Defying all expectations and most pre-poll forecasts, Donald Trump is set to become the President of the United States.
The Republican candidate for the top job stunned veteran Democrat Hillary Clinton after months of intense campaigning which often turned ugly.
Trump won the race for the presidency of the US by defeating Clinton. Till the time this piece was published the counting was still on but Trump surpassed the majority mark of 270 by winning 276 electoral votes. Clinton was at 218 electoral vpotes.
Trump will be the 45th President of the United States. Governor Mike Pence is set to become the vice-president.
The billionaire real estate mogul, who was acutely criticised for his racist, anti-Semitic and misogynistic stand during the campaign, will be inaugurated into the office on 20 January, 2017.
Trump will be the first president who has never held a government office or served in the US Army.
Trump, 70, the New York native who embodies what people variously love, hate and love to hate about the nation's biggest city, is headed to a power hotel that boasts of having hosted every president for more than half a century.
But the implications for his party are slightly worrying.
As pointed out earlier by Firstpost, a Trump win will leave Republicans "faced with the difficult choice of whether or not to stand by their new commander-in-chief — a man who hit at the heart of American democracy by claiming that the election is 'rigged'. The Centre-Right identity of the party is likely to shift further right with Trump as president. Those who reject the new identity will likely be lost in the mix or be forced to jump ship. A Republican civil war appears to be on the cards."
Trump's campaign has chosen the New York Hilton Midtown, a few blocks from his Trump Tower home, for an invitation-only gathering, celebrating his phenomenal victory.
Trump, who built his campaign around him being an 'outsider' and drew a large number of supporters with his unhinged mannerism, sold his candidacy on on being someone who would 'Make America Great Again'.
But even after building a large follower base, his chances of becoming the commander in chief always were second best.
After claiming the Republican nomination, Trump had picked a fight with an American Muslim family whose son was killed while serving in Iraq. He questioned the fairness of an American-born judge of Mexican heritage. He made flippant comments about what gun-rights advocates might do to Clinton if her Secret Service agents weren't armed.
Then came three debates, a proverbial train wreck that voters couldn't look away from, setting records for viewership. A new bombshell dropped just in time for the second one: 2005 video of Trump making predatory comments about groping women.
Trump apologised, but waved off his "locker-room banter" and said he'd never really done what he'd claimed in the video.
A parade of women came forward to accuse him of making unwanted sexual advances.
Then some skittish Republicans bailed on him.
His response? Go nuclear against Clinton. In the front row for the second debate, Trump seated three women who had accused Bill Clinton of sexual impropriety, and Trump claimed with thin evidence that "Hillary Clinton attacked those same women and attacked them viciously."
In the final debate, Trump refused to commit to accepting the results of the election, attacking the fundamentals of democracy.
So as America heads towards one of the most uncertain times in its history, for millions around the world, it will be just another rude shock in a devastating year.
First Published On : Nov 9, 2016 13:06 IST