LONDON — The world reacted with shock, awe and no small measure of disbelief early Wednesday as the U.S. electoral map began to tilt toward Donald Trump, a populist firebrand who has promised sweeping changes to American policy.
“IT’S A TRUMP-QUAKE,” blared the website of the Daily Mail, which said the electoral results had “confounded all the experts.”
Other foreign media houses were more circumspect, exercising caution until all the votes had been counted. “Contest down to the wire after months of acrimony,” read the Times of London’s lead headline.
Key battleground states remain too close to call — and no major U.S. media outlet has called the race. But a strong performance from Trump has significantly curtailed Hillary Clinton’s chances of victory.
In Mexico, media outlets were focused on a sharp drop in the value of the peso to an all-time low. “Dollar breaks barrier,” read the lead headline on El Sol de Mexico, a leading newspaper in the nation’s capital.
The Manila Bulletin, a newspaper in the Philippines, filled its website’s “latest news” section with U.S. election dispatches. “Trump within reach of shock White House win,” read one wire service story featured by the paper’s editors.
Indian news anchor Rajdeep Sardesai called it the “election to beat all elections” and a “miracle.”
In Europe, many newspapers were even more direct: “United States fears total paralysis,” said a headline in Spain’s El Pais.
The Economist, a British publication that often trumpets its fondness for the U.S., described Tuesday evening as “Fright night.” Prior to Election Day, it had published a strident editorial that warned Americans against voting for Trump.
“His experience, temperament and character make him horribly unsuited to being the head of state of the nation that the rest of the democratic world looks to for leadership,” it said.
In at least one corner of the world, the election news failed to generate major headlines.
Chinese state broadcaster CCTV did not mention the election results during the first 30 minutes of its major afternoon news bulletin. It’s possible that senior leaders in Beijing are still formulating a stance.