The College Republicans celebrated election night in a lounge of Jamestown Hall South, where approximately 10 people gathered to watch Fox News over pizza and Coca-Cola.
“The whole Republican club is really excited,” College Republicans Vice-Chairman John Michael King ’12 said. “This is a fresh start for us, because last year left a bad taste in our mouths.”
Virginia voters chose Republicans Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling and Ken Cuccinelli to serve as governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general, respectively. McDonnell won the gubernatorial race with 58.65 percent of the vote.
“I believe we had three excellent candidates,” College Republicans Chairman Thomas Chappell ’11 said. “I think our candidates would win or be competitive in any election cycle.”
The College Republicans also paid close attention to the hotly contested New Jersey gubernatorial race between Democrat Gov. Jon Corzine and Republican candidate Chris Christie.
“We’re seriously eying the New Jersey vote,” King said. “We’re hoping for Chris Christie. If he pulls it out, it’s going to represent a popular condemnation of the national administration’s policy, considering how much
Obama campaigned for Corzine, the incumbent Democrat.”
Christie later defeat red Corzine with 55 percent of the vote.
The College Republicans had good things to say about McDonnell, who will be sworn into office in January.
“I think [McDonnell’s victory] means Virginia will remain a state that promotes economic opportunity and entrepreneurship,” Chappell said. “It will remain a right-to-work state. I think Virginia will remain a national model of government effectiveness and efficiency.”
However, the celebration was not entirely without concern.
“My only problem with McDonnell is that, if the College of William and Mary wanted to go private, it would be harder under him than under Deeds,” King said. “Neither of them have said anything, but you can tell this by just looking at them.”
Many Republicans believe Virginia’s discontent with Obama’s policies contributed to the party’s multiple victories.
“I think the wide margins are a reaction to dissatisfaction to national politics and the Democratic Party in power,” Chappell said. “I think the frustration comes from out of control spending and what seems to be a desire to expand the size of government.”
No matter the reason, the College Republicans were pleased with the election results.
“I’m just thrilled,” Chappell said. “It’s been a while since we’ve won one, and it’s a nice feeling.”