President, VP defeat Republican presidential nominees Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan
President Barack Obama was re-elected president of the United States on Tuesday, defeating Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
Obama won 303 electoral votes to Romney’s 206 — surpassing the required 270 by receiving approximately 60 million votes and securing his second term in office.
The Nevada State Democratic Party Election Night Victory Party and the Nevada State Republican Party Election Night Watch Party were held at the Mandalay Bay and Venetian Hotel and Resorts, respectively, where students from both sides of the aisle watched eagerly as polls closed and election results began rolling in.
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Fox News predicted that President Barack Obama would win battleground state Ohio and re-election shortly after 8 p.m., however Romney supporters at the Republican watch party were still hopeful.
“From what it looks like Obama has won,” said Casey Vanderholt, President of UNLV’s Kappa Sigma chapter. “It’s unfortunate but I’m optimistic. I still feel like we have a shot. You’ve gotta roll with it — you’ve got no other choice.”
CSUN urban affairs senator Andrew Williams was not surprised that the president was projected to win re-election so early in the night.
“It seems like a shock to all these people here that it’s such an early night for the wrong side for them,” Williams said.
Williams predicted that Nevada would go 4 percentage points in favor of Obama, though he won by just over six.
Rachel Stephens, a CSUN health sciences senator, said she didn’t vote for any presidential candidate.
“I think this is a huge wake-up call to the Republican Party and the corrupt leaders that we have such as Reince Priebus, [the Republican National Committee chairman],” Stephens said. “It says ‘no, America’s not going to vote for a moderate Republican or a socialist in office under the guise of [Romney] being a conservative republican.’”
Stephens worked for the Clark County Republican Party as candidate development director and said that while she dislikes Romney more than Obama she would not vote for the lesser of two evils.
“[Romney]’s not conservative, he’s not republican — he has no ethics and he doesn’t deserve to win.”
Williams said that in the end, nothing has changed.
“We’re going to have Barack Obama as president, a Republican house and a Democratic Senate, so it’s almost like a billion-dollar campaign for nothing,” he said.
Williams and Vanderholt, among many others, were also at the party in support of Dean Heller for senate and Joe Heck for congressional district 3, both of whom won their races.
Williams said that he was sure Heller would win because he represents most Nevadans, whereas Shelley Berkley mainly represents Las Vegas.
Stephens and Vanderholt both said that Nevada could have had a large role in the election, even though Obama’s victory was predicted before Nevada votes were even counted.
“I’m actually from California and I registered here because I knew it was such a swing state. California’s going democratic no matter what,” Vanderholt said. “That’s why I definitely came out here and decided I wanted to vote where it mattered. I felt like my vote would have been lost in California.”
Williams disagreed, however, and said that with Nevada’s increasing democratic population, Republican candidates will do less campaigning here in the future.
“Nevada has that history of being for very limited government and constitutional rights,” said Stephens. “Nevada can be a forerunner or a beacon of liberty and I think that’s what we really need to get back to.”
But some students were pleased with Obama’s re-election, citing Romney’s platform as largely unfair.
Elias Benjelloun, president of the UNLV Young Democrats, said the most pressing issue facing college students is the ability to afford an education, which he said Obama has been working to rectify.
“Hopefully here in Nevada we don’t face any more tuition hikes,” Benjelloun said.
He said though Gov. Sandoval said that he would not cut the higher education budget during the next legislative session, he believes that promise is unlikely.
“The hikes last year resulted in so many students transferring to from UNLV to CSN and students even dropping [out],” Benjelloun said. “Hopefully we can move toward a future in which more students can afford higher education.”
But restoring funding is also paramount, according to Benjelloun.
“The issue isn’t so much of how many ways we’re going to split the pie,” he said. “The issue is we don’t have enough pie.”
Though Benjelloun said increasing higher education funding isn’t the sole solution.
“Throwing money at the problem is not going to fix anything,” he said. “We need reform as to where our money is going.”
“[Obama has] fought for us in the past four years and he will continue to fight for us,” Benjelloun said.
Shawn Rosen, a CSUN liberal arts senator and member of the UNLV Young Democrats, said Obama’s re-election is great, especially for students.
He said his efforts to lower student loan rates and increase federal Pell Grants has provided many students the opportunity to attend college who may not have gotten the chance otherwise.
“He worked hard and had valid points, he was organized and brought in great ideas and he stuck by his promises,” Rosen said.