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Donald Trump stuns the nation in presidential victory

Donald Trump, 45th president of the United States

The polls said it wouldn’t happen. The forecasts said it wouldn’t happen. Many Republicans even said it wouldn’t happen.

Well, it happened.

Last night, Donald Trump was elected 45th president of the United States, shocking millions. Traditionally Democratic states like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, not to mention swing states like Florida and Ohio, turned red. Democrats everywhere watched as Clinton’s “for sure” White House claim slipped away.

According to exit polls, Clinton lost because her campaign thought the American electorate was quickly growing more diverse and wouldn’t fare worse with voters than in 2012, when Barack Obama was reelected. But apparently, enough working-class whites found they could relate to Trump’s rhetoric and promises. Polls undercounted these older working-class voters by about 10 million – and that was the fatal flaw in their talk of a Clinton victory.

The GOP also maintained control of the Senate, which should help Trump at least somewhat during his time in office. He’s promised to undo the major achievements of the Obama administration, including Obamacare, as his first order of business.

Trump’s victory speech

Donald Trump’s victory speech, in the early hours of Wednesday morning, had a very different tone than his entire campaign leading up to it. There was no talk of a “rigged” election or “crooked Hillary.”

“Hillary has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time, and we owe her a major debt of gratitude,” he said.

He spoke of coming together in unity, Republicans and Democrats and independents alike. He promised to strengthen the economy, fix the inner cities, and rebuild highways, schools, and more.

“We must reclaim our country’s destiny and dream big and bold and daring … I look very much forward to being your president.”

Hillary Clinton

Clinton’s concession speech

This morning, Hillary Clinton formally conceded the election to Trump. In a poised, painful speech, she pledged to work with the new president to move the country forward and heal divides. “We owe him an open mind and a chance to lead,” she said.

After a long and hard-fought campaign, Clinton admitted the loss “is painful, and it will be for a long time.” She acknowledged that this country is more divided than she’d realized, but she hopes Americans will continue to fight for what’s right and know “the American dream is big enough for everyone.”

She left women and young girls across the country with some words of wisdom: “I want you to know that nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion. Now, I know, I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but hopefully, someone will … And to all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable, and powerful, and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.”

Obama spoke as well, affirming that he is rooting for Trump’s success, while acknowledging their differences. The president reminded us that we “are all on the same team” and need to move forward despite the disappointment.

“Sometimes you lose an argument, sometimes you lose an election,” he said. “But the path this country has taken has never been a straight line. We zig and zag.”

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