Donald Trump defies odds

Clinton fails to pick up majority of key swing states

Written By Iain Oldman and Matt Petras

Republican Donald Trump completed a comeback in the general election after trailing in the national polls for three months, including as much as 7 points just three weeks ago, to claim victory against Hillary Clinton in the United States presidential election.

Trump secured his nomination to be the 45th president of the United States with the largest margin of victory of electoral college votes since the 2008 presidential election between Barack Obama and John McCain, when the Republican Arizona senator lost by 192 electoral college votes.

Clinton was losing by 72 electoral college votes at the time of publication.

“I will be president for all Americans,” Trump said in his victory speech, delivered shortly before 3 a.m. Wednesday morning. “No dream is too big, no challenge is too great. America will no longer settle for anything else but the best.”

Clinton did not give a concession speech early Wednesday morning after the race was called, though Trump began his victory speech by saying that she had called him to congratulate him on the results.

“The silent majority really stepped up tonight,” said Point Park sophomore stage management major Victoria Lemon. Lemon, a resident educator at the university, supported Trump due to his economic stances, and she believes his social values align with her own.

“This intensely gives me hope for the future,” Lemon said.

Former United Student Government (USG) senator Mario Avila, a lifelong Republican, had an unenthusiastic reaction when the election was called in Trump’s favor.

“This is rough, Trump is not a traditional candidate with anything I can reference,” Avila said. “I’m afraid of what his message is going to be.” Avila nonetheless voted for Trump via absentee ballot in his home state of New Jersey.

Trump’s upset victory came on the backs of several swing states that many expected Clinton to win. Florida was the first swing state called by several national media outlets, establishing the narrative that continued for the rest of the night. Trump ended up claiming Florida by 1.4 percentage points – a margin of less than 150,000 votes.

From there, the states kept going red. Ohio was called shortly after Florida, where Trump won by more than 450,000 votes. North Carolina, a state Mitt Romney won in 2012 but one that was widely considered a battleground state this cycle, was won by Trump by a margin of 4 percentage points.

Pennsylvania, which has voted democratic since the 1992 presidential election, delivered the final nail in the coffin for Clinton. The Keystone State voted for Trump by a margin less than 1 percent, according to number released by the state at the time of publishing.

Trump’s victory has to be considered a massive upset, considering the polls leading up to election night. According to poll tracking site RealClearPolitics, Trump hasn’t led a national poll average since July 31. Clinton led by as much as 7.1 percentage points as recently as Oct. 18, though the gap closed considerably before the election.

Clinton dropped by more than a percentage point in the national polls after FBI director James Comey announced that an investigation into the former secretary of state’s emails was to be re-opened.

Comey sent a letter to Congress that stated no new incriminating evidence was found in the emails less than 48 hours before the general election.

Despite Clinton’s loss, her campaign raised and spent roughly double the money the Trump campaign did, according to Bloomberg. The Clinton campaign raised around $1 billion, whereas the Trump campaign raised around $512 million. The Clinton campaign has spent $897.7 million vs. $429.5 million from the Trump campaign.

Further regarding finances, the prospect of a Trump presidency has created great anxiety from investors around the globe.

After learning of Trump’s victory Wednesday night at a watch party sponsored by Student Activity Involvement and Leadership (SAIL), a group of 10 Point Park freshmen, all friends, decided to leave. Eventually they ended up in a circle in the main lobby of Lawrence Hall, looking at their shoes and talking about their fear and disappointment.

“I’m disappointed in a lot of my friends and family,” said Sasha McConnell.

Vincenzo Vitze, a freshman cinema production major, a part of the group, described him and his peers as upset liberals. Vitze voted for Sanders in the primary, but was willing to say he was voting firmly for Clinton rather than just against Trump in the general election.

“She was going to move forward on so many progressive issues,” Vitze said.

For this group, the choice was easy: Clinton must be elected.

“As a bisexual woman and someone who has a lot of black, Mexican, Native American and LGBTQPIA+ friends and family that mean the world to me, it wasn’t a compromise I could ever consider gambling everything on,” McConnell said.

Other Clinton supporters were also distressed after learning about Trump’s victory. Point Park’s Her Campus president Casey McGaw was upset over the amount of votes for third party candidates and other write-ins.

“I hope you enjoyed your protest vote,” McGaw said.

Brennen Burke, a sophomore student, is proud of his vote for Gary Johnson, even though he is receiving pushback from his peers.

“If I had to vote again, I would still vote for Gary Johnson,” Burke said.

As election night dragged into the early morning, the world at large woke up to the news that Trump would be the presumptive president-elect.

Two far-right, anti-immigration European political figures praised Trump and the American people before the race was even called. Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Front in France and one of the country’s presidential candidates, wrote on Twitter: “Congratulations to the new president of the United States, Donald Trump, and to the American People — free!”

The international markets reacted poorly to the news of Trump’s victory. Wall Street futures fell as much as 5 percent and the American dollar fell across the board. The dollar fell by almost one percent compared to the Euro.

The New York Times reported that the Bank of Japan and the country’s Finance Ministry said that they would hold an emergency meeting to evaluate the plummeting markets.

Many Americans, however, are just happy to have the election come to an end.

In an exit poll conducted by Politico, 85 percent of voters said “they just want it to be over”. Just over half of those polled said that they were “angry,” while 39 percent admitted they felt “depressed” because of the election.

Regardless, the 2016 presidential election drove a record amount of voters to the polls. USA Today reported that voter participation was up 4.7 percent across the country, and a record 46 million Americans participated in early voting across 34 states and the District of Columbia.

There were reports coming from the University of Pittsburgh campus in Oakland in the early morning of students protesting and rioting.

As divisive and ugly as the presidential race has turned over the past six months – Trump called Clinton a “nasty woman,” and Clinton accused half of his supporters of being a “basket of deplorables” (Clinton later expressed regret for the statement) – the president-to-be gathered a composed and reconciliatory tone for his victory speech.

“Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division,” he said. “To all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people.”