Live Blog: Donald Trump Elected 45th President of the United States

By Mark Joyella 

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Is it really, like actually and truly, after everything that has happened and all we have endured, is it finally, once and for all ELECTION NIGHT?

It is. And if you’re reading this and you are NOT standing on a riser in a crowded hotel ballroom or squashed into a live truck you’re sharing with three other crews, or sitting near a stack of empty pizza boxes in a newsroom, consider yourself one of the lucky ones.

If you’re sitting on your couch watching coverage and enjoying a fine cocktail, well, all we really want to know is this: how’d you swing that? Oh. You’re due in at 3 a.m.? That makes sense.

We visited CBS This Morning early Tuesday where Charlie Rose told TVNewser science suggests the polls will prove correct tonight–but you just never know.

Later in the day we caught up with NBC’s Willie Geist while he was on line to cast his vote, and we asked how he plans to watch returns tonight. He said he’d watch from home, make a lot of phone calls, and enjoy a fine glass of bourbon before trying to get some sleep ahead of Morning Joe Wednesday.

It may be a long night. Then again, maybe all that talk about a close election was sort of, you know, all about keeping viewers tuned in and interested until tonight.

Who knows. We’ll find out soon.

The presidential candidates have voted, Twitter has been filled with “I Voted” selfies, and lots of people have been pacing in newsrooms waiting for 7 p.m. ET so they can actually start to talk about what’s been happening out there.

“Every Rooftop” Earlier today, ITV Evening News presenter Mary Nightingale gave UK viewers a behind-the-scenes tour of ITV’s temporary Election Night studio in Washington, set up on a rooftop overlooking The White House–and a sea of similar tents on nearby buildings:

That shot, with the camera set back, looks pretty nice:

CwyCNjXUsAAeh756:20 p.m. ET: As we await the first poll closings at 7, we have plenty of time to talk exit polls. Fox News reports Hillary Clinton is, as expected, way ahead with Hispanic voters, at +38 percent. Will Latino turnout be high enough to seal victory?

Speaking of FNC, what do you think of that new set?

On CNN, Ana Navarro, who said she voted for Clinton, said “it would be sweet, sweet justice if tonight it was the Latino vote that defeated Donald Trump.”

7:00 p.m. ET: Here we go.

Clinton takes Vermont, Trump wins in Indiana and Kentucky. Virginia and Georgia are too close to call. At CBS, Gayle King says waiting for the results is “like being in the delivery room and waiting to see if it’s a boy or a girl.” (See what she did there?)

CBS’ Bob Schieffer, meanwhile, said so far, there are few signs of a surprise. “Things seem to be going about the way we thought they were going to go.”

Cwx8rPtVIAA2AQ97:30 p.m. ET: Trump wins West Virginia, while North Carolina and Ohio are too close to call.

7:49 p.m. ET: South Carolina called for Trump.

Everyone has virtual graphics of some kind or another, with plenty of whiz-bang on display from the networks tonight–even historically sober CBS News:

8:00 p.m. ET: Clinton wins Illinois, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Rhode Island, Delaware, and DC. Trump takes Oklahoma, Tennessee and Mississippi. Florida, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire are too early to call.

unnamedAt CBS, they’re using very specific language for close states, describing them as “lean” or “edge.” Face the Nation moderator John Dickerson explained to viewers that “if its edge, we’re giving the advantage to a candidate, but it means that advantage could be reversed, if the numbers statistically don’t work out, so there’s a little padding,” he said. “If it’s a lean, it’s beyond that, which means they have a little bit more of a lead. If you get beyond lean, well that’s when you get into the territory where we might make a projection.”

8:30 p.m. ET: Two more wins for Trump: Alabama and South Carolina.

8:38 p.m. ET: The election is the dominant global story tonight, and here’s how it looks on some international networks. Here’s Al Arabiya:


9:24 p.m. ET: Is it really a Brexit scenario? Some had predicted a decisive night, but this is looking tight tight tight with plenty of states too close to call, and Trump leading in the Electoral College.


So this happened:

10:00 p.m. ET: Trump leads, Dow futures are down 600, and on TV, as CBS’ Norah O’Donnell puts it, “it’s a white knuckles kind of night.” Peggy Noonan put it this way: “we may be experiencing an epic upset here.”

On NBC, Tom Brokaw notes Dow Jones futures have plunged more tonight with the anticipation of a Trump victory than they did the night of 9/11.

10:50 p.m. ET: The AP calls Florida for Trump.

11:34 p.m. ET: As the path narrows for Clinton, commentators ponder how the experts got it so wrong. “Pollsters missed it, correspondents missed it,” said NBC’s Andrea Mitchell. Colleague Tom Brokaw said “the country is more agitated than we realized.”

12:37 a.m. ET: Bob Schieffer, on CBS, asks “is this a victory for the Republican Party, or some new party, the Trump Party?”

On ABC, Jim Avila reported from Nevada that “there is a real fear among Latinos in this country right now because it appears that Donald Trump is going to win.”

12:45 a.m. ET: On CNN, an impassioned Van Jones expressed the pain Trump’s anticipated victory brought to minority communities. “How do you explain this to your children? I’ve had Muslim friends ask, do I need to leave the country.”

CwzKffsUAAAzVvs.jpg-large1:10 a.m. ET: On Fox News, Megyn Kelly has made a walk to the Decision Desk, stick mic in hand, to press the numbers people on the outstanding states–and when this election may be called.

1:40 a.m. ET: On NBC, Richard Engel describes reaction around the world to a Trump victory as “catastrophic for the United States” and “our position in the world.” On ABC, Terry Moran said there were “high-fives happening at the Kremlin”

On Fox News, Sean Hannity had a different take, calling the election a “modern day political miracle happening before our eyes.”

CwzWt2yWgAAw45Z2:00 a.m. ET: John Podesta, at Clinton Headquarters, says “we can wait a little longer can’t we?” It would seem Clinton will not be conceding the race tonight. “Everybody should head home. We should get some sleep. We’ll have more to say tomorrow.”

2:41 a.m. ET: Fox News and Fox Business call Pennsylvania, and the election for Donald Trump.

2:44 a.m. ET: Secy. Clinton has conceded to Donald Trump in a phone call, reports NBC’s Kristen Welker.

2:45 a.m.: Vice President-elect Mike Pence speaks first at Trump victory party in New York City.

2:48 a.m.: Flanked by his family, President-elect Donald Trump comes to the stage.


Trump at 2:50 a.m.: “I’ve just received a call from Secretary Clinton and she congratulated us–it’s about us–on our victory. And I congratulated her and her family, on a very, very hard-fought campaign. She fought very hard. Hillary has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country. I mean that very sincerely.”


As Trump spoke, CBS News called the race for him:

11:43 a.m.: Hillary Clinton delivers concession speech. “Last night, I congratulated Donald Trump and offered to work with him on behalf of our country. I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans. This is not the outcome we wanted or we worked so hard for and I’m sorry that we did not win this election for the values we share and the vision we hold for our country. But I feel pride and gratitude for this wonderful campaign that we built together, this vast, diverse, creative, unruly, energized campaign. You represent the best of America and being your candidate has been one of the greatest honors of my life. I know how disappointed you feel, because I feel it, too. And so do tens of millions of Americans who invested their hopes and dreams in this effort. This is painful and it will be for a long time.”


12:20 p.m.: Pres. Obama speaks from the Rose Garden: “I had a chance to talk to President-elect Trump last night to congratulate him on winning the election, and I had a chance to invite him to come to the White House tomorrow to talk about making sure that there is a successful transition between our presidencies. It is no secret that the president-elect and I have some pretty significant differences. But, remember, eight years ago President Bush and I had some pretty significant differences. One thing you realize quickly in this job is that the presidency is bigger than any of us. So i have instructed my team to follow the example that President Bush’s team set eight years ago.”