Jubilation turns to dismay for Clinton supporters

Above and below: Clinton supporters were openly shocked and upset as the night wore on and the results streamed in at the Jacob Javits Convention Centre in New York.
Above: Clinton supporters were openly shocked and upset as the night wore on and the results streamed in at the Jacob Javits Convention Centre in New York.PHOTOS: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY, REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Above and below: Clinton supporters were openly shocked and upset as the night wore on and the results streamed in at the Jacob Javits Convention Centre in New York.
Above: Clinton supporters were openly shocked and upset as the night wore on and the results streamed in at the Jacob Javits Convention Centre in New York.PHOTOS: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY, REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Above and below: Clinton supporters were openly shocked and upset as the night wore on and the results streamed in at the Jacob Javits Convention Centre in New York.
Above: Clinton supporters were openly shocked and upset as the night wore on and the results streamed in at the Jacob Javits Convention Centre in New York.PHOTOS: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY, REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Above and below: Clinton supporters were openly shocked and upset as the night wore on and the results streamed in at the Jacob Javits Convention Centre in New York.
Above: Clinton supporters were openly shocked and upset as the night wore on and the results streamed in at the Jacob Javits Convention Centre in New York.PHOTOS: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY, REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Thousands pack into convention centre expecting to witness history in the making, but many leave in tears

Before it all ended in tears, Mrs Hillary Clinton's party at the Jacob Javits Convention Centre was packed to the gills with thousands of supporters, and there was even a block party on the street to accommodate the overflow.

Some got in line from as early as 11am - seven hours before the doors opened - and by the afternoon, the line snaked for blocks with people dressed in red, white and blue, some in "I'm with her" campaign T-shirts, others holding balloons, ready to celebrate a Clinton election victory.

At one point, a woman in line raised her voice, asking the crowd if anyone had a spare ticket to get in and was rewarded when another Clinton supporter offered her one.

Each time the line inched forward, people cheered, excited that they might be one step closer to witnessing history in the making.

Ms Cait Smith, a 30-year-old healthcare professional, said she voted for Mrs Clinton at noon and immediately headed to the convention centre to get in line.

DISHEARTENING

This just makes me genuinely believe that no matter how hard you work, no matter how hard you try... the odds are always going to be against you because you are a woman.

MS ALLIE ROHLETTER, 20, a student.

 

"I really want to be in there. Since I've been a kid, I've been a big fan of Hillary Clinton," she said.

While in the holding area, many shared their food and water with strangers they had just met, adding to the feeling of camaraderie.

Later in the foyer of the convention centre, under the glass ceiling, the crowd went crazy when Mrs Clinton bagged the state of New York, and openly booed Mr Trump when his face appeared on the jumbo TV screen. Even the Empire State Building's spire turned blue when the result was announced.

But the high of being on the winning team started to fade as the night wore on. While Clinton supporters waited for news on Florida, Ohio and North Carolina, anxiety started to build as the states leaned towards Mr Trump.

Said Ms Ellen Baum, 28, a former management consultant: "It is troubling to me that the race is so close."

When Fight Song - a pop song often used at Clinton events to get the crowd motivated - started playing, hardly anyone was in the mood to sing along.

The mood lightened a little when Mrs Clinton won Virginia and New Mexico, but the crowd's enthusiasm seemed somewhat forced.

By the time North Carolina was lost to the Republicans, many Clinton supporters were seen with their heads buried in their hands, or hands over their mouths, completely stunned that they had lost so many major battleground states to the opposing camp.

From this point in the night, the crowd started thinning out, and many left clutching a loved one or completely in tears.

When Pennsylvania went to Mr Trump, the crowd knew the race was effectively over, but stragglers stayed on, hoping for the best. One woman was overheard saying, in a reference to the show Saturday Night Live: "At least SNL will have good jokes for four years."

At a hotel nearby, the candidate huddled with her husband Bill and close aides, trying to decide their next course of action.

 

The Journey song Don't Stop Believing played just before Mrs Clinton's campaign manager John Podesta finally took to the stage to tell supporters to head home and wait for more news in the morning.

With smudged blue eyeshadow and tears in her eyes, 20-year-old student Allie Rohletter said she was very upset by Mrs Clinton's loss.

"This just makes me genuinely believe that no matter how hard you work, no matter how hard you try... the odds are always going to be against you because you are a woman," she said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 10, 2016, with the headline 'Jubilation turns to dismay for Clinton supporters'. Print Edition | Subscribe