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America votes – Donald Trump wins

Republicans hold House and Senate. Pyrrhic victory for Clinton as she moves ahead in the nationwide vote. An uncomfortably narrow margin in the Senate.

Nevil Gibson and Chris Keall
Thu, 10 Nov 2016

6.45am, Nov 10: Hillary Clinton has gained the Pyrrhic victory of moving ahead of Donald Trump in the latest tally of the nationwide vote. The latest tally has the Democrat on 59,620,894 votes (47.7%) to Mr Trump's total of 59,410,932 votes (47.5%)*.

But in the race for the White House, only the state-by-state Electoral College Vote matters. Mr Trump crossed the 270 threshold required for victory late yesterday. The latest tally is 279 to 228, but the Republican is expected to top 300 once results in outstanding states are called.

In the 100-seat Senate, Republicans lost one seat but retained a majority of 51 — perhaps an uncomfortably a narrow margin for the president-elect given he will have to sell some fiscally conservative Republican senators, such as Florida's Marco Rubio (whom he humilated as "Little Marco" during the campaign) and Texan "Lyin'" Ted Cruz, on his big-spending, protectionist agenda.

The Republicans also maintained their comfortable majority in the House of Representatives, where the current tally is 239 to 192 (218 seats are required to control the lower chamber).

House speaker Paul Ryan — the highest-ranked Republican in Congress and a notable Trump foe during the campaign as he suspended support after the "Access Hollywood tape — was quick to praise the president-elect for what he called his "great political feat." However, the sucking up could come too late. Mr Trump is expected to move against Mr Ryan, and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, who also refused to campaign for him. A power struggle lies ahead as the property magnate seeks to complete his hostile takeover of the Republican Party.

In a morning-after concession speech, Mrs Clinton said “Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and a chance to lead."

* In total, there were 231,556,622 eligible voters. Based on the count so far, 46.9% didn't vote 25.6% voted for Clinton 25.5% for Trump

9.30pm, Nov 9: President-elect Donald Trump struck a gracious, conciliatory tone with a relatively low-key concession speech at his victory party in New York, delivered at 3am. 

Mr Trump departed from the "lock her up" rhetoric of the campaign trail to congratulate Hillary Clinton and her family on "a very very hard fought campaign."

"We owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country. I mean that very sincerely," he added. 

"Now it's time for America to bind the wounds of division; for all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation to come together as one united people.

"I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans. This is so important to me. For those who have chosen not to support me in the past, of which there were a few people, I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help that we can work together and unify our great country.

"Working together we will begin the urgent task of rebuilding our nation and renewing the American dream."

Mr Trump leads the official Electoral Vote tally 279 to 218, but is expected to top 300 once the final count is in (270 votes are required to win the White House).

The Republican Party has also maintained its narrow majority in the 100-seat Senate (where it leads 51 - 47 with two seats yet to be called) and its comfortable majority in the House.

In a cold comfort to Hillary Clinton, she would well win the popular vote once voting finishes in the strongly Democrat, population-rich California.

As of 9.30pm, with around 4 million votes to count in California, she narrowly trailed Mr Trump in the nationwide tally by 57,690,545 votes (47.9%) to 56,992,877 votes (47.3%).

8.45pm Hillary Clinton has conceded to Donald Trump. Presumptive Vice President Mike Pence says the American people have elected a "new champion" before introducing Mr Trump.

8.15pm More good news for President-elect Donald Trump – he will have a Republican majority in both houses of the Congress, something President Barack Obama lacked. The Republicans have a majority of 51 after losing at least one seat while its House of Representatives numbers are down by five but with a comfortable majority of 233-176 at last count.

8.00pm Trump has snatched Pennsylvania, giving him a hefty 20 votes that gives him final victory if Fox News' projection of a win in Wisconsin is confirmed. The state counts as another Republican gain and is testament that Trump's message got through to rural and blue-collar voters.

His Electoral College tally is now 264 to Clinton's 218 (270 gives a majority).

7.45pm Counting continues in six states with just three of them sufficient to push Trump over the line – fewer if he wins Wisconsin, as Fox News has predicted. He leads in three of them, including Alaska, where polls closed at 7pm (NZT).

7.00pm Fox News is calling Wisconsin (10 votes) for Trump, putting him just 16 votes from victory. 

6.45pm To be balanced, Clinton can still win but only if, and it is an if, she wins all these states: Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona and Minnesota (a total 57 for a required 55). But she is leading only in Minnesota as counting continues into the early hours.

6.35pm A win for Clinton in Nevada is a reminder that the Hispanic vote was touted as critical in the west (with Arizona) but it doesn't make a dent in Trump's lead in the handful of states that will finally decide the election. 

6.30pm Trumps steals the lead in Pennsylvania, which if he wins will give him 20 votes, with just six to win. It will be the nail in Clinton's cofffin. 

6.05pm A win in Idaho brings Trump within 26 votes for victory, which is guaranteed if he can seal wins in just Michigan (16) and Arizona (11). He also leads in Wisconsin (10 votes).

His likely victory will also be a reward for the popular vote, which he leads by 50,775,460 to 49,670,056, making this one of the closest presidential contests ever.

5.55pm: Trump is still looking more likely to win than not after picking up Georgia, one of the four states he needs to win, as well as Utah.

5.30pm My analysis shows Trump can win the required 270 votes this way: Winning Georgia (16), Michigan (16), Arizona (11) and Wisconsin (10), all states where he leads. This would give him 53 of 54 votes to win. So he also needs wins in Iowa or Utah (6 each). 

Meanwhile, Clinton has won Washington.

5.15pm In another major boost to his campaign, Trump has won Florida, collecting 29 votes, and North Carolina.

More are likely if his leads are confirmed in the western states of Nevada, Utah and Arizona as well as the undeclared states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Georgia.

Compensation for Clinton are expected wins in the west coast states of California (55 votes) and Oregon.  

5.00pm Clinton claws back some her losing margin with a gain in Virginia. 

4.45pm Trump wins the crucial state of Ohio with its 18 votes. He is also leading in Idaho, Utah and Arizona in the west. Clinton wins Colorado.

4.30pm Trump continues to make the running, picking up Montana's three votes. Some media calls suggest he may keep up the momentum and win the still undecided swing states necessary for victory – Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Ohio.

Clinton is clinging to a narrow lead in Virginia and looks set to clinch Pennsylvania..  

3.30pm Nearing the halfway mark, he is also leading the popular vote by 29.3 million votes to Clinton 28 million.

3.00pm The race is closer than expected with 40% of Electoral College votes decided. Clinton has added another rust-belt state, Illinois, as well as New York.

Meanwhile, Trump has made a clean sweep of the rural heartland from the Dakotas down to Texas and including Wyoming. He has also added another in the South, Mississippi. 

2.30pm So far, Trump has not conceded any states that he couldn't afford to lose and in criticial Florida the margin is less than two points. At the same time, Clinton has failed to block his path in the other crucial states yet to decide, such as Ohio and North Carolina.

2.15pm Trump goes ahead again after winning Tennessee's 11 votes, followed by Alabama.

2.00 pm Clinton has overtaken Trump after four more northeastern states, plus Washington DC, declared in her favour. Trump has picked up Oklahoma in the mid-west and South Carolina.

1.30pm Donald Trump has won two of the first three states to declare results, Indiana and Kentucky, while Hillary Clinton has picked up Vermont, all as expected. Trump has also added West Virginia.

Polls have closed in some states, as Americans chose between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Exit polls indicate voters are bothered by Clinton’s private email and even more by Trump’s treatment of women.

State-by-state details follow (based on expected time of results; swing states in bold, Electoral College votes in numbers)

1.00pm (NZ time)

Georgia 16 Trump win
Indiana 11 Trump win         
Kentucky 8  Trump win       
South Carolina 9 Trump win
Vermont 3 Clinton win
Virginia 13 Clinton win

1.30pm
North Carolina 15 Trump win
Ohio 18 Trump win and gain
Florida 29 Trump win and gain
West Virginia 5 Trump win
Mississippi 6 Trump win
Missouri 10 Trump win
New Hampshire 4
New Jersey 14 Clinton win
Oklahoma 7 Trump win
Rhode Island 4 Clinton win
Tennessee 11 Trump win

2.30pm
Arkansas 6 Trump win
Illinois 20 Clinton win
Pennsylvania 20 Trump win and gain
Alabama 9 Trump win
Maine 4* Clinton win
Washington DC 3 Clinton win
Delaware 3 Clinton win
Connecticut 7 Clinton win
Maryland 10 Clinton win
Massachusetts 11 Clinton win

3.00pm
Colorado 9 Clinton win
Kansas 6 Trump win
Louisiana 8 Trump win
Michigan 16
Minnesota 10
Nebraska 5* Trump win
New Mexico 5 Clinton win
New York 29 Clinton win
North Dakota 3 Trump win
South Dakota 3 Trump win
Texas 38 Trump win
Wisconsin 10
Wyoming 3 Trump win

4.00pm
Iowa 6 Trump win and gain
Montana 3 Trump win
Nevada 6 Clinton win
Utah 6 Trump win
Arizona 11

5.00pm
California 55 Clinton win
Hawaii 4 Clinton win
Idaho 4 Trump win
Oregon 7 Clinton win
Washington 12 Clinton win

7.00pm
Alaska 3

* These states do not have a "winner takes all" system but give two electoral votes to the overall state winner and one vote to the winning party in each Congressional district.

The earliest possible time for TV networks and pollsters to indicate the likely direction of the US presidential election could be half an hour after polls close in more than a dozen eastern states.

Two of these – Florida (29 electoral seats) and Ohio (18) – should give a good idea of whether Hillary Clinton has the support of the swing states or that Donald Trump could score an upset victory.

Both states have remained until now largely divided. However, if they show a Democratic preference, this could give Mrs Clinton the votes she needs to reach a majority.

The earliest possible time that the US TV networks will make the “call” for either candidate won’t be until 5pm (NZ time) when the bulk of state polling booths close.

Voting in all 50 states and Washington DC occurs across six time zones. Timings vary with voting either opening between 6am and 7am and closing between 7pm and 8pm (in Iowa and North Dakota polls are open till 9pm). More than 120 million Americans are expected to cast votes.

Traditionally, the first results are announced by small villages in New Hampshire, where eligible voters cast their ballots at midnight local time, six hours before the first polling booths open in eastern states.

At least 42 million early votes had been cast as of Monday, with many key states such as Arizona, Florida and Nevada seeing record-breaking pre-Election Day turnout.

In Florida, more than six million people voted early – up 35% from 2012. In North Carolina, about half of all registered voters cast ballots early, amounting to more than three million votes. These votes remain secret until counted on Election Day.

The target is 270 Electoral College votes. The RealClearPolitics electoral map puts the pre-election positions as Mrs Clinton and running mate Tim Kaine at 203 likely votes, Mr Trump and Mike Pence at 164 with 171 “toss ups” among the swing states.

The latest Wall Street Journal projection already hands victory to Mrs Clinton with 278 votes and cuts the toss-up states to 45, leaving Mr Trump with 215.

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Nevil Gibson and Chris Keall
Thu, 10 Nov 2016
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America votes – Donald Trump wins
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