A crowd of people gathered in Times Square to watch the returns of the election to decide the new American President on Nov. 13, 1928. Herbert Hoover was returned with an overwhelming majority.
A crowd of people gathered in Times Square to watch the returns of the election to decide the new American President on Nov. 13, 1928. President-elect Herbert Hoover was returned with an overwhelming majority.AP
A crowd of people gathered in Times Square to watch the returns of the election to decide the new American President on Nov. 13, 1928. Herbert Hoover was returned with an overwhelming majority.
Former President Theodore Roosevelt gives a speech upon winning the election in 1901.
Coolidge
Roosevelt
TRUMAN ELECTION VICTORY
President-elect Dwight Eisenhower and the first lady-elect Mamie Eisenhower wave to the cheering crowd in the Grand Ballroom of the Hotel Commodore in New York City on Nov. 5, 1952.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Vice President Richard Nixon salute a cheering crowd at Republican election headquarters after Adlai Stevenson conceded, with the Republicans winning in a landslide in Washington, on Nov. 7, 1956.
THE KENNEDYS
Jimmy And Rosalynn Carter Embrace, 1976.
President-elect Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy wave to supporters after speaking at his election night headquarters in Los Angeles, on Nov. 5, 1980. Reagan swept to an unusually lopsided win over President Jimmy Carter.
The Reagan's smile and gather together during Ronald Reagan's Victory, on Nov. 6, 1984.
Bush Wins Election 1988
President-elect Bill Clinton reaches into a crowd of supporters as his wife Hillary and Tipper Gore, right, cheer at the Old State House in Little Rock, Arkansas, on Nov. 3, 1992. Clinton defeated President Bush in a landslide election.
President-elect George W. Bush (L) and First Lady Laura Bush (C) are joined by daughter Barbara (2L), former US president George H. Bush (2R) and his wife former first lady Barbara (R) watching election return in the White House on Nov. 2004
President-elect Barack Obama and his wife Michelle embrace on stage during Obama's election night victory rally at Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois, on November 4, 2008.
President Barack Obama is re-elected to office in Chicago, Illinois, on Tuesday, November 6, 2012.
A crowd of people gathered in Times Square to watch the returns of the election to decide the new American President on
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This Is What It Looks Like to Win the Presidential Election

Nov 08, 2016

It’s nerve-racking to wait for the results of the presidential election — especially for the nominees. But when the results do finally roll in, the new president-elect often looks like the picture of joy. Whether celebrating privately or with a mass of supporters, a good outcome on Election Day is cause for a smile.

This year’s election is has been an unusually controversial one, and it ends with polls showing a close race. It should all be over in soon, as Americans head to the polls on Tuesday and the world will find out whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will take the nation’s highest office. But, before that person takes office, there will be time to celebrate—just like the presidents-elect who have come before.

Here, TIME takes a look back at what it's like to win a presidential election.

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