An election night in America (but not in the US)

It is 11.47 p.m. (Eastern Time) on November 6 when I begin to write this post. This post has been published by 12.45 a.m. on Nov 7, pictures were added at 9.24 p.m. on the same day.

Barack Obama is reelected for President.

That said, I would like to explain you how an international student keeps himself informed about a US presidential election from Canada.

Staying at home was not an option. My wireless connection sucks, and I have no TV (therefore I cannot watch neither CNN nor ABC).

« My » election sign, found on a sidewalk in Boston.

Two student-run events took place for the US election. I wore my two lapel badges Hope and 2012 that I bought in NYC, and I brought my sign Obama Biden that I found in Boston (more details in the article about Boston).

I did not succeed in chosing between these two election nights. Therefore I decided to go to both events. I took my sign.

However, I felt uncomfortable. Indeed, in the PSSA event, I ordered a meal (more exactly: a sandwich) but I had to wait during 1 HOUR; eventually my sandwich fell on the floor; and there was too much noise (and when it gets too noisy I become totally deaf: I only hear buzzing and I am unable to listen at anyone). In the pub of the Democratic Party in Montreal, it was totally impossible to find somewhere to stand up, people were mostly American and elder (as a young French citizen, it was as if I was not welcomed…) – and the prices for drink were totally prohibitive.

Of course, in the bar of Democrats Abroad, everybody supported Democratic candidates. But in Gerts, almost all the students supported Obama too.

(MSNBC – Sir Winston Churchill Pub, Crescent St)

In the PSSA event, we were watching at CNN, while in the pub on Crescent Street, MSNBC was broadcast. I can assert that countings of the electoral voters are different for each TV channel: when I left the pub of Democrats Abroad, Romney had 163 voters and Obama 162; ten minutes later, I came back to Gerts I saw that both Obama and Romney had fewer electoral voters.

At the beginning of the night, Romney had more electoral voters, because rural counties provided results while urban counties could not do so; sometimes, it was « too close to call » (the gap between the Democratic candidate and the Republican candidate was so small that a prediction would be hazardous).

Eventually, after 11 p.m., the pace of events was quickening. CNN gave projections in California, Oregon, Washington. It confirmed that Obama won a plurality of votes in Wisconsin and New Hampshire.  And when it predicted that Obama led in Iowa and Ohio, it was done: Barack Obama had more than 270 electoral voters and was virtually reelected (however, according to the popular vote, Romney still led at 11 p.m.).

There was not only the presidential election. American voters had to elect one third of Senators, all the Representatives (for the US Congress); there were also gubernatorial elections, elections for State Congresses, local referenda…

  • Elizabeth Warren (D) is elected for Senator of Massachusetts. The incumbent Senator Scott Brown (R) failed to be reelected.
  • Todd Akin (R) – the one who said that women could not become pregnant in case of « true rape » – was beaten in Missouri for Senate.
  • Several states organized a referendum about the gay marriage. Maine voters approved this proposal.

Though this screenshot shows figures on a very small fraction of votes, the result is quite accurate: Elizabeth Warren won by 53%. (CNN – Gerts, McTavish St)

All in all, I do not like these kinds of electoral nights. Too noisy, too uncomfortable. I would rather spend this evening in front of a computer, while checking or Twitter, with a headphone in order to listen to the TV program on the Internet.

This electoral night concludes a very weird electoral campaign. I felt very involved in Spring 2012, as I was an editor in a student-run radio in Paris (I had a weekly column about the US presidential primaries). Then I had to go to Canada, and I was not stimulated anymore: no US media at home (except the Internet), no American citizens around me talking about the stakes of the election… I was not interested anymore by the US electoral campaign. Too bad.


> Il y a aussi une version française de l’article ici : Une élection américaine en Amérique


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