Student Life, College Republicans and College Democrats all worked together to host the event, beginning at 7 p.m., in conjunction with the Knight School of Communication and political science department conducting an exit poll in the Knight Convergence Lab.
Those representing both political parties were present. A majority of students polled identified as supporting President Barack Obama, though a few outspoken Mitt Romney voters ensured that others knew where their allegiances lay. Freshman Zack Trammel was among those “loud and proud” Republicans.
“I have no problem being in the minority,” said Trammel, who cheered excitedly when projections indicated a Romney victory. “I picked my candidate and I will stand by him until the end.”
When asked how Romney’s policies would most impact him, Trammel responded that Romney’s plan for job creation was paramount.
“Romney has the best economic plan to make America come back from this recession,” he said. “In four years, Romney will be at the end of his first term, and I will be graduating college. I need a job, and Romney is the man who will provide the necessary economic growth to ensure I have one.”
A live feed of CNN’s election coverage was streamed, focusing mainly on the heated races in battleground states like Ohio, Virginia, Florida and even North Carolina.
Obama supporters, while perhaps less vocal, expressed strong sentiments about foreign policy, human rights and health care.
“I’m a fan of the President’s human rights policies, especially those involving gay marriage and women’s issues,” said freshman Kortne’ Slade. “Romney would be a step back in women’s rights, especially where birth control and abortion are concerned. Also, I do not like Romney’s plan to cut Pell Grants. If he had his way, I wouldn’t be able to go to college.”
To Nizar Kusuibi, junior, foreign policy was the most important. According to him, a Romney administration would mean “a lot of health care issues,” and Obama brings “a little bit more experience” to the areas of diplomacy and foreign relations in the Middle East.
“Obama has done enough in his first term to warrant a second,” said Kusuibi. “We’ve seen progress in unemployment, which has been great. He’s kept the nation stable.”
Not everyone shares in a partisan enthusiasm about the election. Junior Michael Costa supports neither candidate and did not cast a vote.
“One candidate is a clear liar, and the other doesn’t follow through on promises,” he said. “I see Mitt Romney as having a lot of backwards views on a lot of things, especially social issues, and I don’t think Obama is a very good president.”
Costa went on to comment about the inefficacy of the nation’s chief executive office, saying that “the president doesn’t have that much of an influence.”
Throughout the evening, Romney kept a steady lead in both the popular and electoral votes. Many commentators on several news networks expected a split between the popular and electoral votes.
In the United States, the popular vote reflects the actual votes cast by citizens. The votes of the electoral college are the result of specified delegates from each state and ultimately decide who wins the race. A candidate needs 270 votes in the Electoral College to become President.
After a long and tight race, CNN projected that Democratic incumbent Barack Obama would emerge the victor after he garnered 274 electoral votes. After the 11:18 p.m. announcements, a majority of those gathered in Ketner Auditorium screamed in joy, jumping and cheering with friends and classmates.
“It is very relaxing for me to know that Obama won,” said freshman Fredette Fachou B’i, a staunch supporter of the President, after hearing of his election to a second term. “Now I know that my sisters and I can stay in school and finish college with government help. I am so happy for Obama; he deserves it.”