Live Updates |

Putin, Netanyahu Among World Leaders to Congratulate U.S. President-elect Donald Trump

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu at Trump Tower, September 25, 2016.
Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu at Trump Tower, September 25, 2016.Credit: GPO
Updates

Obama congratulates Trump, schedules White House meeting

Democratic President Barack Obama called Republican Donald Trump to congratulate him on his election victory early on Wednesday.

He also invited him to the White House on Thursday to discuss the transition of power, the White House said.

U.S. President Barack Obama walks down the colonnade at the White House in Washington on November 8, 2016. Credit: Nicholas Kamm, AFP

"Ensuring a smooth transition of power is one of the top priorities the president identified at the beginning of the year and a meeting with the president-elect is the next step," the White House press secretary said in a statement.

Obama, who also called unsuccessful Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, will make a statement on Wednesday to discuss the election results. 

Iran's Rohani: Trump election has no effect on Tehran policies

Iran's President Hassan Rohani said on Wednesday that the U.S. election results would have no effect on Tehran's policies, state news agency IRNA quoted him as saying.

"The results of the U.S. election have no effect on the policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran," Rohani said.  "Iran's policy for constructive engagement with the world and the lifting of nuclear-related sanctions have made our economic relations with all countries expanding and irreversible." 

He added that Iran's nuclear deal with six world powers has been reflected in a United Nation Security Council resolution and cannot be dismissed by one government. 

A handout picture provided by the office of Iranian President Hassan Rohani shows him meeting with member of his cabinet in Tehran on November 9, 2016.Credit: AFP photo, HO, Iranian Presidency

Merkel offers to work with Trump on basis of democratic values

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday congratulated U.S. Republican Donald Trump on his election victory and offered to work closely with him on the basis of the values of democracy, freedom and respect for the dignity of people.

"Germany and America are bound together by values – democracy, freedom, respecting the rule of law, people's dignity regardless of their origin, the color of their skin, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political views," Merkel said. 

"On the basis of these values, I am offering to work closely with the future President of the United States Donald Trump," she added. 

Merkel said working with the United States remained a key pillar of Germany's foreign policy. 

Taliban calls on Trump to withdraw troops from Afghanistan

The Afghan Taliban on Wednesday called on U.S. President-elect Donald Trump to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan. 

"Our message is that the Americans should draft a policy not to take away the independence and sovereignty of other nations. 

"Most importantly they should withdraw all their troops from Afghanistan," the Taliban said in a statement in reaction to Trump's surprise win. 

Netanyahu congratulates Trump victory as Israeli leaders hail end of two-state solution

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu published on Wednesday a statement congratulating American President-elect Donald Trump.

"President-elect Trump is a true friend of the State of Israel," Netanyahu said. "We will work together to advance the security, stability and peace in our region. The strong connection between the U.S. and Israel is based on shared values, shared interests and a shared destiny."

"I'm certain that President-elect Trump and I will continue to strengthen the unique alliance between Israel and the United States and bring it to new heights," he said. 

Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu at Trump Tower, September 25, 2016.Credit: GPO

Read the full story here.

Egypt's Sissi congratulates Trump on win

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi spoke to Donald Trump on the telephone on Wednesday, congratulating him on his victory in the U.S. presidential election and seeking to foster closer diplomatic ties.

"The U.S. President-elect Donald Trump expressed his utmost appreciation to the president, pointing out that his was the first international call he had received to congratulate him on winning the election," an Egyptian presidency statement said.

"President Trump said he looked forward to meeting the president (again) soon."

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump meets with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi in New York, on September 19, 2016. Credit: Carlo Allegri, Reuters

Read the full story here.

Indian PM to Trump: We look forward to working with you

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Donald Trump in a message posted on Twitter.

Modi tweeted that "we appreciate the friendship you have articulated toward India during your campaign.

He added that "we look forward to working with you closely to take India-US bilateral ties to a new height."

Trump had reached out to Indian-American voters at a rally in New Jersey in mid-October, praising Modi and vowing to defeat terrorism while acknowledging that India had suffered terror strikes, including the deadly 2008 attacks that killed 164 people.

Germany must work together as well as possible with Trump, says official

A senior ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany "must also work together as well as possible with Donald Trump as the new U.S. president."

Volker Kauder, the parliamentary caucus leader of Merkel's conservative Union bloc, said that a "close trans-Atlantic partnership continues to be of central significance for Germany and Europe in the coming years."

Kauder pointed out that Germans and the U.S. share the same set of values and that "especially now we need to work on keeping up the good relations to the U.S."

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, who also belongs to Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats party, had called the vote in the U.S. "a big shock" earlier on Wednesday.

Mogherini: EU-U.S. ties deeper than any change in politics

The European Union's foreign policy chief said that the trans-Atlantic ties with the United States go beyond the election of Donald Trump.

Federica Mogherini said Wednesday in a Twitter message that "EU-U.S. ties are deeper than any change in politics. We'll continue to work together, rediscovering the strength of Europe."

EU Parliament President Martin Schulz said the result "must be respected" as he said that Trump "managed to become the standard-bearer of the angst and fears of millions of Americans."

Far-right Dutch lawmaker on U.S. election: 'A revolution'

Dutch anti-Islam populist lawmaker Geert Wilders has tweeted his congratulations to Donald Trump.

Wilders, whose Freedom Party is riding high in opinion polls ahead of Dutch elections due in March, called Trump's win in the presidential election "A historic victory! A revolution."

Looking ahead to the Dutch vote, Wilders finished his tweet: "We also will give our country back to the people of the Netherlands."

Wilders is known for his strident anti-Islam rhetoric and opposition to the Netherlands' European Union membership.

Austria's far-right Freedom Party congratulates Trump

Austrian far-right leader Heinz-Christian Strache congratulated Donald Trump on his victory in the U.S. presidential elections on Wednesday.

"The political left as well as the aloof and sleazy establishment are being punished by voters and voted out of various decision-making positions," the head of the populist Freedom Party (FPO) said on Facebook.

The FPO hopes for its own candidate Norbert Hofer to become the European Union's first far-right head of state on Dec. 4.

Hofer, 45, an anti-immigrant EU critic hopes to succeed former Green Party leader Alexander Van der Bellen in a re-run of an annulled May election. 

Putin congratulates Trump: 'Looking forward to working together'

Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated U.S. President-elect Donald Trump late Tuesday.

In a telegram, Putin told Trump that dialogue between Moscow and Washington serves the interest of both countries and that he hopes to work on international issues together.

Russia's lower house of parliament also applauded the election of Donald Trump as the next U.S. president.

Russian President Vladimir Putin makes a toast during a ceremony for receiving diplomatic credentials from foreign ambassadors in the Kremlin, November 9, 2016.Credit: Sergei Karpukhin, pool photo via AP

State news agency RIA-Novosti says Vyacheslav Novikov, a member of the foreign affairs committee from the governing United Russia party, addressed the State Duma on Wednesday morning.

Novikov said that "three minutes ago, Hillary Clinton acknowledged her defeat in the U.S. presidential elections and just a second ago, Trump began his speech as president-elect. I congratulate all of you on this."

The chamber, where the pro-Kremlin party holds an overwhelming majority, then broke into applause, the report said.

Paul Ryan congratulates President-elect Trump on victory

House Speaker Paul Ryan has called President-elect Donald Trump to congratulate him on his victory.

Ryan, who criticized Trump during the campaign, is likely to face some opposition among Republicans in his bid to retain his leadership post.

U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan gestures to the crowd in Janesville, Wisconsin, on November 8, 2016. Credit: Ben Brewer, Reuters

Ryan issued a statement early Wednesday calling Trump's victory a "repudiation of the status quo of failed liberal progressive policies."

He said he is eager to work with the new administration to advance the Republican agenda, urging the GOP to work to bring the country together after the divisive election.

Trump: Americans must come together as one united people

In his victory speech in New York early on Wednesday morning, President-elect Donald Trump called on Americans "to come together as one united people."

"I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans and this is so important to me," he vowed.

President-elect Donald Trump delivers his acceptance speech as Vice president-elect Mike Pence looks on during his election night event in New York in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016.Credit: Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images, AFP

As for Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, Trump said that she had called to congratulate him on winning.

"She congratulated us, it's about us, on our victory, and I congratulated her and her family for a very, very hard fought campaign. She fought very hard. Hillary has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time, and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country, I mean that very sincerely," he said.

Speaking of the future, Trump said that "For those who have chosen not to support me in the past – of which there were a few people – I'm reaching out to you for your guidance and your help."

"As I've said from beginning, [this was] not a campaign but an incredible movement. Made up of millions of hardworking people who want better and brighter future," he added.

Trump said that he will embark on numerous projects of "national growth and renewal," and that "we will get along with all other nations willing to get along with us."

"America will no longer settle for anything less that the best," he said. "We must reclaim our country's destiny."

Mike Pence: The American people have elected their new champion

Introducing U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, his running mate Mike Pence called the election "a historic night."

"The American people have spoken and the American people have elected their new champion," he said, adding that he is "deeply grateful to the American people for placing their confidence in this ream and giving them the opportunity to serve."

"It's almost hard for me to express the honor that I and my family feel that we will have the privilege to serve as your vice president of America," Pence said

WATCH: Donald Trump acceptance speech

Donald Trump was elected America's 45th president Tuesday, an astonishing victory for a celebrity businessman and political novice who capitalized on voters' economic anxieties, took advantage of racial tensions and overcame a string of sexual assault allegations on his way to the White House.

Donald Trump wins Wisconsin, elected president

Donald Trump has been elected president of the United States.

The Republican nominee won Wednesday after capturing Wisconsin's 10 electoral votes, putting him over the 270 threshold.

Voters eager to shake up the nation's political establishment picked the celebrity businessman to become the nation's 45th president.

Trump rode an astonishing wave of support from voters seeking change and willing to accept a candidate loose with facts and accused of sexual misconduct.

He upset Democrat Hillary Clinton, who would have become the first woman to serve in the Oval Office.

Trump struck a populist tone and placed a hardline immigration stance at his campaign's heart.

Trump rose to political fame after questioning whether President Barack Obama was born in the United States. He will now follow Obama into the White House.

Five reasons why world markets are plunging after Trump shocker

Analysts predicted a negative reaction to a Trump victory, but neither they nor the markets factored in the possibility seriously because of the inherently optimistic nature of investments.

In their desire to make money, most investors believe things will happen that will benefit them; there are very few contrarian investors.

Although there is no correlation between the initial market reactions and what will happen in the months that follow, its reasonable to expect after shocks. There are five reasons for this. READ FULL STORY HERE

A man walks in front of an electronic board displaying market indices from around the world, outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, November 9, 2016. Credit: Issei Kato/Reuters

John Podesta: Several states too close to call, no announcement tonight

Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta told Clinton headquarters that there will be no announcement tonight regarding a potential concession since several states too close to call.

"She is not done yet," Podesta told the crowd gathered at her New York headquarters, adding that they should go home for the night. "We will wait for the votes to be counted. We will be back, we have more to say."

John Podesta addresses the crowd at the Javits Center in New York, November 9, 2016. Credit: Jewel Samad, AFP

Merkel ally: We have no idea what Trump would do as president

A senior member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party said on German radio on Wednesday that the German government was uncertain what Republican Donald Trump would do if he wins the U.S. presidential election. 

"We're realising now that we have no idea what this American president will do if the voice of anger enters office and the voice of anger becomes the most powerful man in the world," Norbert Roettgen, a member of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and head of the German parliament's foreign affairs committee, said on Deutschlandfunk radio. 

"Geopolitically we are in a very uncertain situation," he added. 

French far-right leader Le Pen congratulates Trump

France's far-right National Front party leader Marine Le Pen congratulated Donald Trump on Wednesday as he looked set for a possible shock victory in the U.S. presidential election.

"Congratulations to the new president of the United States Donald Trump and to the free American people!" she said on Twitter.

Opinion polls show Le Pen likely to win the first round of French presidential elections next year but lose in the second round to whoever should be her opponent.

Trump takes Pennsylvania

Donald Trump has won Pennsylvania and its prize of 20 electoral votes.

Trump's stunning victory in the key battleground state gives him 264 electoral votes.

It takes 270 electoral votes to win the presidency. Trump's opponent, Hillary Clinton, has 215.

Pennsylvania last voted for a Republican for president in 1988. Trump repeatedly campaigned there, believing his populist message would resonate with the state's working-class voters.

Clinton long viewed the state as a key part of her "firewall" and rallied in Philadelphia with President Barack Obama on Monday night. The Democrats also held their nominating convention in the city.

Donald Trump supporters celebrate at an election party in New York, November 8, 2016.Credit: John Locher, AP

Republicans keep control of Senate and House, while Trump closes in on the White House

Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania has narrowly defeated Democrat Katie McGinty in the most expensive political race in Senate history.

Toomey's victory keeps Republicans in control of the Senate with several races still to be decided.

Republicans have clinched continued House control for the new Congress. They'll likely lose seats from their current historic high, but they won enough seats to extend their six-year streak of commanding the chamber.

With voting results still being counted early Wednesday, Republicans have won at least 218 House seats. That exceeds the number needed to control the chamber.

Democrats started the year hoping Donald Trump's divisive presidential candidacy would cost Republicans bushels of House seats. His impact on down-ballot candidates proved spotty.

Republicans now control 247 seats in the House. With a smaller GOP majority, dissident hard-right conservatives could have added leverage to press House Speaker Paul Ryan and other party leaders on the budget and other issues.

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan.Credit: Andrew Harnik / AP

Trump supporters over the moon in New York / Danna Harman

NEW YORK - Well-heeled, well-groomed, exuberant and triumphant, Donald Trump supporters flooded the New York Hilton in midtown Tuesday night – cramming into the ballroom on the third floor for the official victory party and overflowing into the bars and public spaces downstairs to drink, eat pizzas and mixed nuts and cheer as their Republican candidate seemed to be taking the lead as the surprise winner of Americas 2016 election.

 Make America great again! went the most classic cheer. Hillary for jail! went another. Women, almost all of them in high heels and tight party dresses – red being the color of the night – hugged each other as one state after another went their way. Call it already! they yelled at the TV screens. READ FULL STORY HERE

Donald Trump supporters celebrate at an election night rally in New York, November 8, 2016.Credit: Jonathan Ernst, Reuters

U.S. stock futures, Mexico's peso dive as Trump, Clinton battle

"Markets are reacting as though the four horsemen of the apocalypse just rode out of Trump Tower," said Sean Callow, a forex strategist at Westpac in Sydney.

"Or at least 3 of them - it might be 4 when the prospect of a clean sweep of Congress sinks in."

As of 0425 GMT, Trump was leading Democratic rival Hillary Clinton by 19 Electoral College votes, with a tally of 228-209, with several key battleground states yet to be decided. It takes 270 to win.

U.S. stock futures recoiled more than 4.5 percent, matching the carnage that followed the British vote to leave the European Union in June that wiped trillions of dollars of value off global markets. Read the full story here

U.S. dollar rises against the Mexican peso.Credit: Yahoo Finance

Clinton wins Nevada's six electoral votes

Hillary Clinton has won Nevada and its six electoral votes.

Her victory there in the presidential election brings Clinton's Electoral College total to 215. Republican Donald Trump has 244 votes.

It takes 270 electoral votes to win the presidency.

Clinton's win in Nevada is the first time since the 1940s that the Democrats have carried the state in three consecutive elections.

The winner of the U.S. presidential election has failed to carry Nevada only once.

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Credit: Reuters

Trump wins battleground state of Iowa

Donald Trump has won the battleground state of Iowa.

He was awarded the state's six Electoral College votes early Wednesday.

Trump now has 244 electoral votes. His Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton has 209.

Iowa had voted for a Republican only once since 1984 but polls remained tight throughout the campaign. Trump proved popular with the state's sizable evangelical population while Clinton and her allies campaigned frequently in its college towns.

Republican nominee Donald Trump shakes hands with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton at the conclusion of their first presidential debate at Hofstra University, New York, U.S., Sept. 26, 2016. Credit: Mike Segar, Reuters

Trump wins Utah's six electoral college voters

Donald Trump has won Utah.

The Republican nominee was awarded its six electoral college votes.

He now has 238 electoral votes. His Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton has 209.

Utah is normally one of the safest states on the map for Republicans. But the presence of independent Evan McMullin changed the calculation this year as polls consistently reflected a tight three-way race. Trump also had struggled with Mormons, who are normally reliably Republican voters.

Evan McMullin and Mindy Finn at the University of Utah, November 2, 2016.Credit: George Frey, AFP

Did Gary Johnson just help Trump win Florida?

Some 130,000 votes stood in the way of a Clinton victory in Florida. Did businessman Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, just help Trump take the Sunshine State? Read the full story here

U.S. Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson delivers a foreign policy address at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., October 7, 2016. Credit: Jim Young, Reuters

Trump takes North Carolina, Clinton wins Virginia, California and Colorado

Trump takes North Carolina, Idaho. Clinton wins California, Virginia, Colorado and Oregon. Trump currently has 216 electoral votes, and Clinton has 209.

Clinton's campaign had expected easy victories there, but the states took on new urgency as Trump picked up votes elsewhere. With a handful of other battleground states still undecided, neither candidate had cleared the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House.

Donald Trump at a rally in Scranton, Pennsylvania, November 7, 2016. Credit: Dominick Reuter, AFP

New York Time's election barometer flips to 93% Trump win

New York Time's election barometer moves to  93% chance of Donald Trump winning the presidency.  

New York Time's election barometer.Credit: New York Times

The barometer at 9:30 ET had showed a 65% chance of a Hillary Clinton win, but then changed to 56% Trump, later 81% and the latest update shows Trump very likley to win.  

Chance of Winning Presidency according to the New York TimesCredit: New York Times

Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado has won re-election

Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado has won re-election against a tea party-aligned opponent, conservative Darryl Glenn.

At the campaign's start, Bennet was considered one of the most vulnerable Democratic senators in this cycle. GOP leaders criticized Bennet's support for President Barack Obama's deal to ease economic sanctions against Iran and his support for Obama's proposal to close the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.

But the Republican field was a crowded one, and of the five candidates who made the GOP primary, none had previously held statewide office.

Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado.Credit: AP

Trump takes key state Ohio and Florida, widens lead over Clinton

Trump widens the lead over Clinton with 198 to 131 electoral votes, as the Republican candidate takes the two battleground states of Ohio and Florida.

Clinton takes Colorado, Illinois, New York, New Mexico, Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Delaware, Rhode Island, and District of Columbia.

Trump wins Ohio, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Kansas, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Mississippi.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump appears at campaign rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan U.S. October 31 2016. Credit: Carlo Allegri, Reuters

At Clinton event, celebratory mood sours as Trump takes lead

Avital Chizhik-Goldschmidt and Asher Schechter, New York — Here at the Javits Center, at Hillary Clintons election night event, the mood is tense, as new numbers come in, with Trump more popular than anyone here expected.

The cheers here, as Clinton won Virginia, sound desperate — supporters almost trying to drown out the disheartening news coming in. Read the full story here

Media and supporters od Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton watch result unfold during election night at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York on November 8, 2016.Credit: Angela Weiss, AFP

A Trump win would deal a deathblow to political polling / Chemi Shalev

Chemi Shalev, New York – One thing is already clear; there wont be a clear-cut winner in Tuesdays presidential race. Nonetheless, if Donald Trump wins, it will be an international sensation; if Hillary Clinton wins, it will be by the skin of her teeth. But whoever wins, America will be split in two, right down in the middle, in fact right down several middles. Read the full story here

People watch elections returns during election night at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York on November 8, 2016. Credit: Don Emmert

Republicans keep the U.S. House of Representatives

Republicans will maintain their six-year control over the U.S. House of Representatives, according to early network projections, as the party also put up an unexpectedly tough fight to protect their majority in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday.

The ABC and NBC television networks said Republicans, as widely projected in opinion polls, would keep control of the House, which has been in their hands since 2011.

Winners had been declared so far in 11 Senate races, with Democrats making a net gain of only a single seat so far. Several other key races were still seen as too close to call as polls began to close on Election Day.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a joint meeting of Congress in the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 3, 2015.Credit: Reuters

Trump takes electoral lead; Clinton wins Illinois, New York

Trump is leading Clinton by 27 electoral votes. Clinton has 97 electoral votes; Trump has won 124 votes. 

Clinton takes Illinois, New York, Vermont, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Delaware, Rhode Island, and District of Columbia.

Trump wins Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Kansas, Texas, Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Mississippi.

'Trump treated us like trash,' Manhattan poll worker says

Naomi Darom, New York – A few blocks from Trump Tower in New York, a line of voters snaked around the corner of 56th St. and 3rd Ave. all day waiting to vote at the PS 59 polling station. This is where Donald Trump himself came to vote on Tuesday – and where he was booed and heckled by the crowd here.

Violet Garcia, an information clerk who sits in the lobby and directs voters to the correct stations, tells Haaretz she was there when Trump walked in: He passed by us without smiling, without saying hello, she says. He walked in like we were trash, and walked out like we were trash.

No one here doubted Clinton would take New York; this seemed to lend the proceedings today a relaxed air. Vitali, a New Yorker who used to live in Tel Aviv, told Haaretz he supports Trump because he is probably going to support Israel more. His friends are Clinton supporters – this is a very blue state, he says, adding, "I dont mind being a minority."

An HR manager named Rachel who voted here today says she supports Hillary -- My best friend is Muslim, I could never support Trump – but is not particularly excited about her. This election has been such a mess. Its like, pick the candidate that you dislike the least.

Nearby, at Trump Tower, bleary-eyed cops block the pedestrian crossings with blue police tape. The barricade was for a time occupied by three college-age girls with hand-written signs. Dump Trump, Dump Trump! they shout, jumping up and down, then posing for a photo.

Marni Halasa, in a red dress and a small feathered hat, holds a hand-drawn sign that reads Trump, make America Hate Again. Behind her stands a Trump supporter wearing a Clinton mask with red devil horns. 

Halasa owns an agency called Revolution is Sexy which consults on how to organize effective protests. She came to protest Trumps treatment of women: We cant have anyone running for office speaking about women like that, she tells Haaretz. Halasa says she voted for Jill Stein because she likes her policies: The Obama administration is involved in seven wars right now and Clinton is going to support that. Won't supporting a third-party candidate actually benefit Trump? Its a luxury that I get to vote in New York, she explains, because its going to go to Clinton no matter what. Had I voted in a swing state I probably would have had to vote for Clinton.

On the sidewalk stands Cyndi Haol, a gregarious pink-haired hairdresser from Virginia wearing a cross and holding pro-Trump signs. She dismisses the sexual harassment allegations against Trump as false claims" and "not worth discussing." In her heart, she says, she knows that Trump is a good man. And I see millions of people praying for him, I havent heard of anyone praying for Hillary.

A few feet away, four men in Trump-red baseball caps huddle, one holding a large sign with the silhouette of a rifle and the caption, Come and Take It. A chopper can be heard flying overhead. Come on, come on, says a policewoman, take a photo and move away."

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump submits his ballot to an election worker as his wife Melania watches at a polling station in New York, November 8, 2016.Credit: Mandel Ngan, AFP

Trump supporters celebrate as Trump takes lead in Florida

Danna Harman, New York In the bar beneath the ballroom at the Hilton-midtown, overflow crowds of Trump supporters gathered around double big-screen TVs – cheering as results showing their candidate taking the lead in Florida popped up. "She is so corrupt! No one can stand her. Down with the Clintons," one man in blue loafers toasted, raising his glass of vodka on the rocks, to cheers. "Hillary for jail!" yelled his friend, getting laughs across the room.

As Texas was called for Trump people threw their hands in the air and started clapping.  A Hispanic bartender whistled. "Are you also for Trump?" the man in the loafers wanted to know, addressing the hapless bartender. The man shrugged.

People cheer as voting results for Florida come in at Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown on November 8, 2016 in New York City. Credit: Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images, AFP

Marco Rubio wins Florida senate race

Marco Rubio failed in his bid to end up in the White House, but he's still going back to Washington. Florida voters elected him to a second term in the Senate on Tuesday.

He had wavered for months before deciding to run for re-election. He beat back a challenge from Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy, who has repeatedly tried to link Rubio to Donald Trump.

The two Senate candidates differed starkly on a number of issues - including guns, health care, foreign policy, economic issues and abortion. Each sought to leverage voter discontent with both the GOP and Democratic nominees.

Rubio held onto had a narrow lead in polling going into Election Day over Murphy, who was abandoned by his own party after Democratic bosses decided to pull ad money from expensive Florida and invest it in Missouri, North Carolina and Indiana, instead.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks to media outside his office on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 22, 2016.Credit: Carolyn Kaster/AP

At Trump's election night event, excitement and weariness

Danna Harman, New York – As early results begin to trickle in from around the country, lines are forming on the second floor of the Hilton-Midtown in New York where the Republican candidate's official election party is getting underway.

Well-heeled supporters – the vast majority of the men in dark suits and ties, and most of the women in high heels, stockings and party dresses (red being the color of the evening)  - seem upbeat and excited about the night still ahead, calling out to one another, hugging and posing for photos. Families abound, with dozens of equally well dressed and seemingly well behaved children afoot.

"I'm excited but also ready for all this to be over too," was the most common refrain being heard. "Trump! Trump! Trump! Trump!" calls out one lady with blow-dried hair and six-inch heels pumping her fists in the air. 

Almost all foreign journalists are being kept far away from any of the action here – with most all foreign camera crews having been stopped by security at the entrance to the general lobby and barred entrance.

A cake respembling Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is displayed at his election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown on November 8, 2016 in New York City. Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, AFP

CNN: Clinton wins seven states, Trump with six

CNN calls seven states for Clinton and six for Trump. Clinton is projected to take Vermont, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Rhode Island, Delaware and District of Columbia. Trump is projected to win Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Mississippi.

The race was too close to call in Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, New Hampshire and Virginia, states that could be vital to deciding which contender wins the presidency. 

Obama reminds Americans that life will go on after election

Haaretz – In a special message released on election night, President Barack Obama reminded a divided America that life will go on no matter who is elected president.  

In the two-minute message recoded for Buzzfeed, Obama urges Americans to stay politically engaged and to be nicer to each other, especially on Twitter.

"We've been through tough and divisive elections before, and we've always come out stronger for it," he said. 

The president concluded by saying that no matter the outcome of the election, the sun will rise in the morning and America will still be the greatest nation on Earth."

Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman has been reelected

Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman has defeated former Gov. Ted Strickland in a race that once looked like one of the Democrats' best bets to flip a Senate seat.

Portman, a former U.S. trade representative and budget director, was first elected to the Senate in 2010. He ran a strong campaign, branding Strickland early on as "Retread Ted" and tying him to Ohio's sinking economy during Strickland's governorship, which coincided with the national recession.

Portman kept Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at a distance leading up to Tuesday's election. Portman didn't campaign with Trump and withdrew his endorsement when a 2005 tape of Trump making lewd comments about kissing and groping women surfaced last month.

Portman's TV ads touted his work to combat the heroin epidemic, including a new law Portman co-sponsored.

Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman has defeated former Gov. Ted Strickland.Credit: AP

Chaos amid preparations for Clinton's post-election party

Asher Schechter, New York - If the endless lines to Hillary Clintons election night event are any indication, this is going to be a long, confusing night — much like the rest of this election campaign. 

As early results from states like Indiana and Kentucky are starting to trickle in, Clintons glitzy election night event is underway at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Midtown Manhattan. Hundreds of people have been lining up since early afternoon, and with the police not entirely sure where to send prospective attendees, anyone walking around 10th, 11th and 12th Avenues near the Hudson River is likely to run into quite a few angry Clinton supporters, murmuring what the hell?

Within the Javits Center itself, the real frenzy has not yet begun, but as all eyes are turned to battleground states like Virginia, most whispers here revolve around Florida, where Hillary Clinton is expected to win.

Preparations are underway for Hillary Clinton's post-election party at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York, November 8, 2016.Credit: Asher Schechter

Exit polls: Trump wins Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia, Clinton takes Vermont

Haaretz - First exit polls project Trump to win in Kentucky, Indiana and West Virginia and Clinton in Vermont.

The races in Florida and Ohio, two key battleground state, were tight.

Trump is leading Clinton by 30 Electoral College votes. Clinton has 3 Electoral votes; Trump has won 33 votes. There are 538 Electoral College votes allotted to the 50 states and the District of Columbia. It takes 270 votes to win.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and his wife Melania Trump vote at PS 59 in New York, New York, U.S. November 8, 2016.Credit: Carlo Allegri, Reuters

Warren Buffett helps get voters to the polls in Nebraska

Election Day is finally here, and Wall Street tycoon Warren Buffett wants to make sure you vote – so much so that he hired a trolley to drive Nebraska voters to their polling locations, reports the Associated Press.

Buffett says sick people or those with car trouble have a more difficult time, and he's aiming to pitch in to ensure all can vote.

The owner of Berkshire Hathaway made it clear he would help out Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton with voter turnout at a rally for the former secretary of state back in August. Though Buffett supports Clinton, Tuesday he said he was interested in motivating all to vote, no matter the party.

Credit: AP News

First polls close on election night

The first polls closed on at 6 P.M. EST in parts of Indiana and Kentucky. 

In an hour, polls in the rest of Kentucky and Indiana, Georgia, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia and parts of Florida and Alabama will close.

Polls in most states will close by 10 P.M. EST, although voting will continue in Alaska until 1 A.M. (Haaretz)

George W. Bush did not vote for Clinton or Trump

DPA - George W. Bush and his wife Laura did not vote for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, CBS reported, citing the former Republican president's spokesperson.

However, the two did vote for Republicans in other races on the ballot, the report said.

The Bush family has been open in their aversion to Donald Trump, the real estate mogul who beat Bush's brother Jeb in the Republican primary. 

Poll: Neither Trump nor Clinton have favorable standing with voters

AP - Neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton is able to claim favorable standing with a majority of the U.S. electorate.

Six of 10 voters say they are somewhat bothered or bothered a lot by Clinton's use of a private email server while secretary of state, according to preliminary results from exit polling conducted by Edison Research for The Associated Press and television networks.

More than seven out of 10 presidential voters say they are irked by Trump's treatment of women.

Trump hammered Clinton for how she handled classified information at the State Department. The FBI twice said it had no cause to pursue criminal charges.

Clinton blistered Trump after disclosure of a 2005 video that captured Trump discussing sexually predatory behavior toward women.

Jordanian airline invites Muslims to travel to U.S. 'while you're still allowed'

Haaretz - As American voters were heading to the polls to elect the next U.S. president, Jordan's flag airline carrier took a swipe at Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Monday.

"Just in case he wins Travel to the U.S. while you're still allowed to!" an ad, tweeted by Royal Jordanian, said.

Trump has proposed during the election campaign a total ban on Muslims entering the United States.

Will the Muslim vote help hand Florida to Clinton?

Brian Schaefer - Its likely that a majority of Muslim Americans would have favored Hillary Clinton anyway, but when Donald Trump announced last December that he would impose a ban on Muslim immigration, he thrust the community into an uncomfortable spotlight and all but exiled them from the Republican Party.

In 2000, George W. Bush actively courted the Muslim-American vote and was rewarded with the presidency. Overall, he took 70 percent of the Muslim vote. In Florida, where the election was ultimately decided, he won 60,000 Muslim votes, according to the American Muslim Alliance. Had Gore made the effort, the White House might have been his. Will the Muslim vote help hand Florida to Clinton?Read full story here

Clinton hoping to shatter glass ceiling – under enormous, literal glass ceiling

Judging from her official election night event in New York tonight, Hillary Clinton appears more confident that she will defeat Donald Trump than many pollsters and analysts. Her victory, as of this writing, is far from certain, but the scene at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center — the venue for her election night event — exudes self-assurance.    

While Trump has opted for the relative low key-ness of the Midtown Hiltons grand ballroom — snubbing his own hotels and various nearby properties in the process — Clinton is going all in, renting out the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center: a 15-story, self-proclaimed "crystal palace."

Located on Eleventh Avenue between 34th and 40th street and spread over 170,000 square meters (1,800,000 sq. ft.) of glass and metal, the Javits Center normally functions as New Yorks premier convention space. Since being completed in 1986, it has hosted its share of major events, including the annual New York Comic Con. 

Getting tickets to Clintons big night was, of course, a monumentally difficult task, given that hundreds of Clinton supporters already started lining up for tickets since Saturday. Some attendees may still have to spend the evening outside, in the chilly New York air. 

Originally, the Clinton campaign planned to make the event even glitzier, with a fireworks show that was eventually cancelled, but the event is expected to be plenty glitzy nonetheless. Poetically enough, by the end of the night she is planning to celebrate, should she win, her becoming the first female U.S. president — under the enormous glass ceilings of the Javits Center. Read the full story here

Preparations are made for Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's election night rally at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York, New York November 8, 2016. Credit: Mark Kauzlarich, Reuters

Analysis: By tainting electoral process, Putin already won the U.S. election

Anshel Pfeffer – As polls were opening in the United States on Tuesday, Margarita Simonyan, editor in chief of the propaganda network Russia Today, tweeted from her personal account: Democracy. R.I.P. There could have been no more fitting epitaph to the efforts invested over the past year by the Kremlin to subvert and sully Western democracy. Russia Today is a case in point. Read the full story here

Traditional Russian wooden nesting dolls, Matryoshka dolls, depicting Russia's President Vladimir Putin, US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and US Republican presidential nominee DonaCredit: Kirill Kudryavtesev, AFP

Analysis: On eve of elections, Obamas swan song was more of a roar

Chemi Shalev – Unless Michelle Obama pulls a Hillary Clinton and decides to pursue the presidency some day in the future, this was Barack Obama's eighth and final campaign. The outgoing U.S. president, officially a lame duck as of this morning, campaigned four times for the Illinois State Senate, losing once in the Democratic primary. He ran successfully for U.S. senator in 2004 and twice for the presidency, in 2008 and 2012. In recent weeks he has campaigned no less vigorously for Clinton, against Donald Trump and to make sure his legacy is fostered and developed after he leaves office, rather than defiled and destroyed.  Read the full story here

Hillary Clinton and U.S. President Barack Obama wave to the crowd during a campaign event prior to Election Day, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., November 7, 2016.Credit: Charles Mostoller, Bloomberg

Trump: Reports of voting machines switching votes to Democrats

REUTERS – Donald Trump told Fox News there are reports of problems with voting machines in various places that are switching Republican votes to the Democratic Party. 

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaking during a campaign rally at Regent University, Virginia, on October 22, 2016.Credit: Evan Vucci, AP

Asked if he thinks the election will not end on Tuesday night, Trump said he would have to "see how things play out" before accepting the results of Election Day, pointing to possible irregularities as he once again warned of a rigged system. 

"We're going to see how things play out today..." Read full story

While Clinton goes big, Trump plans modest post-vote party

NEW YORK CITY - Its a private party. Place is very limited. If you are receiving this email, we are unable to credential you for the Donald J. Trump Victory Party. These are some of the stock replies received this week by hundreds - supporters, detractors and journalists alike - who asked to be put on the guest list for the planned Trump post-election event in New York City Tuesday night. Read full article here

The election night ballroom for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is shown in a Hilton Hotel, Monday, Nov. 7, 2016, in New York. Credit: Mark Lennihan, AP

Obama: 'I think we'll do a good job'

AP – U.S. President Barack Obama said his faith in the American people hasn't wavered.

Asked whether he was feeling nervous about the presidential election outcome, Obama said "I think we'll do a good job" as long as the American people vote.

Obama said he hopes everyone has "voted early. If not, get out there."

The U.S. president supports Clinton and voted early last month in his Chicago hometown. He spoke while walking from the White House residence to the Oval Office, following his Election Day tradition of playing basketball with friends.

Trump's son may have broken law by tweeting ballot

AP – Eric Trump may have broken New York state law by tweeting a photo of his completed ballot.

The second son of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump tweeted a photo of a ballot with the oval over his father's name filled in on Tuesday.

The tweet said "It is an incredible honor to vote for my father! He will do such a great job for the U.S.A!" It was later deleted from Trump's Twitter account.

An 1890 New York law bans voters from showing marked election ballots to others. A federal judge ruled last week that the law applies to social media posts.

Representatives for Eric Trump and the New York City Board of Elections did not immediately respond to calls seeking comment.

Trump VP Mike Pence votes in Indiana

AP – It was a quick trip to the voting booth for Donald Trump's running mate on Tuesday.

Indiana Governor Mike Pence was joined by his wife, Karen, as they voted in Indianapolis. The couple encountered no lines and spent about five minutes filling out their ballots.

Pence told a small crowd afterward that he was grateful for the "support and prayers of people all across the United States" and he pledged a more prosperous America with the Trump-Pence ticket.

Pence and his wife voted in a precinct that has leaned liberal in past elections.

Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence smiles after casting his ballot on Election Day in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S., November 8, 2016.Credit: Darron Cummings, AP

Trump and Clinton make closing arguments on Israel

Just ahead of the U.S. elections on Tuesday, campaigners for the two presidential candidates – Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump – made their final pitches to the American Jewish community.

Hard on BDS, outspoken on anti-Semitism

I think particularly for the Jewish community, this election has been a wakeup call - about some of the forces that still exist in this country that we, as a community, need to see," said Laura Rosenberger on behalf of the Clinton campaign.

Most pro-Israel platform in the history

A spokesman for the Trump campaign asked Jewish voters to look at the Republican platform on Israel in considering their candidate of choice. "The Republican platform, which could have never been enacted without the support of Donald Trump, is the most pro-Israel platform in the history of either party, in the history of this country," asserted David Friedman. Read full article here

Obama urges Twitter followers to 'go vote'

AP – U.S. President Barack Obama said on Twitter that "progress is on the ballot" on Tuesday.

He urged his more than 11 million Twitter followers to "go vote." He also said they should make sure that their friends, family and everyone they know votes, too.

Obama has campaigned aggressively to help elect Democrat Hillary Clinton.

He used the "progress is on the ballot" line at many of the get-out-the-vote rallies he headlined for his former secretary of state.

Trump's Jewish advisor denies campaign ad is anti-Semitic

The uproar over Donald Trumps closing argument TV ad is an abuse of the accusation of anti-Semitism, Trumps Jewish advisor David Friedman said in an interview with Jewish Insider on Monday.

The Jewish community has to be able to distinguish between real anti-Semitism and fake anti-Semitism, said Friedman. Weve experienced enough anti-Semitism, unfortunately, over the course of our lives and our parents lives and our entire history. We ought to know the difference between real anti-Semitism and fake anti-Semitism. Real anti-Semitism is something you see in Iran. Real anti-Semitism is something that you see among Hamas, the Palestinians. Fake anti-Semitism is... read full story here

David Friedman, left, with Donald Trump and Ivanka Trump, in Camden, New Jersey, Feb. 25, 2010.Credit: Bradley C. Bower / Bloomberg

Susan B. Anthony's grave becomes pilgrimage site for Clinton supporters

People lined up to visit the grave of women's suffragist leader Susan B. Anthony in New York on Tuesday, ahead of the historic election that might see America nominate its first female president.

The cemetery extended its hours to give people more time to visit Anthony's grave, which was covered with "I Voted" stickers. Local mayor Lovely Warren said that with Hillary Clinton as the first woman nominated by a major political party to run for president, it was appropriate to keep the cemetery open later.

Anthony was a feminist activist and social reformer who played a crucial role in the women's suffrage movement. In 1872, Anthony was arrested for voting in her hometown of Rochester, New York and was convicted in a widely publicized trial.

Six years later, she arranged for U.S. Congress to be presented with an amendment giving women the right to vote, popularly known as the Anthony Amendment.

She died in 1906, 14 years before women officially gained the right to vote.

The grave of women's suffrage leader Susan B. Anthony is covered with 'I Voted' stickers on Election Day at Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, New York, U.S., November 8, 2016.Credit: Adam Fenster, Reuters

Faulty machines could affect tens of thousands in Utah

AP Election officials said voting machine problems in southern Utah were forcing poll workers to use paper ballots, potentially affecting tens of thousands of people.

Utah Director of Elections Mark Thomas said a programming problem affected all voting in Washington County, but so far it appeared to be limited to that county.

He said about 52,000 registered voters there have yet to cast their ballots.

Election workers tried to fix the computer problem and hoped they could start using the voting machines later in the day.

Thomas said officials were prepared with backup paper ballots, adding they will need to print more if the problem persists.

There are about 80,000 total registered voters in Washington County. Some 28,000 have already cast their ballots through early voting.

Trump casts ballot in New York

Reblican Presidential nominee Donald Trump received a mixture of cheers and jeers as he arrived to vote at a school in in New York City.

Hundreds of onlookers watched as Trump, his wife Melania, daughter Ivanka, and son-in-law Jared at their polling place at a public school on Manhattan's East Side. Trump said: "it's a great honor, a tremendous honor" to be casting his ballot. Read the full story here

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump casts his vote on Election Day in New York City, U.S., November 8, 2016.Credit: Chip Somodevilla, AFP

WikiLeaks' Assange denies influencing U.S. election with Clinton hack

WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange said he wasn't trying to influence the U.S. presidential election when his organization published hacked emails from Hillary Clinton's campaign.

In a statement on Tuesday, Assange denied he was trying to support Green Party candidate Jill Stein or take revenge for the jailing of former U.S. intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning.

Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking secret U.S. government documents to WikiLeaks.

Assange suggested WikiLeaks would publish material on Clinton's Republican rival Donald Trump, if it received appropriate material and judged it newsworthy.

Assange said Wikileaks has not yet received information on the campaigns of Trump, Stein or other candidates "that fulfills our stated editorial criteria."

Julian Assange, founder and editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks speaks via video link during a press conference in Berlin, Germany, October 4, 2016.Credit: Axel Schmidt, Reuters

What's on my ballot, Googlers wonder on U.S. Election Day

A big trend on the internet Tuesday in wake of the U.S. elections has been "what's on my ballot?"

At least voters are not waiting until after the results to find out what they were voting about, as happened in the Brexit vote this past summer.

One of the handiest sites Haaretz has found to find out what will be on one's ballot, allowing the voter to look at the issues before leaving for the polls today, is... Read here to see what you will be voting for

A voter poses with an "I voted" sticker after casting his ballot in the presidential election at the East Midwood Jewish Center polling station in the Brooklyn borough of New York City on November 8, Credit: Angela Weiss, AFP

Trump voter: 'I wanted to go with Gary but he failed me'

AP - As voters cast their ballots for president, some are convinced, while others are holding their breath.

In Indianapolis, 50-year old homemaker Ranita Wires said she voted for Hillary Clinton because she trusts her, but said "this has been the worst," and she's "so glad it's over."

Craig Bernheimer voted for Donald Trump at his local polling station in Tulsa, Oklahoma early Tuesday, saying it has more to do with "what the other didn't bring."

New Mexico truck driver Richard Grasmick said he admired Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and intended to vote for him, but grew disillusioned by Johnson's televised flubs on foreign affairs issues.

He said, "I wanted to go with Gary but he failed me." Grasmick voted for Donald Trump instead.

Must watch exit polls for today's election

Data collected from polling-place interviews with voters will offer a wealth of information to help explain why people voted the way they did. Among the questions to be answered by the exit polls:

- Do voters cast ballots for their candidates enthusiastically or holding their noses?

- Do blacks give strong backing to Clinton after recent worries about their turnout in early voting?

- Who wins college-educated whites, who typically skew Republican but are being courted by Clinton?

- In a race so often roiled by Trump's comments about women, what does the gender gap look like?

- Did people care about Clinton's problems with her private email setup?

- Were they worried about Trump's temperament?

In an interview with ABC's Good Morning America Tuesday, Kaine said the battleground states of North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio each hold the key to a win for the Democratic running mates - pundits agree these are the key states' exit polls to watch as the votes start to come in. 

Hillary Clinton casts ballot in Chappaqua, New York

Hillary and Bill Clinton are voting in their hometown of Chappaqua New York.

The Clinton's greeted supporters waiting outside the polling place after casting their ballots Tuesday morning.

Hillary Clinton said it was "the most humbling feeling" to vote "because so many people are counting on the outcome of this election." Read the full story here

Clinton's energetic women face off against Trump's angry men / Chemi Shalev

PHILADELPHIA, PA - In the last 48 hours of a grueling and trying election campaign, Hillary Clinton has hit her groove. The director of the FBI has removed the cloud of suspicion that he himself hanged over her 10 days earlier. The Democratic Party, scared stiff by the prospect of a Donald Trump victory, has united behind her. And while she may not be revered like Barack Obama, at her penultimate campaign rally in Philadelphia on Monday night, Clinton was cheered, admired, perhaps even loved.

It has been a long process, with ups and downs, ebb and flow. For many months she was too careful by half, too calculated for her own good, stiff, reserved, on guard against Trumps assaults, wary of the daily batch of bad news from WikiLeaks, the DNC hacks and the private email affair, the insinuations about her health. In recent days, however, even before the FBIs James Comey published his new letter on Sunday that removed any possibility that the criminal investigation against her might be reopened, Clinton seemed calmer than before, more natural. At times she even seemed to be enjoying herself.

Bill Clinton (R) and musician Lady Gaga look on as Hillary Clinton campaigna at North Carolina State University on NovemberCredit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP

In her final campaign appearance in North Carolina after midnight on Monday, Clinton was actually received with wild enthusiasm, perhaps because her speech was preceded by a rousing appearance by Lady Gaga. In Philadelphia, her rally was highlighted by a short acoustic appearance of the Boss, Bruce Springsteen, who also gave a short but pointed speech praising Clintons moderation and good judgment and blasting Trumps intolerance and lack of decency.

It was the largest political rally of any of the two candidates, attracting between 35-40 thousand, mostly white Clinton supporters in a city in which she is relying on a heavy turnout by African Americans. Many young and middle-aged women were on hand, volunteers who had come from states throughout the northeast for one last pep talk before they headed on Tuesday to galvanize voters to go to the polls. In an election that could very well be decided by the turnout rate of each candidates core supporters and the organizational capabilities that will support them, Clintons energetic and enthusiastic white women will be pitted against Trumps resentful and angry white men.

The final stops on the candidates campaign tours reflected their last minute focus on states that can make all the difference. Clinton was in Pennsylvania with a Democratic dream team that included Barack and Michelle Obama as well as Bill and Chelsea Clinton. It was meant to shore up support in the Keystone State, an important part of Clintons basic Democratic firewall. From there she went on to North Carolina, a state that Democrats do not feel as confident about today as they did a few weeks ago. If captured by Clinton, however, Trumps possible avenues to the needed majority of 270 electors would be severely restricted.

Trump, on the other hand, decided to make his final appearance in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a state that was once thought to be firmly ensconced in Clintons camp but which now seems to be teetering toward Trump. If the GOP candidate manages to upset Clinton in Michigan, he will expand his possibilities and seriously dent Clintons chances.

But while Trump maintained his attacks on Clinton the hardened criminal and on the rigged system that is conspiring against him, Clinton preferred to end her campaign on a more positive note. Telling her audience that love trumps hate, Clinton extolled Americas inclusiveness and the great strides made in recent years by minorities and other groups that have been victims of discrimination. Her speech wasnt spectacularly exciting, but it did the job: firing up her army of activists and volunteers hours before they will head out to try and secure enough votes for a Clinton victory.

Donald Trump at a rally in Pittsburgh, PA, November 6, 2016.Credit: Gene J. Puskar, AP

Its not really fair to Clinton, of course, to have her speak immediately after a rare public appearance by both Michelle and Barack Obama. Both Obamas are gifted speakers on regular days, but in Philadelphia there was an added element of poignancy at their last appearance before Obamas successor is chosen and he turns into lame duck President. Obama maintained his harsh attacks on Trump - If his advisers cant trust him on Twitter, how can you trust him with the nuclear codes? - but there he also sounded a note of farewell to his fans.

The rally symbolized a passing of the baton from Obama to the woman he prays will replace him but also a kind of mutual public farewell and appreciation between the Presidential couple itself. Michelle Obama thanked her husband for the intelligence, dignity and grace that he exhibited as President while he lauded her as my partner, my love and my rock. Some of the women next to me, I noticed, wiped away a tear. Obama added an adieu to his Democratic fans in particular and to American voters in general, saying that he is betting on them making the right choice for decency and democracy. Its a bet Ive never lost, he said.

For now, the pollsters and prognosticators are backing him up. The Washington Post on Monday night estimated that Clinton had already clinched 275 electoral votes, five more than needed, with 48 more outstanding. Huffington Post gave Clinton a 323-215 triumph. Cooks Political Report assumes that Clinton will squeak by with 278 electors but fellow political forecaster Larry Sabato puts the figure at 322. The New York Times Upshot section is standing by its assessment that Clinton has an 84% chance of winning and even Nate Silver, who has been relatively restrained on Clintons prospects, has upped her chances over the past few hours for 64% to 71%. Everything depends now on the energy of the volunteers and the organizational preparations of the two campaigns, as the fate of America and the world now hangs on the 135 million Americans who are expected to participate in Tuesdays vote.

Obama keeps up with Election Day tradition: Pick-up basketball

President Barack Obama is keeping up an Election Day tradition: a game of pick-up basketball with friends.

Obama arrived at the gymnasium at the Army's Fort McNair in the District of Columbia around 8 a.m. He wore dark, casual clothes and a baseball cap, and carried a pair of high-top athletic shoes. The White House didn't say who the president would be playing with.

On the day of his re-election in 2012, Obama's basketball teammates included former Chicago Bulls player Scottie Pippen.

Obama started the Election Day tradition during the 2008 presidential campaign.

The president has been campaigning aggressively to help elect fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton, including headlining get-out-the-vote rallies for her in three states on Monday.

Barack Obama on his way for a game of basketball in Washington, November 8, 2016.Credit: Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP

WATCH: Jon Stewart joins Colbert for one last song as America votes

After more than 18 months of ugly vitriol on the campaign trail, America finally gets to vote. Jon Stewart joined Stephen Colbert Monday night to mark this long-awaited moment on the "Late Show" for one final song urging Americans to vote. 

The former Comedy Central comedians were joined by "Hamilton" star Javier Munoz to help a little girl understand who is worse: Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Hes worse! Much worse," they concluded.  

He acts real tough, but hes a wussy.  Hell probably fill the court with Gary Busey. And then hell grab your mothers kitty cat. Meow," sang Jon Stewart. 

Credit: The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Eric Trump: My father will concede if results are 'legit and fair'

Eric Trump says that his father will concede the election if he loses and the results are "legit and fair."

In an Election Day interview with MSNBC's Morning Joe, Donald Trump's son said that "all we want is a fair fight, not just for this election but for all elections."

The Republican presidential nominee has repeatedly warned of a "rigged election," though there is no evidence of widespread fraud in the electoral system.

Eric Trump said, "we've seen states where a few thousand votes can make a difference."

Pressed by MSNBC anchors, he said of his father, "if he loses and it's legit and fair, and there's not obvious stuff out there then without question, yes," he would concede.

Tim Kaine: Clinton can clinch if they win any one of the 'checkmate' states

Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine says he and Hillary Clinton can clinch the White House if they win any one of the "checkmate" states.

In an interview with ABC's Good Morning America Tuesday, Kaine said the battleground states of North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio each hold the key to a win for the Democratic running mates.

He said that Tuesday's election is a "history-making race" but he also warned against complacency, saying that "democracy always works better when people participate."

Trump cautiously optimistic on Fox and Friends interview

Republican Donald Trump is expressing confidence on Election Day.

In a phone interview Tuesday morning on "Fox and Friends," the Republican presidential nominee said: "We're going to win a lot of states." But in a rare moment of uncertainty, he added: "Who knows what happens ultimately?"

If rival Hillary Clinton wins, Trump says he won't be looking back positively on a failed bid for the White House. He said: "If I don't win, I will consider it a tremendous waste of time, energy and money."

Trump said he's spent over $100 million of his own money on his campaign. Federal Election Commission reports, however, show he's more than $30 million short of that claim. According to fundraising records, Trump's investment so far is about $66 million.

Tim Kaine casts vote in hometown of Richmond, Virginia

Tim Kaine has cast his ballot for president in his hometown of Richmond, Virginia.

The Democratic vice presidential nominee and his wife, Anne Holton, voted shortly after polls opened at 6 A.M. at a retirement community near their home.

Kaine was cheered by supporters waiting in line.

Tim Kaine takes a selfie with a poll worker in Richmond, Virginia, November 8, 2016.Credit: Steve Helber, AP

After voting, he spoke to reporters where he encouraged Americans to vote and said that if elected, he and running mate Hillary Clinton would try and bring the country together.

"The sign of a vigorous democracy is one where a lot of people participate," Kaine said.

Trump warns supporters: 'We have to win'

Donald Trump has a final message to his supporters in the election's waning hours: "We have to win."

The GOP nominee tells his final rally crowd in Grand Rapids, Michigan that: "If we don't win, this will be the single greatest waste of time, energy and money in my life."

Trump's final event at a local convention center was surprisingly staid, with none of the theatrics of an earlier rally in a packed arena in New Hampshire.

As he spoke, dozens of people streamed toward the exit, forming a procession in front of an area where reporters were stationed.

Some said they were trying to get closer to the door. But most said they were leaving because they were tired, wanted to beat traffic or had heard enough.

Trump says now that he's finished his campaign, his "new adventure" will be "making America great again."

Clinton calls on voters to reject Trump's 'dark and divisive' vision

Hillary Clinton is calling on voters to reject Donald Trump's "dark and divisive" vision. She says there's no reason why "America's best days are not ahead of us."

She's closing out her campaign with a rally early Tuesday in Raleigh, North Carolina, featuring Lady Gaga and Jon Bon Jovi. Clinton told cheering supporters that their "work will be just beginning" after Election Day.

Clinton spent the final hours of her presidential campaign offering a more positive vision for the country, trying to strike a stark contrast with Trump.

She was joined in her final events by her husband, former president Bill Clinton, and confidants, including embattled aide Huma Abedin.

Clinton plans to end her campaign by greeting supporters at the Westchester airport, in New York, where she was expected to land after 3 A.M. EST.

The collapsing political triangle linking Adelson, Netanyahu and Trump

The 2016 presidential election is a seismic event in U.S. politics. Whatever the result on Wednesday morning – and going by the polls it is unlikely to be a Trump victory – the landscape in the Republican Party, and beyond, will never be the same.

Netanyahu is acutely aware that it will not be like the aftermath of 2012, when he could shrug off his failed support for Romney relatively easily. Those who endorsed Trump could well find themselves ostracized by large sections of the American establishment, and wider circles will be tainted by association. There will be scant forgiveness for those who were in favor of a candidate who sought to tear up the fabric of American democracy, or for those within the Jewish community who ignored the fact that Trumps support included neo-Nazis and other racists, giving anti-Semitism its biggest boost in the United States in our lifetime.

Read more of Anshel Pfeffer on Trump, Adelson and Netanyahu

Sheldon Adelson, Benjamin Netanyahu and Miri Adelson at an event in Jerusalem in 2008.Credit: Eyal Warshavsky / BauBau

Trump, Clinton split early votes in tiny New Hampshire towns

Donald Trump is off to a very early lead in the 2016 presidential election, winning over the voters of three New Hampshire precincts by a 32-25 margin over Hillary Clinton.

Polls in the tiny New Hampshire towns of Dixville, Hart's Location and Millsfield opened just after midnight Tuesday and closed as soon as everyone had voted. These die-hard voters are proud to have the first word on the big vote.

Clinton won more votes in Dixville and Hart's Location, but Trump was the overwhelming favorite in Millsfield, with a 16-4 edge.

Libertarian Gary Johnson picked up three votes. Bernie Sanders, John Kasich and 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney got write-in votes.

Under New Hampshire state law, communities with fewer than 100 voters can get permission to open their polls at midnight and close them as soon as all registered voters have cast their ballots.

Watching Tuesday: Key polling times and states to watch

Look for the first burst of results when polls close at 7 p.m. in Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, South Carolina, Vermont and Virginia. Look for bigger blasts of numbers just after 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., when polls close in a combined 30 states and the District of Columbia. The 11 p.m. batch of states includes big kahuna California, with 55 electoral votes. Alaska, where polls close at 1 a.m. on Wednesday, brings up the rear.

For an early read on how things are going, keep an eye on Virginia in the presidential contest. If Clinton doesn't get a winner's call there by 9 p.m. or 10 p.m., it could be a positive sign for Trump. Watch Indiana for an early indicator in the tug-of-war for control of the Senate; if Evan Bayh can manage a comeback, that'll be a good sign for Democrats hoping to retake the Senate.

Follow Chemi Shalev live from the campaign trail for all the latest updates

A supporter of Donald Trump holds up a boxing hand-puppet in his likeness during a campaign stop at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, Florida, October 12, 2016.Credit: Gregg Newton, AFP

Middle East Leaders Await U.S. Election Results With Bated Breath

Mideast leaders have good reason to be losing sleep as they monitor the polls. The first is Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi, who desperately needs strong American backing to extricate his country from its economic crisis. Obama, who was very tardy in giving Sissi his stamp of approval after the latter seized power in July 2013, later reversed course and became a strong supporter of the Egyptian president, mainly because he was fighting Islamist terror in his own country.

Saudi Arabia has had it with Obama, and the Saudi media, with considerable justice, view Clinton as more of the same in terms of foreign policy. Thus in theory, it would be bad news for Riyadh if Clinton wins.

Read the full analysis

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi answers questions during an interview, New York, U.S., September 26, 2015.Credit: Julie Jacobson, AP

U.S. Senate races to watch that will impact U.S.-Israel policy and American Jews

Its been an amazing show so far, but it has also obscured important races down ticket, including a number with special Jewish significance — some because of Jewish candidates who may soon take the national stage or leave it – and some because of the prominence that a candidate has achieved on Israel-related issues.

Wisconsin: Sen. Ron Johnson, Republican, vs. former Sen. Russ Feingold, Democrat.

Illinois: Sen. Mark Kirk, Republican, vs. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, Democrat.

Missouri: Sen. Roy Blunt, Republican, vs. Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, Democrat.

Read a full analysis of these races and what is at stake in the battle for the U.S. Senate.

U.S. Senate candidates Democratic incumbent Senator Russ Feingold (L) and Republican challenger Ron Johnson debate at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, October 22, 2010. Credit: Allen Fredrickson, Reuters

Where do Trump and Clinton stand on Israel?

Headed into election day against Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump's positions on Israel are still somewhat unclear. Depsite advisers releasing a paper outlining exact positions, the Republican candidate himself has offered only sparse details and often contradictory rhetoric on Israel and foreign policy. Hillary Clinton has made much of her steadfast and decades old support for Israel, while her campaign blocked language refering to Israel as an occupying force and condemning Israeli settlements from the Democratic Party's official platform this past July.  

The Trump advisers' position paper proposes a number of changes to longstanding U.S. policy on Israel, if Trump is elected as president, including a pledge to veto any United Nations vote that unfairly single out Israel. cut off funds for the UN Human Rights Council, and ask the Justice Department to investigate coordinated attempts on college campuses to intimidate students who support Israel.

Read more: Where does Hillary Clinton stand on Israel?

Read more: Where does Donald Trump stand on Israel?

A supporter of Donald Trump, holding a sign that reads "Jews for Trump," stand outside Trump Tower in New York, October 8, 2016.Credit: Eduardo Munoz, Reuters

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments