Donald Trump overcomes polls to defeat Hillary Clinton

In a night where Hillary Clinton was poised to win and become the nation’s first female president, late surges in several swing states and surprising victories in historically Democratic states handed Donald Trump the presidency.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton came into the night up in nearly every poll, including Virginia and Florida. By the end of the night, however, Donald Trump stole Florida and almost took Virginia in a race that looked almost unwinnable for him.

“It is time for us to come together as one united people” Trump told supporters.

As polls closed on the east coast, many of the vital swing states — Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Ohio — looked like potential locks for Clinton. As more and more of the votes started coming in, however, the states took an extreme upward turn towards Trump. And while Virginia did come back to Clinton, many rural counties helped swing the states, and the larger populated areas couldn’t push the nomination back to Clinton.

“I’m sick to my stomach. It says so much about our country,” said Scott Mckinnis, who voted for Hillary Clinton.

And the night only got better for Trump. Despite the last-minute loss in Virginia, Trump ended up winning Wisconsin and Michigan — two states that have voted democrat since 1992.

Trump’s path to the White House was very limited at the beginning of the day. Many polls had him down by roughly four percent — which included losses in North Carolina and New Hampshire. As the electoral map unraveled, however, the path began to widen for Donald Trump.

Donald Trump’s victory may be one for the ages. At several points in this electoral season, Trump was down by double digits in some polls, and trailed in a few national polls by as much as double digits. But this entire election cycle has been down on Donald Trump — despite his abundance of media coverage. Many pundits and analysts didn’t think Trump would even win the Republican primary. Nate Silver, found and editor-in-chief of FiveThirtyEight, told an audience back in September of 2015 that Trump couldn’t win the primary. A Business Insider article quoted Silver saying that, “I don’t think that Donald Trump is very likely to win the nomination because he’s not really a Republican.”

14 months later, Nate Silver — the man who called all 50 states correct in the 2012 election — missed five.

Here’s how Donald Trump’s path to the election shaped up:

4 P.M. PST

As polls began closing, CNN calls Donald Trump the winner of Kentucky and Indiana, while Vermont goes to Hillary Clinton. CNN also reports North Carolina would leave their polling locations open late, as many polling locations experience issues with electronic voting machines.’s projections shows Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning the election at 71.4 percent. Florida numbers began to flood in, and the state flips back and forth between the two candidates.

5 P.M. PST

MSNBC declares Donald Trump the winner of South Carolina, garnering nine more electoral votes. CNN calls Oklahoma, Tennessee and Mississippi for Trump, increasing his total electoral vote count to 52. CNN calls, Delaware, D.C., Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Illinois for Clinton, giving her 68 electoral college votes. Florida and North Carolina start out in favor of Clinton, but her lead shrinks as many of the smaller counties go to Trump. Ohio starts out in favor of Trump, but early numbers from Franklin county (the county where Columbus is located) push Clinton out in front.

6 P.M. PST

CNN calls Alabama for Trump, raising his electorate total to 61. Clinton loses her lead in both North Carolina and Ohio, and is down to Trump in New Hampshire. The New York Times reports that Trump has a 61 percent chance to win North Carolina.

7 P.M. PST

Many other states (Texas, Missouri, Louisiana, Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming and Montana) are called for Trump, and New York and New Mexico are called for Clinton, bringing the electoral college total to 168 to 122 in favor of Trump. Virginia is called for Clinton, but initial numbers show her losing in Michigan and Wisconsin.

8 P.M. PST

The Associated Press calls Clinton the winner of Colorado and Time Magazine calls California for Clinton, but the Associated Press calls Florida for Trump. Time also calls Idaho for Trump, and USA Today calls North Carolina for Trump, moving his lead to 216 to 197. A map tweeted by King 5 in Seattle shows Washington and Oregon in favor of Clinton, while Trump wins Ohio and Iowa.

9 P.M. PST

Trump wins Georgia and surpasses Clinton in Pennsylvania. Trump also maintains a lead in Wisconsin and Michigan. FiveThirtyEight gives him an 84 percent chance of winning the nomination. Clinton wins Nevada, bringing the vote totals to 244 to 215 in favor of Trump.

10 P.M. PST

The Guardian says Pennsylvania goes to Trump, pulling him only six points away from winning the nomination. Trump leads in Michigan and Wisconsin by close to 70,000 votes, and leads in Arizona. Clinton has a lead in New Hampshire.

11 P.M. PST

The Guardian calls Alaska for Trump, pulling him only three points away from the nomination. John Podesta, Chairman of the Clinton campaign, addresses the crowd at Clinton’s victory party to tell them all that she will not be speaking tonight. At 11:30 p.m., CNN calls Wisconsin for Trump. The Washington Post projects Trump at 276 and declares him as the President of the United States. CNN reports that Hillary Clinton is calling to concede the election to Donald Trump.


Electoral Vote Breakdown