College Democrats and Republicans joust at a Marvin Center watch party Tuesday evening. Gabriella Demczuk | Senior Staff Photographer
This post was written by Hatchet staff writers Catherine Barnao and Cory Weinberg.
A mix of nerves and cautious optimism has filtered throughout the about 350 students on the third floor of the Marvin Center as presidential election results roll in.
As east coast states begin to report their results, students from both sides of the aisle have planted inside neighboring rooms. Both groups are festive and filled buffet lines, with the College Democrats tuned to MSNBC and the College Republicans fixed on Fox News.
Poll closures in blue states like Connecticut and Massachusetts evoked raucous cheers from the College Democrats watch room, which filled every seat within 15 minutes of doors opening. They counted down the seconds until the clock struck 9 p.m., when 14 states’ polls closed.
The room is jammed from wall to wall, with students snapping photos in front of a Barack Obama cardboard cutout, and cheering when the president won small victories and booing when CNN projected Republicans would keep the House.
College Democrats enter their Marvin Center watch party. Becky Crowder | Senior Staff Photographer
Sophomore Alex Dolan said he’s “really optimistic” about an Obama victory, especially as counties reporting votes in Florida started to show a surprising lead for the president in the state.
Dolan added that only this week did he start to feel that “there’s no way [Obama] can lose.”
With Romney coming into tonight as an underdog, conservative students also are down in the numbers game. In a Hatchet poll last week, more than two-thirds of students backed Obama.
Colin Foster, a freshman majoring in political science, said the liberal campus makes it “fun to be an underdog.” He joked with his liberal friends earlier today that the countdown was “12 more hours” of Obama’s presidency.
Though he predicted a nail-baiting Romney victory, he said he’d still make the four-block sprint to the White House when the election is called, even if it’s late into the night.
“It’s a tradition and a memory,” he said. “It wouldn’t be a happy memory but as happy as it could be.”
Sophomore Spencer Gibbs, a sociology major who called himself socially liberal and fiscally conservative, sat in the Continental Ballroom watching predictably red states like Georgia and Kentucky go to Romney.
“In dire times, social issues take a backseat,” Gibbs said.
He said he wasn’t “overly optimistic” about a Romney win, but added “who knows if we’ll even have a clear winner tonight?”