After hard fought campaign, Trump wins the race; Republicans maintain control in House and Senate


Lars Lonnroth

When Donald Trump descended the golden escalator at Trump Tower when he announced his candidacy on June 16 of last year, many brushed Trump off as a joke—a joke that ended up lasting much longer than anticipated. Even the months and days before Nov. 8, the notion of a Trump presidency would have been deemed ludicrous.

It’s been a constant motif throughout the campaign: Trump has been dismissed as an unserious candidate who could never reach the White House this November. But this was proven wrong Tuesday.

Despite having a better organization, Democrats received a slap to the face with Trump performing much better than anticipated. Hillary Clinton held a nearly 60 vote deficit in the Electoral College. Trump surpassed the 270 electoral votes necessary to be declared the winner of the race for the presidency early on Wednesday morning.

Trump was dealt the final push to 270 after winning Wisconsin by two percent, granting him the state’s 10 electoral votes. At 1:48 a.m. Trump held his first event as the president-elect.

Trump was greeted to the emphatic chants of “USA” as he walked up to the lectern at the New York Midtown Hilton and declared his General Election victory a “historic event” as well as congratulating Clinton for a race well run.

“I just received a call from Secretary Clinton,” Trump said. “She congratulated us—it’s about us—on our victory, and I congratulated her and her family on a very, very hard fought campaign. I mean, she fought very hard.”

Striking a consolatory tone, Trump emphasised the need for the country to come together after this contentious presidential race and heal the divide among the American people that this election caused, and stressed how he would “be president to all Americans.”

“Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division, [as we] have to get together. To all Republicans and Democrats and Independents across this nation, I say it’s time to for us to come together as one united people,” Trump said at the early morning press conference.

In the races for the House of Representatives and the Senate, it was also a good night for Republicans: the GOP retained their positions in the House and Senate, leading Republicans to have a clear path to pass legislation that they value.  

In Utah, Evan McMullin, the third party independent who posed himself as an alternative to the two candidates, acted as a spoiler to Clinton, drawing 22.5 percent of the electorate in that state, mostly from the Clinton campaign. Trump, on the other hand, won nearly 51 percent in the state.

The tip of the North East, comprised of Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia and Maryland along with West Coast delivered to the Clinton campaign. However, that could not surpass the allotment of votes that the South and other rust belt state delivered to the Trump campaign.

Trump dominated the South, securing nearly all of the states in that region, besides Virginia, but also capturing the key battleground states of North Carolina and Florida—two states that were key to Trump’s path to victory.

Meanwhile, as the results seemed much clearer by the end of the night, Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta dispelled the notion that Clinton would concede on election day, sending supporters at the Campaign HQ home for the night.

“Well, folks, I know you’ve been here a long time, and it’s been a long night and it’s been a long campaign,” Podesta said. “But I can say we can wait a little longer. They’re still counting votes and every vote should count. Several states are too close to call, so we won’t have anything else to say tonight.”

On Wednesday, Clinton issued her concession speech at around 10:40 a.m. Despite the loss, the crowd greeted her exuberantly, after her running mate Tim Kaine spoke of the honor he had of running on the same ticket as her.

“This is not the outcome we wanted or we worked so hard for, and I’m sorry that we did not win this election for the values we share and the vision we hold for our country,” Clinton said. “But I feel pride and gratitude that for this wonderful campaign we have built together: this vast, diverse, creative, unruly, energized campaign. You represent the best of America.”   

Although once the results seemed clear last night, investors reacted extremely negatively to the results with the Dow Jones Industrial plumpeting 638 points or 3.8 percent, USA Today reports; Nikkei, Japan’s version of the Dow Jones, crashed over 870 points or 5.38 percent; and the Hang Seng dropped 494 points or 2.16 percent after the news broke. These stocks, however, significantly recovered as Wednesday progressed.

Now, with inauguration day on Jan. 20, Trump must now begin assembling the backbone to his administration and his party.