Donald Trump was projected to win Pennsylvania early Wednesday morning, putting victory within grasp for the Republican presidential nominee, who entered election day an underdog but racked up unexpected wins in a series of battleground states.
In securing the Keystone State’s whopping 20 electoral votes, Trump all but closed off a path for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to become the first woman in the Oval Office. He held 264 electoral votes, just six shy of the 270 majority need to win the White House
It was the first time since 1988 that a GOP presidential candidate won Pennsylvania – a sign of the resonance Trump’s message had with white voters outside of the urban centers.
The states still un-called were New Hampshire, Minnesota, Arizona, Alaska, Wisconsin and Michigan.
Shortly after 2 a.m., Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta addressed her remaining supporters in Javits Center in New York, announcing that the candidate would not be speaking because some states remained too close to call. He urged those gathered to go home and get some sleep.
“We can wait a little longer, can’t we?” Podesta asked a cheering crowd. “We’re still counting votes, and every vote should count.
At Trump’s party in New York, boos erupted in the room when Fox News — shown on enormous television screens — said on air that Clinton would not be addressing her supporter. “Lock her up!” the crowd began to shout. “She’s probably sleeping,” one woman told a friend, laughing.
Trump was also on track to prevail in Ohio, a key bellwether state that has backed the losing presidential candidate only once since 1944. The GOP nominee appealed directly to the sense of economic grievance in the Buckeye State, which has been buffeted by a declining manufacturing industry. Locking up the state’s 18 electoral votes boosts his options to getting to 270 electoral votes.
The GOP nominee was also projected as the winner in Florida, another key battleground, where Clinton had felt confident that a surge in Latino voters would win her the state.
Trump was also the likely winner in the fiercely contested battleground state of North Carolina. That put the Tar Heel State and its 15 electoral votes back in the Republican column — securing one of the pivotal states that Trump needs for victory. This is the second presidential campaign in a row that North Carolina has gone red, despite a furious effort by Clinton and President Obama to turn out Democratic voters there.
Republicans also kept control of the Senate, according to the Associated Press’s projections. After 1:15 a.m., the AP predicted that Sen. Pat Toomey would be reelected in Pennsylvania, guaranteeing the GOP more than 51 seats. Earlier in the night, Republican incumbents had held on to their seats in Florida and Wisconsin.
Even Trump supporters were stunned by the direction of the race.
Clinton was projected the winner in Virginia, putting the state’s 13 electoral votes in her column. The late call came after a surprisingly tight contest in the commonwealth, whose blue northern suburbs outside of Washington, D.C. were anticipated to give her a substantial edge. With her victory, Virginia has now gone Democratic for three presidential elections in a row.
Trump locked down Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming, racking up 264 electoral votes.
Clinton was projected to win California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington, giving her 215 electoral votes, according to the Associated Press.
Voting also ended in the key swing states of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Wisconsin. But those pivotal states were too close to immediately call.