NEW YORK — In a stunning upset, Hillary Clinton reportedly conceded the presidential race to Donald Trump over the phone early Wednesday morning, an hour after her campaign chair told the audience at her election night event that she would not be making a public appearance.
Clinton’s loss upended months of polls and electoral predictions anticipating a victory for the Democratic nominee.
As Trump racked up electoral votes, Clinton supporters and volunteers flooded out of the Jacob Javits Convention Center, where Clinton had hoped to celebrate her win as the first female U.S. president under a high, literal glass ceiling.
Many attendees wept openly, holding onto friends and family, as they walked out of the building.
Trump’s victory flew in the face of Clinton’s “stronger together” campaign message, which made explicit appeals to female voters, minorities and immigrants.
Her promises to secure equal pay for women, expand access to Obamacare and welcome hundreds of thousands of refugees ultimately lost out to the “make America great again” nationalism of Trump, who pledged to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S., gut Obamacare and drastically curb immigration.
Burdened by 30 years in the public eye, Clinton’s attempts to run a positive campaign were stymied by a barrage of negative criticism of her record and personality.
The former first lady and U.S. senator emerged bruised from the Democratic primaries after supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) repudiated her past support for the Iraq War and ties to the financial industry. Trump and his staff gloated as radical transparency organization WikiLeaks released troves of damaging emails hacked from top Clinton advisors that served as a daily reminder to voters of her use of a private email server as secretary of state, in addition to inflaming multiple Clinton conspiracy theories on its Twitter account. Then, just 11 days ahead of Election Day, the FBI reignited the email scandal by announcing the discovery of messages potentially related to her server, before confirming Sunday that those emails contained no new information after all.
On the stump and the debate stage, Trump subjected Clinton to scathing attacks on her likability, stamina, looks, judgment and even loyalty to her husband, former President Bill Clinton.
Despite the Clinton campaign’s robust infrastructure and get-out-the-vote effort, as well as the warm embrace of Democratic Party leaders including the Obamas, Sanders, and popular progressive Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Trump ultimately prevailed.