By Carly Kempler and Andrew Dunn
Senior staff writers
Through tears, senior Meg Cavanagh said Wednesday she had no words for what happened during Tuesday's election, which secured Republican nominee Donald Trump the presidency over commonly anticipated winner Hillary Clinton.
"I feel really disappointed and frustrated in people I trusted who told me it was going to be OK," the geographical sciences and Spanish major said. "[I'm] really, really disappointed with the state of the union."
As election results trickled in and Tuesday night turned into Wednesday morning, Trump mounted a surprising upset for the presidency that defied almost all polling numbers and models. At about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States after a months-long bitter and divisive battle with Clinton.
Through an anti-establishment campaign message, Trump flipped six states that went for President Barack Obama in both the 2008 and 2012 elections. Trump earned the Rust Belt states of Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
Ben Vester, a fifth-year history major, said Trump's win "came out of nowhere" since he'd observed so many people not supporting him.
Junior psychology and criminology major Yuval Freund lost a $30 bet from the election because he "definitely wasn't expecting Trump to win," and is "in a state of shock, but I'm just hoping for the best."
Wednesday's early morning results didn't only stun students, who had cast more than 1,200 ballots Tuesday in Stamp Student Union for Clinton and about 140 for Trump. Stella Rouse, a government and politics professor and Center for American Politics and Citizenship director at the University of Maryland, said these results were shocking.
"The bottom line of it all is we all underestimated the anger and the feeling of wanting complete and utter change and the number of people who wanted that," Rouse said. "I think there was a huge underestimate of relying on these likely voter models that really rely on people who came out habitually in the past."
Some professors even canceled classes and postponed tests. Astronomy lecturer Alan Peel stated in an ELMS email message that "I can only assume that for many of you, like myself, this election has become a great source of anxiety."
As some in the campus community mourned, Trump supporters celebrated their candidate's victory Wednesday. While the group Terps For Trump did not respond to request for comment, it did post a statement on its Facebook page congratulating Trump.
"Much of President Trump's appeal came from the American people's frustrations with the Washington establishment and the degradation of the American political system," the group wrote. "… We at Terps for Trump have complete confidence in Mr. Trump in being able to create an America that is Great for all of its citizens, and we encourage everyone, regardless of their political beliefs, to contribute their talents."
Senior Jonathan Turcotte said he understands people's fears and concerns with Trump, but noted that Trump is not a "dictator" capable of "the things that people think he's able to do."
"In my opinion, it was a good thing for the American people that Trump got elected," the criminal justice major said. "I think the people really spoke very strongly by electing Donald Trump."
Trump's victory was unexpected partly from the polls and forecasting models that predominantly suggested a Clinton win, Rouse said. In their final projections before the results came in on Tuesday night, FiveThirtyEight's election forecaster, run by renowned statistician Nate Silver, gave Clinton a 71 percent chance of victory, and The New York Times' Upshot model predicted an 85 percent chance for a Clinton win.
These forecasts were misguided by polls focusing more on the national picture, rather than the individual state's environments, Rouse said. She cited Wisconsin, where very little state polling happened over the past six weeks as most assumed it a safe Clinton state. After going blue for the past seven elections, Trump turned it red, even though no state poll of Wisconsin ever showed Trump with a lead.
"When you look at polls, they pretty much got the popular vote correct, but what they missed was on a state-by-state count," Rouse said. Clinton is currently projected to win the popular vote.
Some individuals, depending on the accuracy of those polls, said they now find themselves unsure about the country's future.
"I thought that Hillary would win by a landslide because that's what all the polls showed," said Shiri Huber, a sophomore enrolled in letters and sciences. "Everybody's low-key joking about moving to another country, but it doesn't sound like that bad of an alternative."
For junior government and politics major Jake Polce, his greatest fear is what will happen to those who aren't straight, white men like Trump.
"I'm not worried about me," Polce said. "I'm worried about people who look different than Donald Trump, people who don't worship like Donald Trump and people who don't love like Donald Trump. … Those are the people who lost last night."
People fearing for their lives or safety is a "bit of an exaggeration," said Isaac Lerman, a sophomore finance and accounting major, adding that he thought the polls had been skewed in Clinton's favor.
"This false victimhood rhetoric is just a sign of the rhetoric we've been dealing with in the last eight years with Obama," he said.
In light of Trump's win, community members such as College Park Mayor Patrick Wojahn, who campaigned for Clinton before the election, said the City Council will continue to focus on making this city a better place to live.
"Despite the bitter and partisan and divisive rancor that Mr. Trump has used over the course of the election, I hope that he will seek to build bridges and seek to unify the country," Wojahn said.
Student Government Association President Katherine Swanson echoed this call, noting that students have reached out to her to express their fear of what may happen on campus as a result of the election.
"The SGA and I are going to continue to do our very best to represent all student groups, and if that means that we need to change our approach and make sure we're taking a more aggressive stance and being more aggressive about making sure people are inclusive of everyone, then we will do that," said Swanson, a senior government and politics major.
Trump did not win Maryland's 10 electoral votes, as the state, traditionally blue, overwhelmingly favored Clinton. Prince George's County also favored Clinton the most out of all the counties, with 89 percent voting for Clinton and only eight percent voting for Trump. Analysis of other counties, however, showed sharp disparities across the state and pockets where Trump had prominent support.
Despite the state's divides, all of the counties, except for Anne Arundel, held majority percentages for the same party as they did during the 2012 general election.
Senior staff writer Naomi Grant and staff writers Lindsey Feingold, Adam Zielonka and Angela Jacob contributed to this report.