Donald Trump scored one of the most stunning upsets in the history of American presidential elections Tuesday, melding blue-collar unrest about jobs, white anger about immigration, and his status as an outsider and a celebrity to defeat Hillary Clinton.
“Now, it’s time for America to bind the wounds,” Trump said after receiving a concession call from Clinton. “It’s time for us to come together as one, united people. It’s time.”
The Republican said he would embark on a period of “renewal” and said he would double the nation’s rate of economic growth.
“We’re going to dream of things for our country again,” he continued, addressing supporters at the New York Hilton in midtown Manhattan, less than two miles from Clinton’s election night headquarters. “And beautiful things.”
After one of the most divisive campaigns in recent memory, Trump asserted he would work for all Americans.
“I pledge to every citizen of our land, that I will be president for America,” Trump said. “For those who have chosen not to support me — and there were a few — I am reaching out to you for your guidance and you help.”
He said he congratulated Clinton on a hard-fought race.
“I congratulated her and her family on a very hard fought campaign. She fought very hard,” Trump said. “We owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service.”
CNN reported at about 2:40 a.m. that Clinton had phoned Trump to concede the race.
Clinton delivered her concession speech Wednesday morning, telling cheering supporters at The New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan, “Last night I congratulated Donald Trump and offered to work with him on behalf of our country.”
Of her failed candidacy, Clinton said: “This is painful, and it will be for a long time ... but our campaign was never about one person or one election. It was about country we love.”
“We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided that we thought,” Clinton said.
“But I believe in America,” she said, adding “we must accept this result and look to the future.”
“Donald Trump is going to be our president,” she said. “We owe him an open mind and a chance to lead.”
President Barack Obama invited Trump to meet with him Thursday morning at the White House to discuss the transition, and the White House said the president planned to address the election results in a statement Wednesday. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Obama called Trump to congratulate him and also called Clinton to convey his admiration for the “strong campaign she waged throughout the country.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan said Trump “turned politics on its head,” and he promised “hand-in-hand” work on the GOP agenda.
Trump, 70, who was trailing going into the final week, notched surprising wins in Rust Belt states such as Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio, while taking Florida — flipping four major states that went Democratic in 2012.
Trump overcame the disadvantage he had with women, minority and young voters by running up victories in areas hit hard by job losses. He achieved his victory by abandoning the typical, pro-free trade, socially conservative strategy deployed by most Republicans in recent memory.
He had to fight members of his own party, who denounced him as a bigot, recalled their support after his comments about groping women or never thought of him as a true conservative. He rode a tide of populist nationalism — promising to “build a wall” along the Mexican border — that mirrored the spirit behind Britain’s Brexit vote, a referendum in which voters chose to leave the European Union. Trump had called the Brexit vote a foreshadowing of the American election.
He had strong support from white voters, especially the rural and working class, according to ABC News exit polls.
As he surged to the lead, Trump’s success had an immediate effect on financial markets. CNBC reported that Standard & Poor’s 500 index futures fell 5 percent and Dow Jones industrial average futures 4.3 percent. Nasdaq trading was stopped to slow a spiral, the financial network reported. However, by midday Wednesday, the markets had recovered and were gaining.
The real estate mogul and TV star became the first man to be elected president without having served in a previous elective office since Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952, and the first to do so without being either a military general or a high-ranking federal official. That fact itself was a perhaps fitting end to one of the most bitter, ugly, long and atypical campaigns in 228 years of American presidential elections.
He also prevented Clinton, the Democrat, from becoming the first woman president in American history.
It was an astonishing downfall for Clinton who had led in polls through most of the campaign. After a long, dogged climb up the political ladder — from first lady to U.S. senator from New York to secretary of state — this was supposed to be the crowning moment for Clinton, the night she made history.
Felled perhaps by a combination of an email scandal, voters’ desire for change and the long-shot odds of any party winning three presidential elections in a row — the last time it happened was 1988 — Clinton suffered a defeat that likely spells the end to her pursuit of public office.
Exit polls also suggested the argument about the historical significance of becoming the first woman president wasn’t swaying as many women as Democrats had hoped, with Clinton garnering just better than 50 percent of female voters in key states such as Florida and Michigan.
In one of the most bitter, ugly, long and atypical campaigns in 228 years of American presidential elections, each candidate tried to make the choice a referendum of the opponent. Trump successfully pegged Clinton as “more of the same” in a year when many voters wanted change.
The Republican was able to shrug off allegations from nine women that he groped and assaulted them, his admission that he had avoided paying federal income taxes for nearly 20 years and criticism about being too cozy with Russia.
It was a dogged fight that not only split the American electorate, but left some voters at each others’ throats and many wondering how the victor would manage to push through any agenda in Washington.
Trump was able to win Ohio, despite not being backed by the GOP establishment there. He came from behind in Michigan and Wisconsin.
Clinton had painted her Republican foe as temperamentally unfit, out of his depth and dangerous — a guy who could “plunge us into a real war, not just a Twitter war,” referring to Trump’s record of lashing out at critics.
In rally after rally in the final week, Clinton sought to fire up her supports and woo undecideds by repeatedly asking them to picture Trump walking into the White House on Jan. 20, 2017. Trump with his hands on the nuclear codes. Trump appointing federal judges.
She questioned his praising of Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying at one debate Trump would be his “puppet.” She criticized him for avoiding paying income taxes for nearly 20 years. And she repeatedly reminded voters of a video released in early October that showed Trump bragging about groping women.
She hoped to win Obama supporters by vowing to continue his agenda, supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders by promising free public-college tuition and voters who wanted to see her become the first female American president.