Leeds School of Business

Hour by hour — Election Day at the Dark Horse bar

6 p.m. – It’s 6 p.m. and the Dark Horse is filling up with a mixture of burger lovers and election followers. The chatter is constant, and the large projection screen upstairs scrolls through state election results and interviews with campaign managers. The Dark Horse has long been established as the meeting place for the local Republican Party, and it’s apparent.

“Make America Great Again” caps line the tops of heads of people who have gathered here to witness history and to root for Donald Trump & Co. Kevin Kolhmeier and his wife are outlying Democrats that like the Dark Horse as a place to just hang out.

“I’m stressed out,” Kolhmeier said. “The race will prove to be pivotal, so I’m bracing myself with a beer jacket.”

7 p.m. – “Yay Arkansas!” The phrase is yelled out and is followed by a round of applause and a passing of a pitcher of beer at a full table. It’s 7 p.m. and the upstairs viewing area is running out of stools. More and more people are standing with their eyes glued to the projector screen eager to see the turn out of this election. The chatter continues as people talk about where they believe the election will go. Trump shows to be winning the race to 270 with 33 more electoral votes than Hillary Clinton.

8 p.m. – By now, there’s no room to even walk in the upstairs viewing room. Everyone is facing one direction. All tables have been filled and Trump is still in the lead. He is the projected winner in many Southern and Midwest states and holds the lead over Clinton 57 to 43 percent.

The division between Republicans and Democrats has become less and less distinct as more people crowd in — only a few obvious Trump supporters can be seen in the sea of bodies that fill the upstairs viewing area. And suddenly the cheers begin. Clinton has taken the lead in Virginia by 1 percent, and it becomes clear that there are more Democrats here than Republicans. The cheers continue as the projector switches over to show Clinton projected to win in Colorado.

9 p.m. – Most of the polling is closed on the East Coast, but most of the West Coast has yet to be accounted for. The decibels in the upstairs viewing area have increased, and the talking heads on-screen are barely audible against the constant conversation taking place in the background. Some room has cleared up in the center of the room as the pool table has been transformed into a makeshift seating area, but the groups of people continue to shuffle in and out. And suddenly it’s full again. The doorway is obscured by conversing bodies of curious Boulderites and shows no sign of diminishing.

“I’m getting nervous,” said Sydney Collins, CU Boulder chemistry major. “There’s still a ways to go but it’s going to be too close. I’m literally sweating.”

Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Alvaro Sanchez at alvaro.sanchez@colorado.edu. 

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The CU Independent, or CUI for short, is the student news outlet for the University of Colorado at Boulder. We cover news, sports, politics, opinion, arts and entertainment and more. Our mission is to provide news and commentary that's for students and by students — about the things we care about.

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