A night that began with hope ended with victory at the Democratic presidential election watch party in Raleigh Tuesday night.
Democrats from all over North Carolina celebrated when President Barack Obama’s re-election was announced shortly after 11 p.m. But the night began with cautious supporters eagerly awaiting the election results.
“I am definitely on edge,” said Richard Scott of Raleigh. “This isn’t the position that we had hoped to be in at this point.”
The crowded ballroom was filled with supporters of different backgrounds, but everyone wore an “Obama 2012” sticker proudly. Some even turned the historically close election into a family affair.
T.J. Cawley of Morrisville was concerned with getting his two children, Ryan and Shannon, home for bedtime.
“They are very excited to come and see this big party to celebrate our president,” Cawley said.
He added that he felt it was an important learning experience for his children, noting his own foray into local politics.
“I ran for town council last year,” Cawley said. “Even though I didn’t win, [Ryan and Shannon] really helped a lot during my campaign, and I think that they learned a lot about civic duty and American responsibility.”
While some of the crowd engaged in heated conversations predicting the results of each state, the majority of the attendees surrounded two large projections in the front of the room. One screen displayed MSNBC’s election night coverage, and the other provided the real-time results of the congressional elections.
Congressional hopeful Charles Malone was carefully watching this screen waiting to see the result of his election to represent the 13th Congressional District of North Carolina, describing the final moments before the announcement as “bittersweet.”
“You spend so much time and effort campaigning and then all of the sudden it is over,” Malone said after losing his bid to Republican George Holding. “Either you have a new job tomorrow or you don’t.”
Jeffrey Roberts of Clayton noted that Obama provided strong leadership to aid the East Coast after the recent disasters of Hurricane Sandy.
“Once I analyzed the map, it was easy to see the differences throughout the country where Obama and his policies have really made a difference,” Roberts said.
After thanking the people of the 4th District for his re-election, U.S. Rep. David Price, a Democrat, described his desire to seek change in Congress.
“I am gonna make this fight like I have never made it before for campaign finance reform,” Price said. “The future of democracy is at stake.”
As the results from Ohio were released and Obama was declared president by MSNBC, spectators in the room broke out in celebration and dance as “Don’t Stop” by Fleetwood Mac played overhead.
“I am super excited,” said Karen Nyreen of Raleigh. “I volunteered 10 hours today for this alone, and this moment has made it all worth it.’