UPDATED 11/09/16 2:47 a.m.
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/CBS News/AP) — While not all battleground states had been officially called, Hillary Clinton called Donald Trump to concede the presidential race early Wednesday.
Trump was set to take the stage at his headquarters at the New York Hilton Midtown in the wee hours.
Earlier, Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta had said the race remained too close to call, and the campaign would not be conceding or otherwise addressing the results again during the overnight hours.
“There’s still votes and every vote can count,” Podesta said to a crowd that began cheering after people were seen in tears seconds before. “So we’re not going to have anything more to say tonight.”
Trump led against Democrat Hillary Clinton by 244 votes up against Clinton’s 215 as of 2 a.m.
Five states – Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona, New Hampshire, and Michigan – remained too close to call as of 1 a.m. Wednesday, though Trump was leading by small margins in all of them.
Trump was also slightly ahead in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, though those states remained too close to call well into the night.
Speaker Paul Ryan’s spokesman Zack Roday said Ryan called Trump and vice presidential nominee Mike Pence.
“Speaker Ryan called Donald Trump earlier this evening, and the two had a very good conversation. The speaker congratulated Trump on his big night and also spoke with his good friend Governor Mike Pence,” Roday said.
Meanwhile, Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan characterized the upset as “epic.”
“It’s epic. It is surprising. It is to my mind of what I think I’m seeing as a kind of uprising, a kind of revolt, a kind of pushback against the elites, the establishments of both parties. There is a sense of there’s protected people in America and unprotected people and the unprotected just push back in a way that strikes me as deeply historic,” Noonan said. “And the fact that they are backing Mr. Trump when they don’t back him personally, it says it’s a movement.”
She also characterized Trump’s election as a “rebuke” against the agenda of President Barack Obama.
“I’m thinking what is it like in the White House tonight,” she said. “The President of the United States will, if trends continue, if Mr. Trump is elected tonight, I think experience this as a rebuke, as America almost saying ‘We thought you’d bring us together and you didn’t, and now we’ve taken the surprising decision and really kind of confounded political history.’”
Pollster Frank Luntz pointed out that the likely result defied nearly every exit poll.
“All exit polling should be banned. The fact is the number were wrong, across the table, state after state after state,” he said.
Luntz added that a Trump victory would be vindication for those who want to “tear up” Washington, and Congress will have to deal with that reality.
“This is going to be the most chaos we’ve seen in Washington in a long, long time,” he said.
Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein are two independent candidates who also appeared on some or all ballots.
CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported that Clinton earlier had two speeches prepared – one for concession, the other for victory.
Some supporters were wondering what Clinton meant with a tweet issued late Tuesday.
Trump’s team was also watching the results with anticipation earlier in the night.
A total of 38 percent of poll respondents said they were looking for a candidate who could bring change A desire for a candidate with the right experience and good judgment followed at 22 percent each.
Another 15 percent said they were looking for a candidate who cares about people.
Trump voters are looking for change, while Clinton voters prioritize experience and judgment.
Meanwhile, most voters – a total of 61 percent – believe the country is headed down the wrong track. Only 35 percent think the country is headed in the right direction.
(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)