By Ellin Youse and Eric Tifft
Transcript Reporter and Managing Editor
Although students filled Benes Rooms A and B Tuesday night, the loudest sound to be heard all night was that of the muttered munch of a chicken wing.
Quiet chatter could be heard around the room, but never loud enough to overpower Anderson Cooper’s voice on CNN. As Ohio Wesleyan students sat mostly in silence, they focused their eyes on the two television screens at the front of the room.
This was the scene at Tuesday’s Election Vote Watch Party, an event hosted by the Politics and Government Department and Wesleyan Counsel for Student Affairs.
The Watch Party provided free food and drink to students as they watched the vote count of the Presidential Election. Around 34 students cycled in and out of the event, but socializing was minimal as their focus remained on the televisions.
The race between former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama was tight.
States with overwhelming majorities were nonexistent, fluctuating between numbers no greater in distance than about 20 percent at most in the popular votes.
Senior Megan Bachelder said she did not even want to look at the vote tallies until they were final.
“If the difference between the two candidates is within two percent, don’t even show it to me,” Bachelder said, laughing. “I don’t want to know unless there is a winner.”
Bachelder said no matter the outcome of the election, she is pleased to see an extreme interest from the voters in this election.
“I think student voters have been very smart in this election,” Bachelder said. “They’ve really been taking interest in what is going on right now, and how the president’s actions are functional. In an election this tight, it could go either way. But I’m so proud of the attention paid by the voters.”
Sophomore Courtney Tincher sat with her hands twisted in her lap, turning around in her chair to softly discuss the incoming electoral votes with a friend. Tincher said she was “on edge” about the election.
“Romney really needs Florida and Ohio,” Tincher said. “I really hope he gets it, please God. Let him win!”
Many of the students at the event were first time voters with this election, but despite voting inexperience, students like freshman Macie Maisel say they have an investment in the election.
Maisel said she voted for Governor Romney because she “believes he is focusing on the more important issues this election.”
“I’m pretty neutral with social issues, but I think they take a backseat to the economy in this election,” Maisel said. “I am not concerned with them as much as I am with the job market and the distribution of money.”
Sophomore Marisa Lucian she expected Obama to win the election because he was the incumbent.
“The incumbent would have to be extremely unpopular to not get relected,” Lucian said.
Since the re-election of Obama, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has dropped about 280 points (2.2 percent) Lucian said.
“I think the stock market has taken dropped a little because investors are worried about the economy,” Lucian said. “People are also very concerned with the economies in Greece and throughout Europe. Also, with Iran, Pakistan and Isreal developing nuclear weapons, people are very concerned with how the US will respond.”
Junior Max Bruch said Obama will have a struggle the next four years because the Democrats hold the majority in the Senate and the Republicans hold the majority in the House of Representatives.
“Obama will definitely face opposition in Congress, but this is inevitable,” Bruch said. “I was very worried watching the election, but after Obama was re-elected, I was very relieved.”
Freshman Jimmy Wolf said the election came out as he predicted, but is hesistent about the next four years.
“(Obama) did a poor job the last four years, I don’t see anything changing,” Wolf said. “People are unaware of what happened. We are in too big of a hole because of Obama.”
Sophomore Rodrigo Ravaglia said his investments in the election were ideological. An international student from Sao Paulo, Brazil, Ravalia cannot vote in America, but strongly supported President Obama during this election year.
“I see Obama as a role model for any politician in the world,” Ravaglia said. “I want to go into politics when I return home to Brazil, and I am learning how to be a great politician by observing President Obama’s strong goals for the country. I want to live here after college to see him execute those goals.”
Freshman Zoe Morris said she focused on human rights, such as healthcare, marriage equality and women’s rights, in the election.
“The country is headed in the right direction with multiple states passing marriage equaltiy laws and legalizing marijuana,” Morris said. “Through legalizing marijuana, we are able to regulate the drug and make it safe to use. Also, courts won’t be bogged down as much.”
Freshman Josh Tesser said he is hopeful for the next four years.
“I would love to see equal rights for everyone,” Tesser said.
Sophomore Kalynne Trembly was concerned with the policies Romney wanted to enact.
“Romney wanted to take away Planned Parenthood,” Trembly said. “I’m very relieved Obama was re-elected because I can continue to make choices about my own body.”
Trembly also said the country is making huge steps in the right direction by some states approving marriage equality and recreational marijuana.
The Watch Party came to an end at 11 o’clock Tuesday, only about a half an hour before CNN announced Barack Obama will be serving another term as president. CNN reported Wednesday at midnight that Obama won 303 Electoral College votes and 50 percent of the popular vote, and Romney won 206 electoral votes with 49 percent of the popular vote.
In his election victory speech, Obama applauded all voters, even those who did not vote for him.
“Whether you held an Obama sign or a Romney sign, you made your voice (heard) and you made a difference,” Obama said. “With your stories and your struggles, I return to the White House more determined than ever.”