College Republicans host post-election party

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Rebecca Mueller/Winonan

For many students at Winona State University and across the United States, the 2012 Election was their first opportunity to vote in a presidential election.

To celebrate Election Day and watch the election results come in, the College Republicans held an Election Victory Party from 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Nov. 6 in the Student Activity Center in Kryzsko Commons.

The event involved watching Fox News’s coverage of the election and enjoying refreshments such as pop and pizza.

Attendees had the opportunity to discuss the election with each other.

According to Stephen Palmquist, president of the College Republicans, “Election Victory Party” is a common name for similar post-election events.

This is the first year that the College Republicans have held this event.

The Winona State student body is generally very liberal, which was a challenge for the members of the College Republicans.

As in past years, the organization campaigned for Republican candidates such as presidential candidate Mitt Romney and encouraged students to vote leading up to the election.

“The biggest problem with college students is just getting them to vote,” Palmquist said.

He encourages everyone to vote because it is an opportunity for students to voice their opinions and have a say in the government.

In addition to campaigning, the College Republicans also worked together with the College Democrats to hold a debate in which the audience would be able to learn about each political party’s stance on important issues in the election.

“It’s important because it determines what happens to us throughout college,” said freshman Morgan Murphy.

Some students came with their friends and roommates, such as Murphy. Her roommate is a member of the College Republicans, and they came to the event together.

Other students came out of curiosity.

“I walked by and I saw it,” said Ben Hammel, a fifth-year student at Winona State. He and several other students had not initially planned to attend the event but chose to stop by and watch the newscast on their way through Kryzsko Commons.

At the beginning of the event, Palmquist said that he expected a very close election. The presidential race was expected to go either way, while Congress was expected to maintain a Republican majority and the Senate was expected to maintain a Democratic majority.

The College Republicans chose to watch Fox News’s coverage of the election out of a wide variety of newscasts.

The newscast featured discussions about the election as well as live updates of the election results, as polling places across the nation closed and began to count the ballots.

“It’s just the most watched. It has the most viewers,” Palmquist said. The organization chose a newscast that most audience members would want to watch.

The newscast also featured predictions of the election’s outcome by state that were sometimes made long before every precinct had reported their results. Palmquist said these predictions are made based on historical trends as well as the actual election results.

By the end of the event, members were dismayed to learn that President Obama had been re-elected for a second term.

“Generally everyone was pretty disappointed by the results,” Palmquist said. “We knew it would be a close race, but we had high hopes for moving this country in a different direction.”

Contact Rebecca at [email protected]