Democrats celebrate despite predictions

On Super Tuesday Democrats came together in support of John Kerry and John Edwards as the results of the presidential elections came in at The Moon.

“Victory Night 2004” started at 7:30 p.m., and live election updates from CNN kept the crowd informed.

“Democrats, are we proud to be Democrats today?” Mayor John Marks said.

Marks praised the United States for its ability to choose by voting. He said in 2000 rules were ignored, but said the Democrats were going to win Tuesday night.

“We’re going to win in the state of Florida,” Marks said.

Marks then passed the audience’s attention to Democratic Party Chairman Scott Maddox. Maddox was highly praised for his efforts in the past two years and for his work with working diligently with the youth votes.

When the chairman was introduced, he and Marks danced to “I Feel Good” by recording artist James Brown. Maddox opened with the statistics of democratic voters and mentioned the odds against the Democrats.

“We will win this election tonight,” Maddox said.

In his closing remarks, he said that some people thought a Democratic president could not be done, and that Bush would not fall.

“They said Bush was the biggest and the baddest,” Maddox said.

They compared the president to the biblical Goliath as Maddox raised his hand and pulled out a slingshot and said, “I’ve got a sling shot.” After viewing the slingshot in the hands of Maddox, Democrats raised their voices in cheer.

State Representative of District 9 Loranne Ausley was one of the panelists at the evening’s Democratic Party celebration.

“We are winning the battleground state, and we will be prepared for 2008,” Ausley said.

“Donkeys rock,” said state Representative Curtis Richardson.

He mentioned that Democrats raised $10, 000 for the Democratic Party around the state of Florida.

The electoral votes were in favor of President Bush 249-242 at press time; however, the Democrats remained in good cheer and hope for Sen. Kerry. The polls nationwide were closed by 11:30 p.m. eastern time.

Meanwhile, Republicans in Washington had much to celebrate as Republicans retained control of the Senate Tuesday, capturing a handful of Southern Democratic seats and putting Democratic leader Tom Daschle a hair away from becoming the first party leader to lose his Senate seat in 52 years.

The GOP also expanded its hold in the House of Representatives by at least five seats, winning redrawn districts in Texas.

In the Senate, Republicans won formerly Democratic seats in North and South Carolina and Georgia. Democrats were also trying to fend off Republican Senate victories in Florida and Louisiana opened by retiring Democrats. If Republicans sweep all five – a distinct possibility – that would further solidify a political realignment across the South that began when Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act in 1965.

Democrats had a chance to offset some of the Republican gains. They won formerly Republican seats in Illinois and Colorado, and Republican Lisa Murkowski was in a pitched battle to retain her seat from Alaska.

Southern states promoted three Republican members of the House of Representatives to the Senate. They were U.S. Rep. Jim DeMint in South Carolina, U.S. Rep. Richard Burr in North Carolina and U.S. Rep. Johnny Isakson in Georgia.

In Kentucky, Republican Sen. Jim Bunning, a Hall of Fame pitcher whose unpredictable behavior gave Democrats hope for an upset, escaped a scare and pulled out a narrow win. Former U.S. Rep. Tom Coburn kept Oklahoma, another potential toss-up, in Republican hands.

Republicans currently hold a narrow majority in the Senate, 51-48, with one independent who tends to vote with Democrats.

Of 34 Senate seats up for election, Republicans had to defend 15 this year, and Democrats 19. More Democrats also faced tough races, and only nine Senate seats in all were truly in play. With control of the Senate at stake, these races broke fund-raising records and made this election the most expensive in history.

The South offered Republicans their best hope for gains. Senate retirements by Democrats Ernest Hollings from South Carolina, Zell Miller in Georgia and John Kerry’s running mate, Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, gave Republicans their best shots.

Florida and Louisiana are more difficult Southern challenges for Republicans, but retirements there by incumbent Democratic Sens. Bob Graham of Florida and John Breaux of Louisiana gave the GOP openings for pickups as well.

But Republican retirements in Illinois and Colorado gave Democrats an outside chance to regain control of the Senate.

Republicans currently hold a 227-205 majority with one independent who votes Democratic and two vacancies.

In winning House seats in Texas, Republicans defeated such Democratic stalwarts as Martin Frost and Charles Stenholm. The only significant loss for House Republicans was the defeat of Rep. Phil Crane of Illinois.

Contact Anthony S. Ray at