Race ends with unexpected Trump victory

North Wind Staff

In an election that has been described as “history making,” Donald Trump was announced the 45th president of the United States early Wednesday morning after a tight race with opponent Hillary Clinton. Chairman of the Marquette County Republicans Brendon Biolo expressed relief when the final results came in.

re-democrats1-et“It was a good night. Now we have to just get back to healing the country and getting stuff done,” Biolo said.

At the beginning of the night, tensions were high among Republican voters gathered at the Marquette County Republican Headquarters watch party. As results trickled in, the atmosphere lightened and shouts of excitement filled the room for each state Trump won.

“It got real good when we won Ohio,” Biolo said.

“It was tense at first,” he said. “All of the projections, all of the TV people up on stage just did not want Trump. You could see that they didn’t from the Megyn Kellys all of the way down. You could see that they just didn’t like him.”

As election results came in, community members in the room expressed both elation and disappointment depending on party winners.

“All of a sudden things are just starting to perk up and the energy is just flowing. We’re waiting to hear. Still could go against us, and that would be the way it would go, but we have to go just one at a time. We’re waiting to hear from Florida,” Biolo said.

As Biolo spoke, it was announced that Trump had won Florida’s votes, and the room filled with celebratory shouts.

Biolo said from the beginning that he hoped the election would be determined early on, but this was not the case. With Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania remaining in a close race, the election went late into the night undetermined.

Marquette County Republican volunteers spent the days leading up to election day going out and spreading the Republican message and distributing signs.

Volunteer efforts not only came from students but also from retired community members who have been “energized” by this year’s campaign, Dan Adamini, secretary of the Marquette County Republicans, said.

“I’m not saying Donald Trump is Ronald Reagan by any means. But, that feeling seems to be revived,” Adamini said. “We have a lot of retired folks who are very excited about things that haven’t been excited for in a long time.”

Adamini added that he was glad to see so many people get involved and hopes the trend will continue in younger populations moving forward.

“What has made this country great from the beginning was just the average citizen getting out and trying to make a difference,” Adamini said.

The excitement was not lost to the College Republican group as they met at their own viewing party.

“Going in, Donald Trump was supposed to perform very poorly in the Electoral College. He was not supposed to come near what he would have needed to get to 270 electoral votes,” senior economics major and president of the NMU College Republicans Mason Pearce said.

Pearce said that the College Republicans were excited over the results as Trump triumphed over states and Jack Bergman won the First District Congressional seat. However, he added that  there are still challenges left to face.

“I think that he is going to have a lot of work to do to assure the American people that he is up for the job—not just the American people in general, but even Republicans,” Pearce said. “Obviously we all got out there and voted for him today, but I think that he still has a lot of work to do to assure us that he is the right man for the job. But, we’re backing him 100 percent.”

Third-party voters were disappointed to see Gary Johnson not reach the 5 percent threshold required to receive federal funding for future campaigns.

“It would’ve given us more hope for a 3-party system and provided the Libertarian Party with federal funding for the campaign next term, and it would’ve helped us move away from a 2-party system,” said Steven Losiowski, president of NMU’s Young Americans for Liberty.

“We would’ve been disappointed with either candidate. We don’t see one as being better than the other. They’re both terrible in their own regard,” Losiowski  added.

Disappointment in the results was also experienced by Democrats at the Democratic watch party.

A crowded, energetic room in the lower level of the Landmark Inn turned into a quiet, open area by 11:30 a.m.

The Marquette County Democrats celebrated early in the evening as John Kivela was re-elected as the State Representative. Kivela, who is in Lansing for the House of Representatives session on Wednesday, was on the speakerphone with the Marquette County Democrats after the announcement of his win.

“For me it looks like a good night,” Kivela said. He wasn’t as optimistic about the state of the rest of the country.

“We’re seeing some disturbing things across the country in regards to the presidential race, and I think that’s concerning,” Kivela said.

Another cause for celebration among the party was the expected victory of Greg Zyburt for county sheriff. Zyburt was running unopposed but the election made his position official.

“I’m proud, I’m honored to be chosen as the next sheriff of Marquette County and I’m looking forward to trying new things,” Zyburt said.

Confusion swept across the room as polls started to trickle in from around the country. The more precincts that reported, the more people left the building.

Junior political science major Megan McCann said a Trump victory wasn’t something that was ever predicted in her political practicum class.

“It’s weird that all of these polls we’ve been following for so long have been totally wrong,” McCann said. “We all came in pretty confident.”

McCann is nervous that the progress made by President Barack Obama will be lost when Trump takes office. The biggest concern of Ellen Lindblom, president of the Michigan Federation of College Democrats and vice president of the College Democrats of America, is the Supreme Court nominees Trump will appoint.

“What the Republican Party believes in I don’t believe is the answer,” Lindblom said. “Maybe this will be an opportunity that we can finally compromise on something.”

McCann attributes the evening’s disappointment to the low number of student voter turnout. She said the NMU College Democrats did a lot of hard work registering students to vote, but the turnout numbers were surprisingly low. The Democrats had cleared out of their watch party location just after 12:30 a.m., well before the official announcement was made.

“I know our government has been dysfunctional,” Lindblom said. “I’m just very nervous for what this is going to do for us and how embarrassing it’ll be to have Donald Trump as our president.”