Hillary Clinton’s largely anticipated lead in the race for the US presidency failed to manifest itself on Tuesday night as Donald Trump shocked the world by pulling off wins in the important swing states of North Carolina and Florida. Disbelief became the feeling of the night as Mr. Trump punched through Secretary Clinton’s supposed ‘blue wall’ by winning Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
The events of the night shocked more than just people. Financial markets plummeted throughout the night, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeting more than 800 points and the Mexican peso crumbling to an all-time low. With the election results just hours old, questions about the immediate impacts on the world economic stage have yet to be fully resolved.
At a Democrats Overseas watch party in Sandy’s Bar, loud boos and groans marked announcements that Donald Trump was maintaining early leads in Florida and North Carolina. The crowd’s intense optimism faded to weak hope as further races were called for the Republican nominee in the early hours of the morning.
Democrats Overseas President Matt Schoonmaker began the night with a positive message.
He said of election night, “Tonight’s about having fun, taking a moment at the end of what’s been an exasperating 18 months, enjoying it, and having a drink with your friends.”
Speaking on a potential Trump win, Mr Schoonmaker articulated a message echoed by Democrats throughout the nation.
“We’re going to get ready for the next round. 2018 will be a battle.”
Election results were still being tabulated into the early hours of the morning. In fact, Donald Trump’s victory speech did not come until the sun rose over St Andrews at 8:00 in the morning. Most students stopped following the race to drink or to sleep before the massive upset took hold. Those waking up early were stunned by the result that lay before them.
“When I woke up I was relatively confident of a Clinton victory so after refreshing the electoral map several times it was a feeling of pure disbelief,” said Reilly Tifft, a native of Virginia and Clinton supporter.
However, for graduate student Jacob Hinze, the Republican victory was not a complete bombshell but was nevertheless disheartening: “In a way, I wasn’t even surprised because I wanted to expect the worst.”
“Even then,” he continued, “It’s still hard to believe.”
Other students believe Donald Trump’s strong lead was an exciting prospect for the future.
One Trump supporter compared the victory to the much-discussed Brexit results in June: “It’s a surprise, but a very pleasant one. Like Brexit, it wasn’t planned, and like Brexit, the people have won.”
A recurrent theme across social media platforms throughout the world and students at the University was expressed by Amy Gregan. She says, “I am genuinely gutted about the result because a sexist, racist, and homophobic person is going to be the voice of the United States.” In one word, “[I am] disappointed.”