What Happened on Election Day 2016?

The Results and the Moment Donald Trump Was Elected

Donald Trump (left), Hillary Clinton (right) on the campaign trail during 2016 election.
Donald Trump (left) and Hillary Clinton (right) ran against each other in the 2016 election.

Krassotkin (derivative), Gage Skidmore (Donald Trump), Gage Skidmore (Hillary Clinton)/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 3.0

The date of the 2016 presidential election was Tuesday, November 8. Voters elected members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, as well as a new President of the United States, Republican Donald Trump.

The 2016 Election Day was the second Tuesday in November, the date of all federal elections. In the 2016 presidential election, voters chose 34 of the 100 members of the U.S. Senate and all 435 members of U.S. House of Representatives. The political makeup of Congress changed only slightly, but voters awarded both the House and Senate, as well as the White House, to the Republicans.

Congress requires elections to be held on Tuesdays. In fact, elections for President, U.S House of Representatives, and Senate have been held on Tuesdays since 1845. Despite the requirements on when Election Day is to be held, voters in about two-thirds of states were allowed to cast their ballots beforehand under "early voting" laws. A large number of voters cast their ballots before Election Day because interest was high in the presidential race.

Presidential Inauguration Day 2017

Trump succeeded Democratic President Barack Obama, who served two terms in the White House. Obama's last day in office was January 20, 2017. The incoming president was sworn into office at noon that day. Inauguration Day 2017 was Friday, January 20, 2017. Trump, the nation's 45th president, was sworn in on the steps of the U.S. Capitol at noon.

Senate Seats up for Election in 2016

U.S. Senate seats held by the following lawmakers were up for re-election in the 2016 election. Five members of the Senate decided against seeking re-election in 2016. One other senator, Republican Marco Rubio of Florida, sought the GOP presidential nomination instead of trying to hold onto his Senate seat. Only two U.S. senators who chose to seek re-election lost their seats. They were Republican U.S. Senators Mark Kirk of Illinois and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire.

Republicans maintained their control of the Senate.

  • Alabama: Republican Richard Shelby. The incumbent won re-election.
  • Alaska: Lisa Murkowski. The incumbent won re-election.
  • Arizona: Republican John McCain. The incumbent won re-election.
  • Arkansas: Republican John Boozman. The incumbent won re-election.
  • California: Democrat Barbara Boxer.* 
  • Colorado: Democrat Michael Bennet. The incumbent won re-election.
  • Connecticut: Democrat Richard Blumenthal. The incumbent won re-election.
  • Florida: Republican Marco Rubio.* 
  • Georgia: Republican Johnny Isakson. The incumbent won re-election.
  • Hawaii: Democrat Brian Schatz. The incumbent won re-election.
  • Idaho: Republican Mike Crapo. The incumbent won re-election.
  • Illinois: Republican Mark Kirk. The incumbent lost re-election. 
  • Indiana: Republican Daniel Coats.*
  • Iowa: Republican Chuck Grassley. The incumbent won re-election.
  • Kansas: Republican Jerry Moran. The incumbent won re-election.
  • Kentucky: Republican Rand Paul. The incumbent won re-election.
  • Louisiana: Republican David Vitter. The incumbent won re-election.
  • Maryland: Democrat Barbara Mikulski*
  • Missouri: Republican Roy Blunt. The incumbent won re-election.
  • Nevada: Democrat Harry Reid*
  • New Hampshire: Republican Kelly Ayotte. The incumbent lost re-election. 
  • New York: Democrat Chuck Schumer. The incumbent won re-election.
  • North Carolina: Republican Richard Burr. The incumbent won re-election.
  • North Dakota: Republican John Hoeven. The incumbent won re-election.
  • Ohio: Republican Rob Portman. The incumbent won re-election.
  • Oklahoma: Republican James Lankford. The incumbent won re-election.
  • Oregon: Democrat Ron Wyden. The incumbent won re-election.
  • Pennsylvania: Republican Pat Toomey. The incumbent won re-election.
  • South Carolina: Republican Tim Scott. The incumbent won re-election.
  • South Dakota: Republican John Thune. The incumbent won re-election.
  • Utah: Republican Mike Lee. The incumbent won re-election.
  • Vermont: Democrat Patrick Leahy. The incumbent won re-election.
  • Washington: Democrat Patty Murray. The incumbent won re-election.
  • Wisconsin: Republican Ron Johnson. The incumbent won re-election.

*DId not seek re-election to the Senate in 2016.