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Student communities convene for midterm election watch parties – The Stanford Daily

Student communities convene for midterm election watch parties – The Stanford Daily

As midterm outcomes unfolded on Tuesday night time, college students held watch parties round campus to watch an election that’s extensively thought-about a referendum on President Donald Trump and his management of the Republican get together.

Two years after Trump’s victory shocked a left-leaning campus, college students stated the night’s outcomes have been largely anticipated, whilst they mourned leads to sure excessive profile Congressional races.

After 2016’s upset, individuals are “more realistic about what’s likely to happen,” stated Tinuola Dada ’19, who spent Tuesday night at Stanford in Authorities’s (SIG) watch celebration in ZAP. She thinks college students have develop into extra engaged in politics because the presidential election.

“A lot of people don’t pay attention to the midterms,” she stated. “Even if you don’t show up to something like [a watch party], it’s very expected that you vote in the midterms, which for our demographic has not historically been the case.”

Combined reactions

The SIG gathering — historically one among Stanford’s largest election-night occasions — drew some 40 college students who alternately booed and cheered over Pizza My Coronary heart as outcomes got here in. Nobody was notably stunned by Democrats’ Home takeover or Republicans’ continued maintain on the Senate after weeks of comparable predictions from pollsters. Consideration targeted as an alternative on a number of Democratic candidates throughout the nation: Beto O’Rourke’s longshot marketing campaign to unseat Republican Senator Ted Cruz, and Stacey Abrams’s and Andrew Gillum’s Democratic bids for governor in Georgia and Florida, respectively.

Texan Isaiah Drummond ’20, SIG’s Co-Director of Variety and Outreach, was notably enthusiastic about O’Rourke’s candidacy — and disenchanted when analysts started calling the Senate race for Cruz. He wasn’t alone: Members of Stanford’s sizeable Texas inhabitants deliberate a “Texas Flag Rager” to be held in White Plaza if O’Rourke beat the chances and gained.

“Bring your Lone Star flags, your Whataburger table numbers and your thickest southern cotton UT shirt,” the organizers wrote in a Fb occasion posting. “Stupid-loud Cotton Eye Joe. Californians are not welcome, and we will be checking state IDs.”

Regardless of O’Rourke’s loss, Drummond was inspired by the truth that O’Rourke — who would have been the primary Texas Democrat elected to the Senate in 30 years — got here inside three proportion factors of Cruz and bolstered liberal candidates throughout the state.

“If you look closely at the U.S. House in Texas, you can see a lot of it was galvanized by the Beto campaign,” he stated. “A lot of seats that are traditionally Republican have switched over.”

Whereas conservatives are a minority on campus, they’ve additionally been invigorated because the 2016 election. The Stanford School Republicans’ (SCR) watch celebration on Tuesday was a testomony to their rising numbers and their affect on the campus political scene; about 30 college students got here to Potter Home lounge, up from the 13 college students who gathered two years in the past in Lantana and expressed shock at Trump’s victory.

“I would say that the mood in the room is very good,”  SCR treasurer Ben Esposito ’21 stated.

In accordance with Esposito, the Republican crowd was watching many Midwest races intently — together with the candidacy of Stanford alum and Republican Josh Hawley ’02, who defeated incumbent Claire McCaskill for a Missouri Senate seat. Chatting with The Daily early on within the night, he referred to as the outcomes thus far a “mixed bag” however drew consideration to the polarizing position of Brett Kavanaugh’s contentious Supreme Courtroom affirmation main as much as the midterms.

“Every single red-state Senator who voted against Kavanaugh lost,” Esposito noticed.

Esposito and SCR President John Rice-Cameron ’20, upon seeing The Daily’s reporter try and take a photograph of the group’s gathering, charged at her, insisting that pictures couldn’t be taken on the occasion with out the consent of all the people pictured. Esposito demanded that he personally witness the reporter delete the one photograph she had taken of the occasion.

In October, a SCR “Change My Mind” tabling occasion in White Plaza made headlines after Rice-Cameron alleged that Melinda Hernandez ’21 shoved him. Hernandez, then again, stated that she had solely touched Rice-Cameron on the chest after he refused to cease video recording her. Rice-Cameron didn’t finally press fees.

On the finish of the night time, SCR advised The Daily in a press release that whereas they have been “disappointed” at to see the Republican lack of the Home, they “we’re glad to see that the House Freedom Caucus should retain its strength and that the resulting Democrat majority should be fairly weak.”

The School Republicans additionally celebrated the GOP’s success within the Senate, and what they noticed as “many of the Senators who participated in the partisan madhouse known as the Kavanaugh hearings go down in defeat.”

In the meantime, the Stanford chapter of the Worldwide Socialist Group took a broad view of the election outcomes, specializing in future organizing.

“No matter what the results are, we need to build an independent socialist left to fight against capitalism and the far right,” a consultant wrote in a message to The Daily.

The Stanford American Indian Group (SAIO), which hosted a watch social gathering on the Native American Cultural Middle lounge, expressed pleasure for the election of the primary two Native ladies to Congress. Nevertheless, the group emphasised “the work that still needs to be done in this country” to adequately characterize indigenous peoples’ pursuits.

“By continuing to have our voices heard through representatives like Sharice Davids, Deb Haaland and the multiple other indigenous individuals who ran for office, we can hope to restructure the institutions which so often attack our communities,” SAIO wrote in an e mail to The Daily.

Amid the give attention to statewide races, college students additionally eyed leads to their house areas. SIG Vice Chair of Operations and watch get together attendee Ana Cabrera ’20, who’s from Cuba and voted for the primary time in 2016 after turning into a U.S. citizen, was glad that Democrats took again a number of Congressional districts near the place she lives. Up to now, she’s been annoyed by a string of Republican officeholders regardless of what she describes as a rising Democratic wave amongst younger individuals.

Bigger races have been extra of a letdown for Cabrera, as present Governor Rick Scott narrowly gained a Senate seat in her house state. She referenced Scott’s controversial advert displaying his younger youngsters constructing a wall of blocks in a nod to President Trump’s border wall and immigration agenda.

“I just can’t believe that someone like that was able to win,” Cabrera stated. “There’s definitely a lot of feelings of frustration at the statewide level, but I am very hopeful for local elections,” she added.

Casting votes

Christina Li ’21, co-director of nonpartisan group Stanford Votes, careworn the significance of turnout and stated she believes her group was profitable in elevating consciousness concerning the election.

“Hopefully people were able to take action,” she stated.

Not everybody made it to the polls, and a few college students expressed confusion Tuesday about the place they have been registered to vote. Watching leads to the freshman dorm Cedro, Alexander Lerner ’22 admitted that he forgot to ship his absentee poll to Florida.

Different college students couldn’t think about not collaborating. In Soto, Kevin Li ’22 — an Iowan who has spent a whole lot of hours over the previous two years canvassing for candidates — stated the election “means the world” to him.

“To have it all boil down in one day is such an intense feeling there wasn’t any way that I couldn’t watch this election,” Li stated.

Some watch get together members at internationally-themed Hammarskjöld​ Home, or Hamm, have been unable to vote within the elections due to their citizenship. However they nonetheless adopted races intently, acutely aware of the broader influence of U.S. politics.

Brigitte Pawliw-Fry ’19, a world scholar from Ontario, Canada who helped arrange the watch social gathering, stated she noticed the occasion as one piece of a bigger effort to immerse Hamm residents in several views on well timed points. Pawliw-Fry famous that the citizenship standing of Hamm residents ranges from non-citizens to first-generation residents, together with individuals granted citizenship just some months in the past.

“I’m not able to vote but feel very implicated in this because, as Canadians, we’re super affected by what the U.S. does,” she stated.

About 15 individuals joined the watch celebration at its peak, Pawliw-Fry stated. Co-organizer Sima Biondi ’19 believes one deterrent to watch celebration attendance was Trump’s victory in 2016.

“People know a bit more about this election and care about it a little bit more, but it’s also hard to watch given the trauma of two years ago,” she stated. “People just don’t really want to see it.”

Biondi and fellow watch get together co-organizer Katherine Irajpanah ’19 each reported voting within the election. Though Pawliw-Fry couldn’t vote, she famous her pleasure to see about 1.5 million felons who’ve served their sentences obtain the proper to vote with the passing of Proposition four in Florida.

“For me, it’s really exciting to get to engage with international students as well people who haven’t registered to vote, to get to share this very exciting process for democracy,” Irajpanah stated.


Shirley Cai, Richard Coca, Patrick Monreal and Cooper Veit contributed to this report.

Contact Hannah Knowles at hknowles ‘at’ stanford.edu, Holden Foreman at hs4man21 ‘at’ stanford.edu and Erin Woo at ekwoo ‘at’ stanford.edu.