The election of Donald Trump as U.S.A. President, in November 2016, was a surprise even for Republicans. All polls had predicted a narrow win for Hillary Clinton till the last day.
Clinton actually won the popular vote by 2.8 million votes (2.08%}, especially in East and West coast states. But in the Mid West and South Trump prevailed and the unique American Electoral Vote system gave the Presidency to him - 306 over 232 Electoral votes. However, he won only 46.0% of the popular vote. 5.92% of the vote went to 3rd. party candidates.
Pundits and TV commentators scrambled to explain what had happened. They pointed out that billionaire Donald Trump, who never before ran for any election, and had never held any kind of public office, with his loud and raucous denunciations of all opponents, in both parties, had convinced unhappy, white, male blue-collar workers that he could make changes beneficial to them. With his crude denunciations of all minorities and immigrants, he appealed to uneducated people's fears of "others" who took their well-paying jobs away from them. Even lower middle-class religious white women did not seem upset by his crude sexually oriented attacks on women - they just believed his claims that he would make life "better" for them.
During the Democratic primary campaign, the Liberal candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders, denounced his opponent, Hillary Clinton, in much of the same rhetoric as Trump: calling her "arrogant, dishonest, friend of Wall Street, etc." During the final Presidential campaign, he tried to rally his supporters to line up behind her, to elect a Democratic president. But the damage had been done. Many younger Liberals (the co-called Millenials), either did not vote at all, or voted for the third parties - Libertarian Gary Johnson, or Green Jill Klein. In the American, winner takes all, Electoral Vote System, all votes for a third party are totally irrevalent and wasted. As shown in the tabulation below, in four key battleground states (usually democratic), these wasted votes resulted in giving the 75 extra Electoral Votes to Trump, guaranteeing his victory.
NOTE: When final election results are available, there may be very small changes in percentages shown.