Trump Defeats Clinton in Unexpectedly Close Election

Live analysis and commentary from the Atlantic Sentinel on the day America elects its next president.

American presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton
American presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton (Gage Skidmore/Hillary for America/Barbara Kinney)
  • Americans have chosen businessman Donald Trump to succeed Barack Obama as president. Democrat Hillary Clinton lost the election by falling short in key states, including Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.
  • Republicans also defended their majorities in Congress. They are projected to win 236 seats in the House of Representatives, where 218 are needed for a majority, and 51 seats in the Senate.
  • Boris Ryvkin argues that the emerging nationalist challenge to the post-national consensus has achieved its most important victory to date.
  • András Tóth-Czifra writes that there is palpable anxiety about Trump’s victory in Europe.
Nick Ottens Nick Ottens November 8, 20162:09 PM

Good day from Europe and welcome to our live blog about the American elections! You can read all about our plans for the day here. I will start with a few posts about how the elections are perceived on this side of the Atlantic.

I hope you’ll stay with us through election day and into election night. We have contributors from Europe and the United States analyzing the election and sharing their views. Leave a reply at the bottom of this page to join the conversation!

Nick Ottens Nick Ottens November 8, 20162:23 PM
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton take part in a presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, September 26
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton take part in a presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, September 26 (Hillary for America/Barbara Kinney)

The view from the United Kingdom is that today’s president election in the United States is the most consequential in over half a century.

Edward Luce even argues in the Financial Times that the stakes are higher this year than they ever have been since the end of the Civil War.

That may be a little hyperbolic. Imagine Republican Wendell Willkie had won the 1940 election and kept the United States out of World War II.

But Alex Massie is probably right when he writes in The Spectator — Britain’s leading conservative weekly — that in no other contest has the idea of America been so obviously at stake.

Click here to continue reading.

Nick Ottens Nick Ottens November 8, 20162:32 PM

NBC’s political team argues that the Clinton-Trump contest can be seen as the final battle in an eight-year “Obama War”.

You have one candidate (Clinton) who has embraced 98 percent of Obama’s agenda, as the current president has spent much of the fall campaigning for her, including last night in Philadelphia. And you have the other candidate (Trump) who not only first entered the political fray of the Obama era by questioning the president’s birthplace and legitimacy for office, but who is also Obama’s polar opposite in so many ways.

That is why the divides in this election — on age, gender, geography and race — are the same ones as four years ago, according to NBC.

With one caveat: Trump is accelerating the flight of white working-class voters in especially Northern industrial states to the Republican Party. Obama still won Iowa and Ohio in 2012. Trump is on track to take both. But Clinton should make up for that with stronger support from Asian Americans and Hispanics, especially in Southern and Western states like North Carolina and maybe Arizona.

Nick Ottens Nick Ottens November 8, 20163:24 PM

The Brookings Institution’s Thomas Wright tells The Atlantic that Trump’s foreign policy is steeped in a disregard for America’s alliance system, mercantilist economics and a fondness for authoritarianism. If, as president, he makes good on his promises, it could jeopardize the entire American-led world order.

Collectively, that order operated in the West until 1991, and then went more global — not completely global — and really is the organizing principle for world politics today. And that order rests primarily on American power and American foreign policy, in that others want it and like it, but it’s hard to see it persisting if the US decided to pull out of it.

This is why allies in Asia and Europe are anxious and paying such close attention to today’s election. A victory for Trump could portend enormous changes in international relations.

Nick Ottens Nick Ottens November 8, 20164:16 PM
Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte meets with American president Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington DC, November 29, 2011
Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte meets with American president Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington DC, November 29, 2011 (White House/Pete Souza)

If they had a vote, Dutch people would overwhelmingly pick Hillary Clinton to succeed Barack Obama as president.

Partly this is because the socially liberal Dutch find the reactionary views of America’s Republicans on everything from abortion to gay marriage abhorrent.

Dutch media also have a pro-Democratic bias. There was little favorable coverage of Mitt Romney four years ago and Donald Trump can count on even less sympathy.

Support for the Republican is confined to populist right-wing blogs, like GeenStijl, and the nationalist Freedom Party of Geert Wilders.

Commentators see echoes of the Clinton-Trump contest in the Netherlands’ own election, which is still a few months away.

Click here to continue reading.

Nick Ottens Nick Ottens November 8, 20164:28 PM

Russian and pro-Kremlin outlets warn that the consequence of a Hillary Clinton victory today may be war.

Russia’s NTV believes the attack will come from tiny Estonia. The Czech website Parlamentní listy reports that war is imminent and the Clinton-supporting philanthropist George Soros is to blame. American conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, a Trump supporter, claims the war is already here as a result of Soros’ proclamations.

Yes, all of this is nonsense. But plenty of people, who don’t (or can’t) get their information from other sources, believe it.

David Downing David Downing November 8, 20168:24 PM

Here in Britain, some right-wing publications and commentators believe a Trump presidency would be better for the country post-Brexit than a Clinton victory.

This due to the fact that Obama, and the Democrats in general — who opposed Britain’s exit from the European Union — have made clear that in terms of trade deals we are “at the back of the queue”.

Trump, however, as you may remember, welcomed Brexit and has said a post-Brexit trade deal with the United Kingdom would be near the top of his agenda.

The United Kingdom will need as many trade deals as it can get once it has left the EU and drafting one with the United States would be a top priority. Hence Trump is seen in some quarters as the better outcome.

Nick Ottens Nick Ottens November 8, 20168:27 PM
Germans demonstrate against American presidential candidate Donald Trump in Berlin, September 23
Germans demonstrate against American presidential candidate Donald Trump in Berlin, September 23 (Avaaz)

Many Germans regard the presidential election in the United States with apprehension today as their most important ally toys with electing what the Cologne-base tabloid Express has called a “horror clown”.

Donald Trump’s German roots are no source of pride in the country of his grandfather.

Even the populist and right-wing daily Bild, which shares Trump’s critiques of multiculturalism and globalization, calls the New Yorker a “dumb, lying, dangerous, sexist swindler.”

Click here to continue reading.

David Downing David Downing November 8, 20168:35 PM

As some still head to the ballot box, Trump has already started his first election-related lawsuit.

Over in Nevada, he is suing Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, for supposedly keeping the polls open two hours later than they should have during early voting.

According to Trump, this was coordinated with Democratic Party activists to favor the Democrats.

Clark County officials have said they did not extend voting hours, but they did keep the polls open for anybody who was waiting in line at the time the polls closed (which is normal).

Nick Ottens Nick Ottens November 8, 20168:41 PM

We have added state-by-state projections for the presidential and Senate elections to the top of the blog.

These forecasts are taken from Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight. They looked at hundreds of polls and simulated thousands of possible election outcomes to calculate each candidate’s chance of victory.

They give Hillary Clinton a 71.4-percent chance of victory. Other prognosticators have better odds.

Chances of Democrats taking control of the Senate are basically 50-50, according to FiveThirtyEight.

We’ll color the states in brighter colors once we have results.

Aleksandar Malinov Aleksandar Malinov November 8, 20168:45 PM

From “nothing will change” to “Trump has to win because he is a man” — a handful of Moscow residents share their views concerning the American elections.

The trend in this video by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty seems to be one of balanced pessimism concerning the future of American-Russian relations and overall support for Trump’s candidacy by ordinary Russians.

Nick Ottens Nick Ottens November 8, 20168:59 PM

Nate Silver writes at FiveThirtyEight which states are critically important for the two candidates.

Trump needs to put a serious dent in the Democrats’ “blue wall” in the Northeast. New Hampshire may be winnable. Mitt Romney fell just 40,000 votes short of defeating Barack Obama there four years ago.

Then, assuming Trump also wins Ohio, he would need at least one more industrial state to put him on track to 270 electoral votes. This is why he has campaigned so vigorously in Michigan and Pennsylvania lately, despite the polls putting Clinton way ahead there.

Clinton could hedge against any Northeastern incursion by winning either Florida or North Carolina, writes Silver. “Florida, especially, would make a Trump win almost impossible because of its 29 electoral votes.”

If Clinton wins both Florida and North Carolina — in addition to the states where the polls have her comfortably ahead — the race will probably be over.

Nick Ottens Nick Ottens November 8, 20169:10 PM

Also at FiveThirtyEight, Harry Enten reminds us that presidential polls have been off by a point or two since at least the 1980s. The 2008 forecast was remarkably precise: the national polling average put Barack Obama up 7.6 points when he won by 7.3. But four years later, the same average gave Obama a 1.2-point lead when he actually defeated Mitt Romney by a margin of 3.9.

Seldom have the polls, in aggregate, predicted the wrong winner, so that should reassure Democrats.

But even a mild swing in Trump’s favor — whether it’s due to voters changing their minds at the last minute or a genuine polling error — could make this a much closer race than the prognosticators have been telling us.

David Downing Anonymous
Shaun Riordan Shaun Riordan November 8, 20169:58 PM
Early morning in Madrid, Spain, June 14, 2011
Early morning in Madrid, Spain, June 14, 2011 (Wendy Rauw)

There is unanimous support across the Spanish political spectrum for Hillary Clinton. Even on the Spanish political right, Donald Trump is seen as beyond the pale.

That said, there has been little debate about what a Trump presidency would mean — for Spain, Europe or Latin America. Spaniards simply assume that Trump cannot possibly win.

But neither has there been any real analysis of a potential Clinton Administration. Spanish commentators tend to treat it as the only viable outcome and assume it would mean business as usual — a continuation of the Obama policies. Few realize Clinton’s priorities may be different, that her focus is on Asia and that she insists Europe needs to pay more for its own defense.

Click here to continue reading.

András Tóth-Czifra András Tóth-Czifra November 8, 201610:04 PM

Other than Hillary Clinton, there isn’t much to remind us of the 1990s tonight. One thing in common with the 90s, however, is that many in Europe are looking across the Atlantic for a sign. A Trump presidency would be a breakthrough for subversive and nativist political projects and personalities in Europe, many of which are directly or indirectly supported by Russia and which would feel liberated and enabled.

In Europe, two national leaders endorsed Donald Trump: Viktor Orbán, the prime minister of Hungary, and Miloš Zeman, the president of the Czech Republic.

There is a certain complacency in European political circles, where it is assumed a proportional electoral system and parliamentary democracy are safeguards against the emergence of a European Trump.

This is not true. Taking power in a proportional, parliamentary system rather than through an established party like the Republican Party in the United States calls for different tools and tactics, but as we have seen from the examples of mainstream European parties taking over the agenda of the “traditional” far right — fearful of losing power to a rapidly ascending populist — proportional systems are far from foolproof.

David Downing David Downing November 8, 201610:09 PM
Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi arrives for a European Council meeting in Brussels, June 24, 2011
Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi arrives for a European Council meeting in Brussels, June 24, 2011 (European Council)

Italians may have a unique perspective on the presidential election in the United States. You might say they know what a Donald Trump presidency would be like. They had Silvio Berlusconi.

Berlusconi is and was a successful businessman who used that as the foundation for his political career, leveraging his status as an outsider to win support.

When he first ran for office in the 1990s, Berlusconi was greeted with a fair amount of ridicule and derision. But he launched his conservative party, Forza Italia, when the country was in the middle of its biggest postwar political shakeup, which gave him an opening.

Sound familiar?

Click here to continue reading.

András Tóth-Czifra András Tóth-Czifra November 8, 201610:27 PM
Estonian prime minister Taavi Rõivas and NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen deliver a news conference in Brussels, April 3, 2014
Estonian prime minister Taavi Rõivas and NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen deliver a news conference in Brussels, April 3, 2014 (NATO)

For Eastern Europe and the Baltic states in particular, a Donald Trump presidency could be disastrous.

The Republican has cast doubt on whether the United States would honor NATO’s collective defense clause, Article 5, under his leadership.

Hillary Clinton, the likely winner on Tuesday, will have to ease Eastern European anxieties while at the same time supporting a genuine European defense policy that is based on a considerable hike in budgets.

The Baltics have been the vanguards of higher defense spending. This is why it is so important that while the world’s eyes are set on the United States, a political crisis is unfolding in Estonia, arguably the showcase state of the former East Bloc and so far a staunch NATO ally.

Click here to continue reading.

Nick Ottens Nick Ottens November 8, 201610:33 PM

The first exit polls confirm two trends which could reshape the two political parties as we know them.

First is the shift of college-educated white voters from the Republican to the Democratic Party. This begun under Bill Clinton in the 1990s, accelerated under Barack Obama and has now reached the point where half of white voters with a college education — who were once the backbone of center-right Republicanism — are supporting Hillary Clinton.

On the other end, white voters without college degrees — once the backbone of the Democrats as America’s workers’ party — are switching to Donald Trump’s Republican Party en masse. Just a quarter are projected to vote for Clinton.

This is why some, including me, are predicting that the future Democratic Party will be pro-market, socially liberal and internationalist while the future Republican Party, if they don’t look out, will be increasingly protectionist, reactionary and inward-looking.

The problem for Republicans is that it doesn’t look like such a program will be very popular.

Ian Armstrong Anonymous
András Tóth-Czifra Anonymous
András Tóth-Czifra András Tóth-Czifra November 9, 201612:04 AM

Here is another bit to the topic of similarities between Trump’s campaign and Brexit. According to a chart published in The Economist, out of the EU’s most prominent far-right parties, UKIP supporters are the keenest on supporting Trump along with those of the Sweden Democrats and France’s Front national.

Nick Ottens Nick Ottens November 9, 201612:05 AM

Let me correct one misconception: It’s not that the polls in the United Kingdom were saying the “remain” side would prevail in the referendum. The polls, in fact, were close and some had “leave” ahead. But it was the conventional wisdom (including from folks like me!) that dismissed the raw data and insisted remain must win.

David Downing Anonymous
Steve Keller Steve Keller November 9, 201612:19 AM

Georgia is apparently too close to call, which means that things are probably looking good for Clinton in North Carolina and Florida.

Part of it being too close to call: African Americans are making up the same share of the electorate in Georgia as they did in 2008, when Obama only lost by 5 points. This time around, 5 percent of the electorate is Asian American and another 5 percent is Hispanic — two groups which are going to go heavily Clinton.

David Downing David Downing November 9, 201612:27 AM

This election has the potential to redraw the political map of the United States as we know it.

The so-called “Solid South,” which since Richard Nixon has looked like a solid wall of red, could see its first cracks.

This would be due to several reasons.

First, there are growing minority populations in the South and minority voters tend to vote Democratic.

Second, there are two or three intertwined factors: higher college rates, millennials and urbanization. As many surveys show, millennial voters tend to be socially liberal and vote for the Democrats.

Alongside this, millennials are heading to Southern cities in large numbers. Cities like Dallas, Houston are some of the fastest-growing in America. Indeed, Texas alone has five of the country’s eleven fastest-growing cities.

Finally, there is college education. Much has been made of the divide between how college-educated white Americans are heading for the Democrats while those without a college degree are overwhelmingly heading for Trump.

What this shift also amplifies is idea that cities are progressive beacons and increasingly pitted against rural traditional voters.

Some cities, like New York and San Francisco, have long been seen as more liberal. Urban centers in the South are now turning into islands of blue in red states, which could eventually change the color of the entire state.

If Republicans aren’t careful, they could soon find themselves losing their strongholds without any answers.

Steve Keller Steve Keller November 9, 201612:37 AM

North Carolina just closed and exit polls are showing that the Trump campaign has a smaller than expected margin among college-educated whites.

The bad news for Clinton is that African American turnout is slightly down: 23 to 21 percent.

Nick Ottens Nick Ottens November 9, 201612:43 AM

Huge gender gaps are being reported.

In North Carolina, Clinton appears to have won female voters by 13 percent, up from a 2-percent gener gap in 2012.

In Virginia, preliminary exit polls figures suggest women are voting for Clinton 57 to 38 percent. That’s up from a 9-percent gender gap in the Democrat’s favor four years ago.

Steve Keller Steve Keller November 9, 201612:47 AM

One key thing about Ohio: Remember that almost the entire state party is not cooperating with Trump. John Kasich, the governor, even voted for John McCain.

I tend to think Trump’s going to win Ohio, but this is one of those data points which gives me pause.

Nick Ottens Nick Ottens November 9, 201612:48 AM

West Virginia has — predictably — been called for Trump. Once a blue state, it has leaned increasingly Republican in recent elections as a result of the demographic shift we have discussed here: non-college white voters switching parties.

There is another reason West Virginia hasn’t been keen on Democrats, however, and that has to do with the coal industry. Click here for background on that.

Nick Ottens Nick Ottens November 9, 20161:14 AM

Mark Kirk’s defeat in the Illinois Senate race to Democrat Tammy Duckworth fits a pattern, argues political scientist Dan Hopkins at FiveThirtyEight:

In recent years, the incumbent senators who have lost have been disproportionately moderates whose partisanship puts them at odds with their state.

In 2012, Democrats unseated Massachusetts’ Scott Brown. In 2014, Republicans returned the favor, beating moderate Democrats in Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina.

This replacement of moderates is one key driver of the polarization we see in the halls of Congress today: moderates whose partisanship doesn’t align with their state find it hard to keep their seats.

Nick Ottens Nick Ottens November 9, 20161:21 AM

Other than Kirk’s defeat in Illinois, no surprises so far. Clinton is projected to win Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts and New Jersey. Trump is projected to win Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Tennessee. Some have called Missouri for Trump already; it does seem likely he will there. The last time Missouri voted for a Democrat was in 1996.

The big wait is Florida. Marco Rubio is projected to win reelection as a senator down there, but Clinton and Trump are neck-and-neck in the presidential contest.

Steve Keller Steve Keller November 9, 20161:30 AM

Florida is tight, but one thing to keep in mind is that many heavily Democratic counties have not yet fully reported their results. Many Republican counties have.

Nick Ottens Nick Ottens November 9, 20161:32 AM

What Steve writes about Florida is apparently true for Virginia as well, where Trump is currently ahead. Harry Enten writes at FiveThirtyEight there’s still a ton of the vote left to report in the north of the state, specifically the heavily Democratic suburbs of Washington DC.

David Downing Anonymous
András Tóth-Czifra Anonymous
Nick Ottens Nick Ottens November 9, 20162:06 AM

Clinton wins New York, Trump wins Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Texas. No surprises there.

Everything else is still either too early or too close to call.

Chuck Schumer, as expected, wins reelection in New York. He is due to take Harry Reid’s place as the Democratic leader in the Senate.

Republicans are projected to win the Senate elections in Arizona, Kansas and the Dakotas. FiveThirtyEight now gives them a 69-percent chance of keeping control of the upper chamber.

All the networks have projected a Republican victory in the House of Representatives.

Steve Keller Steve Keller November 9, 20162:15 AM

According to The New York Times, we’re missing almost all North Carolina returns from heavily-Democratic Charlotte, Fayetteville and Greensboro. So keep that in mind when reading too heavily into results that are already in.

David Downing Anonymous
Nick Ottens Nick Ottens November 9, 20162:50 AM

North Carolina and Virginia are still too close to call with about 80 percent of the votes counted in both. The difference between Clinton and Trump in both states is roughly equal to the vote share for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate.

We are not going to have a Ralph Nader redux, are we?

Nick Ottens Nick Ottens November 9, 20163:05 AM

Trump is projected to take Missouri’s and Montana’s combined thirteen electoral votes while Republicans are projected to hold on to their Senate seats in Iowa and Utah. Clinton is projected to win New Mexico. All still as expected.

Utah is too early to call. There is a favorite son in the race there, conservative candidate Evan McMullin, who might just best Trump.

Nick Ottens Nick Ottens November 9, 20163:21 AM

Donald Trump is projected to win the election in the traditional swing state of Ohio.

Nearby Michigan is way tighter than anyone expected.

In Florida, almost all the votes are in and Clinton is still some 160,000 short — although turnout, especially Hispanic turnout, is up by millions, which you would think benefits Clinton.

In North Carolina, Republican Richard Burr is projected to win his Senate reelection, which may also not portend well for Clinton.

If she loses Florida and North Carolina, there is still a (narrow) path to 270 electoral votes. But then she cannot lose Michigan and Virginia and she certainly cannot lose Pennsylvania, which Republicans are eying now that Trump is doing so well in Michigan and Ohio.

Nick Ottens Nick Ottens November 9, 20163:27 AM

Clinton is projected to prevail in Virginia. That’s a relief for the Clinton side and makes up for the (expected) loss in Ohio.

Nick Ottens Nick Ottens November 9, 20163:34 AM

Clare Malone explains at FiveThirtyEight why the contest in Michigan is so close: voters without a college degree, which are trending Trump nationwide, account for nearly six in ten voters there.

Preliminary exit polls have shown that while Clinton is winning union households by a 16 point margin, that’s down from previous elections, where Democrats typically win that vote by about 20 points or more.

Nick Ottens Nick Ottens November 9, 20163:43 AM

The American Interest points out that if the Democrats lose the presidency tonight and fail to retake the Senate — both of which look like 50-50 propositions at this point — Republicans would control all branches of government, including the Supreme Court. “Strongest dominance of single party since before New Deal and perhaps before.”

Nick Ottens Nick Ottens November 9, 20164:00 AM

Fox News has called the Wisconsin Senate election for the Republican incumbent, Ron Johnson. If that holds up, it becomes pretty much impossible for Democrats to take back control of the upper chamber.

Nick Ottens Nick Ottens November 9, 20164:02 AM

Clinton is projected to win all the Pacific states, including delegate-rich California, while Trump is projected to win in Idaho. Again — that’s still the way everything is supposed to be.

Nick Ottens Nick Ottens November 9, 20164:05 AM

North Carolina has just been called for Trump. Clinton is also struggling in Michigan and even Wisconsin. This is turning into a very bad night for the Democrats.

Nick Ottens Nick Ottens November 9, 20164:15 AM

Various media, including Fox News and The Washington Post, have called Florida and Utah for Trump.

Clinton now has zero room for error. She needs to win Nevada, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — all states where she has been leading in the polls.

Nick Ottens Nick Ottens November 9, 20164:34 AM

My theory throughout this campaign has been that Democratic gains with minority and young voters, particularly in the Sun Belt states, would make up for their losses among white blue-collar in the Rust Belt states. I shouldn’t have been so sure of that, obviously. The shifts are there. Democrats are a coalition of upscale whites and ethnic as well as sexual minorities, many of whom live in the major coastal cities. These are voters who see diversity around them every day and take it for granted. They are outward-looking and more internationalist.

Republicans, by contrast, are increasingly white, increasingly rural and dissatisfied with the way the country has changed. These are voters who value homogeneity and have become more inward-looking.

My mistake was assuming they’re the minority.

It may yet turn out they are. Clinton has huge leads in populous states like California, New Jersey and New York. She could win the popular vote, but it’s starting to look like she will lose in the Electoral College.

Nick Ottens Nick Ottens November 9, 20164:36 AM

NBC agrees Trump is likely to win Florida and Utah and calls Iowa for the Republican as well.

Nick Ottens Nick Ottens November 9, 20164:39 AM

Dutch Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders congratulates Trump on Twitter, writing, “The people are taking their country back.”

As I reported earlier today, Wilders is hoping that a Trump victory may portend a better-than-expected election result for his own party in the Netherlands next year.

Nick Ottens Nick Ottens November 9, 20164:43 AM

If Clinton holds Michigan but loses Wisconsin, a 269-269 tie in the Electoral College becomes a distinct possibility. The election would then go to the House of Representatives, where each state delegation gets one vote.

Nick Ottens Nick Ottens November 9, 20164:49 AM

Josh Marshall argues at Talking Points Memo that one way to think about this election result is that this is what white nationalism means.

This is a politics driven by white identity, with white identity, especially among non-college educated white voters, as the organizing force of the community’s politics. That may only be making explicit what was implicit or secondary. But it’s a big deal.

András Tóth-Czifra András Tóth-Czifra November 9, 20165:13 AM

If present projections come true and the unimaginable happens, this has been a bumper year for Vladimir Putin.

Heading a country that is all but bankrupt and facing the domestic and diplomatic consequences of a failed war in eastern Ukraine at the beginning of the year, he later saw — and actively contributed to — the most serious blows suffered by the two columns of the liberal world order, the European Union and the United States, since the end of the Cold War. This can easily mean barely restricted freedom and encouragement for Putin and his allies in Europe and elsewhere to act — unless the West somehow pulls its self-defense mechanisms together.

Nick Ottens Nick Ottens November 9, 20165:15 AM

With Trump on the brink of winning this, it’s time to revisit Conor Friedersdorf’s call on Barack Obama to tyrant-proof the presidency on his way out.

Because of Obama’s actions, and those of his Republican predecessor, George W. Bush, a would-be American tyrant has all the tools he might need, Friedersdorf argued.

Under current precedent, the commander in chief can give a secret order to kill an American citizen with a drone strike without charges or trial.

Moreover, the president can order indefinite detentions without charges or trial and order the security services of the United States to torture detainees with an executive order — something Trump has explicitly said he would do.

The United States — indeed, the world — have been relying on Obama’s wisdom not to abuse those powers. That’s no way to protect democracy and rights — and Trump’s imminent victory makes clear why.

Nick Ottens Nick Ottens November 9, 20165:19 AM

Dow futures are down 838 points. That’s a bigger fall than occurred on September 11, 2001.

Nick Ottens Nick Ottens November 9, 20165:24 AM

Trump has taken the lead in Pennsylvania. It are mostly Republican counties that have yet to report their results, but votes also also still pouring in from Democratic-leaning Philadelphia.

Even if Clinton ekes out a victory in the state — which is starting to look less and less likely — it should never have been this close. Barack Obama won Pennsylvania by 300,000 votes last time around. The last time it voted for a Republican was in 1988.

Nick Ottens Nick Ottens November 9, 20165:32 AM

The Associated Press calls Nevada for Clinton. It’s only six electoral votes, but at this point Clinton needs electors wherever she can get them.

The Nasdaq and S&P 500 futures markets temporarily suspended trading this evening. In Japan, where it’s already afternoon, the Nikkei 225 is down 4.4 percent. The Mexican peso has suffered its biggest collapse since the 1994-95 crisis, when the country was forced to devaluate its currency and accept a bailout from the United States.

“A world is collapsing before our eyes,” writes Gérard Araud, the French ambassador to the United States, on Twitter.

Joseph Shupac Anonymous
Nick Ottens Nick Ottens November 9, 20165:56 AM

The Clinton campaign is hanging on by a thread, writes Harry Enten at FiveThirtyEight:

She needs to pull out Michigan and Pennsylvania and then hit one of two scenarios: 1. Win Alaska and New Hampshire or 2. win Arizona.

Early voting results in Arizona don’t suggest Clinton has a chance there and Alaska hasn’t voted for a Democrat since 1964.

Nick Ottens Nick Ottens November 9, 20166:09 AM

NBC is still not calling Wisconsin for Trump, although the Republican is ahead by some 80,000 votes there.

Given how close the outcome is in various key states, including Florida, we may be looking at a series of recounts, which could drag this out for weeks.

Nick Ottens Nick Ottens November 9, 20166:25 AM

Pat Toomey appears to have pulled off a victory in Pennsylvania’s Senate election, where the polls had favored his Democratic challenger, which means Republicans will definitively retain their majority in the upper chamber.

Clinton is around 50,000 votes short in the same state. 97 percent of the votes have been counted. Democrats may be hoping against hope at this point. Without Pennsylvania, there is no way Clinton is going to get 270 electoral votes.

Clinton voters will want to throw more than an angry glance in Gary Johnson’s direction, who currently has 140,000 votes in Pennsylvania.

A similar situation in Wisconsin, where Clinton is trailing Trump by 85,000 votes and Johnson got 90,000.

The margins in Florida and North Carolina are bigger than the third-party vote shares, so we can’t blame Johnson or Jill Stein for Trump’s victories there.

András Tóth-Czifra András Tóth-Czifra November 9, 20166:26 AM

As Europe is waking up to a nightmare, key questions are which national leaders will congratulate Trump.

Some opposition politicians, like the head of the Netherlands’s far-right Freedom Party, Geert Wilders, and France’s Marine Le Pen, already have. There are some usual suspects in Eastern Europe who may.

Also, will the EU’s leaders call an emergency meeting? South Korea’s have.

There is palpable anxiety in France. The French ambassador to the United States has called Trump’s likely victory “the end of an era”.

Germany’s Angela Merkel, who is trying to fend off a far-right challenge of her own, and even Theresa May in Britain should be worried too.

András Tóth-Czifra Anonymous
Boris Ryvkin November 9, 20168:26 AM

It is hard to summarize the significance of Donald Trump’s election as president of the United States and how much of a long-term positive development this could be for the Western world.

The emerging nationalist challenge to a failed and increasingly frail post-national consensus has achieved its most important victory to date.

Millions in the Western world want secure borders, limits on internationalism, reduced involvement in foreign conflict where their countries’ narrow interests are not at stake and the preservation of core Western values that have made Western states what they are.

These same people also real economic growth, limits on rent seeking by politically connected businesses and trade policies which do not treat states as anonymous blocks of territory strung together on a string.

It is hard to know exactly how much of his platform Trump will achieve, or practically can achieve, given a host of political, economic and constitutional constraints. But if he moves the needle on the border wall, illegal immigration, accountability from allies, trade and limits on American interventionism abroad, that would be immeasurably better than the last two decades of stagnation and slow decay.

Trump forged a new coalition driven by populism, nationalism and disdain toward a political system that lacks accountability. Britons rejected this with Brexit and now a plurality of Americans have as well.

András Tóth-Czifra András Tóth-Czifra November 9, 201610:20 AM

There it is: Vladimir Putin has congratulated Donald Trump and said he hopes to achieve a “constructive dialogue”.

As I mentioned earlier, 2016 has been a rollercoaster for the Russian president.

At the beginning of the year, he seemed to be teetering on the verge of a decisive defeat, presiding over a country on the verge of bankruptcy, his geopolitical posturing gone wrong, leaving him isolated, and social tensions building up in Russia.

At the end of the year, he will have in his pocket an unimpressive but uneventful Duma election and a considerable top-up, by Brexiteers and Donald Trump, of the fuel that his system actually runs on: the weaknesses of Western democracies.

András Tóth-Czifra András Tóth-Czifra November 9, 201611:51 AM

The next watershed moment in European politics could come as early as December 4, when Austria holds the repeated second round of its presidential election. Donald Trump’s victory may boost the numbers of Norbert Hofer, the candidate of the far-right Freedom Party, which would make Hofer Europe’s first right-wing populist head of state.

In the longer run, animosity toward Trump, the sobering effect of his unexpected victory and fears of America’s disengagement may actually prompt the present leaders of a divided EU to work together more efficiently.

We should also keep in mind that this is not the first such moment. Several observers were similarly optimistic about the prospects of EU cooperation on matters of foreign policy after Russia’s assault on Ukraine.

Nick Ottens Nick Ottens November 9, 201612:09 PM

For the sake of completeness, here is where the race stands as we close our election blog:

Donald Trump won the presidency in Pennsylvania last night. After winning Florida, Ohio and North Carolina — what were expected to be the three biggest swing states in the East — the Republican’s unexpected victory in Pennsylvania, as well as in Wisconsin, put him over the top in the Electoral College.

In the popular vote count, Clinton and Trump are neck-and-neck. Both have around 58.8 million votes, or 48 percent of the total. There’s a good chance the Democrat will end up ahead, but it doesn’t matter.

Control of the Senate also hinged on Pennsylvania, where Republican Pat Toomey narrowly defeated his Democratic challenger, Katie McGinty, by around 100,000 votes.

Republicans won more key Senate elections, including in Florida and Wisconsin, giving them a majority of 51 in the upper chamber.

The Senate race in New Hampshire is still too close to call. Kelly Ayotte, the moderate Republican incumbent, and Maggie Hassan, the Democrat, are within a few thousand votes of each other.

The Senate election in Louisiana will be decided in a runoff later this year.

In the House of Representatives, Republicans are projected to lose a few seats but still maintain a healthy majority of around 240.

That concludes our live coverage of the elections in America. Thanks for reading the Atlantic Sentinel. Stay with us over the next few days as we process this outcome, watch the world react and try to make sense of what’s happened.

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