Update: U. students react to Trump's victory, Allie Spensley , Katherine Wang and Winston Lie | Nov 8, 2016
As the returns of the 2016 presidential election reveal the victory of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump after a very close result, many University students expressed surprise.
The night began with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton leading, yet it quickly turned into a very close race.
Daniel Pallares ’20 noted that he was surprised on how close the results were.
“I thought that Clinton would win in a landslide, with the early projections and all the things that Trump has said,” he said.
Chamari White-Mink ’20, who identified as a Clinton supporter, noted that she felt “terrified [and] very anxious” upon learning how close the results were.
Around 9:30 p.m., Trump starting leading in the polls and the odds shifted in his favor.
Nick Sileo ’20 noted that he was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. “It was Hillary’s race to win at first. I always thought Trump really had a chance and he was underestimated. Right now, I couldn’t be happier,” he said.
“I wasn’t surprised, because I think everyone underestimated that people who didn’t want Trump to win didn’t turn up to vote. Brexit had a major effect because it showed the electorate that people can change the course of political events,” Bhadrajee Hewage ’20 said. “I wouldn’t say I was expecting him with certainty to win, but I certainly wasn’t surprised that he is pulling ahead now.”
“To see my home state Pennsylvania flip to red was when I realized that this is an absolutely unexpected revolution. I feel like Trump’s going to tame his positions if he is in office,” Abbie Minard ’20 noted.
Describing the atmosphere in the room, Minard said that “every red projection was met with silence except for one or two people. The blue projections, although they are rare, are met with very weak cheers at this point.”
Some students expressed disappointment and frustration as Trump began to pull ahead in the polls and ultimately won.
“I’m fairly excited about the prospect of structural shakeup, and I’m interested to see what political analysts make of this,” Christian Schmidt ’20 said. “However, I’m incredibly disappointed in the American public for electing this burgeoning idiot of a man.”
“As an American, I feel very dirty and the only way to feel clean again is to leave the country. This is totally not what I expected. I expected [Clinton] to win Republican states before I expected [Trump] to win,” Brad Spicher ‘20 said.
“I can’t believe the majority of Americans feel this way. I expected him to get maybe 25 or 30 percent, but not 60 percent. Apparently, Americans don’t value manners and grace. If Hillary had said a quarter of a sentence of what Trump has said, she would be tortured, but he is being elected for it,” Achie Gebre ’20 said.
“I’m feeling really shocked, not necessarily because Trump is winning, but because hatred can prevail as much as it has,” Dylan Mittag ’20 said. “I’m really interested in political structure and in this election, the norms, what we expect, have been completely undone. Essentially, the Democratic firewall has been destroyed. This is troubling for both sides, because nothing can be predictable anymore.”
“I’m scared for my Muslim, LGBT, and people of color friends, not that we might be immediately directly affected, but because we are now citizens in a Trump America,” Mittag added.
“This is just a demonstration of how racist America is. It’s a referendum for racist America. I’m in shock. I don’t understand what caused people to vote for him. It makes me realize the power of racism and division in this country,” Belinda Azamati ’19 noted.
“I personally wanted to come here to feel the energy of a Clinton win and was depressed that it is nonexistent. We’re all lamenting,” said Hector Cruz ’20.