Trump Wins, Pot Legalized, Stadium Blocked
Tuesday’s election delivered a mixed bag of results for San Diegans, Californians, and all Americans as voters seemed to buck the trend predicted by polls.
Although polls showed Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump all the way up to Election Day, in the end it was Trump that clinched enough votes in swing states to pull off an unexpected victory. Trump secured more than enough votes in the Electoral College to become President, although Clinton received more of the popular vote by a margin of 337,636 votes.
The prospect of a Trump presidency seemed more likely as Tuesday night wore on and results from Florida, Michigan, and Wisconsin continued to be announced. Democrats were confident that Latinos in Florida would vote against Trump in large numbers and his anti-immigration rhetoric. In the end, however, even a higher turnout among Latinos in Miami could not overcome Trump’s success among whites in rural areas near Tampa, Orlando, and northern Florida.
“Hispanic Election Day turnout was strong. That wasn’t the issue,” said University of Florida political scientist Daniel Smith. “From my view, it appears that Trump over-performed with white women, including educated Republicans and independents, especially in suburban areas from Orlando and to South Florida.
Democrats across the country were shocked by the results, especially in states that many considered safely in Clinton’s column. Recent polls in Pennsylvania and Michigan showed Clinton leading by up to five percentage points. The Clinton campaign was so confident of her strength in Wisconsin that Clinton herself did not visit the state at all after the primary election there on April 5t, even though she lost to Bernie Sanders by 13 points. On Tuesday, Trump beat Clinton in Wisconsin by more than 27,000 votes.
Thursday, less than 48 hours after winning the election, President-elect Donald Trump met at the White House with President Barack Obama. During their 90-minute meeting, the two discussed policy issues and both pledged to work together to ensure a smooth transition of power in January.
“My number one priority in the next two months is to try to facilitate a transition that ensures our President-elect is successful,” President Obama said as the two sat for the media in the Oval Office. “If you succeed, the country succeeds,” Obama said to Trump.
Trump, for his part, seemed to appreciate the meeting with Obama.
“Mr. President, it was a great honor being with you and I look forward to being with you many, many more times,” Trump said. Trump also said the two spoke about “some wonderful and difficult things” and “some high-flying assets.” Trump did not clarify what he meant by “high-flying assets”.
On a statewide level, Californians passed Proposition 64 to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Voters approved the measure by a vote of 56 percent to 44 percent. Although Prop 64 allows recreational use of marijuana immediately, it does not allow for commercial sales until January 1, 2018.
Prop 64’s language allows people over the age of 21 to carry and use up to one ounce, 28.3 grams, of marijuana and grow up to six plants for personal use, but until commercial sales are licensed, only those users with medical marijuana cards can legally purchase the drug.
Supporters of legalization hailed the vote as a victory for personal freedom, but law enforcement officials throughout the state opposed the move as dangerous.
“We are, of course, disappointed that the self-serving moneyed interests behind this marijuana business plan prevailed at the cost of public health, safety, and the wellbeing of our communities,” said City of Ventura Chief of Police Ken Corney, President of the California Police Chiefs Association.
And although Prop 64 legalized the use of marijuana, the new law still allows employers to choose not to hire applicants that fail a drug test or to fire marijuana users if the drug affects the quality of their work.
San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore opposed Prop 64 and raised several concerns over the increased use of marijuana.
“There is currently no standard of impairment or tests for marijuana impairment making drugged driving convictions challenging,” Sheriff Gore said. “With the increased number of marijuana users on the road, we anticipate more drugged driving accidents and fatalities,” Gore added.
And locally, San Diego voters blocked a move by the Chargers to approve a new downtown stadium funded by higher hotel room taxes. Measure C was defeated by a vote of 43 percent yes to 57 percent no.
Measure C was supported by the Chargers after their plan to move to Los Angeles was rejected by the NFL. Instead of negotiating with city leaders, the team gathered signatures to place the measure on the ballot to raise hotel taxes to partially fund the new stadium. But voting Measure C down does not necessarily mean the team will leave San Diego.
“Our opposition had nothing to do with the Chargers,” said April Boling, chair of the No on C campaign. “It had everything to do with their plan to raise taxes by more than $1 billion. We said from day one we want the Chargers to remain in San Diego and that certainly has not changed,” Boling added.
Without the passage of C, the Chargers are now left with the choice of negotiating a deal with the Mayor and City Council, or trying again for a move to Los Angeles. The NFL gave the Chargers until January 15 to make a decision.
“In terms of what comes next for the Chargers, it’s just too early to give you an answer,” Dean Spanos, Present of the Chargers, wrote in an open letter released the day after the election. “We are going to diligently explore and weigh our options, and do what is needed to maintain our options, but no decision will be announced until after the football season concludes and no decision will be made in haste,” Spanos added.