Parties In Politics



Nearly 1,500 politically interested students gathered in the O’Connor Campus Center (COOP) Tuesday night for the Party Animals’ Up All Night Election Party. The Political Student Network (PSN) and the Center Outreach Volunteerism and Education (COVE) worked with groups such as Center for Learning and Student Involvement, Class Councils, College Democrats, College Republicans, Students for Environmental Action (SEA), Democracy Matters, Amnesty International, SSJ, Body Image Network, the Women’s Studies Center and Residential Education to create the “all-inclusive” political event. Students from all political views and class years turned out to watch the election coverage on the many television screens scattered throughout the COOP. Students supporting Bush, Kerry and Nader enjoyed music by Sarah Poulette, the Discords and Splendiferous, as well as a performance by Charred Goosebeak. The party featured food to represent each of the decisive “swing states” such as””Arizona” dinosaur BBQ, “Colorado” rocky road ice cream, Florida oranges, Washington apples and Virginia ham. Students proved their interest by arriving before the event began and remaining into the early hours of the morning.”I figured when the food started to run-out the crowds would clear, but I was surprised how many people stuck around for the results,” co-coordinator of PSN senior Amanda Morose said.Students remained at the COOP to watch as the map of America was colored blue and red. However, even early Wednesday morning, when everyone finally left, the President-elect was in question.

The evening began with no surprises, as the election results came in as predicted.However, the swing states remained close throughout the evening. Democratic hopes soared as Kerry won the much contested state of Pennsylvania.Up until the final days of the election, both candidates had campaigned vigorously in Pennsylvania.Following Kerry’s Pennsylvania victory, Florida’s electoral votes were awarded to President Bush -a decided victory for the Republicans. Florida’s clear-cut victory was a relief for many as the state had potential for electoral chaos and fears of the 2000 election remained. With these two important swing states decided, the candidates looked to be nearly tied. Both hoped to win the 270 votes needed for the Presidential office.Ohio, New Mexico and Iowa were contested well into Wednesday as officials scrambled to count provisional and absentee ballots. Iowa’s results were delayed due a problem with some of their election machines. Wednesday night, only two of the major networks, NBC and FOX, were confident enough to name New Mexico’s close election for Bush.Ohio remained on the forefront of national attention as the number of provisional and absentee votes was calculated.Bush was ahead by 139,000 votes with only 140,000 votes uncounted.Bush’s minor edge over Kerry was finally determined to be so large that Kerry could not possibly win.Early Wednesday morning, Kerry and his officials determined that Bush was the victor.Kerry placed a call to the White House congratulating the President and conceding the election.Kerry’s concession speech thanked all of his supporters and urged them not to give up hope. He urged his supporters “Don’t lose faith. What you did made a difference.”””America has spoken, and I’m humbled by the trust and the confidence of my fellow citizens,” Bush said in his victory speech an hour later.He also addressed the close election.”So today, I want to speak to every person who voted for my opponent.To make this nation stronger and better, I will need your support, and I will work to earn it. I will do all I can do to deserve your trust,”he said.Bush also thanked the American people, as he promised to reach out to the whole nation and complimented the nation for their high voter turnout. The election also constituted a dramatic increase in voter participation – for both Democrats and Republicans.Approximately 60 percent of eligible voters turned out, up from 54 percent in the 2000 election.It appears the youth vote was not as great of a factor as potentially predicted, although there was some increase.Still, only nine percent of the total votes are attributed to people aged 18 to 24. If the Party Animals 2004 turnout is indicative of voting turnout, then it appears that Colgate students are an exception to the national trends of youth voter apathy (About 43 percent of Colgate students attended the event).”It was great to see that Colgate students are not politically apathetic as so many people claim,” senior Co-coordinator of Democracy Matters Brandy Bones said.Despite the potential for legal battles and chaos, the election ended with a decisive victor.In addition to the electoral vote, Bush won the popular vote by about three million votes.The Republican Party was also successful on the congressional level, as they will continue to control both the House and Senate. The historic election paves the way for an exciting Presidential battle in 2008 when both parties will seek new candidates.