NEW YORK, (Xinhua) — U.S. Republican Donald Trump defeated his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in Tuesday’s presidential election, pulling a major upset after a controversial and scandalous campaign cycle.
According to projections by major TV networks, Trump has surpassed the threshold of 270 out of the total 538 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.
Clinton, a former first lady and secretary of state, has made a formal telephone call to Trump to concede the election, but will not speak until the next morning, according to media.
Trump addressed the nation at the Hilton hotel ballroom in midtown Manhattan, saying that “I’ll be a president for all Americans.”
Trump, who will serve as the country’s 45th president, called on Americans to come together as a united people, and promised to reach out to voters that had not supported him “so we can work together.”
In the nail-biting contest throughout the night, Trump was able to pull a winning margin in many of the crucial swing states, including Florida, Ohio and North Carolina, and was even able to snatch previously Democratic-leaning states like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
The victory has made Trump the first president that never held elected office since 1953.
Clinton easily grabbed many of the traditional Democratic-leaning “blue” states early in the evening, including New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and California, while Trump won those “deep red” states of Kentucky, Mississippi and Texas.
The night then take an unexpected turn, when Trump started a landslide winning streak in most of the swing states, while being able to keep the traditional “red” states like Arizona and Georgia that went into close contest in recent polls.
The result comes after more than a year of presidential campaigns that were widely perceived as “the most ugly and divisive” election cycle in recent decades, with both candidates embroiled in scandals while resorting to personal attacks instead of battling on policy issues.
Tuesday’s elections also included contests for 34 seats of the Senate and all 435 seats of the House of Representatives in U.S. Congress. Republicans are projected to keep control of both the Senate and the House.