The Collegian
Thursday, July 16, 2020

Trump wins in stunning upset, Clinton waits on final vote count

President-elect Donald J. Trump said Hillary Clinton called him to concede the 2016 election during the early hours of Wednesday morning despite questions about final vote counts.

John Podesta, chairman of the Clinton campaign, addressed Clinton supporters outside of her Manhattan headquarters around 2:15 a.m., imploring them to "go home," go to sleep and revisit the poll results in the morning. "Let's get those votes counted and let's bring this home," he said.

Clinton did not hit the stage. 

Trump eclipsed the necessary 270 electoral votes when he took to defeat Clinton, who earned just 218 electoral votes by 2:30 a.m. despite most major polls projecting she would win. A CBS News/New York Times poll on the eve of the election gave Clinton a four-point lead.

Swing states Florida and North Carolina both went to Trump. He also flipped Ohio, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania in his favor after the Washington Post predicted Clinton would win those states.

Trump, who will be the oldest elected president, finished with about 48 percent of the popular vote, while Clinton earned about  47 percent. The Washington Post called the election for Trump shortly after 2:30 a.m.  

The 2016 election also marked the latest call from the Associated Press since 2000, when they did not make a call:

Pundits throughout the night have suggested that Trump’s surprise win was a result of closet voters who skewed the polls because of an unwillingness to identify their allegiance to him. GOP insiders have expected a discrepancy between pre-election polls and election-day results, Politico reported nearly two weeks ago.

Some have even speculated that Russian leader Vladimir Putin influenced the results of the election.

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Dislike of Clinton was also a major topic of conversation throughout Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning. Anchor Savannah Guthrie held up a sign on NBC News showing that the most popular description of Clinton was that she was a liar and could not be trusted.

The prospect of a Trump presidency and his early gains in swing states had an immediate impact on the global markets. Dow Jones futures plummeted by nearly 800 points and the S&P 500 futures fell more than 5 percent, according to CNBC.

Tom Brokaw said on NBC News that Dow Jones futures plunged more on Tuesday night than they did the night of 9/11.

After Tuesday night’s election, Republicans now control the presidency, the House of Representatives and the Senate. As of 2:30 a.m., the House had 234 Republicans and 178 Democrats, while the Senate was 51–47 in favor of the Republicans.

Trump’s victory and Republican control of Congress almost certainly means that the Supreme Court will become majority conservative, as Congress has blocked President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland since March. Trump has already named at least 10 people he would consider nominating.

The close margin of victory, regardless of Trump’s victory, demonstrates the chasm that currently exists in the U.S. Tim Kaine, Clinton’s running mate, told The Collegian that he believed the American electorate was the most divided it has been since 1976, when Richard Nixon was impeached and the Vietnam war ended.

Richard Engel, NBC News’ chief foreign correspondent, called a Trump presidency “catastrophic for our position in the world.”

“No other state can do as much harm to you as you can do to yourself,” Engel said on air minutes before Trump was announced as the victor. “It seems to me that that is what the United States is doing right now.”

Contact editor-in-chief Charlie Broaddus at

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