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Hillary Clinton Concedes; Donald Trump Is President-Elect

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It is exceedingly rare for a president to serve two full terms and then be succeeded by a president of his own party.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Andrew Jackson did it. Franklin Roosevelt succeeded himself. There's Ronald Reagan - only a few others.

INSKEEP: All through this election year, Republicans held to their faith that President Obama would fail to do it. And they turned out to be right. He didn't.

MONTAGNE: Donald Trump said early this morning he'd received a phone call from Hillary Clinton conceding the race.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

DONALD TRUMP: I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans. And this is so important to me.

(CHEERING)

TRUMP: For those who have chosen not to support me in the past, of which there were a few people...

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: I'm reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so that we can work together and unify our great country.

MONTAGNE: That's President-elect Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton has yet to speak. At the Javits Center in Manhattan, where Clinton was supposed to be holding her victory party, supporter Jane Garvey (ph) was devastated.

JANE GARVEY: I think what Secretary Clinton stood for was so much bigger than Secretary Clinton. It was really for a whole generation, not just my generation but our children's. So it's - it's deeply disappointing.

INSKEEP: OK, so what happened, and what's it mean? Let's talk about this with Democratic pollster Margie Omero. Good morning, thanks for coming in.

MARGIE OMERO: Good morning.

INSKEEP: I imagine you were up a little late last night.

OMERO: Yeah, I mean, as a Democratic pollster, this could not be a worse morning.

INSKEEP: And let me also bring in Jonah Goldberg, a senior editor at the National Review, which took a stance against Donald Trump, I guess we should mention. Jonah, good morning to you.

JONAH GOLDBERG: We did. And I was up very late too - or up very early. I'm sort of on a vision quest right now.

INSKEEP: OK, so what does this say about the country, this result?

OMERO: Well, I think it will be tempting to want to see this as a referendum on extremist, hateful language. I think that's what a lot of folks on the left feel. I hope...

INSKEEP: That it's now OK to...

OMERO: It's now OK, that this is acceptable, that that's what people want. People actually want a candidate - they want a president - who insults basically every single group of people. I hope, though, that the message is actually that people just wanted something drastically different. They just wanted change in the most drastic possible way - because majorities in the exit polls said, look, Trump doesn't have the experience. Trump doesn't have the temperament. But even those voters, a fifth of those voters, stood with him anyway. So I hope that's what's happening instead of the alternative, which is far worse.

INSKEEP: Jonah.

GOLDBERG: Yeah, as a political analyst, I think you have to take into account the fact that, as you said in your setup, it's very difficult to hold the White House for three terms. Also, it's very difficult not to avoid - and I think there's going to be an enormous amount of recriminations - the fact that Hillary Clinton had a great campaign but was a bad candidate, was a bad candidate for the time. She was the perfect candidate for dynastic politics, for going back to the past. She didn't - never had her husband's retail skills as a politician.

And so what happened was that Trump was able to boost his core base and blow out the model of what the electorate was supposed to look like while Hillary was incapable of bringing along her end of her base for the electorate. Now, as a conservative who's very worried about Donald Trump, I feel like I should be in a therapist's office, explaining with dolls and puppets how traumatized I am by all of this.

INSKEEP: Do you want us to get you a puppet or something?

(LAUGHTER, CROSSTALK)

GOLDBERG: You might...

INSKEEP: We'll call out to the producer and see if we can get one in here.

MONTAGNE: You know, that does get to something. Turnout - turnout was low. I mean, there were lots of visuals of lots of people in line for long periods of time. But really, did - when you talk about a bad or difficult candidate to like, well, how much did that have to do with turnout?

GOLDBERG: I think the people were turned off by this election. And - but the people who were most turned on, most energized, were Donald Trump supporters. And that makes a difference in the margins.

INSKEEP: Isn't this a truism, that if you have a really negative campaign, it just depresses turnout? And you had two very negative campaigns, candidates going after each other very much so.

OMERO: I mean, that's not always true. I think there's this perception it's true because people remember the negative often. And I think it's going to take us months to sort through the rubble here. I mean, when they U.K. had a polling miss, it took them months. When Gallup had a polling miss in 2012, it took them months. So there's - there's a lot here to study and unpack.

INSKEEP: Although, I'm also thinking about this. It's a polling miss. It's a - it's a huge surprise to many people. But we were warned by the careful pollsters, we could be off by a couple points. And it might turn out that they were only off by a couple of points because the popular vote is still in flux. It's still plausible, at least, Hillary Clinton could end up winning the popular vote, just by not enough to carry the map.

OMERO: I mean, there's a phenomenon called herding, where if you are releasing public polling, you don't want to be the person who has Trump up 1 if everyone else has her up 3 or 4, even though that's not a massive difference in the scheme of things. But it is ultimately a difference with a very big impact.

INSKEEP: Meaning that they might massage their numbers a little bit to not look so bad, is that what you mean by herding?

OMERO: Well, we're looking at - massage sounds a little pejorative. But we're looking at the final result after it's been polished. It's come out of the field. They've put it in a release. They've weighed it. And there's just different - you just have different assumptions about what the electorate's going to be - look like because you don't actually know. It doesn't exist yet.

INSKEEP: Now we know.

MONTAGNE: Now we - I was going to say, now we know. And this election - and, Jonah, this is a question for you. This election is evidence, obviously, of a very deep division. Yet, when Donald Trump came out and gave his victory speech, he spoke very much of making an effort to reach out to those who did not support him. What do you make of that? I mean, what form would that take after this very nasty, divisive campaign?

GOLDBERG: Yeah, look, I found that very encouraging. I think that's basically what he needs to do. I have been a very vociferous critic of Donald Trump. And I have grave concerns. But I think you have to give him a fresh start because you only have one president at a time.

INSKEEP: Well, Jonah, thanks very much, really appreciate you coming by.

GOLDBERG: Thank you.

GOLDBERG: That's Jonah Goldberg of National Review - also Margie Omero of the podcast, "The Pollsters." Thank you for coming by as well.

OMERO: Thank you.

INSKEEP: Good to talk with you both. And now let's go to NPR's John Ydstie, who is assessing what we can call some of the early damage because there has been a major drop in markets overnight. And, John, how are things going?

JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: Well, investors were surprised, as other people were, and uncertain about Donald Trump's economic policies. That led to near panic in Japan, where the Nikkei finished down 5.4 percent - less of a reaction in Europe, stocks down around 1 percent. The U.S. stocks are likely to open around 2 percent lower. The Mexican peso fell to a record low, likely related to Donald Trump's vow to tear up NAFTA, the Mexico-U.S.-Canada trade deal, which will hurt Mexico.

INSKEEP: Is this - is this a good moment to remember that businesses are said not to like surprises and also not to like uncertainty? And here's a whole bunch of both.

YDSTIE: It's exactly right, Steve, lots of uncertainty about Donald Trump's policies. There are some things he's said he would do as president that the businesses are concerned about, particularly attacking trade deals and disrupting trade.

INSKEEP: OK, John, thanks very much, really appreciate that. That's NPR's John Ydstie this morning, as we follow the results of the presidential election. Again, it's been called for Donald Trump. If you're just waking up, he won the electoral vote, the popular vote still somewhat in doubt. But he is the president. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.