A palpable Democratic feeling filled the air as approximately 40 members of the Associated Students of CSU and Ram Leadership, a branch of the student government, scramble to finish last minute decorating at the Party After the Polls election watch party at CB & Potts this evening.
Adorned with tables covered blue and red cloth along with green, gold and purple balloons, the party is the student government’s non-partisan election watch event.
The green and gold balloons represent the CSU community and the purple representing a combination of the traditional party colors red and blue.
More than 20 min before the event was set to commence, approximately 100 CSU students formed a line that wrapped around the restaurant.
The general consensus of those waiting in line was in support of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, saying they couldn’t express their excitement about the election.
Those students in support of the Democratic candidate said they were voting for a change to reverse the last eight years of the Republican candidacy.
Down the line, supporters of Republican candidate Sen. John McCain said they voted for the candidate who was not an advocate for socialism and would permit them to carry their guns.
While they said they “can’t tell yet how the election will turn out,” with McCain only clinching ten electoral votes at this time, they expect to overall election will be decided on the basis of two ideologies.
“In this vote, you’re either going to sexist or you’re going to be racist,” said senior Spanish major Ryan Marsden.
“We’re the one, the generation that can fix this,” said Carlos junior psychology major Escudero.
As the event population grew, people began to crowd together in packs positioned in front of the TVs to view current results.
Attendees said that this night, while it is important for all members of the nation, the night held “special” value for the youth voters.
“This is the first election I’m voting in,” said sophomore business major Dan Morion. “This election has provided a lot more excitement, and not to say that the past elections weren’t important, but I’m following this one more closely.”
In a back corner of the restaurant, seven friends, split evenly down across party lines, seated table surrounding a laptop, watch the results on their own time instead of waiting as they were announced on the news networks on the seven TV screens throughout the venue.
They said that they were following the electoral vote totals in Ohio, Florida, Virginia and Colorado, states that they agreed will greatly impact the success of the presidential candidate who clenches them.
In reaction to the electoral vote totals at 7:15 p.m. – Obama holding 174 electoral votes and McCain’s holding 64 – the proclaimed Independent-turned-recently-Democratic people warned others to “be careful, be cautious” in jumping to early conclusions, adding it’s better to “wait ’till it’s over.”
While the main attention of attendees was focused on the presidential race, certain individuals put more stock in the U.S. Congress race for control of the 4th Congressional District-a battle between Democrat Betsy Markey and her opponent, Republican incumbent, Marilyn Musgrave-because of the immediate impact the outcome could have on Colorado citizens.
April Ragland, the associate director of the Department of Student Services for ASCSU, said that the candidate who wins the 4th congressional district will ultimately have an impact on higher education in the state of Colorado; something she said should concern all students.
Ragland – who said she didn’t “like” either of the candidates, and voted for Musgrave because she “hated” her less than Markey – said, “The government shouldn’t be run by one party,” but should instead be represented by a diverse political body.
Director of the Department of Student Services for ASCSU Zane Guilfoyle said he heard students talking all day about the election, specifically the party tonight, calling it a “fantastic culmination of the election process.”
“I’ve never seen such an exuberance and energy from young voters before,” he said. “Young voters are the drivers of this election.”
For more updates on Election Night happenings, check in at www.collegian.com.