Election 2016

Students in shock as Clinton loses Wisconsin, the presidency

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton fell short in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, costing her the presidency.

Image By: Betsy Osterberger

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton entered the night as the favorite to win the White House.

But as the night wore on, Clinton’s odds of winning dwindled. First Ohio, a state where Republican Donald Trump was slightly favored, went Republican. Then Florida and North Carolina were called for Trump.

The likely fatal blow to Clinton’s chances came shortly before 1 a.m. Central Standard Time, as Pennsylvania was called, defying the predictions of pundits. The Keystone State was a must-win for Clinton and one where she consistently led, albeit narrowly, throughout the election.

The Pennsylvania defeat left Trump as the prohibitive favorite to win the White House. Clinton’s campaign said they would not concede the race, despite Trump leading in several key states.

“Let’s get those votes counted and bring this home,” Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta told supporters at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City. “We’re not going to have anything more to say tonight.”

That podium was where Clinton was supposed to become the first female president, breaking the glass ceiling that no woman has ever shattered beneath a literal glass roof.

Instead Clinton called Trump to concede the race a half hour after Podesta spoke, according to the Associated Press.

Trump had slim leads in Michigan, Arizona and New Hampshire and those advantages held consistently as Tuesday night gave way to Wednesday morning. And at 1:30 a.m. Central Standard Time, CNN called Wisconsin for Trump.

The likely defeat shocked Clinton supporters on campus and nationwide. The political prognosticators at FiveThirtyEight gave Clinton over a 70 percent chance of victory as recently as Monday.

Amanda Zauner came to Union South with the expectation of cheering the first female president. She instead left shocked and concerned about the future of the country.

“We’ve gone so much forward,” Zauner, a sophomore at UW-Madison, said. “This election is going to change things. It is going to take things backwards.”

Many thought that Wisconsin was solidly in Clinton’s favor, with the former Secretary of State using waves of support in Madison and Milwaukee to coast to victory.

But almost 100,000 fewer Milwaukee residents voted for Clinton than Barack Obama in 2012. Trump also fought back with major victories in northern Wisconsin, running ahead of Mitt Romney’s 2012 numbers in Brown, Marathon and Outagamie Counties.

The disparities between rural and urban Wisconsin were striking to UW-Madison first-year law student Naman Siad. She said she was terrified when she realized that Wisconsin was one of the key states that gave Trump the presidency.

“Madison and Milwaukee, the southern cities, are living in a bubble,” Siad said. “Sometimes I get caught up and think Madison is indicative of the entire state of Wisconsin, when it’s very different. Just being in classes where I realize that there are open and proud Trump supporters sitting two seats away from me terrifies me. I wouldn’t for a second think that Wisconsin wouldn’t swing in Hillary’s favor.”

For Matteo Calogiuri, an international student from the United Kingdom, the result was reminiscent of his home country’s vote to exit the European Union.

“You know you look at Brexit and you can understand that it’s that kind of year. Fear tactics win, intolerance wins,” Calogiuri said.

He added that he was concerned a Trump presidency would wreak havoc on the environment.

“My main concern is the way this is going to affect climate change,” he said. “Trump doesn’t believe this that it’s real.”

Nora Herzog, a UW-Madison sophomore and First Wave scholar, said she was not surprised at what took place.

“I am actually not surprised,” Herzog said. “I’m not surprised at all, and that’s really sad. That’s where I am right now, I’m not comprehensive. When I saw what was happening in Florida specifically, I was like, ‘Oh, that’s it.’”

Herzog said Trump’s victory validated feelings of racism and discrimination.

“I was wondering who was going to pay tomorrow, because I think that the most dangerous part of his campaign is that he is showing people that violence as a political tool is acceptable,” Herzog said. “It’s showing a lot of people it’s okay for them to mobilize their hatred.”

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