Election Night 2016 at Notre Dame: A minute-by-minute timeline
Observer Staff Report | Wednesday, November 9, 2016
7:04 p.m. — Geddes Hall: The first results roll in as about 15 students sit down at the NDVotes-sponsored election watch. Donald Trump takes Indiana and Kentucky, and Hillary Clinton clinches Vermont.
“They’re expected because they’re naturally all Republican states,” freshman Elizabeth Olson says of Trump’s victories.
7:30 p.m. — LaFortune Student Center: West Virginia calls for Trump, with scattered applause at the College Republicans’ election watch.
7:31 p.m. — South Bend: Freshman Steven Higgins arrives at the West Side Democratic and Civic Club for the St. Joseph County Democrats’ election watch party. A native of Montgomery, Alabama, he volunteered for Lynn Coleman’s campaign.
“When I left, the Montgomery Democrats didn’t even have an office,” he says. “Coming up here where there’s actually a competitive race for the second Congressional District, it was kind of a breath of fresh air. There aren’t many Democrats in the state of Alabama.”
7:41 p.m. — Saint Mary’s Student Center: Students in the Cyber Café express frustration at the overwhelming majority Trump is pulling in Indiana, with 30 percent of votes in.
“It doesn’t surprise me since Pence is from Indiana, but I’m still disappointed. And I’m an Indiana resident,” senior Elise de Somer says. “South Bend is very overwhelmingly Clinton-esque, but we have such a tension between the urban and country population. There’s two different populations being represented.”
7:45 p.m. — South Bend: Michelle Kyle of United Auto Workers watches election results roll in at the West Side Club. The United Auto Workers’ regional president, Joe Taylor, is running for the Indiana House of Representatives, and she and a group of UAW members are there to support him and other candidates.
“It is very on edge,” she says of the presidential election. “Everyone is waiting to see what the results will be, see what the American people are wanting to say and what they do with their votes.”
At the back of the room, Abby Halling and George Dhoore are drinking beers and watching election results. Halling, who has worked for several political campaigns, cares particularly about the race for U.S. House of Representatives — but she says the presidential election is “the most stressful election I have ever been a part of.”
“I think this is the highest stakes as people who aren’t as qualified to do the job as they could be, and I think for a lot minorities, there’s a lot at risk here,” she says.
8:02 p.m. — LaFortune Student Center: “Nothing surprising yet,” College Republicans vice president Dylan Stevenson says. “These were all to be expected. They’re still counting Florida. … I expect we’ll see more significant results soon.”
8:06 p.m. — Geddes Hall: As state polls close across the East Coast, supporters of both candidates are hopeful.
“Hillary is up by 20,” sophomore Juliette Garcia-Flahaut, a Clinton supporter, says. “It’s looking good; she’s going to win.”
Sophomore Montana Giordano, a Trump supporter, expresses optimism as well.
“I’m liking the results so far,” he says. “I’m a little nervous about Florida — he’s got to win it.”
8:13 p.m. — LaFortune Student Center: Hoots and hollers in the College Republicans’ watch party as Marco Rubio keeps his senate seat.
8:27 p.m. — LaFortune Student Center: Claps and cheers, again, from the College Republicans as Indiana Republican Todd Young secures his seat in the Senate.
8:32 p.m. — LaFortune Student Center: Students clap and cheer “roll tide” as Alabama is called for Trump. Attendees “ooh” as Florida is still too close to call.
8:35 p.m. — South Bend: Mayor Pete Buttigieg prepares to head out, after an hour at the West Side Club, “to spend some time with supporters who have worked so hard and support the folks who are winning.” Many of the Democratic candidates on the Indiana ticket have lost, including U.S. House candidate Lynn Coleman, but Joe Taylor has won a seat in the Indiana House’s 7th district.
As for the presidential election: “There’s a lot of energy and a lot of enthusiasm, a lot more than there have been in others,” he says. “I’d say in 2008 had more of an uplifting atmosphere to it. This time there’s a darker atmosphere. … I really hope we can move on from that quickly because it’s more important than ever for people to find a way to come together.”
8:35 p.m. — Dillon Hall: “I thought Hillary was going to win Florida more decisively,” freshman Bart Bramanti, watching election results, says. “I would bet who wins Florida wins it all.”
8:50 p.m. — Stanford Hall: Students gather in the Stanford basement, watching the election results and chatting. Many of them have open laptops in front of them, doing homework while they watch.
“It’s kind of fun,” freshman Ryan Schleicher says. “At the same time, I have no idea how this is going to end up. Like, I had my thoughts going into it, but now that it’s actually happening, I’m not so certain.”
“I’m nervous,” freshman Jack Diederich says. “I just don’t want Trump to become president. … I have a lot of Republican friends and all, but I just feel like I can’t really get behind him at all.
“And I mean, if he wins, he wins. He’s our president. Still, I prefer it the other way, I guess. But in the heat of the moment, you always think things are bigger than they actually are.”
8:50 p.m. — South Bend: Lynn Coleman, who lost the U.S. House race to incumbent Republican Jackie Walorski, arrives at the West Side Club to give his concession speech. He thanks his family, campaign staff, volunteers and supporters and congratulates them for “causing consciousness.”
“I will be eternally grateful for this opportunity,” he says. “I’m not done. We will still find a way to serve people.”
Other St. Joseph County Democratic candidates follow with concession and acceptance speeches.
9:00 p.m. — Geddes Hall: Students count down to the latest results as if it were New Year’s Eve. Few are surprised as Clinton takes New York and Trump takes states across the plains. There is little clapping or cheering.
9:03 p.m. — Morrissey Manor: As Hillary Clinton is named the winner of New York, several Morrissey freshman nod in support, while others loudly express their frustration.
“I’m seeing a lot of close races, but so far most have gone the way everyone projected,” Chris Wilcox, a Morrissey freshman, says. “ … The fact that it’s close right now shows that Trump is going to stay in it.”
9:03 p.m. — Breen-Phillips Hall: A group of freshman girls sits in front of the television in “The Pen,” Breen-Phillip’s common room.
“We’re nervous about Florida,” freshman Katie Mason says.
“It’s like fluctuating from .5 to .8 [percent], like how much he’s up,” freshman Julianna Ortiz says. “Every time it pops up, it’s just like, ’It’s too close to call.’”
“Honestly, at this point, I don’t want either of them to win,” freshman Revell Cozzi, says. “I don’t even know what I’m expecting by watching this. No one’s going to be a happy outcome for me.”
9:24 p.m. — LaFortune Student Center: “I didn’t expect it to happen, so I’m thrilled,” Stevenson says on Republican Eric Holcomb’s election as Indiana governor. “We worked with a lot of races, including Holcomb. … To see races that we contributed to go our way — when it wasn’t always clear it was going to — is a big deal.”
9:28 p.m. — Fisher Hall: Fisher residents ease election nerves with pizza.
“I’m surprised by how much red there is,” Loyal Murphy, a Fisher freshman, says. “It’s shocking. … Anything can happen.”
9:50 p.m. — Geddes Hall: As Jon King on CNN goes through increasingly likely scenarios in which Trump could win, gasps are heard throughout the crowd.
“Right now I feel disturbed by the American people,” sophomore Chris Carbonaro, a Clinton supporter, says.
9:50 p.m. — Keough Hall: “I am extremely worried,” Daniel Remus, a sophomore and Clinton supporter, says. “We still have California, we still have Nevada and a lot of other traditionally Democratic states that haven’t been tallied. But all the swing states are swinging in Trump’s favor.”
10:15 p.m. — Keough Hall: At the dorm’s Mass, Keough Hall rector Fr. Pat Reidy and Mass attendants pray for the country and all elected officials who strive for a more just society.
“I have no idea how tonight’s going to end up,” Reidy says during his homily. “… But I remain confident that the salvation of any of us who strive to be just is going to come from the Lord. It’s up to us to strengthen this Eucharist, and to continue to love God and to love neighbor.”
10:17 p.m. — “We’re disappointed, especially with the governor’s race,” College Democrats co-president Grace Watkins says over the phone. “It wasn’t what we were expecting. The polls closed in the last week really narrowed in. We’re regrouping now and thinking about the next cycle.”
“We’re still confident that Clinton will pull through, just keeping a close eye on Florida and Virginia right about now,” she adds.
10:27 p.m. — LaFortune Student Center: “Colorado would have been nice to win,” Stevenson says, as it goes to Clinton and Ohio to Trump. “But Ohio — it would be a bit profane for me to say how I’m feeling. But it’s jolly good news. I’m feeling good at the moment. That’s the key, though: at the moment.”
10:40 p.m. — Geddes Hall: Signs of life appear in the basement of Geddes Hall as Clinton is declared the winner of Virginia to thunderous applause. There’s still a sense of tension in the room.
10:40 p.m. — Knott Hall: “That’s me! Right there, that’s my house,” sophomore Molly Kuehn says as a map on the news zooms into a picture of a county in Iowa.
A group of five or six people sits in a dorm room on the third floor of Knott Hall. The group is largely comprised of Clinton supporters, and its members say they are not feeling well about how the election is going.
“Not feeling great,” junior Rachel Warne says. “I am definitely anti-Trump and this is not the results I think most people were expecting.”
“[I’m] surprised,” junior Jack Gallaher says.
“I’m guessing that the same thing that just happened in Virginia happens in North Carolina, and we save all of you,” junior William Morgenlander says.
10:45 p.m. — Knott Hall: Just down the hall, another group of students sits in a dorm room watching the election.
“I’m shocked,” sophomore Bobby Greaser says. “It hasn’t really set in yet that Trump might actually pull something off that I don’t think anybody really gave him a chance to.”
“I personally am a little nervous for the future of our country,” sophomore Pat Hosty says.
“Just proves how weird the election cycle has been,” sophomore Tim Papiernick says.
“And it definitely has long reaching implications because Trump, so far, has really shown that he is sort of changing the way like the maps are drawn,” Greaser adds. “I mean, obviously it’s not over yet in Michigan and Wisconsin — states that in the past couple of elections have been pretty reliably pro-Obama. He’s really working people out to vote. I guess they’re just a lot stronger of a group than maybe we thought that they would be.”
10:47 p.m. — LaFortune Student Center: “I’m cautiously optimistic,” Stevenson says after North Carolina is called for Trump. “I’m trying to stop myself from being overly optimistic.”
The rest of the crowd isn’t as reserved in its celebration.
10:51 p.m. — LaFortune Student Center: “[Republican Ron] Johnson winning [the Senate race] is huge,” Stevenson says of the Wisconsin senator; Democrat Russ Feingold had been up by 10 points at one point.
10:58 p.m. — Saint Mary’s Student Center: Students gasp as it is announced that Trump has won Florida.
“I feel very angry. And I feel like such a large state with so much power, the fact that they want a man like Trump in charge — I’m just disgusted,” junior Stefanie Dyga says. “I have no words.”
11:01 p.m. — LaFortune Student Center: “It’s starting to look like a real possibility that we’ll have President Trump, a Republican Senate and Republican House, and we can make America great again. Other things have to go his way though,” Stevenson says as the room fills with cheers after Florida was called for Trump.
11:34 p.m. — LaFortune Student Center: In a quieter moment, Stevenson compares Trump’s lead to Brexit: “I’m British, obviously,” he says. “This is how Brexit felt, listening to it on the radio. Everyone had Brexit down and people just say no. People have had enough.”
12:48 a.m. — The Grotto: Several people come to light candles and say prayers, as usual. But tonight, a few students are having discussions about the results of the election. Two students conclude a conversation and walk over to say a prayer together.
12:57 a.m. — Geddes Hall: The last few people have begun to trickle out of Geddes Hall, no one wanting to talk. Instead they are fixed to their laptop screens, their thoughts diverted to Facebook, Twitter, gaming and other small amusements. None celebrate as the results roll in.
1:16 a.m. — Cavanaugh Hall: Fifth-year Bryan Ricketts says he understands that economics drives voters in an election.
“I think what’s shocking and concerning is that none of Donald Trump’s and Mike Pence’s statements and actions regarding sexual assault, general treatment of women, language on immigrants, language on restrictions on religious freedom, treatment of LGBT people — none of that was a disqualifier,” he says. “Even in the face of the economic story — one that’s factually untrue.”
As more results trickled in on the screen in the background, Ricketts says he hopes to work in politics and on public policy.
“But I find myself somewhat at a loss to explain or understand how to move forward in a country where none of those values seem to be shared,” he says. “At least within a large portion of the electorate.”
1:59 a.m. — South Quad: A group of students sing a new version of “Go Cubs Go,” replacing the name of the World Series champions with “Trump.”
2:23 a.m. — John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign manager, sends supporters home, telling them the campaign will reassess in the morning after the closest states’ votes are counted. College Democrats co-president Grace Watkins is encouraged.
“We appreciate Podesta’s statement and waiting to hear what she says in the morning and waiting to see what the popular vote is and waiting to see where Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania fall.”
She says the College Democrats will make its final statement in the morning.
2:32 a.m. — The Associated Press calls the election for Trump.
2:43 a.m. — College Democrats sends a statement: “We admire the campaign that Secretary Clinton ran against a racist, sexist, xenophobic candidate. We are extremely disheartened to hear of Donald Trump’s election. Our primary concern is with the minorities, survivors of sexual assault, immigrants, LGBTQ, and women — both on our campus and off — who will wake up to learn of the election of a candidate whose policies and rhetoric are so dangerous. We remember that when they go low, we go high, and, as such, our focus in the upcoming weeks will be checking in with our members and looking at next steps.”
2:54 a.m. — LaFortune Student Center: A small group of students stands by the TV in Smashburger. No one says a word, as they watch Trump take the stage in New York. When asked by the Observer, the students declined to comment.
3:05 a.m. — Stevenson says in an email that though most of the College Republicans had gone home by the time the race was called, there was “palpable joy in the room.”
“Not only did the GOP win the White House, they held the senate, held the house and increased the number of governor’s mansions they hold,” he says. “Earlier today, the talk was how great the Democrat victory would be — so to see the silent majority in force was quite something.”
“On a more club level, every race we worked on — Young, Holcomb, Walorski — was successful, a GOP sweep of Indiana,” he adds. “To see that our efforts making phone calls, knocking on doors, and more paid off is exceptionally satisfying.”
3:08 a.m. — Zahm House: Four students sit in a dorm room, letting the election results sink in.
“I don’t think anyone saw that coming. It just sort of shellshocked me,” junior Brian Pulawski says. “Everyone said he had no chance, everyone thought that Hillary was going to win in a landslide, and I didn’t expect it.
“I’m not happy about it. The Republicans now control the House, Senate and the Supreme Court, so they could enact any sort of change that they want — and any policy that Trump wants and whatever position that would be,” he adds. “It’s pretty spooky.”
3:15 a.m. — Morrissey Manor: Sophomore Redmond Tuttle watches the news alone in his section lounge.
“I was just ecstatic that Trump pulled it off, because it was against all odds. Even today, I just didn’t think it was going to happen,” he says.
Looking forward, it will be interesting to see if Trump can accomplish all the things he said he could do, Tuttle adds.
“He’s a great leader, just like Ronald Reagan was,” he says. “And people hated him at first. So I think he’s going to change people’s minds over the next couple days, months and years.”
Saint Mary’s editor Nicole Caratas, associate news editors Rachel O’Grady and Megan Valley, and news writers Courtney Becker, Lucas Masin-Moyer, Emily McConville, Aidan Lewis, Natalie Weber, Ben Padanilam and Chris Collins contributed reporting.