President-elect Donald Trump vowed Wednesday to unify a deeply divided nation, having scored a stunning victory backed by extraordinary support from working-class America.
The tough-talking New York billionaire claimed victories in the nation's premier battleground states, but his appeal across the industrial Midwest — Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, in particular — sealed a victory that defied pre-election polls and every expectation of the political establishment.
"I say it is time for us to come together as one united people," Trump told supporters gathered in a Manhattan hotel near his Trump Tower campaign headquarters.
You can watch Donald Trump's full speech via our DecodeDC Youtube page below
Trump addressed the nation after sweeping most of the nation's top battlegrounds — and created some new ones.
He won Ohio, Florida and North Carolina. He also took down the Democratic Party's "blue firewall" by scoring victories in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, states that haven't supported a Republican presidential candidate since 1988 and 1984 respectively.
Trump's win shocked political professionals and global financial markets alike. But it created pure joy inside the hotel ballroom where hundreds of Trump supporters waited for hours for his celebration speech. They hugged each other, chanted "USA!" and bellowed "God bless America" at the top of their lungs.
Pre-election polls suggested he was the least popular presidential nominee in the modern era.
Yet there were signs that Republicans who previously vowed never to support Trump were willing to give him a chance moving forward.
"If Trump wins, he does deserve the benefit of the doubt because he was right on his chances and so many of us were wrong," tweeted conservative leader Erick Erickson.
|Live video, the latest news and no surveys - download the WKBW app|
|News, forecast and Bills newsletters delivered to your e-mail inbox|