BY ANA VASUDEVAN
In a stunning victory, Donald Trump secured the U.S. presidency with 279 Electoral College votes over Hillary Clinton’s 228 votes in last night’s nationwide election. As official results are still being tabulated, NPR’s projections show that Hillary Clinton could win the popular vote by a small margin even though she lost the election, a situation reminiscent of the 2000 Bush vs. Gore election. Republicans additionally won control of the Senate and the House with 51 and 236 seats, respectively.
Trump’s victory comes at the dismay of the 74 percent of SAIS students who supported Hillary Clinton in last week’s online SAIS Election Survey. Students in D.C. watched as the results rolled in last night at the Observer’s SAIS Election Night viewing party in Kenny Herter Auditorium. Students in D.C. and Bologna created live blogs to document students’ reactions, which ranged from comic relief to dismay.
“I think that people who run for any senior office have to believe on some fundamental level that they can have a positive influence in the country,” British citizen and SAIS M.A. candidate Chris Jackson said when asked to say something nice about Trump. “In my opinion, it would not be worth the time, money and energy spent unless he is truly trying to service some greater purpose, regardless if that purpose was achieved. It is important that Trump has been able to stand for and represent a significant population of Americans.”
Numerous poll predictions, including The New York Times’ “Who Will Be President?,” declared an 85 percent chance that Clinton would win the election.
So what happened?
Trump was able to take the key battleground states of Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan in order to gain the lead necessary in the race to 270 Electoral votes.
President-elect Trump delivered his victory speech late last night in which he thanked Clinton for her years of service to the U.S., and in an attempt to unify the deeply divided American people, said that “now it is time for America to bind the wounds of division.”
After conceding by telephone last night to Mr. Trump, Clinton and her vice-presidential running mate Tim Kaine conceded publicly earlier today in New York. Clinton addressed her supporters and said farewell to her staffers by stating, “Our campaign was never about one person or even one election. It was about the country we love and building an America that is hopeful, inclusive, and big-hearted. We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought. But I believe in America, and I always will.”
In the immediate aftermath of the election, the nation’s future seems uncertain. CNN exit polls showed that 56 percent of people stated they were either concerned or scared if Donald Trump was elected president. Concerns were reflected in the DOW futures, which initially fell 800 points on election news, but recouped to less than 200 points in losses earlier today.
Per tradition, President Obama has invited Trump to the White House on Thursday, and Trump will start receiving White House briefings in preparation for the transition of power as of today. Donald Trump will take office on January 20, 2017.
This story will be updated as more details are known