Republican outsider Donald Trump pulled a stunning upset victory on Tuesday over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, winning at least six swing states to achieve more than the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidential election.
Polling data showed Clinton consistently led Trump nationally since the end of July and had solid support in traditionally Democratic states like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. Until yesterday, all three hadn’t voted Republican in a presidential election since 1988 or 1984.
With many in the industrial Midwest hurting economically, Trump nearly swept the region as Clinton’s only win there came in Illinois due to Chicago’s urban dominance over the state.
In addition, Trump won the Southern states of Florida and North Carolina, which polls showed to be toss ups lead up to Election Day. Clinton’s only battleground wins came in Virginia and Colorado. Both cast their electoral votes for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.
“This country has had no hope,” said 67-year-old business owner Doug Ratliff of southwestern Virginia. “Things will change. I know (Trump’s) not going to be perfect. But he’s got a heart. And he gives people hope.”
Despite the impressive electoral victory for Republicans, with 98 percent of precincts reporting according to AP, Trump trails Clinton by more than 160,000 in the popular vote.
However, Clinton badly underperformed in key demographics according to exit polls by Reuters and CNN. Trump won white males by over 30 percentage points and white females by 10 percent. In the overall female vote, Clinton only beat Trump by two points.
The Democratic candidate did the best among black females, winning that demographic 94–4 percent, and with black males by a margin of 67 points. Clinton also won with Latinos, 65–29 percent and among voters who identify as politically moderate by 11 points.
Trump beat Clinton with white college graduates, 49–45 percent, and whites without a degree by 39 points. The Republican candidate also outpaced Clinton with Protestants, Catholics and non-denominational Christians, and veterans, while Clinton won among Jewish and non-religious voters.
Things that were true: undercover Trump vote; @mike_pence for VP; Hillary’s floor & ceiling r same; rally crowds matter; we expanded the map
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) November 9, 2016
Perhaps most telling, CNN exit polling of just under 25,000 people found Trump won decisively among late-deciding voters who made up their minds about which presidential candidate to support no earlier than September.
After the race was called by major media outlets including Fox News and AP, President Obama telephoned Trump to congratulate him on the win and invited him to the White House for a meeting on Thursday, according to a White House statement.
In his victory speech at a New York hotel, likely president-elect Trump touted his economic and infrastructure rebuilding plans and tweeted after the race was called early Wednesday: “The forgotten man and woman will never be forgotten again. We will all come together as never before.”
Trump will become the oldest first term president in U.S. history when he takes office Jan. 20, 2017, at the age of 70.
While Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta told supporters at a campaign gathering in New York to go home and “get some sleep” at 2 a.m. EST, Hillary Clinton is expected to give a concession speech late Wednesday morning.
[AP] [Reuters] [CNN] [ABC News] [Photo courtesy Reuters/Carlo Allegri via Fox News]