Donald Trump has been elected president of the United States. The Republican nominee won after capturing Wisconsin’s 10 electoral votes, putting him over the 270 threshold. The Associated Press declared Trump the winner at 2:29 a.m. Eastern.
Speaking to his supporters Trump said Hillary Clinton called him to congratulate him on his victory. The president-elect said he “congratulated her and her family on a very, very hard-fought campaign.”
Trump struck a theme of unity during his victory speech, which was in stark contrast to the divisive campaign rhetoric he became known for.
“I say it is time for us to come together as one united people,” said Trump.
“For those who have chosen not to support me in the past, of which there were a few people, I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so we can work together and unify our great country,” he said, the stage crowded with family and his most loyal allies.
The 2016 election will go down as one of the most vicious presidential campaigns in modern history, as Clinton tried to paint Trump as a reckless bully and Trump belittled his rival as a corrupt insider who belonged behind bars.
‘Trump will never be president’
The election serves as vindication for Trump, a New York-bred businessman and a former reality TV star whose appeal was underestimated from the start.
While pundits assumed his poll numbers would sink as soon as voters started taking the race seriously, Trump was drawing thousands each night to rallies packed full of angry, largely white supporters who felt ignored and lied to by Washington.
Trump’s election night sweep came as a surprise to political analyst who watched most of the key swing states go red. He won Ohio, Florida and North Carolina. He also took down the Democratic Party’s “blue firewall” by scoring victories in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, states that haven’t supported a Republican presidential candidate since 1988 and 1984 respectively.
It was a banner night for Republicans. The party held onto both the House and the Senate, which will put Trump, in the White House, in a powerful position to implement his agenda, at least until the 2018 mid-term elections.
Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan called Trump Tuesday night to congratulate him on his “incredible victory.”
“We are eager to work hand-in-hand with the new administration to advance an agenda to improve the lives of the American people,” Ryan, who had a rocky relationship with Trump at times, said in a statement. “This has been a great night for our party, and now we must turn our focus to bringing the country together.”
Jackpot in Jersey
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was the first prominent establishment Republican to endorse Trump’s campaign. Not long after that Christie was tapped to lead Trump’s transition team. The prospects of Christie leaving office early to take a position in Trump’s administration are now very real. If he does leave early, Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno would become the state’s next governor. This would give her an incumbents advantage should she decide to run for governor in 2017.
On the border
Another impact of last night’s Trump’s victory was on the issue of immigration. Searches for “move to Canada” and “immigrate to Canada” spiked Tuesday night as election returns showed Trump winning. “Canada” was a leading U.S. trend on Twitter, with more than one million tweets.
While much of the chatter was clearly tongue-in-cheek, the website for Citizenship and Immigration Canada was down at the same time. Agency officials could not be immediately reached for comment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report