History was made in the early hours of Nov. 9 when it was announced that American voters elected Donald J. Trump the next President of the United States, bringing a long, hard- fought election cycle to a dramatic end.
Trump edged out his opponent, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, in an electoral victory of 279-228, according to The Associated Press.
The race ended dramatically with many states too close to call, keeping Americans on edge until almost 2 a.m. EST, when The Associated Press was the first to call the election for Trump. Trump is the first person to ever be elected president without any military or government experience, according to USA Today.
In a race that, prior to Election Night, was considered by all polling data to be a locked-in win for Clinton, the tide abruptly turned as Trump began to collect the vast majority of battle ground states, including Ohio, Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, with rural voters turning out in droves to vote for the businessman, according to NBC News.
Trump addressed supporters at the Midtown Hilton in New York City following his win, stating, “Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division — [we] have to get together,” Trump told his screaming supporters. “To all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people.”
He also congratulated Clinton on a “very, very hard-fought campaign.”
Clinton, speaking to her supporters on Wednesday morning, started her concession speech by saying that she was “sorry,” before continuing and saying, “Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and a chance to lead.”
Meanwhile, as the last of the popular vote is tallied, Clinton holds a razor-thin lead in the popular vote, although this will produce no change to the electoral college division, according to USA Today. Clinton holds 47.7 percent of the popular vote, while Turmp holds 47.5 percent. The last time a president was elected without winning the majority of votes was in the 2000 Presidential Election, when George W. Bush lost the popular vote but won the electoral college in a race against Democrat Al Gore.
President Barack Obama, standing on the steps to the White House, called on Americans to support the new President-elect, saying that he was “rooting for his success in leading and unifying the country.” Obama also called Trump to privately congratulate him on the win and to say that he will assist Trump in a smooth transition to the White House.
The election shocked the world and Wall Street alike, with the Dow Jones Industrial Index dropping over 800 points as the results showed that Trump was going to win. Many overseas leaders and dignitaries voiced their opinions, including Israeli president Benjamin Netanyahu, who congratulated Trump and said that he hopes the two countries can “work together to take [their] alliance to even greater heights.”
The Senate also remained in Republican hands, with Republican candidates winning five of the eight crucial seats that were on the ballot. The federal government is now firmly in the Republican Party’s hands with the presidency, Senate and House of Representatives all Republican.
All eyes are now on Trump as he begins his transition to the White House, which includes hiring a cabinet and White House staff. He will be formally inaugurated as president on Friday, Jan. 20.