Americans over the eastern portion of the US started throwing their tickets for the following president and in essential Senate and House races as late surveys and early voting comes about kept on indicating a limited lead for Democrat Hillary Clinton.
In the conventional first vote in the little New Hampshire villa of Dixville Notch, Mrs Clinton won by four votes to two over Republican adversary Donald Trump, however she lost in close-by Millsfield 16-4. In Hart’s Location, which began the midnight voting custom in 1948, Mrs Clinton earned 17 votes to Mr Trump’s 14.
The candidates themselves also began turning up at voting precincts. Shortly after 8am, Mrs Clinton cast her vote in Chappaqua in New York state along with her husband Bill. Tim Kaine, the Virginia senator running as vice-president on Mrs Clinton’s ticket, cast his vote shortly after 6am in the state capital of Richmond.
As he has throughout the campaign, Mr Trump turned to Twitter for his first message of election day, tweeting out his campaign slogan: “TODAY WE MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.”
Early voting results suggested a surge in turnout among Hispanics, with analysts suggesting it could turn the tide for Mrs Clinton in some smaller but crucial states like Nevada, Colorado and Arizona. In Florida, the largest swing state, early voting totals have already eclipsed the final turnout in 2012, with Latino turnout as much as 80 per cent higher than four years ago.
The final average of national polls compiled by Real Clear Politics had Mrs Clinton ahead by 3.3 percentage points, a slight increase over the previous 24 hours. But Mr Trump remained ahead in Ohio, the second biggest prize seen up for grabs, and Florida appears a virtual dead heat. Mr Trump must win both to have a chance of winning the White House.
After big gains on Monday — which saw the S&P 500 snap its longest losing streak since 1980 with a 2.2 per cent rally and the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit its highest close in a month — financial markets were subdued in Asia and Europe as investors awaited the final result.
Traders have bet on a Clinton victory and have sold off at any sign Mr Trump could eke out a win, a sign they believe the Republican’s unorthodox economic policy could roil the global economy.
In their final rallies, both Mrs Clinton and Mr Trump stuck to the divisive themes they have used throughout the campaign, with Mr Trump accusing his rival of being corrupt while the Democratic nominee labelling the New York developer unfit for high office.
“With your vote, we are just one day away from the change you’ve been waiting for your entire life,” Mr Trump told a night-time rally in Manchester, New Hampshire. “I am with you, I will fight for you, and I will win for you.”
Mrs Clinton held one of the largest rallies of her campaign on Monday night in Philadelphia, outside Independence Hall — the sight where America’s founding fathers declared independence from Britain in 1776.
“There is a clear choice this election,” Mrs Clinton said. “A choice between division or unity, between an economy that works for everyone or only those at the top, between strong, steady leadership or a loose cannon who would put everybody at risk.”
The nastiness of the campaign has buoyed us rivals abroad with Russian nationalists using the raw rhetoric to question whether the US could still rightfully be called a democracy. China’s state-owned Xinhua argued, “American voters will be the biggest losers in the election,” and claimed the US system is now controlled by a small number of rich and connected.
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said the campaign demonstrated the US was in the midst of crises that would lead to its decline. (FT)