NEW YORK CITY — Donald Trump stunned the world Tuesday night, defeating Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton LAW ’73 in an upset that handed him four years in the United States’ highest public office.
The shocking result defied the expectations of millions of people nationwide, as reports trickled in Wednesday morning from key battleground states that most polls predicted he would lose.
“Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division. It is time for us to come together as one united people,” Trump said in his acceptance speech.
The Republican Party also maintained control of the Senate and House of Representatives. Clinton conceded the presidency in a telephone call to Trump around 2:40 a.m.
“I’ve just received a call from Secretary Clinton,” Trump said in his victory speech at the Hilton hotel in Manhattan. “She congratulated us … on our victory. And I congratulated her, and her family, on a very, very hard-fought campaign.”
Crowds of supporters for both candidates swarmed the streets of New York City Tuesday night and Wednesday morning as Trump and Clinton watched the results from their own New York headquarters.
According to preliminary results, Trump won Florida by 1.4 percentage points, Pennsylvania by 1.3 percentage points and North Carolina by 3.8 points — three states that a Nov. 2 Quinnipiac University poll had him losing by 1, 3 and 5 percentage points respectively. Trump also took Ohio, New Hampshire, Arizona, Wisconsin and Michigan, which many polls identified as toss-up states or heavily favoring Clinton.
Brendan Murphy — a New York City resident who initially supported Sen. Bernie Sanders, I–Vt., in his Democratic primary run for the presidency — switched to Trump’s camp after Sanders’ withdrawal. Murphy said he was unsurprised by Trump’s win.
“I’ve never seen a candidate come up out of nowhere, take on 16 entrenched members of their own party and kick their asses,” Murphy said. “He holds all the control, and the people support him.”
Scenes from Trump HQ
Photos by Deniz Saip
Trump supporters milled around the entrance of the Hilton and neighboring streets, and a large throng of supporters congregated on the sidewalk opposite the hotel’s West 55th Street entrance. As the night went on and Trump pulled ahead in the polls, the crowd grew larger and rowdier, waving homemade banners, chanting slogans and hooting as favorable results came in.
But for some in the crowd, admiration for Trump started long before the campaign cycle began. Mike Lubov, who grew up near New Haven and now lives in Florida, started an investment business in 1984 drawing inspiration from Trump. After reading Trump’s book “The Art of the Deal,” he started to purchase additional industrial buildings to expand his business.
Lubov and his wife traveled to New York City to participate in the election night excitement.
“The American people have spoken and the American people have elected their new champion,” said Vice President-elect Mike Pence, welcoming Trump to the stage Wednesday morning.
While Trump’s voters have been characterized as predominantly white men, the crowd in New York contained groups that Trump’s opponents have accused him of vilifying over the course of his campaign. The News talked with many of those in the crowd about their candidate, and what about him excited them about the president-elect.
Clutching a sign that read “Christian Latinos 4 Trump,” one Latina explained that Trump’s policies are not clearly understood by his detractors. When asked whether Trump’s deportation policy concerned her, she became defensive, saying that Trump had promised to “sit down and talk” before deporting any noncriminal illegal Latinos, and that whether they would be deported “would be determined.”
She added that she would “perhaps” approve of building a wall on the Mexican border, because it would prevent the rape and death of immigrants attempting to cross the border.
“Hillary Clinton doesn’t care about those people, my people,” she said.
Women in the crowd were forgiving of Trump’s widely criticized comments regarding women. Ani Tramblian, a Virginia resident, said she did not care what Trump said regarding any group, but was more interested in what he would do for the country. Dana Kopald, a senior at the University of South Carolina, said she thought there were “many things more important than peoples’ feelings” in this election, and that if anyone was monitored 24/7, things would come out that wouldn’t make them look good. She added that she couldn’t stand Hillary’s “constant lies” and that she liked Trump’s immigration policy.
Around midnight, after the crowd had swelled to around 100 supporters, a group of black men and women brandishing signs that read “BLACKS FOR TRUMP” entered the throngs. Michael Symonette, the first of the group to enter the crowd, said a Trump presidency will mean “more money, more jobs, more fun and more freedom” for black Americans.
Alongside U.S. citizens in the streets were visitors from around the world who left their hotel rooms to see the action. Julie and Lee Prince, who were vacationing away from their home in England, said they wished American voters had a strong third candidate to elect instead of Trump or Clinton. In June, the couple voted yes on Britain’s referendum to exit the European Union.
Links between the Brexit vote and the rise of Trump have been made in the past, including by 19-year-old Trump supporter Daniel Palacios, who said the media’s biased coverage led to misconstrued polls, making Tuesday’s victory unforeseen.
By 1 a.m., the crowd had expanded even more. Supporters perched atop the metal barriers separating the crowd from the street chanted “lock her up” and “Donald Trump.” Vendors hawked “Make America Great Again” hats and shirts. Droves of supporters danced down the streets with boomboxes.
In his speech, Trump promised to take care of American veterans, improve infrastructure and address crime from inner cities. He said the U.S. will have “great, great relationships” with foreign nations.
“We must reclaim our country’s destiny. We’re going to dream of things for our country, and beautiful things, and successful things,” Trump said. “The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.”
Donald Trump will be sworn into office on Jan. 20.