Lindsey Poole / Lantern photographer
It was a good day to be a Democrat in Ohio.
A crowd gathered at the Ohio Democratic election night watch party at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Columbus and celebrated victories in the presidential and senatorial races as well as the election for a seat in the House of Representatives. A loud roar erupted when it was announced that President Barack Obama would win the state of Ohio and the national election to serve a second term.
Reports that Obama won the election started surfacing at about 11:15 p.m. Tuesday. The announcement came soon after the media started reporting that Obama had won Ohio’s 18 electoral votes. With 99 percent of the state’s precincts reporting at about 2:45 a.m. Wednesday, Obama won with 50 percent of the vote, leading Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who captured 48 percent.
Sen. Sherrod Brown soundly defeated Republican Senate candidate and Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel and was re-elected for another six years in the U.S. Senate. To continue the trend, Democrat Joyce Beatty was elected to Ohio’s District 3 of U.S. House of Representatives.
“The middle class won tonight,” Brown said in his victory speech. “This race was never about me or my opponent.”
Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland agreed.
“We are proud of our great state of Ohio,” Strickland said.
Among the crowd of Ohio Democrats were some Ohio State students.
“I’m exhausted, excited and hopeful,” said Michael Flannagan, the communications director for OSU College Democrats, before it was announced that Obama was projected to win. “It’s been a lot of work.”
He said College Democrats had dedicated more than a year to the president’s re-election campaign and wanted to see it pay off.
“We saw a great turnout,” Flannagan said. “Ohio is important but I want the presidency.”
He got his wish, but some students had earlier expressed some concern about the election.
“I was a little bit nervous coming tonight,” said Jeremiah Carter, a second-year in business administration. “I feel really good about it now.”
Rob Cooper, a medical student at OSU, said he volunteered long hours for the campaign.
“It’s just rewarding,” Cooper said.
There was minimal difference between the Democratic base in 2008 and 2012, Cooper said.
“It took more effort this time,” he said. There were “more phone calls, more hitting doors.”
The election watch party also featured guests such as Ohio House Minority Leader Armond Budish and Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman.
“We will make Ohio blue and Democrat again,” Budish said as the crowd cheered.
Ohio Democrats demonstrated their enthusiasm for the campaign by chanting “fired up” and “four more years” with every state the president won.