Clinton is by many measures the most seasoned, experienced presidential candidate in modern history, as a former first lady, senator, and secretary of State. She would also be the first woman elected to the White House, breaking what has been called the highest glass ceiling. Yet many Americans consider her untrustworthy. Her candidacy has been dogged by questions of financial impropriety and scandals related to emails from her tenure at the State Department, despite no clear evidence of wrongdoing and repeated investigations by Congress and law enforcement agencies.
Donald Trump by contrast is the least experienced political candidate in recent memory, having never held elected office. The billionaire real estate developer transformed himself into a reality TV show host and licensor of the Trump brand, which has appeared on everything from hotel towers to menswear. He has released little information about his financial picture, leaving the media to speculate about whether he is really a billionaire, if he has paid taxes in the last 18 years, and the extent of his business ties to foreign countries, including Russia, whose hackers seem to want to tip the scales in his favor. His bombastic remarks and his caught-on-tape bragging about sexual assault have upended political norms and would have disqualified any other candidate in any other election. But for voters and the media alike, policy has taken a backseat to personality in the 2016 election.
For voters, emotions have run high on both sides. Drinks are being poured, and a sense of exhaustion is pervasive. Yet the drama may not end this evening; quadrennial promises by followers of the losing candidate to leave the country have been joined by scarier threats of violence from Trump supporters, should he lose. Quartz will be live blogging stories, photos, breaking news, and other vital information right here, through the acceptance and concession speeches. You can find all of our previous coverage of this unprecedented campaign here.