In a large upset victory, Republican nominee Donald Trump won the presidential election after capturing Wisconsin, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, which Democrats had considered crucial to their victory. The race was called at 2:30 a.m. by the Associated Press.
In his victory speech, Trump framed the United States as needing to unite together under his leadership.
“Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division — have to get together,” he said. “To all Republicans and Democrats and Independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people.”
Because of the closeness of the race, both Trump and Clinton made some of their final campaign pitches in the state. The University was also one of several places nationwide to receive a visit from President Barack Obama Monday, who campaigned for Clinton on campus in a bid to enthuse students and other state residents.
Monday night in Grand Rapids, at Trump’s final rally, he told the crowd that a victory in Michigan would translate to a nationwide triumph.
“If we win Michigan, we will win this historic election and then we truly will be able to do all of the things we want to do,” he said.
Upon the first announcement of his candidacy, Trump was not taken seriously by neither the media nor the public, but he quickly gained support and corresponding media coverage. He has built his campaign around what now makes his presidency unique — being the first president elected with no experience in politics or the military — and overcoming significant doubt along the way.
LSA junior Enrique Zalamea, president of the University’s chapter of College Republicans, wrote in an email interview that he is excited to see the country elect a leader who he believes will best guide the country. The College Republicans endorsed Trump early in the semester, several months after he was selected as the nominee.
“We are incredibly blessed to see how the American people have recognized that Trump is the candidate to truly represent the American people, Christian values, and conservative ideals,” he wrote. “We are exuberant to see the end of 8 years of Obama, and cannot wait to help continue to bridge the gap between millennials and politics under a Trump presidency.”
However, for many University students, comments that Trump made throughout his campaign both in speeches and online on immigrants, Muslim Americans, African Americans and women sparked significant concern Wednesday morning.
Several students expressed fear for the safety of their family and friends given plans outlined by Trump including a proposal to ban all Muslim immigration, offensive comments about undocumented immigrants and bragging about inappropriately touching women.
LSA senior Stuart Inahuazo said as a Latino student, he believes Trump’s victory suggests that he is not accepted in the United States.
“This election has shown me that the United States is not welcome to other people and other cultures,” he said. “It has shown that people have come out of the shadows by supporting an individual who has tarnished the culture of America and has hurt me on the basis of my Latino heritage. It has spit in the face of my Latino culture.”
LSA freshman Arwa Gayar wrote in an email interview that she is concerned for the safety of Muslims like herself across the country under a Trump presidency.
On campus, many students reacted with shock and distress as the results were released. Prior to Election Day, Michigan Daily election surveys consistently showed 70 percent of students supporting Clinton. In addition, many students worked throughout the election season with the College Democrats and Students for Hillary toward a Clinton victory
Though some students did not appear enthused about voting for either candidate on Election Day, voter turnout was still higher in precincts with a large number of students than it was in 2012.
“I will be pretty disappointed. I wouldn’t say I would be absolutely devastated because I really do love this country a lot and I hold out a little bit of hope,” she said. “There are people out there who believe what I believe. We will stand up to racism and sexism. Yes, we had a bad day today, but we have to roll with it and we have to keep fighting for what we believe in.”
However, many students on campus were genuinely excited about electing Clinton.
College Democrats declined to comment at the time that the results were released.
Social Work graduate student Samantha Cooley, who attended a watch party in the Union, said she is very upset by Trump’s victory due to his lack of background relevant to the position, compared to Clinton.
“I’m devastated. I’m disgusted,” she said. “It’s just sad to me that a woman who has 40 years of experience in this kind of work and then just lose this election to a man who has no experience whatsoever.”
LSA freshman Ryan Clemmons said he was shocked by the results, and believes he was insulated by the opinions of much of the rest of the country due to living in Ann Arbor.
“I feel a giant pit in my stomach. I didn’t think that this would happen,” he said. “Living in the college bubble, we’re surrounded by so many educated people and we all kind of have the same idea about this election and I didn’t really think about the rest of the country.”