Election 2016

Ways to Connect

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Let's go next to the city of Istanbul, Turkey. It's on the dividing line between Europe and Asia. And it's where NPR's Peter Kenyon covers the Middle East. He's been listening to responses to last night's election here, what people are saying there. Hi, Peter.

When Donald Trump came down the escalator in June of 2015 in the tower he named for himself in Manhattan, few of us who do politics for a living took his off-the-cuff announcement for president seriously.

But the past 17 months have been a lesson to all of us who flattered ourselves — as campaign pros, polling pros and media pros — that we knew more about politics than he did.

What have we learned? That Trump was being taken very seriously, indeed, by the people who ultimately mattered: voters.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton finds herself on the wrong end of an electoral split, moving ahead in the popular vote but losing to President-elect Donald Trump in the Electoral College, according to election results that are still being finalized.

As of midday Thursday ET, Clinton had amassed 59,938,290 votes nationally, to Trump's 59,704,886 — a margin of 233,404 that puts Clinton on track to become the fifth U.S. presidential candidate to win the popular vote but lose the election.

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It is exceedingly rare for a president to serve two full terms and then be succeeded by a president of his own party.

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Andrew Jackson did it. Franklin Roosevelt succeeded himself. There's Ronald Reagan - only a few others.

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Democrat Paul Penzone has ended controversial Arizona lawman Joe Arpaio's 24-year tenure as the sheriff of Maricopa County. Arpaio has faced multiple legal challenges to his stance on immigration; the loss comes despite raising more than $12 million from donors.

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And let's get some reaction now on this side of the border. NPR's Hansi Lo Wang is in Manchester, N.H., which was one of the swing states that remained very close late into the evening. Hansi, good morning.

HANSI LO WANG, BYLINE: Good morning, David.

Donald Trump's presidential campaign, like the business career that preceded it, was unpredictable, undisciplined and unreliable. Despite those qualities — or perhaps, in part, because of them — it was also successful.

So what should we expect from President-elect Trump, mindful that his path to the White House has defied expectations at every turn?

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This country has had 44 presidents. Each had either served in public office or in the military before being elected.

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Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States.

That's remarkable for all sorts of reasons: He has no governmental experience, for example. And many times during his campaign, Trump's words inflamed large swaths of Americans, whether it was his comments from years ago talking about grabbing women's genitals or calling Mexican immigrants in the U.S. illegally "rapists" and playing up crimes committed by immigrants, including drug crimes and murders.

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And let's listen to one more reaction this morning to yesterday's election results. We have Attica Locke on the line with us. She's a California novelist who often writes about black America. She's also a writer on the TV series "Empire." Good morning to you.

On Monday in North Carolina, Donald Trump promised to pull off a "Brexit, Plus, Plus, Plus." He was referring to the surprise vote in June by people in the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.

Given the polls at the time in the U.S., pollsters in London saw that boast as a stretch — but early Wednesday morning, Trump delivered on that pledge.

DONALD TRUMP: Thank you, thank you very much. Sorry to keep you waiting. Complicated business, complicated business. Thank you very much.

I've just received a call from Secretary Clinton. She congratulated us — it's about us — on our victory. And I congratulated her and her family on a very, very hard-fought campaign. She fought very hard.

Hillary has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country. I mean that very sincerely.

Updated at 10:45 ET Wednesday

While votes are still being counted, some high-profile ballot initiatives already have returned clear results — including a slew of states opting in favor of medical or recreational marijuana, and several more raising the minimum wage.

You can see our full list of key ballot measures here, or check out a sample of the highlights:

The legalization of marijuana continued to expand as several states voted to legalize recreational and medical marijuana.

By a wide margin, California and Massachusetts voted to legalize recreational pot on Tuesday. Arkansas, North Dakota and Florida voted to legalize medical marijuana.

It's still too early to tell which way ballot initiatives in Arizona, Maine, Montana and Nevada will go. But the trend is positive for those in favor of legalizing marijuana and it's also part of a larger trend across the country.

Canada's Immigration and Citizenship website was down for hours Tuesday and Wednesday — apparently due to a spike in searches by Americans reacting to Tuesday's presidential election. Access was cut off on Election Day; the site was brought back online shortly after 10 a.m. ET.

Republicans will hold on to control of the Senate, according to Associated Press projections. The GOP defied the odds in a year in which it was almost entirely on defense and rode a wave that carried Donald J. Trump to the White House.

Even with their best opportunities to gain seats in years, Democrats so far have only been able to pick up deep blue Illinois. And they narrowly hung on in Nevada, which was Republicans' only offensive opportunity.

For the first time, a U.S. state has elected an openly LGBT governor.

The landmark was reached in Oregon, where the Associated Press projects that Kate Brown has won the gubernatorial election.

Brown was the incumbent in her race — but running for election for the first time.

The 2016 presidential race is a lot closer than any of the polls predicted. The day started with pundits focused on Donald Trump's narrow path to winning, but as polls closed, the tides turned and now, it's Hillary Clinton with the narrow path to victory.

If you're drinking tonight, you're definitely not alone.

There's anxiety. There's excitement. There's the anticipation of either despair or celebration. There are, perhaps, hours to go until it's all resolved — as the race is turning out to be significantly tighter than some pollsters had predicted.

It's a surefire recipe for a lot of alcohol consumption.

And some election enthusiasts are getting more creative.

Looking for a cocktail for the evening? Here are a few suggestions:

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Now let's hear from some of you. We reached out to people who are voting for the first time in a U.S. presidential election.

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And people from all over the country chimed in.

Valerie Reneé / Flickr

Voter suppression and intimidation is a very real issue in Georgia. We talk with Kristina Torres of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about the most recent and shocking examples from across the state. We also bring on University of Georgia Professor Charles Bullock to provide context and discuss the implications of voter intimidation.

Lindsay Thomas/On Second Thought

They're a badge of honor on Election Day: those stickers that declare to the world "I voted." Nationally, their origin is a bit hazy, with several people and groups claiming credit for the concept.

Georgia's peach sticker is considered to be one of the best in the country. We find out how the idea grew with help from Candice Broce, press secretary for Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp.  

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III% Security Force

The Southern Poverty Law Center finds that anti-government militia groups grew by more than one-third last year.  Several of those groups are based right here in Georgia. New York Times reporter David Zucchino recently visited one of the state's most vocal militia groups, the Georgia Security Force. He writes that tensions surrounding the election have put many militia members on edge, especially when it comes to Second Amendment rights.

We speak with Zucchino about why armed activity is on the rise in Georgia and his experiences interacting with members of the militia.  

Follow along for up-to-the-minute election coverage from across the web.

The candidates aren't talking much about education. But we are.

Voters are, too — education is rated as one of the top campaign issues this election cycle.

From pretty much the very start of this election season, Donald Trump grabbed the media by the press pass. He didn't even wait. As Trump, a former reality show host, once said in a slightly different context, "When you're a star, they let you do it."

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