Marking the official end to a turbulent and unprecedented election cycle, Donald Trump was elected president Tuesday night by 58 electoral votes, according to the Associated Press.
Trump received 47.9 percent of the popular vote as of 12:20 a.m., clinching critical states such as Pennsylvania and Wisconsin to come out ahead of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, the first woman in American history to be the nominee of a major political party.
“To all Republicans and Democrats and Independents across this nation, I say that it is time for us to come together as one united people,” Trump said in a speech given at his campaign headquarters after Clinton’s concession.
As news of Trump’s likely victory spread, the U.S. stock market fell 4 percent.
The atmosphere on Sproul Plaza, where more than 1,000 community members gathered to watch live election results, evolved from confusion to stun to frustration to anger. The win came as a shock to many, as most reputable polling sources — including FiveThirtyEight, the Associated Press and the New York Times — had predicted a landslide Democratic win, some giving Clinton a nearly 90 percent chance of winning.
This discrepancy between polls and election results is not unprecedented, particularly when a white candidate runs against an underrepresented minority candidate, in this case a woman. The tendency for voters to claim they’re voting for the minority candidate but actually vote for the other, known as the Bradley effect, is well-documented in political theory.
Trump’s unconventional style as a candidate and unique background attracted many of his voters, who tended to rally behind his propensity to speak his mind. While Clinton had earned the support of many female, Black and Latino voters, Trump was especially strong in rural parts of the country, especially among white noncollege-educated men.
With his win, Trump, who has never before held elected office, narrowly defeated a candidate whose most prominent roles are secretary of state, New York senator and first lady to Bill Clinton during his presidential terms from 1993 to 2001.
“If Trump can win despite (Clinton’s campaigning), this shows that the American willpower is still alive and the country that I believe in, the country that I love, still has a voice,” said UC Berkeley freshman and Berkeley College Republicans member Chase Aplin.
As president, Trump said, he will advocate strong immigration reform on several fronts, including increased screening of Muslim immigrants and a proposed wall along the southern U.S. border. He said he would also lower the business tax rate to 15 percent, reduce the country’s trade deficit and give tax cuts to the wealthy. He will come into office with Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his vice president.
Since Trump officially announced his intention to run for president on the Republican ticket, he has been embroiled in a string of controversies, including a leaked tape in which he can be heard describing instances of sexual assault. He has also refused to release his tax returns and alleged that the elections were rigged in Clinton’s favor on multiple occasions.
Throughout the race, Trump struggled to garner and maintain support from many prominent members of his party, including former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, as well as Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who considered pulling his support for Trump after the tape’s leak.
Despite inconsistent support, Trump maintained a loyal following among the electorate, including many members of the Berkeley College Republicans. Multiple BCR members called the win a “pleasant surprise.”
Clinton lost a hard-fought election in her second consecutive bid for the presidency. Her campaign was rocked by skepticism of her role in the 2012 Benghazi attack, an FBI investigation into her private emails and a previously unforeseen challenge from Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders, who defeated Clinton in multiple primary elections.
“I don’t think (Clinton) would represent us well on a global scale, as she already hasn’t,” Aplin said. “I think she was very bad as secretary of state. I think Mr. Trump is a qualified businessman. He’s done quite well for himself in his life, and I think he could transfer those skills to the presidency.”
The shock and disappointment from the Clinton camp in Berkeley were evident Tuesday night. About 78 percent of the vote in Alameda County was cast in favor of Clinton.
“We need to get organized, I feel, as a nation. We cannot have a Trump presidency,” said Berkeley resident Carol Coyote. “I mean, this is frightening. So we’re taking names. We’re going to have a meeting … and try to figure out where to go from here. We really need to kick ass now. We can’t wait.”
While some sent out a call to action, others reflected on the social implications of the outcome.
“It was a wonderful moment of hope to think that we had the opportunity to elect our first female president,” said District 3 City Council candidate Deborah Matthews. “We’re just reminded how difficult our opportunities are for women in business and in leadership. Keep moving forward, and do not falter.”
In his campaign victory speech, Trump thanked Clinton for her achievements as a political leader and remained hopeful the country would move forward from the evident partisan divide that permeated the 2016 elections cycle.
“Ours was not a campaign but rather an incredible and great movement,” Trump said in his speech.
Clinton had yet to deliver a concession speech but had called Trump to concede the election as of press time.
Trump will be sworn into office Jan. 20.
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