In what was a bizarre 18 month campaign, Republican candidate Donald J. Trump has won the presidential election to become the next president of the United States. Before voting began a majority of polls had democratic candidate Hillary Clinton ahead by a short margin.
Early voter analysis initially looked positive for Clinton, witha record turnout of Hispanic voters in Florida, many tipped that the democratic candidate might just be able to win the essential state. No Republican candidate had won the state since 2004, with the Hispanic support bottoming out for the Republican party. But Trump managed to galvanise a coalition of mainly white US voters, which outweighed Clinton’s support among minorities and young voters. Swing states played a vital role in the election of the former apprentice star and Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania were not the states that Trump was anticipated to win – but did . It was one of the reasons that all predictions pegged him with only a 28% chance of victory.
As time passed on election night it became clear that these States were not only in fluctuating, but that Trump had a serious chance of winning them. Clinton barely scraped over a victory in Virginia. Even Pennsylvania, home to hugely pro-Hillary Philadelphia, was eventually lost to Trump.
The hurdles that needed to be overcome in states where seen to be improbably and Trump’s path to the Whitehouse seen as too narrow or unlikely. But as results and prediction started to colour in the US electoral map late last night, it painted a picture of a Trump route to victory, with Clinton’s chances to win narrowing hour after hour.
Comments have been pouring in from international leaders since the news that Donald Trump has won the election was confirmed, with An Taoiseach Enda Kenny congratulating the now 45th President, expressing his excitement at working with the new administration and stating ‘I am confident that under his leadership bilateral relations will continue to prosper’.
The wider geopolitical ripples of what has already been described as the greatest political shock and result in modern history remains to be seen. From an Irish context, the protectionist rhetoric of Trump’s trade policy coupled with the effects of Brexit will mean Ireland’s open market economy will no doubt now enter a period of insecurity for what the future months and years will bring.
Oisin MacCanna | Politics Editor