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Hillary Clinton Wins: Here’s How IndieWire Planned To Report Her Victory

Clinton won the popular vote, but we know what actually happened next. IndieWire prepped three stories for Election night in 2016; these are the two we didn't get to post.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Matt Rourke/AP/REX/Shutterstock (6023600z) Hillary Clinton Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks to supporters after the first presidential debate with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, in Westbury, N.Y Hillary Clinton campaign rally, Westbury, New York, USA - 26 Sep 2016

Hillary Clinton

Matt Rourke/AP/REX/Shutterstock

A year ago today, IndieWire prepared three stories to run on election night, once the results came in. The one that ultimately posted, of course, declared Donald Trump the victor. Below, here are the two other drafts that IndieWire never had an opportunity to post: One, in the event that Hillary Clinton won the electoral vote; the other, if it was too close to call and triggering a recount.

First, here’s the story IndieWire would have posted if Clinton won:

America’s with her.

Hillary Rodham Clinton made history Tuesday night, becoming the presumptive 45th president of the United States of America – and shattering glass ceilings as the nation’s first female chief executive.

The Democratic candidate’s election comes 96 years after the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. XXX was the first TV outlet to call the victory, at XX:XX p.m. ET.

But it wasn’t easy for Clinton. FBI director James Comey’s decision to upend the election by announcing that he was looking into more Clinton emails (only later to once again announce the agency wouldn’t take action against the candidate) brought Trump close to the finish line.

Trump’s surprising strong performance on Tuesday night caused quite a bit of nervousness among supporters. Trump won Florida, a state that appeared to be leaning toward Clinton, and Michigan became a true battleground.

On his Showtime special, Stephen Colbert called the results “too close to call and too terrifying to contemplate… this one is a nail biter and a passport grabber. It feels like we’re trying to avoid the apocalypse and half of the country is voting for the asteroid.”

Nonetheless, Clinton’s win relieved much of Hollywood, where celebrities and executives campaigned heavily for the campaign, up until Monday night, as Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi performed at an election eve rally in Pennsylvania for the candidate.

“Hillary sees an America where the issue of income distribution should be at the forefront of our national conversation,” Springsteen said Monday night. “She sees an America where an issue of immigration reform is dealt with realistically and compassionately.”

Clinton’s win came as the overwhelming number of polls that had predicted a Clinton victory. On Election Day, Nate Silver’s Five Thirty Eight website gave Trump just a 29% chance of winning, compared to Clinton’s 71%. But as results came in, and Trump showed surprising strength, predictions began to reverse – and outlets like the New York Times began forecasting a Trump win.

Pundits will dissect the situation over the next weeks and months, putting the blame on Comey, on third party candidates like Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, and on voter suppression efforts by Republicans in states like North Carolina. A lot of Tuesday night news coverage focused on talk of “two Americas,” including rural vs. urban voters.

Then there’s the issue of polls themselves, which didn’t predict Trump’s surge. “If these states wind up going Trump, these swing states we’re still waiting on, a significant number of them, you tell me whether the polling industry is effectively done, they are over,” Fox News’ Megyn Kelly said on-air. “Because they did not predict that at all.”

Stock market futures and international markets plunged as the likelihood of a Trump win increased.

Clinton secured the lion’s share of newspaper endorsements across the country, 57 vs. two for Trump. Among the newspapers supporting Clinton were newspapers that had traditionally supported Republicans, including the Dallas Morning News, Arizona Republic and San Diego Union-Tribune.

“Woke up at 6.30 am. Voted for Hillary,” Zoe Kazan wrote on Twitter. “Cried the whole time. Can’t stop thinking about the women who went before us, who fought for this day.”

Wrote Michael Showalter: ” I wanna be able to tell my kids about that time when fascism came to America and we kicked it to the curb.” Added Mark Duplass: “[Because] I want my two daughters to know that anything is possible. #imwithher.”

“I’ve been privileged to see the presidency up close,” Clinton said at the close of the third and final presidential debate in October. “And I know the awesome responsibility of protecting our country and the incredible opportunity of working to try to make life better for all of you. I have made the cause of children and families my life’s work. That’s what my mission will be in the presidency. I will stand up for families against powerful interests, against corporations. I will do everything that I can to make sure that you have good jobs, with rising incomes, that your kids have good education from preschool through college. I hope you will give me a chance to serve as your president.”

And here’s what IndieWire would have posted if it was too close to call:

Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump

Next stop: Recount.

Americans were left hanging on Tuesday night, as several presidential campaign battleground states were too close to call. That was good news in particular for Donald Trump, as Hillary Clinton led most polls going into Election Day.

At the start of the day, Nate Silver’s Five Thirty Eight website gave Trump just a 29% chance of winning, compared to Clinton’s 71%. But then the results started coming in – and Trump showed unexpected strength among rural voters in key states including Florida, North Carolina and Ohio. That’s when predictions began to reverse – and outlets like the New York Times began forecasting a Trump win.

On his Showtime special, Stephen Colbert called the results “too close to call and too terrifying to contemplate… this one is a nail biter and a passport grabber. It feels like we’re trying to avoid the apocalypse and half of the country is voting for the asteroid.”

The tight result meant that Hillary Rodham Clinton was denied the ability to make history Tuesday night and become the presumptive 45th president of the United States of America.

The Democratic candidate also secured the lion’s share of newspaper endorsements across the country, 57 vs. two for Trump. Among the newspapers supporting Clinton were newspapers that had traditionally supported Republicans, including the Dallas Morning News, Arizona Republic and San Diego Union-Tribune. Trump’s endorsements included the Ku Klux Klan, Scott Baio, the National Enquirer, Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the guy who draws “Dilbert,” and Rudy Giuliani.

But Trump supporters crowed that their candidate appealed to a silent majority, who clearly came to the polls on Election Day. Trump had long claimed the election itself was being “rigged,” but he also tore into the media’s polling and claimed that it was biased. FBI director James Comey’s decision to upend the election by announcing that he was looking into more Clinton emails (only later to once again announce the agency wouldn’t take action against the candidate) perhaps pushed Trump over the finish line.

Read More:  Hillary Clinton for President: 37 Filmmakers Reveal Why She’s the Best Choice

Pundits will dissect the situation over the next weeks and months, putting the blame on Comey, on third party candidates like Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, and on voter suppression efforts by Republicans in states like North Carolina. A lot of Tuesday night news coverage focused on talk of “two Americas,” including rural vs. urban voters.

Then there’s the issue of polls themselves, which didn’t predict Trump’s surge. “If these states wind up going Trump, these swing states we’re still waiting on, a significant number of them, you tell me whether the polling industry is effectively done, they are over,” Fox News’ Megyn Kelly said on-air. “Because they did not predict that at all.”

Stock market futures and international markets plunged as the likelihood of a Trump win increased.

Trump’s rhetoric, lambasting journalists and Clinton, led to much vitriol at his rallies – including plenty of threats against members of the media. “Lock her up” became the catch phrase at the events, as Trump welcomed the unabashed hatred as he marched to a strong Tuesday showing.

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