It's official: Donald Trump will be the 45th president of the United States of America.
The Associated Press called the election for Trump at 2:31 a.m. Wednesday morning. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who made history in her bid to become the country's first female president, had won 215 electoral votes in a race that was much closer than many had predicted.
The shocking upset also kept control of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives in the GOP column, meaning all three bodies will be controlled by Republicans come January.
The bombastic businessman, whose campaign made headlines for polarizing and divisive rhetoric, took an uncharacteristically civil tone in his acceptance speech.
"Hillary has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time, and we owe her a debt of gratitude," Trump said in his victory speech in front of a crowd of supporters at the Midtown Hilton Hotel in New York City. "I will be president for all Americans. And this is so important to me."
Just eight years after the U.S. elected its first Black president, American voters chose a new leader who ran on promises to roll back much of the progressive agenda put forth by Barack Obama. On the campaign trail, Trump at times pledged to repeal Obamacare, create punishments for women seeking abortions, and build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
These platforms are in direct contrast to the policies of Obama who, in his last days stumping for Clinton on the campaign trail, asked Americans to renew their hope for a better future. Instead, voters proved to be drawn to Trump's campaign — one that promised a return to the country's past.
"This is the people revolting against the Washington establishment that doesn’t seem to be able to get anything done, whether it’s the president, the former secretary of state, or for that matter, a lot of the Congress," former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a key Trump surrogate, told press at the campaign celebration in midtown Manhattan.
He added that tonight's victory signaled an end to the Clinton legacy. "Maybe the Clinton chapter is over now," he said. "Enough disgrace to America. Enough disgrace to the presidency. Enough disgrace to the state department."
Guiliani would not comment on whether he would be a part of a Trump cabinet, but noted that he knew his candidate was going to win after he claimed victory in Florida.
In fact, the election did turn in Trump's favor when he managed to hold on to key swing states such as Florida and Ohio, closing off a path to victory for Clinton. Previously, pollsters had predicted that Trump would most likely lose in states like Wisconsin and, possibly, Florida.
"It was amazing," 23-year-old Laura Loomer told Refinery29 after the Associated Press called the sunshine state for Donald Trump. "I went to College in Florida for four years, and I remember working on the Mitt Romney campaign and I was so disappointed about Romney losing Florida, because at 2 in the morning, there was still people waiting in lines, because the system was so screwed up."
Melania Trump's executive assistant, 28-year-old Erica Maestro, said that what made Trump an attractive candidate was that he's different from politicians. "He’s open-minded. He speaks more like what the people want to hear and what the people think," she said.
Clinton, who reportedly conceded to Trump by phone in the early morning hours, did not address supporters gathered at the Javits Center in New York.
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