In a stunning upset that astounded election analysts across the nation, real estate tycoon and businessman Donald Trump, a man with no political experience, was elected the 45th President of the United States of America Wednesday morning.
The Associated Press called the election for Trump at 1:30 a.m. CST, bringing an 18-month long election that highlighted the bitter ideological divide in the nation to a close.
Trump ran on a platform which included health care reform, renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, building a wall on the southern border and banning immigration from countries where terrorism is present.
He officially announced that he was running for president on June 16, 2015 with a rally and speech at Trump Tower in New York City. He was one of 17 Republican candidates in the primaries.
While many didn’t take Trump seriously he was determined to win, despite sexual assault accusations, attacks on his character and past business ventures.
There are many Trump supporters at USD and they were excited for the Presidential candidate to stop so close to USD for a rally only three days before the election.
On Sunday, Trump gave a 40-minute speech in Sioux City Iowa, where some USD students travelled to listen to him.
Trump ended his speech by vowing to make the country better.
“Together we will make America wealthy again, we will make America strong again, we will make America safe again and we will make America great again,” he said.
USD students were on edge across campus on Tuesday night as they waited for election results to come in.
The College Democrats and Republicans both held watch parties, the Democrats at The Dakota Brick House and the Republicans in the Muenster University Center ballroom.
As results came in state by state students reacted.
Senior criminal justice major, Will Himmler, voted for Hillary Clinton. As many swing states, such as Florida were still too close to call, Himmler’s eyes were glued to the TV at The Dakota Brick House.
“I think it’s funny that Trump has the lead now but a lot of states are too close to call,” he said. “Which I kind of like because then people aren’t trying to predict who will win with only 50 percent of the results in.”
Himmler also expressed his concerns with a Trump presidency. As Himmler enlisted in the military after high school and has multiple family members in the service, he said Trump’s comments about service members bothered him.
“It’s disappointing to know that anyone is voting for Trump after all the things he has said,” he said. “My heart breaks for the people he says hurtful things to.”
The College Republicans were feeling confident but were still worried about how the results would turn out.
“This is super stressful,” College Republican President, Kade Lamberty said. “It really all comes down to Florida. I really don’t think they will call it until late tonight.”
The group also talked about the possibility of a Clinton Presidency.
“I’d be very upset,” Lamberty said. “But as long as we keep the senate we’ll be okay.”
The Associated Press declared Trump the winner in South Dakota at 9:01 p.m. The election in South Dakota this year differed from past elections as this year was expected to set the record for absentee ballots submitted.
As of 12:40 p.m. on Monday evening, there were 106,444 absentee ballots requested and 100,367 ballots returned.
In 2004 there were 94,643 absentee ballots cast. 2008 has the all-time high for absentee ballots cast at 100,780. There were 91,145 absentee ballots cast in 2012.
The South Dakota Secretary of State Office warned that the speed of reporting results would suffer with the high number of absentee ballots, as they are not opened until the day of the election and each ballot is individually sealed and needs to have the signature reviewed.
Another addition to this year’s election in South Dakota is the Vote 605 app which allows users to view a sample ballot or find their polling place. The South Dakota Secretary of State’s Office said that the app will engage more student voters.
“The Vote 605 app is a very useful tool that will allow Students the opportunity to view their sample ballot ahead of time on their smartphone. If a student downloads the App I’m sure they are likely to vote,” said Jason Williams a Secretary of State’s office employee said.
The Secretary of State Office also said the expected voter turnout for South Dakota was 65-70 percent.
In a victory speech early Wednesday morning, Trump said Clinton “fought hard” and the U.S. owes her a debt of gratitude for her service. He also called for unity in the nation and pledged to be a president for all Americans.
“I say it is time for us to come together as one united people,” he said. “I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and help so we can work together to unite our great country.”