There was no incumbent this year. President Barack Obama had reached his two-term limit. So, it was up to either Democratic presidential nominee or Republican presidential Donald Trump to succeed him.
So, first up, the winner. CNN projects that businessman and television personality Donald Trump is the president-elect of the United States. When we produced today's show, he had clinched the presidency with at least 288 projected electoral votes.
Not all results were in when we went to air. But a candidate needs 270 to win the presidency.
How he did: as the votes came in last night, Mr. Trump won in several key battleground states like Florida, North Carolina and Ohio. Plus, he flipped Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, states that traditionally vote for Democratic candidates. And that helped him pull ahead in the Electoral College.
President-elect Trump is the first candidate ever to win the office without having had government or military experience. Previous winners have either one or the other, or both. But he has extensive business experience. His work as chief executive officer helping him become chief of the executive branch. Mr. Trump overcame a 3 percent to 4 percent deficit in national polls to defeat his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.
DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT-ELECT: Now, it's time for America to bind the wounds of division. Have to get together. To all Republicans and Democrats, and independents across this nation, I say, it is time for us to come together as one united people.
I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president of all Americans and this is so important to me.
For those who have chosen not to support me in the past, of which there were a few people, I'm reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so that we can work together and unify our great country.
As I've said from the beginning, ours was not a campaign but rather an incredible and great movement, made up of millions of hard-working men and women who love their country and want a better, brighter future for themselves and for their family.
It's a movement comprised of Americans from all races, religions, backgrounds, and beliefs, who want and expect our government to serve the people, and serve the people it will.
Working together, we will begin the urgent task of rebuilding our nation and renewing the American dream.