Republican nominee Donald Trump led Hillary Clinton in a series of states that were too close to call, including Florida and North Carolina, in a surprisingly close race for the White House.
The U.S. dollar sank and stock markets slammed into reverse in wild Asian trade as early results pointed to a nail-biter and investors stampeded to safe-haven assets.
Sovereign bonds and gold shot higher while the Mexican peso went into near free-fall as investors faced the possibility of a Trump win. Investors worry a victory by the New York businessman could cause economic and global uncertainty.
The internet, especially Twitter, didn't fare any better:
One way or another, history will surely be made tonight.— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) November 8, 2016
Let it be the good kind. Please, please let it be the good kind. #ElectionNight
The DOW is now lower than it was on 9/11.— Eric Wolfson (@EricWolfson) November 9, 2016
Let that sink in.#ElectionNight
If trump replaces Obama does that mean that orange is the new black? #ElectionNight— Isaac wright (@I_Zac33) November 9, 2016
At least Prince and Bowie aren't alive to see this. #ElectionNight— OhNoSheTwitnt (@OhNoSheTwitnt) November 9, 2016
The Canadian immigration website crashed!
I was gonna write this as a joke but found out it was real. "The Canada Citizenship and Immigration site crashed around 8 PM" #electionnight— Ben Schwartz (@rejectedjokes) November 9, 2016
Trump's win in Ohio, with 18 electoral votes, and his edge in Florida and North Carolina gave him an early advantage in the state-by-state fight for 270 Electoral College votes needed to win.
Clinton had more options to reach 270, with Trump needing a virtual sweep of about six toss-up states to win. But a Trump win in all those three states would leave Clinton needing to win the remaining battlegrounds including Pennsylvania, Michigan and either Nevada or New Hampshire.
Both candidates scored victories in states where they were expected to win. Trump captured conservative states in the South and Midwest, while Clinton swept several states on the East Coast and Illinois in the Midwest.
After running close throughout the night in Virginia, Clinton pulled out the swing state that is home to her running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine.
With 95 percent of the vote counted in Florida, Trump led Clinton by about 130,000 votes out of 9 million cast. In North Carolina, Trump led by about 100,00 votes out of 3.9 million cast.
A HOMOPHOBE IS WINNING A STATE A MASS SHOOTING OF LGBTQ+ MINORITIES OCCURRED IN. I COULDN'T BREATHE TYPING THAT. #ELECTIONNIGHT— #VOTEHILLARY (@ChrisKlemens) November 9, 2016
The stock market is crashing along with my confidence in this country #ElectionNight— RyansAverageLife (@RyanAbe) November 9, 2016
Perhaps this guy from across the border nails it:
United States of Anxiety #ElectionNight— Matthew Santoro (@MatthewSantoro) November 9, 2016
Before Tuesday's election, Clinton led Trump, 44 percent to 39 percent in the last Reuters/Ipsos national tracking poll. A Reuters/Ipsos States of the Nation poll gave her a 90 percent chance of defeating Trump and becoming the first woman elected U.S. president.
In a presidential campaign that focused more on the character of the candidates than on policy, Clinton, 69, a former U.S. secretary of state, and Trump, 70, accused each other of being fundamentally unfit to lead the country.
Even Hillary Clinton seems to be expecting the worst now:
This team has so much to be proud of. Whatever happens tonight, thank you for everything. pic.twitter.com/x13iWOzILL— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) November 9, 2016