US election: Questions remain for both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

US election: Questions remain for both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

Donald Trump has the chance to be a great American president now that he's been handed "the keys to the castle", one commentator believes.

Aside from the presidency, Republicans have control of the Senate and the House of Representatives, and there is also a position to fill in the Supreme Court - a job for life.

"It is an unprecedented clean sweep for him to remake America," US politics expert Tracey Barnett told Paul Henry.

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However, the election result was "a devastating shock", said Ms Barnett.

"As a Kiwi who's lived here for a long time and also a proud American, I thought I knew the inner workings, the heart and soul and the values of the American people. I thought they would not elect a man who was a misogynist, who is sexist, who is racist, who is exclusionary of everything.

"But he represented change - and that trumped it all."

She called his election the "biggest blind date in American political history".

"We have no idea of the actual man we elected."

Mr Trump's victory speech was more subdued than the rhetoric on the campaign trail, and included praise for his opponent, Hillary Clinton. Political commentator Danielle McLaughlin told Paul Henry she hopes that is a sign of things to come.

"I think people just wanted to burn down the system, and here's this great hope and I think this a great opportunity [for Mr Trump] to be a better man."

She agreed with Prime Minister John Key this will likely be the end of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, and that Obamacare - which lets those with pre-existing medical conditions get insurance cover - will also get the chop.

Ms McLaughlin says Mr Trump will likely focus on infrastructure, jobs and "hammering ISIS".

"I think that's what the people want to see."

"The political revolution we saw did not happen here on the corner of 39th and Madison Avenue - it happened in places like Scranton, Pennsylvania, Sarasota, Florida, Grand Cedar Rapids, Michigan," said Newshub political editor Patrick Gower. "It happened out in America, out in middle America."

And that's exactly where the Democrats failed, said Ms McLaughlin.

"Outreach to rural areas, to white working-class folks who felt left behind by eight years of an Obama presidency need to be brought into their tent and need to have their concerns addressed," she said.

"[The Democrats] need to listen to the middle of the country and how to best serve them."