NEW YORK – A Penn graduate has finally made it to the nation's highest office.
Donald Trump, the Republican nominee and 1968 Wharton graduate, was elected president of the United States early Wednesday morning.
The Associated Press called the election at 2:31 a.m. after the real estate magnate was declared the winner in Wisconsin.
Trump’s victory represents a major political upset; in its final projections, the aggregation website FiveThirtyEight gave Hillary Clinton the advantage in Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin — all states the Democratic nominee lost.
A Trump win would likely come with a significant, if trivial, caveat — The New York Times projects Clinton to be on pace to win the popular vote. If their prediction holds true, it will be the second time in the last 16 years that a Democrat has won the popular vote but lost the electoral college. Al Gore did so in 2000 in a race ultimately decided after the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the end to a recount in Florida, granting George W. Bush the presidency.
Republicans will retain control over both houses of the U.S. Congress, potentially giving Trump the opportunity to translate aspects of his campaign platform into law. In Pennsylvania, incumbent Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) beat challenger Katie McGinty in a narrow race called by the Associated Press at 1:14 a.m.
Accordingly, many of the programs and initiatives crafted under President Barack Obama’s administration — including his signature law, the Affordable Care Act — will likely be reversed or eliminated in the months to come.
As of 1:45 a.m. Wednesday morning, Clinton had not yet officially conceded the election. The former first lady spoke at a massive election-eve rally at in Philadelphia Monday night with Bruce Springsteen, President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton.
Trump’s victory will likely result in increased tension in the already-strained relationship between Trump and his alma mater. Though Penn as an institution never formally denounced the controversial celebrity’s candidacy, comments from Penn President Amy Gutmann, an open letter from the Wharton community and widespread student disapproval have provided a firm contrast to Trump’s repeated glowing references to his degree on the campaign trail.
As of 1:45 a.m., Trump had still not addressed the crowd at the New York Hilton, the site of his victory party located less than 1.5 miles from Clinton’s more somber gathering at the Jacob J. Javits Convention Center.
Despite Trump’s business background and promises of economic growth, financial markets took a massive dip in the overnight hours, with Dow Jones futures dropping 750 points while the Japanese Nikkei index plunged 900 points.
The campaign’s victory forecloses any drama over whether Trump might contest the results of the election, one that he has repeatedly claimed in recent months might be rigged.
The Electoral College will officially cast their ballots to make Trump America’s 45th president on Dec. 19. The only previous president with ties to Penn, William Henry Harrison, never graduated from the University and died after a month in office.
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