Archive for November, 2016

‘I’m gutted’: Toronto Democrats hoping to witness historic win for Clinton deflated by Trump lead

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

Patty Hayes, right, who attended the Democrats Abroad election night party in Toronto, couldn’t believe the United States was heading for a Donald Trump victory. YAHOO CANADA/Showwei Chu

By  midnight all the major polls had pretty much closed, and Patty Hayes had finished five drinks. Vodka tonic with a wedge of lime, to be exact.

Hayes and her wife, Deirdre, were at the election night party hosted by the Democrats Abroad since 7:30 p.m. And they were still there while many of the 460 other expats and supporters of Hillary Clinton had left the Marche restaurant in downtown Toronto.

Hayes was not quite defeated yet.

“I’m in disbelief. This is not where I thought we’d be at this point in the night,” she said. “I don’t see how anyone could think that Donald Trump will work for you unless you’re a rich, white, straight man.”

But as the evening slouched towards 1:30 a.m. Donald Trump had 244 to Clinton’s 215 electoral college votes.

“It feels like at this point it’s a fait accompli,” she said. “I’m gutted.”

Just after 2 a.m., the chair of Clinton’s campaign, John Podesta, offered a glimmer of hope to supporters, announcing there would be no concession until every vote was counted.

“We are so proud of you, and we are so proud of her,” Podesta told the crowd at Clinton’s campaign headquarters. “She’s done an amazing job, and she is not done yet.”

“Goodnight. We will be back. We have more to say. Let’s get those votes counted, and let’s bring those votes home,” he said.

Earlier that same day

The mood wasn’t so dire in downtown Toronto when the evening began.

Linda Bignell came all the way from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., to watch the election night results in Toronto with her fellow expat Democrats.

“I wanted to be witness to the first lady president,” she confidently told Yahoo Canada News, early in the night.

There in the crowd was Lanette Ware-Bushfield who brought her two young children because she also believed it could be a historic moment “that I do not want them to miss.”

Going into Election Day, pollsters had Clinton with a small lead over rival Trump of three to four percentage points.

According to, Clinton had an 89 per cent chance of winning the 270 electoral college votes for the presidency. She counted on high voter turnout particularly from the Hispanic population as well as other non-whites, millennials and female voters to carry her to the Oval Office.

While many guests were optimistic that America could get its first female president, some like Ann O’Kane said fear still gripped her.

“It’s like the song from Wicked: I’m excited but scared,” she said.

O’Kane, who is from Wisconsin and now lives in Toronto with her Canadian husband, said she lost her mother who was a big Clinton supporter in February, and “if she were here tonight she’d definitely be celebrating with me in spirit.”

It was shortly before 10 p.m. the crowd at Marché became somewhat deflated. By 11 p.m., the crowds were thinning out.

With files from Sarah-Joyce Battersby

Click here to read the story originally published for Yahoo Canada News.

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