The voters came, but Trump won anyway
Washington - Despite throwing their weight behind Hillary Clinton, Hispanic voters fail to secure victory for their candidate
Latino activist groups had hoped to showcase their rising political power in the US presidential election by blocking Republican Donald Trump in battleground states, and stopping him from ever acting on his tough views on immigration.
The voters came, but Trump won anyway.
"There is going to be a lot of finger-pointing," said Frank Sharry, executive director of immigrants' rights group America's Voice. But, he added, "Latinos did their part".
Reuters/Ipsos Election Day polling showed that America's surging population of Hispanic voters heavily favoured Democrat Hillary Clinton across a swath of hotly contested states but may have been overwhelmed by underestimated support for Trump.
The former secretary of state won about 66 per cent of Latino votes nationwide, versus 28 per cent for Trump, according to the survey of around 45,000 people who cast ballots.
But that support lagged President Barack Obama's 70 per cent backing from Hispanics during his 2012 re-election campaign, and was not enough to counter an outpouring of support for Trump among his core demographics - older voters, whites, and those without college degrees.
"I think that there was a general underestimation of white turnout in support for Donald Trump," said Luis Ricardo Fraga, co-director of the Institute for Latino Studies at Notre Dame. "There is some indication that Latino turnout in key states went up substantially, but white turnout went up even more."
Turnout rates in Tuesday's election are not yet available.
The election's outcome is a blow for a rapidly growing segment of the population that has for decades relegated itself to the sidelines of American politics, and was looking to use opposition to Trump's fiery anti-immigration rhetoric to broaden its influence.
Hispanics made up 17.6 of the country's population in 2015, according to the Census, making them the largest ethnic minority. That's up 12 per cent from 2012. And by 2060, more than one-in-four people in America will be Latino.
"Donald Trump has just been a lightning rod for new voters and new engagement," said Steve Slugocki, the chairman of the Maricopa County Democrats in Arizona.
Trump's relationship with Hispanic voters began on an awkward footing when he launched his bid for the presidency in June 2015, calling for tighter borders and accusing Mexico of sending rapists and drug dealers into the United States.
He insisted he would force Mexico to pay for a multi-billion dollar wall along the border to keep unwanted foreigners out of the United States, and vowed to round up and deport the 11 million of undocumented immigrants already in the country.
Those positions, which became a cornerstone of his campaign, resonated on Tuesday among voters.
"When he said the Mexicans were rapists and all this, drug dealers and stuff, it did kind of hit a chord," said Jazmin Gonzalez, 31, a Mexican-American from Barrio Logan in Southern California who voted for Clinton. "We know our people." - Reuters
Miguel Perez, a 49-year-old maintenance engineer in Southern California, who came to the United States from Mexico when he was 10, said he also voted for Clinton on Tuesday - mainly just to stop Trump.
"I would have voted for Donald Duck if I had to," he said after casting his ballot at San Ysidro High School near the border with Mexico.
Clinton sought to contrast her campaign with Trump's by advocating for a path to citizenship for most undocumented immigrants living in the country. She also hired immigrant activists to her campaign, and featured undocumented immigrants at rallies.
But she and the Democratic Party had at times raised the ire of Latino activists by focusing too heavily on bashing Trump while putting forward less-than substantive efforts to appeal directly to Latinos.
Latino organisations also lobbied Clinton to pick an Hispanic running mate, floating names like Labour Secretary Tom Perez and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro for the job. She ultimately picked Tim Kaine, a senator from Virginia.
Latino activist groups nonetheless worked hard this year to mobilize a community that has typically voted at lower rates than both white and black voters. In 2008, less than half of Latinos who were eligible to cast ballots actually did - and the rate dipped in 2012, according to the Census.
In contrast, the voting rates for white and black voters were both well over 60 per cent.
"From our point of view, it is really about understanding how to best engage a community, and then moving forward," said Dorian Caal, director of civic engagement research at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.
Surprise victory has Hollywood celebrities reeling in shock
Hollywood celebrities have expressed shock over billionaire businessman Donald Trump's surprise win over seasoned politician Hillary Clinton in the knife-edge US Presidential elections. Trump, a former reality star, who has hosted The Apprentice, swept Clinton in battleground states like Florida, North Carolina and Ohio. Many celebrities had openly backed Clinton and they have now taken to social media to share their despair. Kunal Nayyar, the Indo-American star of "The Big Bang Theory" expressed fear over Trump's election win. "
Never in 15 years of living In this country have I ever felt afraid to look like I do. #immigrant," he wrote. Veteran singer Cher tweeted, "World will never be the same. I feel Sad for the young. (Donald) will never be more than the toilet, I've used as a symbol for Him. You can't Polish." "The positive element from all this is that we can no longer pretend that we are free of racism and sexism.
The question is, what do we do now?" wrote actress Jessica Chastain. Actress Amanda Seyfried said with this result, US has hit "rock bottom". "Maybe this is rock bot-tom and there's nowhere to go but up," she posted. "Well this is utterly terrifying," wrote pop star Ariana Grande. "I am in tears," she added. "Captain America" star Chris Evans called Trump's victory "embarrassing."
"This is an embarrassing night for America. We've let a hatemonger lead our great nation. We've let a bully set our course. I'm devastated." TV producer Shonda Rhimes, who has been vocal against Trump's Presidential bid, ex-pressed her disappointment. "Really, people? ANYONE can be President? ANYONE? ANY-ONE? No but seriously: THIS many of you don't mind the body-part grabbing xenophobic man who says "there's my black over there?"(PTI)
Trump win fuels populist surge across globe
Donald Trump's election as US president is the latest example of surging political populism fuelled by supporters' fears that globalisation is leaving them behind. Here are examples from three continents: Despite the fact that he has never held public office - or maybe be-cause of it - brash billionaire Trump won the US election after one of most bitter campaigns in memory. Trump pledged to "Make America Great Again" and restore jobs to middle- and working-class Americans worried about immigration and an exodus of jobs.His insults against Hispanics, Muslims and women were perceived by millions as plain-speaking, or at worst, "locker-room talk", by a sup-port base made up strongly of non-college-educated white voters. His backers also welcomed a man they perceived as a business-savvy white knight who would protect domestic production against foreign trade, and put national interests over international agreements like on Iran or climate change. Rodrigo Duterte's foul-mouthed tirades against the Filipino elite helped him cultivate a man-of-the-people image that propelled him to the presidency in June.
The firebrand populist has made clear he is willing to forsake human rights for law and order, vowing to kill tens of thousands of criminals. His war on drugs and other crime has already claimed more than 4,100 lives.
Duterte has shifted the Philip-pines' political alignment away from its key alliance with the US, strengthening ties with China. He has taken his blistering anti- American rhetoric far enough to call US President Barack Obama a "son of a whore", although he later apologised for that remark. Commentators have drawn strong comparisons between Trump's victory and Britain's shock referendum vote in June to quit the European Union, which was driven by anger over immigration and the perception that Brussels bureaucrats wield too much power.
Defying polls and much of Britain's political and media elite, 52 percent of British voters backed a divorce from the 28-nation bloc. Populist Nigel Farage led the anti-EU UK Independence Party into the bitter campaign, becoming the face of a movement to "take back control" of Britain's borders and immigration policy. Trump had vowed in his final campaign push on Monday that the US election would be "Brexit plus plus plus".
Farage was among those to congratulate the president-elect Wednesday, saying: "2016 is, by the looks of it, going to be the year of two great political revolutions." A populist tide has been sweeping Europe as it battles its worst migration crisis since World War II, struggling to cope with the arrival last year of hundreds of thou-sands of refugees and other mi-grants from the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.(AFP)