Real-estate tycoon to take oath on Jan 10 as 45th US president
NEW YORK: Republican Donald Trump stunned the world by defeating heavily favored Hillary Clinton in the U.S. presidential election, ending eight years of Democratic rule and sending the United States on a new, uncertain path.
A wealthy real-estate developer and former reality TV host, Trump rode a wave of anger toward Washington insiders to win the White House race against Clinton, the Democratic candidate whose gold-plated establishment resume includes stints as a first lady, US senator and secretary of state.
Worried a Trump victory could cause economic and global uncertainty, investors were in full flight from risky assets such as stocks, and the US dollar sank.
The Associated Press and Fox News projected that Trump had collected just enough of the 270 state-by-state electoral votes needed to win a four-year term that starts on Jan. 20, taking battleground states where presidential elections are traditionally decided.
Trump, appearing with his family before cheering supporters in a New York hotel ballroom, said it was time to heal the divisions caused by the campaign and find common ground. “It is time for us to come together as one united people,” Trump said.
He praised Clinton for her service and said he had received a call from her to congratulate him on the win. “I will be president for all Americans.”
Trump had repeatedly slammed his campaign rival as “crooked” during their bruising campaign.
A short time earlier, Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta told supporters at her election rally in New York to go home. “We’re not going to have anything more to say tonight,” he said.
Victorious in a cliffhanger race that opinion polls had forecast was Clinton’s to win, Trump won avid support among a core base of white non-college educated workers with his promise to be the “greatest jobs president that God ever created.”
In his victory speech, he said he had a great economic plan and would double US economic growth and embark on a project of renewal. His win raises a host of questions for the United States at home and abroad.
He campaigned on a pledge to take the country on a more isolationist, protectionist “America First” path. He has vowed to impose a 35 per cent tariff on goods exported to the United States by US companies that went abroad.
Both candidates, albeit Trump more than Clinton, had historically low popularity ratings in an election that many voters characterized as a choice between two unpleasant alternatives.
Trump, who at 70 will be the oldest first-term US president, came out on top after a bitter and divisive campaign that focused largely on the character of the candidates and whether they could be trusted to serve as the country’s 45th president.
The presidency will be Trump’s first elected office, and it remains to be seen how he will work with Congress, even though Republicans were set to retain control of both chambers. (Reuters)