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The election night party at Trump Headquarters has certainly ended on a different note than it began. I'm Zach Ullman for Reuters and I was here at the Hilton Hotel in mid-town Manhattan on November 8th. And you got to remember, walking into the election night party, that the public opinion polls had Hillary Clinton up by an average of 2 to 4% Nationally.
And when we got here at six, Trump's supporters were optimistic but they weren't enthusiastic. Anecdotally, you could see this in a fact that they were lining up for the bar pretty early and hit me pretty hard. It was a cash bar, beers were ten bucks a pop. One person remarked it, it's rather the same price as Yankee's stadium but the crowd was a lot wider.
Then the night started to change when right about 9:00, none of the major swing states Have been called. And then in fact some of the states that have been thought to be safe for Hillary Clinton such as Virginia, Wisconsin, Michigan, hadn't been called either. And then the night really took a turn just after 10:00, around 10:20 when Ohio was called for Trump Now, Ohio being called for Trump on its own, not a major revelation.
Some polls had him up there. But the fact that states that were thought safe for Clinton had not yet been called, meant that Trump was pulling a lot more support than anyone thought and Clinton's supporters weren't coming out as much as it's been expected. From there on in, people who'd started partying early were starting to get a little bit sloppy on the floor.
I saw some folks in very nice dinner gowns and tuxedos, Basically falling across the floor cheering, clinking glasses, high fiving each other. A lot of guys chest bumping, it was clear for just about everybody there that, as the night unfolded, we were witnessing something both historic and unforeseen by most people.
I think that when you look back, the opinion polls might not have been so wrong, Hillary Clinton did beat Trump by about 2% and change in the popular numbers, but a lot of us are still absorbing the shock of that night.