Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
As the 9:00pm results from Super Tuesday rolled in, Mephistos Lounge was filled with more than fifty Swatties. A handful of students hunched over textbooks, but most clustered around laptops watching The New York Times, CNN, and other sites update delegate counts minute-by-minute or were glued to the screen of a massive television, permanently set to CNN.
Molly Weston ’10, president of the College Democrats, was thrilled by the large turnout. “We expected high turnout, but what we got was even better than what we expected,” she said.
It was a politicized gathering. One student wore a shirt proclaiming “Obama ’08,” and another with the slogan “Barack Out with Your [C***] Out.” The College Republicans passed out stickers adorned with their elephant logo, sticking it on soda bottles and wearing it on their shirts.
The College Democrats and Republicans each supplied a cake. Someone scrawled “Happy Birthday Ronald Reagan” in frosting across the top of one of them.
The event was marked by close coordination between the College Democrats and the newly resurgent College Republicans, and the groups hope to keep the relationship going. “Vigorous competition and debate makes everyone stronger,” explained Weston. The reformation of the College Republicans “[is] a good thing for the campus and for the College Democrats.”
Kate Goertzen ’09, a strong Obama supporter, described the mood in Mephistos as “anticipatory but nervous. [There is] an overwhelming resurgence and interest in politics and a sense of hope.”
As results trickled in, conversation in the room rose in volume, and student leaders tacked the faces of the candidates to pictures of the contested states.
At the time of writing, Republican Candidate McCain has claimed more than 500 delegates, handily beating out all his opponents combined. However, his win did not appear to be as resounding as some pundits predicted. USA Today warned that “John McCain’s victories … were tempered a bit by warning signs that he has yet to win over GOP partisans.”
On the Democratic front, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are in a tight race. Clinton appears to have won six of the ten primaries, but the Associated Press’s final delegate count suggests that it is only Clinton’s advantage in super-delegates that gives her her 100-delegate lead. The New York Times reported that “the two campaigns were predicting on Tuesday that they would end up with a fairly even number of delegates.”