Wednesday July 24, 2024
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president-trumpVOA News (New York, WashingtonDonald Trump will be the next president of the United States.

The billionaire businessman, who was widely underestimated and even mocked by the political and media class throughout his campaign, pulled off a stunning and decisive win Tuesday over his rival, ex-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“I pledge to every citizen of our land to be a president for all Americans,” said an exuberant Trump, surrounded by his family and top aides at a victory party in New York City early Wednesday.

President Barack Obama congratulated Trump over the phone and invited the president-elect to meet with him at the White House on Thursday.

“Ensuring a smooth transition of power is one of the top priorities the President identified at the beginning of the year and a meeting with the President-elect is the next step,” Press Secretary Josh Earnest said.

First elective office

It is an improbable victory for a candidate who has never held elected office and who ran one of the most unorthodox campaigns in U.S. history. It also brings to an end one of the most contentious and divisive presidential campaigns in recent memory.

Trump, a Republican, captured at least 288 electoral votes compared with 215 for the Democrat Clinton, according to figures early Wednesday. Despite his strong electoral vote tally, Trump appeared to be headed for a narrow loss in the popular vote. It would be just the fourth time in U.S. history that the presidential winner has lost the popular vote.

At Trump headquarters, the scene was jubilant, though remnants of a divisive campaign were still evident. Even as it became clear that Trump would win, his supporters repeatedly broke out in chants of “lock her up,” referring to the Democratic nominee.

“There was tremendous excitement among Trump supporters to begin with, and it grew and grew as results started coming in,” says White House correspondent Mary Alice Salinas, who was at the Trump victory party. “Many Trump supporters say they aren’t surprised at the win — they knew the polls were better for Trump than many had expected.”

Investors reacted less positively, with global markets and U.S. stock futures sent into turmoil as it became clear Trump would win.

Polling failure

Trump’s victory amounts to a massive failure for opinion polls, which showed Clinton with a seemingly safe 3-4 point lead in the final days of the campaign. Many respected pollsters had put her odds of winning at more than 90 percent.   Continue reading