Inside Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton's NYC Election Night Parties
Here's what's happening at Clinton's glass-ceiling venue and Trump's invite-only gathering. THR covers the dueling events live in Midtown.
On election night, New York City is playing host to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. It's the first time in over 70 years two major-party candidates are New Yorkers, and the presidential opponents are ringing in the results a mere two miles apart. The potential victory parties, however, set two very different scenes for the rival candidates.
At the West Side's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center (655 W 34th St.), the Hillary for America Election Night Event kicked off at 6 p.m. ET and was open to the public. The Democratic nominee set the stage for her election night speech under a symbolic glass ceiling within the six-block fortress, a nod to her potential to make history as the first female president of the United States. She had initially planned to set off fireworks over the Hudson River, but the show was shot down by the NYPD.
Over at the New York Hilton Midtown (1335 Ave of the Americas), only a few blocks from his Trump Tower, the Donald J. Trump Victory Party opened its doors at 6:30 p.m. Trump and running mate Mike Pence are hosting an invite-only gathering for friends and supporters of the campaign, a divergence to the GOP candidate's usually large rallies. Trump admitted on Fox & Friends Tuesday morning that he is "a little superstitious," something a Washington Post source cited as the reason behind the low-key event.
The Hollywood Reporter is compiling a running roundup of what's happening inside both Midtown events. THR's Ashley Lee and Camille Dodero are attending the events for Clinton and Trump, respectively. Keep checking back for all of the details as the results begin to pour in Tuesday night (times in ET).
Follow the updating timeline below:
Clinton @ 4 p.m.
The Clinton campaign closed down 11th Avenue, which was outfitted with a decorated outdoor stage, live-feed screens, nine different food trucks and a slew of portable bathrooms to accommodate the impending crowd. Democratic supporters began lining up throughout the far West Side for the night’s bash as early as 2 p.m. ET. After occasionally appeasing street vendors selling patriotic paraphernalia, they were steadily moving through security by 3 p.m. (Media check-in took a swift 10 minutes in the afternoon.)
Trump @ 6 p.m.
The gathering was low key before doors were set to officially open at 6:30 p.m. PT. The Hilton was armed with security and the media went through a metal detector, body pat down and wand scan, as well as laptops being turned on for security to check. Only two protesters were outside the Hilton on Sixth Avenue. A woman and a 22-year-old named Martin, who was holding a Trump Crunch box and taking donations for "hungry people."
One of the first familiar faces spotted inside is Omarosa, Trump's Director of African-American Outreach, who spoke about how both candidates have written concession speeches. Saying she knows because, "we know."
Clinton @ 6:15 p.m.
The NYPD welcomes guests and the media lining up for the event, where all attendees were encouraged to bring with them as little as possible. Inside, many of the attendees are wearing pantsuits, in honor of Clinton.
Trump @ 6:35 p.m.:
Make America Great Again hats and pins, encased in glass cases, bookended the stage inside the Hilton ballroom, which was decorated with country and state flags.
Trump @ 7 p.m.:
Guests trickle into the event, about 50 total.
Clinton @ 7:25 p.m.:
The Clinton campaign's Election Night has been operating like a well-oiled machine: supporters — many of whom are wearing pantsuits or campaign tees— cheered on the Vermont victory in a main area decorated with flags and a U.S.-shaped stage. The campaign's atmospheric playlist included self-empowering hits like Alicia Keys' "Girl on Fire," Demi Lovato's "Confident" and Sara Bareilles' Brave. Downstairs, the media watched a live CNN feed while complaining about spotty WiFi and eating paninis from a press-only food court. Boos erupted in the main area when Trump's wins in Kentucky and Indiana were announced. Meanwhile, producer Jamie Patricof (The Accountant, Captain Fantastic) and venture capitalist J. B. Pritzker were among those at the nearby Hudson Mercantile for a special dinner, held for the top Clinton fundraisers from across the country.
Trump @ 7:35 p.m.:
Omarosa says of Trump: "I'm really proud of him. We were literally on the fifth floor of Trump Tower [earlier today], where we shot The Apprentice, and now we're in that same war room, watching the results come back from a presidential election. Donald Trump is about to be leader of the free world!"
Real Q: "Are you still a Democrat?" Omarosa A: "Now, I'm a Trumpicate" pic.twitter.com/UB7MM0DB2N— Camille Dodero (@camilledodero) November 9, 2016
Meanwhile, while those inside cheer Trump's Indiana win, a mariachi band begins to play outside the nearby Trump Tower.
A mariachi band just started playing outside Trump Tower pic.twitter.com/nEowC9VUdz— Adam Gabbatt (@adamgabbatt) November 9, 2016
Clinton @ 7:50 p.m.:
“I’m excited that we’re going to make history tonight,” Melissa Mark-Viverito, speaker of the New York City Council (and the first Puerto Rican and Latina to hold a citywide elected position), tells reporters. “I believe very firmly that she’s going to win Florida. It’s the state to win, and Trump will have no path if he loses Florida. We’ve been seeing a historic number of Latinos voting, not only in that state but other states as well. It’s indicative of where we’re leaning and what we’re going to see happen: some of these battleground states are going to go towards Hillary and she’s going to be declared the clear victor.”
Trump @ 7:55 p.m.:
Signs for Hispanics and Women For Trump are placed on tables, however, neither targeted group is in sight.
Trump @ 8:40 p.m.:
This thing is terrifying pic.twitter.com/vzH6WxUu7X— Camille Dodero (@camilledodero) November 9, 2016
And Trump campaign memorabilia in the lobby.
Clinton @ 8:40 p.m.:
The on-site celebration kicked off with the national anthem, as supporters waved handheld American flags. “It’s worth waiting hours for a victory party, isn’t it?” said New York City mayor Bill de Blasio onstage outdoors, before listing Clinton's policy positions. “[Her proposed changes are] going to take a tough leader, a resolute leader, a leader who understands our lives. And that leader, in just a few hours, will be declared the victor of this election! … America will send a message to the whole world about who we are: we will say very clearly, ‘no’ to hatred, ‘no’ to division, ‘no’ to intolerance. And we’ll say ‘yes’ to some things: ‘yes’ to unity, ‘yes’ to inclusion, ‘yes’ to love, ‘yes’ to respect, ‘yes’ to diversity, ‘yes’ to hope.”
The mothers of police brutality victims, including Eric Garner and Trayvon Martin, also addressed the crowd. Said Garner’s mother: “She is the only candidate who reached out to us. She felt our pain and she understood.”
Clinton @ 9 p.m.:
In the most celebratory moment of the night, deafening cheers erupted inside the event when Clinton took her home state:
Clinton @ 9:44 p.m.:
While Clinton spent quality pre-party time with her family at the Peninsula Hotel (just one block away from Trump Tower and Trump’s New York Hilton Midtown bash), New York senator Chuck Schumer took the stage to start an “I believe that she will win” chant among the crowd. “Nobody is more ready or qualified to be president,” he said. “Hillary Clinton will shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling!”
Trump @ 10:05 p.m.:
While Trump is glued to watching the results come in at the Trump Tower, the mood is changing at his party. Guests are imbibing, donning MAGA hats and swag and getting more and more excited as the results are announced. There is lots of cheering with each announcement. Two young Republicans walked by a CNN reporter and said, "Sorry for your loss." The ballroom is still only half full.
Clinton at 10 p.m.:
As returns for the Midwestern states trickled in for Trump, the collective attitude inside Javits shifted from an audible enthusiasm to a humming anxiety. One Clinton campaign exec tells THR, “I’m freaking out for the first time during the campaign.” But Clinton’s New Mexico win elicits loud applause, and New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand reignited the outdoor crowd by reminding them of Clinton’s famous “Women’s rights are human rights" line from 1995.
Plus, a few unifying words from notable stumper Katy Perry: “Tonight, my parents voted for Trump. But you know what? We will still all be sitting at the same table at Thanksgiving,” she told the crowd. “Today is not just a finish line, it also marks the beginning of all the work we must come together to do: gay, straight, black white, brown, spray-tanned. … Let’s be one nation, indivisible, with a kickass president!”
Trump @ 10:30 p.m.:
The loudest and most sustained cheer of the night erupts when the event's cable network of choice, Fox News, announced Ohio for Trump. Random "USA! USA" cheers erupt intermittently.
Clinton @ 11 p.m.:
After Gold Star father Khizr Khan addressed the crowd, Clinton’s fresh lead unleashes applause throughout Javits — however, only a “tenuous” relief, said one supporter.
Trump @ 11:20 p.m.:
The crowd keeps cheering "President Trump!" as NYPD counterterrorism bureau cops increase their presence. MAGA hats are being handed out... from suitcases.
Clinton @ 11:30 p.m.:
As Trump wins Florida, the mood has turned somber throughout Javits. “Category 5 direct hit,” said one supporter, as another echoed, “We are f—ed.” One reporter told THR, “I might need to rewrite my entire story because I drafted it assuming she would win.”
Trump @ 12 a.m.:
Attendees are now running around and skipping. A grinning male twirled around in his Trump hat explaiming: "This is not supposed to happen!"
Trump party has been exactly like legacy night at a fraternity. pic.twitter.com/XxhOGJGS4z— Camille Dodero (@camilledodero) November 9, 2016
Clinton @ 12:30 a.m.:
Inside the media room, reporters slammed their tables at yet another Trump victory. While many gathered outside for a much-needed cigarette break, guests began to quietly exit the venue, gloomily bidding friends goodbye before going their separate ways. They left early because “it’s not looking too good” and “it’s f—ing depressing,” said supporters, describing themselves as “heartbroken,” “disappointed,” “confused” and “in shock.” One told THR, “Sure, the polls got slimmer, but I never thought this would happen. This is the worst day of my life; this is like the apocalypse. I don't know what this country's become, and I don't know where to escape to. I really don't know what to do.”
Trump @ 1 a.m.:
The crowd is gradually thinning out but the media is still sticking around.
Clinton @ 1 a.m.:
How did Trump take such an insurmountable lead? “It happened because our economy is changing, and the types of jobs that are out there for non-skilled labor don't pay enough to lead middle-class lives,” said one Clinton committee member. “They blame the government and that is what Hillary represents.”
The person added: “Makes you question whether everyone really does deserve the vote. Nation of idiots.”
Trump @ 1:50 a.m.:
Trump crowd is singing, "Na na na, hey hey, goodbye." And chanting, "Call it!"
Clinton @ 2:20 a.m.:
Clinton's campaign chair John Podesta spoke to the rally, saying that the Clinton campaign would have nothing further to say about the election Tuesday. Clinton chose not to deliver the speech on Tuesday night, instead sending Podesta to her New York venue to speak on her behalf. In a brief message to the crowd, he told them to "go home" and promised that he and Clinton will "have more to say tomorrow."
"We are so proud of her," he said. "She has done an amazing job and she is not done yet."