12 Things That Happened This Presidential Election for the First Time in History (Photos)
The 2016 presidential race pits the first female candidate against a former reality TV star, and the first non-politican or military figure to run for the job ever. But this year’s election has had plenty of other pioneering moments, both historical and hysterical.
Ted Cruz becomes the first Latino to win a primary or caucus, when he narrowly defeats Donald Trump in the Iowa Caucus on Feb. 1.
One week later, Bernie Sanders becomes the first Jewish candidate to do the same, when he handily beat Hillary Clinton in the Feb. 9 New Hampshire primary
In an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to stop Trump’s momentum, Mitt Romney is the first previous party nominee to publicly blast his likely successor, mocking Trump’s failed ventures such as Trump Airlines and Trump Steaks and calling him a “fraud,” “phony,” and “very, very not smart” during a March 3 speech at the University of Utah.
In one of the more expected history making moments of the 2016 race, but Hillary Clinton is the first woman to become a major party’s presumptive nominee for president when she claims victory in the June 7 California primary.
Clinton’s victory in California also meant this election will be the oldest matchup in U.S. electoral history. Trump would be 70 when taking office, while Clinton would be 69. Trump would be the oldest president, edging Ronald Reagan.
But not all the election’s history-making moments have been so high-minded…
After Marco Rubio implied that Trump’s seemingly small hands meant he was inadequate elsewhere, Trump defended his penis size at a March 3 debate, “guaranteeing” the audience that there’s “no problem” with his manhood.
With more than 12 million followers, Trump is the first presidential candidate to use Twitter as his primary means of communication, exciting and emboldening a nativist, nationalist and provocative internet community, which comes to be known as the “alt-right.” Meanwhile, Twitter still can’t figure out how to turn a profit.
Clinton gives an Aug. 25 speech in Reno, Nev. attacking the “alt-right” and specifically calling out a Twitter user named “WhiteGenocideTM.” This is definitely the first time the entire second half of that sentence has been part of a U.S. election.
NBC journalist Lester Holt becomes the first African-American man to moderate a presidential debate, when he presides over the first Trump-Clinton meeting on Sept. 26. Carole Simpson, who moderated a 1992 presidential debate, was the first African-American to do so.
Several newspapers have endorsed a Democrat, failed to endorse a Republican — or endorsed, period — for the first time this election. On Sept. 27, the Arizona Republic endorses a Democrat for the first time in its 126-year history. Two days later, the Detroit News endorses non-Republican, Libertarian Gary Johnson, for the first time in its 143-year history. And on Sept. 30, USA Today makes its first-ever endorsement — a non-endorsement, if you will, asking its readers to vote for anyone but Trump. Trump has yet to receive a single newspaper endorsement.
At the end of the first presidential debate, Clinton brought up Trump’s alleged insulting treatment of a former Miss Universe, Alicia Machado. Trump subsequently spent most of the week attacking her, becoming the first candidate to issue a middle-of-the-night statement — at 2:30 a.m. on Sept. 30, via Twitter — imploring voters to watch Machado in a nonexistent “sex tape.”
CBSSN’s Elaine Quijano becomes the first Asian-American debate moderator, when she presides over the meeting between vice presidential candidates Tim Kaine and Mike Pence on Oct. 4.