Party supporters express variety of reactions throughout election night
Republicans and Democrats long-graduated and college-aged watched the election from a variety of locations around town. Here's the breakdown of what happened at each watch party.
Pima County GOP
Local Republican candidates and citizens gathered at the Sheraton Hotel in Tucson on Tuesday night for the official Pima County Republican Party election night watch party. As results poured in, attendees ate, drank and cheered for Republican wins, locally, statewide and nationally.
Fox News aired real-time presidential election results on one large screen. Attendees stayed at the party until after midnight when Pima County GOP Chairman Bill Beard asked everyone to leave.
For the Trump supporters in attendance, tonight’s results sparked excitement. Mike Polak, former Tucson City Council candidate in 2013, said he always felt confident in how election night would go.
“I’ve been saying he’s going to win from the start,” he said. “It feels good. It’s just a little tense waiting for the final count, but I think he’ll put it off and make a good president.”
In other results, many Republicans in attendance were split on Propositions 205 and 206. Some people were extremely against John McCain, but the general feeling for Martha McSally was positive.
“She’s the only candidate who did not say something about her opponent, and for that reason I voted for Martha McSally,” said Republican Kathy Cuprak.
For others, Trump’s demanding lead was unexpected. Sharon Chorost, a Tucson voter, only started to feel confident when she went to rallies and saw the younger generation registering to vote just for him.
“Honestly I didn’t know how it would turn out,” she said. “I kind of felt sick to my stomach when I woke up thinking that Hillary could be president.”
Pima County Democrats
The Pima County Democratic Party hosted a watch party at the University Marriott as the votes unfolded for the national and local races on election night. The hundreds of people in attendance were optimistic about the bright future of the country and Clinton leading them there. But hope dwindled as more and more states were called for Trump.
Despite what occurred in the presidential race, Democratic supporters for the local elections felt small victories. Throughout the night, those who attended screamed when Democrats won, especially when it was announced long term Sheriff Joe Arpaio would no longer hold office. When Congressional candidate Matt Heinz spoke to the crowd, supporters cheered him on, despite his loss to Congresswoman Martha McSally.
People continuously talked about the importance of Democrats being in office for the future of children and the country. The ultimate goal for the Democrats in Arizona was to turn the state blue.
Jo Holt, chair of the Pima County Democratic Party, spoke to the remaining crowd about Tump leading polls towards the end.
“We are going to be doubling down on this and work even harder," Holt said. "We have to stand up and fight for our values. This is not over.”
The Associated Students of the University of Arizona held an election night results watch party alongside the Women's Resource Center to discuss the pros and cons of the two candidates, and their concerns with the turnout for the presidential election.
Student-led organizations such as the Black Student Union, Voices of Planned Parenthood and the ASUA Pride Alliance had members speak on behalf of issues that affect their respective groups and the community at large.
The majority of the viewing party was explicitly supported by liberal ideals and supported Hillary Clinton. Individuals from each organization mentioned they would not support Trump if he won the election because they believe he only supports certain populations on the national and international level, and will completely disregard certain peoples—especially those of color.
Unbiased organizations such as ASUA made it clear they can't take a stance on either side of the spectrum, but they will support whoever wins the election for the benefit of the university as a whole.
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