(This article was featured in our print issue, which was published on Nov. 10, 2012.)
The mood in NU’s Communications Residential College was tense. The dorm’s lounge was packed with students on election night, most of whom were supporting Barack Obama in his quest for another 4 years as president of the United States.
With most swing states showing an Obama lead from early on, Florida was the most nerve-wracking state for many.
With every new Florida vote prediction on CNN, students held their breath. At one point, with 80% of the votes in, Obama’s Florida numbers were 49.7% to Romney’s 49.5% – an intensely close call.
But as time progressed, it became clear Obama was the winner and tensions in the lounge subsided. Eventually, the crowd erupted in claps and cheers as CNN called the election for the president.
Yet some felt that even the general race was closer than expected, despite a final electoral vote result decidedly in Obama’s favor; the president received 303 votes in the electoral college on Nov. 6, with 270 being the number required to win.
“I was checking my phone at work and it was 44% to Obama, and off work it was leaning towards Romney- and I never thought that [Romney winning] was a possibility. And it’s nice that now it’s not!” said sophomore Noa Wiener.
Vanessa Viayra-Gutierrez, a freshman, was also nervous about Obama’s chances at first.
“ I was very nervous, and I think it would have been pretty horrible if Romney had been elected- that would be so detrimental to so many movements, so I’m really happy with it,” she said.
One of the relatively few Romney supporters in the room, sophomore Katherine Dempsey, was disappointed but not surprised with the result.
““I feel like it was expected,” said Dempsey. “When you’re the incumbent, you always have an advantage because a lot of people already support you.”
Overall, the election was a resounding success for Obama and for many Democrats, most notably Elizabeth Warren who defeated incumbent Scott Brown in the Massachusetts senate race. Many students in CRC also cheered the defeat of Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, two Republican Senate hopefuls who became infamous for their controversial claims on rape.
And to the delight of a significant number of college students, marijuana has now been legalized in both Colorado and Washington state. The election was also a victory for advocates of same-sex marriage, with Maine and Maryland becoming the first states to allow it by popular vote.
photos- Charles Rollet