DePaul Democrats react to Clinton loss

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Democratic supporters of Hillary Clinton check results as Donald Trump began to pick up wins in key states, while watching results come in at the Dallas County Democrats party at Hyatt Regency in Dallas, Texas, late on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. (Nathan Hunsinger/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

Democratic supporters of Hillary Clinton check results as Donald Trump began to pick up wins in key states, while watching results come in at the Dallas County Democrats party at Hyatt Regency in Dallas, Texas, late on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. (Nathan Hunsinger | The Dallas Morning News via AP)

The night started off great.

On the upper level of the Red Lion Pub on Lincoln Avenue, the DePaul Democrats hosted a watch party for their ilk. Beers and other drinks were had, the small space was packed and early on the night was neck in neck. One state called and then another. Donald Trump, the republican candidate, and then Hillary Clinton, the democratic candidate.

Then Trump won Ohio. Not long after, Trump won Florida. This was the slippery slope that set up the rest of the night.

In an upset many were not expected, Trump ended up with 248 electoral votes to Clintons 218 around midnight and clenched the nomination around 2 a.m. That number held for hours afterward. At the start, it set a sour mood across the country for democrats and pollsters who’d believed the democratic candidate had a better shot of winning. Trump’s win left some scratching their heads.

By around 1:30 a.m., when the Clinton campaign’s chairman John Podesta spoke to the sea of Clinton supporters in New York and said they would not concede until every ballot was counted, many from DePaul’s watch party were heading home.

By around 1:45, news stations reported that Clinton called Trump to concede the election, making Trump the president-elect.

“I never thought it would come to this,” Jack Hayden, who attended the watch party, said. “During the primaries, I thought someone more moderate would get the republican nomination. I didn’t think that it would come this close. I’m realizing those yard signs that say ‘the silent majority stands with Trump’ are unfortunately more accurate than I thought they would be.”

Before leaving and Clinton’s concession, the party had a good run. The DePaul Democrats reserved the space and it filled up early on. Some were on twitter or on FiveThirtyEight and other websites tracking the electoral votes, while others watched the TV. There was a light mood — tense because that’s what elections draw out of people, but good natured. After Trump began to pick up battleground states, the mood in the room began to shift.

A potential Trump presidency and what it could mean for people of color, LGBTQ+ identifying people, women, immigrants and others worried some in the room.

“On one hand, I don’t know how this is happening,” Rin Meehan, a DePaul junior, said. “The idea of Trump as president contradicts everything that matters in our political system. As a bisexual woman, I could lose everything in a Trump presidency.

“He has sworn to rescind every gay right he can. I try to be bipartisan and understand that people don’t always agree with me, and that people have different beliefs, but to vote for Donald Trump and Mike Pence and to not think of the people who are going to be immediately destroyed by a Trump presidency, I can’t understand how someone can make that decision.”

Jack McNeil, president of the DePaul Democrats, said the loss represented an opportunity for the party to do a better job of sending a message to the people to make sure that democrats can win back some of the seats they lost tonight.

“I think we have to find a successful way of sending (our) message and it’s too bad that the idea that Washington is corrupt was able to allow people to vote for someone who is openly racist and sexist,” McNeil said. “I think this will go down as one of the most shameful moments of the democracy of America.”