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Thursday, July 18, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Trump Sweeps Board; Republicans Control Both Houses of Congress

     (CN) — Donald Trump shocked the world Tuesday, winning the White House after an unorthodox and controversial presidential campaign, and with nearly all votes counted, his Republican Party remains in control of the Senate and House of Representatives as well.
     Down in the polls and given less than a 10 percent chance to win, Trump swept the battleground states of Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Arizona, taking 279 electoral votes to Hillary Clinton's 218.
     Trump collared more popular votes, too, 60 million to 57.4 million, according to unofficial returns at about 4 a.m.
     At that hour, Republicans were leading in Senate races, 51 to 47, and maintained a 50-seat lead in the House, 236 to 191.
     Clinton called him to concede just before 3 a.m., in a conversation that apparently was the first cordial exchange between the candidates in quite a while.
     "We owe her a major debt of gratitude," Trump said after taking the call. "Now it's the time for America to bind the wounds of division. It is time for us to come together as one united people."
     Trump's unexpected victory roiled global financial markets. Dow Jones futures were down 700 points, Standard & Poor's 500-stock index sank 63 points, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped more than 100 points.
     Japan's Nikkei index plunged 200 points, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index lost 416 points, over concern of what a Trump presidency might mean for economy and trade.
     President Obama called Trump this morning to congratulate him on his victory, and invited him to meet with him at the White House on Thursday, to update him on the transition planning.
     The president will speak from the White today House "to discuss the election results and what steps we can take as a country to come together after this hard-fought election season, his press secretary said in a statement."
     Clinton, expecting to become the first woman elected to the presidency, held her election night event at New York City's Javits Center — which has a glass ceiling, and is named for a late liberal Republican senator from New York.
     Women nationwide supported Clinton by a double-digit margin, while men were significantly more likely to back Trump. More than half of white voters backed the Republican, while nearly 9 in 10 blacks and two-thirds of Hispanics voted for the Democrat.
     But Trump prevailed in grounds that have been predictably Democratic since the days of FDR: industrial towns in the Midwest and South, even those with a visible union presence.
     Trump will inherit a nation deeply divided by economic and educational opportunities, race and culture — and he'll be expected to soothe nerves he rubbed raw.
     While the economy has rebounded from the depths of the global financial crisis his predecessor inherited eight year ago, many Americans have yet to benefit — certainly a major factor in Trump's triumph.
     New terror threats from home and abroad have raised security fears, though predicted Election-Day attacks from al Qaeda did not materialize Tuesday,
     Tapping into those concerns, Trump cast immigration, both from Latin America and the Middle East, as the root of many problems plaguing the nation and called for building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
     "I see so many hopes and so many dreams out there that didn't happen, that could have happened, with leadership, with proper leadership," he said Tuesday morning before casting his own ballot in Manhattan. "And people are hurt so badly."
     Trump promised change, while Clinton cast herself as heir to President Barack Obama's legacy and pledged to make good on his unfinished agenda.
     Asked Tuesday by with Fox News if he would accept the election results, Trump demurred again, saying: "We're going to see how things play out."
     Most problems that did pop up at polling places Tuesday appeared to be routine — the kinds of snags that come every four years, including long lines, machines not working properly and issues with ballots or voter rolls.
     Even before Tuesday, almost 45 million people had cast ballots for president. Many expressed relief the end was in sight after an election season in which personal attacks often drowned out issues.
     What's certain is that with the White House and both houses of Congress in their control, the Republican Party has all but a free road to dominate and remold national politics for the next two to four years, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

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