Sudbury·Audio

Northern Michigan feels it 'has a chance' under President Trump

While many are waking up today shocked that Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States, not so for Republicans in the border city of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

Northern Michigan went for Trump, but votes still being counted in southern part of state

One of the many Trump signs in northern Michigan (Erik White/CBC)
President Donald Trump... that is the surprising outcome of yesterday's American election. It might not have been so surprising for our neighbours in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, where he had lots of support. The CBC's Erik White joined us with more. 8:04
While many are waking up today shocked that Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States, not so for Republicans in the border city of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

They went to bed early, before the result was known, called off a victory party, but were confident they had won.

The Sault and the rest of northern Michigan was never much in doubt, although this morning we still don't have all the votes counted in the southern parts of the state to know if Michigan went Republican for the first time since 1988.

An early morning voter leaves a polling station at the Washington School in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. (Erik White/CBC)

Brian Nichols was one of the first in Sault Ste. Marie to cast a ballot for Trump on Tuesday morning.

"I have some issues. He's unproven. But if I vote for Clinton, I know what I'm getting. A loser. At least if I vote for Donald, I have a chance," he said outside the polling station at Washington School.

"I'm extremely worried if Hilary gets elected. I would worry that the United States will not exist under the current practices in a Clinton leadership."

Democrats in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan watching the results roll in on Tuesday night (Erik White/CBC)

Democrats in Chippewa County gathered at their campaign office and watched and worried long into the night as state after state went Republican.

Maurits Vermeylen moved from his native Belgium to Michigan nearly 50 years ago, but he only became an American citizen in August.

Watching the results roll in with his fellow Democrats, the 77-year-old suddenly felt more Belgian.

"Right now I'm ashamed to be an American. Absolutely ashamed. And I just became one," said Vermeylen.

"And I question myself if I made the right decision."

Democrats in Chippewa County Michigan console each other after realizing that Donald Trump has been elected president. (Erik White/CBC)

 Allison Youngs, who chairs the local Democrats, felt exhausted after the long campaign and the long night, which ended for her before Clinton officially conceded.

"I thought I'd be going to bed by now, with Hilary as president and I'd have the first female president of the United States and we would have a nice, beautiful, bright, future," she says.

And while many of her fellow Democrats were talking about moving to Canada, she doesn't believe anyone will do it.

"When America turns out to not be what you thought, you have to work to make your part of it better," Youngs said.

"We're not going anywhere."

Listen to the story here