The Election Night festivities may be happening somewhere, but it doesn't look like the downtown Omni's bipartisan results-watching bash is bringing them in. One guest estimates the number of partygoers at approximately four. But there were balloons, some staff members wearing Uncle Sam hats and a screen to watch the returns.
Gallery5, at 200 W. Marshall St., also hopes to draw crowds with its Election Night party, which started at 7. Cost is $10, and features Strike Anywhere, Brainworms, Landmines and Stink Eyes. Election results will be projected on two screens during the bash.
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For official election results as they come in, click here.
After analyzing some 40 Web-related measures, including site traffic, YouTube viewers, search engines and social networking sites, Richmond-based Madison+Main, Advertising & New Media, is betting on Barack Obama to win the presidency.
Dave Saunders, company president, writes about his team's findings, naturally, on the firm's blog.
Some of the stats included these breakdowns: McCain's Facebook page had 624,000 supporters to Obama's 2.4 million. McCain's Web site received 4.3 million visitors in October compared with Obama's 7.9 million visitors during the same period.
The political talk at Crossroads Coffee & Ice Cream on Forest Hill Avenue was all Obama and, to some surprise, City Councilman Marty Jewell.
The 5th district coffee shop, in the shadow of the proposed Patrick Henry charter school, was “like a busy Saturday,” says co-owner Will Herring, adding that his informal browsing turned up a few interesting tidbits.
Perhaps surprising, there was little discussion about the mayor's race in a district that many see as a tossup between Dwight Jones and Bill Pantele. “Nobody seemed to have a clue about [the] mayor,” he says, adding that some voters, even those just retuning from the polls, seemed confused.
As for Jewell, who some think is in serious jeopardy of losing his seat on City Council, the talk seemed indicate he was safe. Jewell is fending off challenges from Mark Brandon and Lee Shewmake, but Herring says the coffee talk favored Jewell.
“Almost to a person, the general feeling seemed to be that Mark and Shewmake would split the vote [against Jewell],” he says. — Chris Dovi
Donnie "Dirtwoman" Corker, Richmond's most infamous 450-pound drag queen, says he was nearly denied his right to vote during Tuesday's election.
Corker, a former Richmond mayoral candidate who threw his endorsement to City Council President William Pantele, says he arrived at his Southside Plaza polling station yesterday in full drag -- ready to pull the lever for his candidate.
Once there, Corker says he presented a valid photo identification card, but a poll worker stopped him and demanded that he remove portions of his costume.
"That [expletive] made me pull my [expletive] wig off my head," says Corker. "He said I couldn't vote in drag. I was mad, I blowed up!"
Corker eventually removed his wig and was allowed to vote, but Richmond Voter Registrar Kirk Showalter says the election worker was in the wrong in requiring Corker remove the wig.
"Lots of women wear wigs, and so apparently does Donnie," says Showalter, who says that unless the wig in some way was altered to represent one or another party or candidate, there are no voter regulations that would preclude Corker from wearing it.
Corker, whose wig is blonde, is not a member of the Whig party.
-- Chris Dovi
At Carver Elementary School on Leigh Street in Richmond's 2nd City Council District, poll workers braced for unprecedented turnout, and with good reason.
Only about a thousand voters were registered in that precinct before this election cycle began. Now 3,500 people are. The crowd outside the building at 6 a.m. had somewhat dwindled to fill only about half the school's auditorium by 12:15.
The faces were mostly young, white and appeared to be Virginia Commonwealth University students. As of 12:15, more than 700 people had voted in the precinct. -- Chris Dovi
At 5 a.m. this morning, 100 people already were lined up waiting to vote at L. Douglas Wilder Middle School in Henrico County.
By 11 a.m., 941 voters had already come through the door to cast ballots in the precinct, which has 1,800 voters registered. A half hour later, they were “over 1,000” according to one poll worker. Add to that the 300 voters who cast absentee ballots from the precinct -- which is just north of the city line off Route 301 -- more than half of the precinct voted before lunchtime.
“I can remember one year where we had trouble getting a little over 300 people all day,” the poll worker says.
Among those lined up at the polls early this morning, was a sleepy-eyed, sweat-suit-clad state Sen. Donald McEachin, D-9th, who lives in the nearby Chickahominy Bluffs neighborhood. He‘s the head speaker at Democratic Party’s party at Toad's Place tonight.
He arrived at 6 a.m., wound his way through the line and cast his vote nearly two hours later. He says he plans to dress up for tonight's event.
“No need to get gussied up in this weather, but you do notice the blue sweat suit,” he says.
|Obama headquarters on Marshall Street.|
Meanwhile, the Obama camp is already celebrating. At 1 o'clock at the city campaign headquarters on Marshall Street behind the Siegel Center, the mood was already jubilant. Whoops and cheers emanated from the alley and the streets, if not a bit premature, perhaps a sign of things to come.
Bobby Whithorne, Virginia spokesman for the Obama campaign, says supporters and campaign workers are not counting yet on a victory, but they're encouraged by some of the early numbers and the overall turnout. -- Chris Dovi