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Clinton and Trump wrap up Election Day by returning to New York

November 8, 2016 at 6:50 PM EST
After more than 500 days of campaigning, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are back where they began their campaigns: New York. Lisa Desjardins recaps the day of voting and John Yang reports from Clinton headquarters at Javits Convention Center and Jeffrey Brown reports from Trump headquarters at the Hilton hotel.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: It’s been a long day of voting all across this country, and the vast majority of the polls are still open.

At issue, whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will become the 45th president of the United States.

Lisa Desjardins begins our coverage this election night.

LISA DESJARDINS: New York state, where both presidential nominees began their campaigns, and now, after 500-plus days of campaigning, it’s where they’re ending.

Democrat Hillary Clinton cast a ballot today at her home base, Chappaqua, awash in supporters’ cheers both inside and outside the polling place.

CROWD: Hillary! Hillary!

HILLARY CLINTON (D), Presidential Nominee: It’s the most humbling feeling, Dan, because I know how much responsibility goes with this. And so many people are counting on the outcome of this election, what it means for our country. And I will do the very best I can, if I’m fortunate enough to win today.

LISA DESJARDINS: Chappaqua is just north of New York City, and that’s where Republican Donald Trump cast his vote.

QUESTION: So, who did you vote for?

DONALD TRUMP (R), Presidential Nominee: Tough decision.

(LAUGHTER)

LISA DESJARDINS: That after kicking off his day, as he has so many times in this campaign, with a call-in to FOX News.

DONALD TRUMP: It’s been a beautiful process. The people of this country are incredible. I went — last night, I ended up with my final speech. We started with it — well, you guys covered it — but started at 12:45 in the evening, and we had probably 21,000 people. Can you imagine that?

LISA DESJARDINS: That final speech, in the wee hours of this morning, was in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

DONALD TRUMP: We have to win.

LISA DESJARDINS: His campaign’s closing salvo in a weeklong push to crack Clinton’s blue firewall. Clinton, too, was campaigning into the early morning in another key state, North Carolina.

An Associated Press analysis said, across the country, at least 46 million votes were already in before today, a record for early voting. Still, many millions were lined up across the country to weigh in on the candidates, and this long campaign.

WOMAN: Clearly, the candidates were not well-liked, so I will be glad when it’s over.

WOMAN: I think it’s going to take a minute for all of us to come together. I think we also need to take a moment to, like, just breathe. We’re a democracy. And we need to — this is how it’s supposed to be done.

LISA DESJARDINS: There were voting concerns in some places today. Voting machines in three Pennsylvania counties experienced malfunctions. But elections staff there said no ballots were miscounted.

In a fourth Pennsylvania county, Lebanon County, officials said calibration problems sometimes meant a vote for the GOP ticket lit up as a vote for Democrats. They say a software expert was able to fix each problem.

The day was also about symbolism. In Rochester, New York, dozens put “I Voted” stickers on the grave of suffragist Susan B. Anthony on the day the first woman nominee for president of a major party was on the ballot.

Unknown is exactly what time tonight this race for the White House might end.

Also at stake tonight, of course, possible changes in power at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, the Capitol. But, for now, New York is the center of the political world, with the two presidential hopefuls set to end this campaign just 25 blocks apart.

For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Lisa Desjardins.

HARI SREENIVASAN: We will be turning to New York City throughout the night, where both Clinton and Trump have their election night headquarters.

John Yang is with Clinton supporters at the Javits Convention Center.

John, this is the last day. There’s nothing left that they can do. What have you heard today?

JOHN YANG: Well, they’re watching and waiting. They’re very hopeful. They’re optimistic about their field operations.

They think that’s what’s going to make the difference in a lot of places where the race has been very close. Right now, here at the Javits Center, the doors not yet open to the public, still putting the final touches on.

When I asked the campaign why they were here at the Javits Center, they pointed up. This has a literal glass ceiling, a glass ceiling they’re hoping to symbolically burst through tonight with the first woman to be elected president.

More symbolism here, the stage that they’re working on is in the shape of the United States. The lectern where Hillary Clinton will speak is pretty much over Oklahoma, it looks to me. The campaign tells me that she has prepared remarks either way, win or lose, and she will be speaking on a map of the United States. That’s the Lower 48.

Where’s Hawaii and Alaska? Over there on the side — Judy.

JUDY WOODRUFF: John Yang, thank you.

We’re going to be coming back to you throughout the night. Both Hari and I will be doing that.

And now let’s move to Trump headquarters.

Our Jeffrey Brown is there at the Hilton Hotel in Midtown.

So, Jeff, tell us what it’s like at this moment.

JEFFREY BROWN: Well, Judy, I can tell you, we have no glass ceiling here. We actually have a rather low ceiling and a rather small venue. It’s a decidedly small venue, perhaps the smallest one I have ever seen for an event like this.

We’re only about a mile-and-a-half away from where John was. So, John and I might meet at the end of this long night, probably about Eighth Avenue. That’s to my west.

A few blocks to my east is Trump Tower. And, of course, that’s where Donald Trump is, we’re told, spending the evening there, we were told perhaps coming by 10:00, or at least no earlier than 10:00. But, at this point, who knows how long this night will go on.

But we were able to talk to some of the people from the campaign earlier today, and, as John heard from the Clinton campaign, the Trump campaign was feeling pretty good about what was happening and what they were seeing at the polls.

JUDY WOODRUFF: So, Jeff, are they saying — are any of the folks there sounding optimistic? Are they sounding worried? Are you picking up any vibes? I know it’s early in the evening.

JEFFREY BROWN: Yes, it’s too early to really know here.

I mean, I tell you what is — it’s funny here right now. I mean, as I said, this is a small place. I’m surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of my new best friends who are journalists right now, Judy. And so — and you can see the journalists well — a much bigger number of journalists than people in the hall.

And outside, of course, talking to people in the Trump campaign, they were talking to reporters earlier in the day, and, as I said, they were watching, they were hopeful. They were watching the returns in some of the key states.

Donald Trump himself was on Twitter about an hour ago, pretty active. He sent out three or four tweets. And he was talking specifically: Go, Florida. This is still ours to win. Get out there and vote.

So, he’s still pushing people.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Yes, I have been looking at some of his tweets this afternoon.

Jeffrey Brown, we will be talking to you throughout this night from New York. Thank you.

JEFFREY BROWN: OK. Thanks, Judy.

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