Washington: Republican Donald Trump stunned the world by convincingly defeating Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the US presidential elections as voters revolted against a smug, condescending establishment.
He secured 289 electoral college votes. On the other hand, Clinton won 218. To win the presidential election, a candidate needs 270 of the 538 electoral college votes.
The 70-year-old billionaire businessman and rank outsider had taken to politics only 18 months ago it rode a wave of anger toward Washington insiders.
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His strong showing in states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, Texas and North Carolina helped him pull-off a win which proved most pollsters wrong.
Once considered a long shot for the presidency, the billionaire from New York tapped into the disillusionment of the average white working class American against the establishment, molding it into vicious anti-immigrant rhetoric which proved to be an electoral gold mine.
Trump was rebuked by many top Republicans for his remarks on women and immigrants and several party leaders had refused to back him despite his comprehensive win in the primaries.
Most observers said the FBI announcing reopening of its probe into the 69-year-old former secretary of state's email scandal could have swung the pendulum in Trump's favour, as per PTI.
The FBI though gave her a last-minute clean chit ahead of the polls, experts said it might have been too late by then.
The election saw the ugliest campaign in US history with Clinton and Trump trading personal attacks and allegations. From the Democratic nominee's email scandal to the sexual assault accusations against her Republican rival, the campaign was acrimonious all the way.
Trump`s victory marks a crushing end to Clinton`s second quest to become the first woman president. She also failed in a White House bid in 2008.
His four-year term begins on January 20 and he will enjoy Republican majorities in both chambers of the US Congress.
Trump's victory speech
In his victory speech, Trump said that Clinton had fought very hard and the country owed her a major debt of gratitude for her service to it.
Trump, addressing his supporters at his campaign headquarters, said, "It is time for us to come together as one united people. I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president of all Americans."
"Ours was not a campaign, but a movement. It is a movement comprising from all races, background and believes. Working together, we would begin the urgent task of rebuilding the country. The country has a tremendous potential," he said.
"We are going to fix inner cities, we are going to build our infrastructure. We would put millions of people to work as we rebuild it," he told his supporters amid loud cheers.
"America no longer would settle for anything less than the best. I want to tell the world community, we would deal fairly with every one," he added.
Trump further said, "I very much look forward to being your president. While the campaign is over our work and movement is just beginning. I love this country."
The former reality TV star also thanked his wife Melania, parents, brothers, sons and daughters for their constant support throughout the campaign.
"This political stuff is nasty and is tough. It is time for us to come together as one united people," Trump said.
Earlier, Trump's running mate Mike Pence had said, "This is a historic night. The American people have spoken and the American people have chosen their champion. The American people have chosen a president."
On her part, in her concession speech, Clinton expressed hope that Trump will be a successful President for all Americans and that the nation owes him "an open mind and the chance to lead."
"We must accept this result and look to the future. Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe Trump an open mind and the chance to lead," she said.
"Election shows US more deeply divided than we thought", she said.
"We cherish these values and must defend them," she commanded her supporters.
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Clinton added, "I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but someday, someone will, and hopefully sooner than we might think right now."
"And to all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and to achieve your own dreams," she maintained.
How the markets reacted
Worried that a Trump victory could cause economic and global uncertainty, investors fled risky global assets.
The US dollar, Mexican peso and world stocks fell on Wednesday but fears of the kind of shock that wiped trillions of dollars off world markets after Britain`s "Brexit" vote in June failed to materialize immediately, as per Reuters.
But US stocks were little changed on Wednesday, rebounding from stunning overnight losses fueled by the election result. Sectors such as banking and steel that appeared poised to benefit from a Trump presidency led the charge.
(With Agency inputs)