In a forceful rebuke of the American political establishment, Donald J. Trump on Tuesday was elected the 45th president of the United States. His improbable win followed one of the most wildly unpredictable and bitter campaigns in the nation’s history.
Trump, the billionaire real estate developer and reality TV star, defeated former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton in a stunning upset, running the table in battleground states across the country — from Florida and North Carolina to Ohio and Pennsylvania.
He declared victory Tuesday night before a large crowd of enthusiastic supporters, pledging to help unite the country after his rancorous battle with Clinton.
“I say it is time for us to come together as one united people,” Trump said at the Midtown Hilton in New York City. He said he congratulated Clinton on a “very, very hard-fought campaign.”
Clinton called Trump sometime after 2 a.m. ET to concede the race, he told supporters. Clinton will not address supporters on Tuesday night, her campaign chairman John Podesta said.
Trump, 70, triumphed across the South, Plains and the Rust Belt, where the Republican candidate’s volatile mix of economic populism and freewheeling bravado resonated with millions of white working-class voters alienated by globalization and cultural change.
Clinton, 69, who entered Election Day with a modest lead in most national polls, failed to maintain her narrow advantage in crucial states like Pennsylvania and North Carolina. She carried traditional Democratic strongholds along the Northeast and the West, earning her at least 218 electoral votes.
President-elect Trump will be the first person to win the White House without having held elected office or served in the U.S. armed forces.
His unexpected success delays, for now, the election of the first woman Commander in Chief — a distinction Clinton had long hoped to earn.
Here’s the current tally, according to NBC News projections:
Clinton wins: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine (three of four electoral votes), Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington state and Washington, D.C.
Trump wins: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida (apparent winner), Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska (four of five electoral votes), North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Too close to call: Arizona, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota and New Hampshire.
In a parallel storyline, Republicans will retain control of the Senate and the House of Representatives, NBC News projects.
As millions of Americans cast their ballots Tuesday, early exit polls showed that large majorities of voters had an unfavorable view of both Trump and Clinton.
About six in 10 voters — 61 percent — said they had an unfavorable view of the real estate mogul, while only 37 percent viewed him favorably. A majority of voters — 54 percent — said they had an unfavorable view of the former secretary of state, and another 44 percent viewed her favorably.
The numbers appeared to underscore one of the driving themes of an unusually divisive campaign: Both candidates are astoundingly unpopular.
Heading into Election Day, Clinton held a narrow advantage, leading Trump by 4 points in the last NBC/Wall Street Journal poll taken before Tuesday.[Source: NBC News]