Today, Chief Justice John Roberts administered the presidential oath of office to businessman Donald Trump, the 2016 presidential nominee of the American Independent Party (AIP) (platform). Trump was also the nominee of the Republican Party.
The AIP placed Trump on the ballot in California, where he received 4,483,810 votes (31.49%), his third largest statewide total after Texas and Florida. This was an immense improvement over the party’s 2012 presidential nominee Tom Hoefling, who received 38,372 votes (0.29%). The party’s previous high in California came from George Wallace who won 487,270 votes (6.72%) in 1968.
Although Trump did not qualify for any electoral votes in California, if he had, according to Richard Winger, Trump would not have been awarded any electoral votes due to clerical error. Nevertheless, due to his popular vote margins in other states, Trump was able to gain enough electoral votes to win the election.
The AIP is not Trump’s only third party connection. In 1999, he joined the Reform Party and briefly sought its presidential nomination. Trump is the first person elected president to have previously been a member of a third party. President Millard Fillmore was a member of the Anti-Masonic Party before becoming president, but he was not elected, taking office following the death of President Zachary Taylor.