum-filmmaker posited five reasons why he believed Trump would win and where his strength would come from in The Huffington Post.

He was spot on.

Analysts have concluded that contributing factors to Trump's victory and Hillary Clinton's loss may be a “whitelash” against a black president; loss of good quality blue-collar jobs; a growing anti-immigration sentiment; the sense that something has been lost as the country changes demographically; and dislike and distrust of Clinton, politicians and the political system in general, all of this nurtured by social media and cable news.


Still-progressive California

While the country as a whole seems to have made a sharp turn in another direction, the election continued to carry the State of California along a progressive path.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris, of African-American and Indian descent, was elected to succeed U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer. Voters approved marijuana for recreational use, increased the number of nonviolent inmates eligible for parole, authorized background checks for the sale of ammunition, approved the return of bilingual education and banned plastic bags. They also, however, voted to speed up the implementation of the death penalty.

San Diego status quo, mostly

No one from San Diego's Congressional representatives lost his or her job. Although at this time, the extremely tight race between Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) and his Democratic challenger retired Col. Doug Applegate has not yet been called.

The San Diego City Council remains majority Democrat, a half-cent sales tax to support transit and freeways didn't achieve the necessary two-thirds vote and both stadium initiatives were defeated.

There were at least two eyebrow-raisers: Mara Elliott is the city's first female City Attorney, and voters soundly defeated a proposal to drop 1,700 homes in rural North County in violation of the county's General Plan.