Skip to Main Content



This guide contains information about American and international governments and elections.

2016 Presidential Election - Donald Trump

About Donald J. Trump

Trump was born in Queens, New York, in 1946.[source] He attended Fordham University before transferring to the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania, earning a B.S. in economics in 1968.[source]

After graduation, Trump joined his family's company, Elizabeth Trump & Son. He took control of the company in 1971 and later renamed it the Trump Organization.[source] He was involved in various real estate and other business ventures in the following years. From 2004 until 2015, Trump hosted and served as executive producer of The Apprentice on NBC.[source][source]

In 1999, Trump ran as a Reform Party presidential candidate; he withdrew from the race in February 2000.[source][source] Between 1987 and 2012, he changed his official party affiliation five times, registering most recently as a Republican in April 2012.[source]

Trump declared his candidacy for the 2016 presidential election on June 16, 2015, and officially received the nomination of the Republican Party on July 19, 2016, at the Republican National Convention.

On November 8, 2016, Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States. He received 304 electoral votes to Hillary Clinton's 227.[source]

*From Ballotpedia biography of Donald Trump. You can view the full entry on the President as well. 

Trump's Career Before the Presidency

Below is an abbreviated outline of Trump's professional and political career:

  • 2017-Present: President of the United States
  • 1971-2017: President, The Trump Organization
  • 2004-2015: Producer and host, The Apprentice
  • 1996-2015: Owner, Miss Universe Organization
  • 1987: Author, The Art of the Deal
  • 1968: Graduated with B.S. in economics from the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania


Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election. He was the 2016 Republican nominee for president of the United States. He declared his candidacy on June 16, 2015, and officially received the nomination of the Republican Party on July 19, 2016, at the Republican National Convention.

A New York-based real estate developer, author, chairman of The Trump Organization, and former executive producer of “The Apprentice”— a reality television show in which he also starred—Trump had never before sought or held elected public office before his 2016 run. However, he flirted with political bids off and on between the late 1980s and 2015. He became more active in national politics in 2011 when he publicly questioned whether Barack Obama was a natural citizen. That same year, Trump indicated some interest in seeking the Republican nomination for president but ultimately declined to run.

Trump’s candidacy for the Republican nomination in 2016 was initially seen as a long shot. Still, the New York businessman’s outsider status, mastery of the media, and no-holds-barred campaign style propelled him to the front of the field. Trump racked up victories in critical early states, and by May, the race had dwindled from more than a dozen candidates to three: Trump, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, and Ohio Governor John Kasich. After a critical victory in Indiana on May 3, Cruz and Kasich dropped out, leaving Trump unchallenged for the nomination. When the dust settled, 13.3 million primary voters had backed Trump, a new record in the history of Republican primaries.


Donald Trump's Policy Positions Before and During The 2016 Presidential Election


  • Trump's slogan throughout his campaign was "Make America Great Again," which Trump defined in his book, Crippled America, as "restoring a sense of dignity to the White House, and to our country in general."[1]

  • Focal points of Trump's campaign included strengthening U.S. immigration laws, renegotiating or withdrawing from international trade deals, a more aggressive foreign policy in the Middle East, lowering taxes, and repealing financial and environmental regulations.

Domestic Affairs

Trump’s domestic platform focused heavily on immigration and scaling back environmental regulations. He proposed strengthening U.S. immigration laws. He pushed for the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, the costs of which he says the Mexican government will cover. During the Republican primaries, he called for the deportation of all undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.—about 11 million people—but in August 2016 he suggested that those who have not committed crimes could possibly be allowed to stay if they paid back taxes. Trump advocated rescinding and reforming environmental regulations supported by the Obama administration and has called climate change “a total hoax.” He supported repealing the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, and proposed his own healthcare reform plan.

The NRA endorsed Trump, and he voiced opposition to gun-free zones, such as in schools. On social and cultural issues, Trump vowed to nominate judges opposed to abortion and once suggested that women who have abortions should be punished. Trump also stated that while he opposes abortion, he believes there should be exceptions in the case of rape, incest, and risks to the mother’s life. He said that he supports “traditional marriage” and argued that states should decide whether transgender people should use restrooms corresponding to their gender identity.

Economic Affairs and Government Regulations

Trump supported cutting taxes at all levels, and his opposition to international free-trade deals was a trademark of his campaign. His tax proposals included cuts at all income levels, an end to the estate tax, and a tax deduction for childcare expenses. He called international trade deals like NAFTA and TPP “a disaster” and pushed for increased import tariffs. Trump voiced support for raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour but also said that changes to the minimum wage should happen at the state level. He was critical of financial regulatory legislation such as Dodd-Frank, which he called “terrible.” He called government regulations, in general, a “stealth tax.”





See also: Donald Trump presidential campaign, 2020

This section featured five news stories about Trump and his presidential campaign. For a complete timeline of Trump's campaign activity, click here.

  • November 3, 2020: Trump participated in a phone interview on Fox & Friends. He then went to Arlington, Virginia, for an event with campaign staffers. His campaign planned to hold a gathering at the White House in the evening.
  • November 2, 2020: Trump held campaign rallies across North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan (twice), and Wisconsin.
  • November 1, 2020:
    • The Trump campaign took over the YouTube masthead for the three days leading up to Election Day. The advertising space was secured in 2019.
    • Trump held rallies in five states: Michigan, Iowa, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.
  • October 31, 2020: Trump was scheduled to campaign across Pennsylvania with events in Bucks County, Reading, and Butler.
  • October 30, 2020: Trump campaigned in Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

*From Ballotpedia. View the full entry on Trump in the news. 

Selected Titles Authored By Donald Trump

Election Results

Presidential elections information including the most recent elections.