Location: The War Room on Capitol Hill
Mood: Cautious optimism with just a hint of euphoria.
Drink of Choice: Pre-receipt of initial ballot returns: PBR. Post-receipt of initial ballot returns: still PBR.
There was no balloon drop, free hors d' oeuvres or other traditional election night soirée trappings. Just a few campaign placards for decoration, and a crowd of loyal supporters and volunteers--who we'll call McGinnlings--sipping booze while waiting for the first ballot returns came in.
In sum, tonight's party at the War Room was everything you'd expect of an election night event planned by Mike McGinn's camp, which is to say that it felt less like a celebration and more like a campaign rally held on the stomping grounds of his base constituency and organized on the cheap.As such, it wasn't at all surprising that after the initial results showed McGinn with an early lead, the McGinnlings roared in approval (as is their want), and then went back to work.
Most polls taken before tonight's election had McGinn and Mallahan in a statistical dead heat. But a King 5/Survey USA poll announced earlier this week showed McGinn making up significant ground. After taking to the podium, he attributed the momentum to his mostly volunteer staff's aggressive phone banking campaign, and thanked them and all of Seattle for their support.
"What this shows is that in Seattle, anything is possible if you put a great team together, and if I'm elected putting together a great team for Seattle will be my top priority," he said afterwards, taking care to avoid commenting on actual policy before all the results can be tabulated.
He'd barely finished his remarks when two members of that team jumped on stage to solicit the assembled crowd for volunteers. There were undecideds to be called, and ballots yet to be cast. And with just two percentage points separating the candidates, they "weren't going to leave anything to chance."
Whether they were likely to persuade enough voters to actually have some effect on the final election results remains uncertain, but off they went with scripts and phone lists in hand. And while the McGinnlings departed to spaces both in and outside the War Room for a last minute GOTV push, the man himself remained inside to glad hand while looking very well at ease.