The night they can’t forget: Hillary Clinton supporters recall the election


It was a day that began with hope and ended with shock. A year after 8 November, Clinton supporters share their memories and stunned text messages

It’s a night that will be ingrained in people’s minds for generations to come: 8 November 2016. The night Donald Trump proved all political pundits, and pollsters wrong and spread much shock, and a lot of alarm, across the planet, while delighting his supporters.

For people watching the results unfold in the US, particularly those who supported Hillary Clinton and were preparing to celebrate America’s first female president, it was a turbulent night. Many people watched the event unfold through updates on their phones and tried to make sense of the moment by texting their family and friends.

On the first anniversary of Trump’s election, the Guardian looks back on the evening through the eyes of Clinton supporters across the country. Some supporters shared the text message exchanges they had that evening.

The morning: America goes to the polls

Women place ‘I voted’ stickers on the grave of women’s suffrage leader Susan B Anthony in Rochester, New York. Photograph: Adam Fenster/Reuters

On election morning, Americans took to the polls in what, at the time, seemed to be an election that could only go one way. The New York Times’s Upshot blog gave Hillary Clinton a 91% chance of winning, The Huffington Post had her at 98% and the Princeton Election Consortium had the results as an almost inevitability at 99%.

This coronation, though, had been dampened 10 days earlier when the FBI announced it had reopened its investigation into her use of a personal email server. The revelation, made public by the then FBI director James Comey, rattled her poll numbers, but experts and pundits still placed Clinton as the likely winner.


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