NEW YORK — Early Wednesday morning, Donald Trump was elected president of the United States.
He scored victories in Ohio and Florida on Tuesday.
No Republican in the modern era has won the presidency without Ohio.
Stronger-than-expected early returns across several key states fueled excitement inside a Manhattan hotel where Trump was expected to appear once a winner was announced. His supporters chanted “USA!” as the New York billionaire gathered privately with his family inside Trump Tower. Ohio Pastor Darrell Scott, who leads Trump’s National Diversity Coalition, said presidential hopeful was loose and relaxed.
“Everyone was nervous but Trump,” Scott said.
Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges released the following statement:
“We had the great honor of hosting the first Republican primary debate and serving as the host state of the Republican National Convention. Like always, the state of Ohio has been the center of the political universe this election cycle,” said Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges. “I have said since Day One that Ohio would do its part to help deliver 18 electoral votes for the Republican Nominee, and I’m pleased with the efforts of staff, county chairs and volunteers across the state who were a major part of Donald Trump’s victory tonight.
“Donald Trump built a winning coalition of Republicans, Independents and disaffected Democrats in Ohio. I’d like to congratulate his team, they worked hard during this campaign and they deserve the victory tonight.”
Ohio and Florida marked Trump’s first major swing state victories. Clinton claimed Virginia and Colorado.
Trump voted Tuesday morning at a public school on Manhattan’s East Side, joined by his wife, Melania, his daughter Ivanka, his son-in-law Jared Kushner and his granddaughter Arabella. He was booed loudly by onlookers gathered on the sidewalks outside of the school, which had been sealed off with police barricades.
His warnings of a “rigged election” have become central argument from an outsider candidate who has repeatedly challenged the norms of presidential politics.
Ever the showman, his strategy relied almost exclusively on massive rallies to connect with voters, ignoring the less-glamorous grunt work that typically fuels successful campaigns.
Polls suggested he was the least popular presidential nominee in the modern era.