Trump wins

It’s Trump: the UK reported live from the Election Night USA event at the Groninger Forum, from the first bars of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ to an inconclusive ending of the night without a clear winner.
Text and photos by Traci White / Video by Anneloes Prins

4:34: With Trump at 167 and Clinton at 109, the Forum staff have just announced that everyone has to clear out by 5 a.m. and has encouraged everyone to go to sleep ‘in the hopes that you’ll wake up to good news.’ The crowd seems to be in disbelief in general, which could also just be exhaustion setting in.

So that’s the end of our live coverage of this event, even though the presidential vote results are far from certain. Hopefully at least a few night owls and America fans stuck it out with us tonight – check back later on Wednesday for a video by Anneloes Prins with more interviews from tonight’s spectacle.

4:20: Current mood at the Groninger Forum:

electionnight017Clinton is at 109, Trump is at 149.

3:56: Trump is doing ‘remarkably well’ as Wolf Blitzer keeps emphasising on CNN, but Clinton has just pulled slightly ahead in the less blue-than-expected state of Virginia. The pro-Clinton crowd – which is pretty much everyone in attendance – cheers in relief. But his total is still 136 and Clinton is trailing at the moment with 104 points. It’s nearly 4 a.m., and the outcome is still far from clear as the crowd is beginning to thin out or to doze off on the floor.

2:31: Clinton has 44 points and Trump has 51, and with Stranger Things Have Happened, the points don’t matter.

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1:35: Hillary Clinton’s three point lead in Florida with 30 per cent of precincts reporting gets a big cheer from the crowd. So far, Clinton has 3 points and Trump has 24.

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12:35: The first results are starting to take shape, but the outcomes so far haven’t been exactly surprising, according to American Studies student and EPU student association member Coen Constantijn.

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Members of American Studies student association EPU – including Coen Constantijn (second from left) await the first definitive results on election night.

‘It would have been really strange if Trump didn’t win Kentucky and Indiana’, he says – Indiana is Trump’s vice presidential candidate Mike Pence’s home state. ‘Florida and Nevada are really important this year, so they’ll be interesting to see.’ But Constantijn is With Her: he says he’s been a fan of Hillary Clinton since 2007, back when she was running against Obama in the democratic primaries. He also admits that he is at the event tonight pretty much just to watch the results come in. ‘But it’s looking like it’s going to be a long night’, he says.

11:47: The suspense is building upstairs as the first polls are about to close, and CNN has reported one exit poll response that could be a decent indicator of the outcomes of the election tonight: when asked if they approve of the job Obama has done as president, 54 per cent said yes and 45 per cent said no.

While we wait, we’re admiring the impressive footwear on display at the event tonight:

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11:00 p.m.
: A crowd is gathering on the top floor as the first exit polls are about to be announced – the organizers have reported that 350 tickets were sold, and that constitutes a sold out event. For some attendees here, it seems that election night is a romantic evening out on the town.

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9:55 p.m.: As Gregory Fuller (whom the UK has spoken with in recent weeks about what these elections mean to him, and who just mentioned that Clinton’s voter turn out in Florida is already exceeding Obama’s) begins his speech questioning whether the economy or society and culture are more important in this year’s election, an inflatable Statue of Liberty is outside welcoming the poor, huddled masses arriving at Groninger Forum:

electionnight008As Fuller opens the floor to questions, he digs further into the misconceptions (that most of Trump’s supporters are poor – they’re actually primarily wealthy) and the accuracies (that people who are less frequently in contact with foreigners and other cultures are more likely to support the Republican candidate, and that Trump is actually the most pro-LGBT conservative presidential candidate ever).

9:20 p.m.: Randy Snoyl has just begun his lecture on race and racism in America. Based on an unscientific applause poll in Zaal 1, the majority of the roughly 50 people in the room would have voted for Hillary Clinton if they were American citizens – but pretty much everyone would have voted for Bernie Sanders if he was still in the race.

The crowd is first being treated to a highlights reel of Obama’s victory on election night 2008.

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Snoyl is explaining the history of red lining in American housing policy and its lingering effect on school segregation, mass incarceration and economic equality for African American people to this day. The crowd for this event has grown to closer to 100. His lecture ends with a call for everyone to move beyond their initial emotional reaction and to seek to educate themselves at every opportunity.

9 p.m.:

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