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Wisconsin's role in selecting the 45th president

File photo (WLUK/Scott Hurley)

(WLUK) -- The race to become America's 45th president made headlines throughout 2016, and Wisconsin played a role.

Billionaire businessman Donald Trump beat former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

FOX 11 is taking a look back as part of our Year In Review coverage.

In typical presidential election cycles, it's pretty clear who the major-party nominees will be before the primary process gets to Wisconsin.

In late March, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were the front-runners. But Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz won Wisconsin's April primary in convincing fashion.

Sanders defeated Clinton by a 14 percentage point margin. But because of the Democratic Party's superdelegate rules, Sanders only received two more Wisconsin delegates than Clinton.

Cruz beat Trump in Wisconsin by 13 percentage points. Trump struggled here as he was criticized by conservative talk radio and Governor Walker endorsed Cruz.

Trump and Clinton rebounded from the Wisconsin losses and became their party's presidential nominees.

The first debate between Trump and Clinton was the most-watched in the 60-year history of televised presidential debates.

Trump was the first Republican to carry Wisconsin's electoral votes in 32 years.

Trump finished with 304 Electoral College votes and Clinton had 227. However, Clinton won the popular vote by more than 2.8 million votes. Clinton is the first presidential nominee to win the popular vote but lose the electoral college since 2000.

The Green Party's Jill Stein requested and received the first presidential recount since that 2000 election. Stein didn't have proof but claimed the election was hacked in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania -- three states Trump won by close margins. Wisconsin's recount is the only one that was completed, and it verified Trump's 23,000 vote victory over Clinton.

Click here to read the 12 top political stories of 2016.

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