Trump Pulls Off Biggest Upset in U.S. History

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters as he takes the stage for a campaign event in Dallas, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Donald Trump is going to be the next president of the United States.

The billionaire businessman who never before held elected office shocked America and the world, defeating Hillary Clinton in an extraordinary rebuke to the nation’s political class after an ugly and divisive race that will go down as the most stunning upset in American history.

Trump did so decisively, stomping across the electoral map with wins in the four biggest battlegrounds of Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania. He defied the polls and pundits after a scorched-earth campaign against Clinton, the Republican establishment, and basic decorum, toppling the blue wall of states that Clinton had supposedly constructed to keep the White House in Democratic hands.

The nation, the markets and the world stood stunned, wondering what would come next. The Dow Futures sank as much as 750 points. The Mexico peso plunged.

“It is time for us to come together as one united people,” Trump said in a victory speech, following a concession call from Clinton at nearly 3 a.m. Eastern. “It’s time.”

Trump led an unseen rebellion of working-class voters, most of them white and so disgusted by a stalled status quo that they voted for a candidate promising dramatic change, even as Trump set disapproval records for a winning candidate. He also tapped into ethnic antagonism, vowing strict immigration controls, a ban on Muslims and a deportation force, promising an era of restoration.

“The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer,” Trump declared.

Clinton had been heavily favored to win. She led national polls and in most battleground states heading into the election. Her allies were so confident that a supportive super PAC had actually redirected millions to other races.

But Trump had been underestimated from the first day of his candidacy, when he descended the gilded escalators of Trump Tower to bash Mexican immigrants as “rapists.” He went on to dispatch 16 rivals in the Republican primary before mounting a vicious campaign against Clinton in which he paraded her husband’s infidelities, repeatedly called her corrupt and questioned whether she could govern as a woman.

For 17 months, the reality television showman mesmerized the public with his unvarnished tweets, constant television presence and raucous mass rallies. His full-throttle grip on the national imagination enriched the news media and eroded standards of political civility.

It made him a hero to his fans. And they voted in droves. …

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