The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Chicago Voters Fret Trump Victory As His Lead Widens

By Stephen Gossett in News on Nov 9, 2016 6:14AM

A crowd sticks around after Tammy Duckworth's victory party and nervously watches election returns / Photo: Stephen Gossett

"[Donald Trump's] victory is no longer the stuff of dark comedy or fan fiction. It is fair to ask: What would he actually be like as a President?" Evan Osnons wrote in the New Yorker in September. On Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, gobsmacked Democratic Chicago voters who stuck around after Tammy Duckworth's victory party, struggled to wrap their heads around the concept even more (like so much of our hyperventilating city), as it fast approached reality. Donald Trump leads the electoral college 244 to 215 at the time of writing.

"It feels full of foreboding; I almost want to leave for Canada," said Michael Jensen, 67, a volunteer with the Duckworth campaign (whose win now feels eternities ago), while several major swing states were still in play. "I haven't been so scared since Nixon. I lived through the ‘60s. I know what it’s like to have people out to get you for being progressive. That’s what [Trump]’s encouraging. I’m very worried about this.”

"I didn’t expect him to even win the Republican primary, much less the election. He’s a joke from start to finish," Mimi Avery, 60, told Chicagoist.

“Everyone know he’s a pompous ass. It’s unbelievable, incredible, yet there it is,” shed added, pointing at the TV.

Lynn Collier, who worked phone banks for the Illinois Democratic party since August, said she was shocked: “I thought we had more blue out there.”

“I guess some people feel they have no control over their lives, and they think a vote for Trump is a vote for before," Collier said. "Then there’s the anti-female stuff. Some people just don’t want to vote for a woman.”

Collier said she was particularly tense watching the global markets plunge as the results trickled in. “I’m just worried about where we’re going to be, here and in the world.”

“We already have enough problems with people being vitriolic. This is going to set us so far back,” she added.

Clinton supporter Aparna Pai, a physician originally from India, voted in her first American election on Tuesday since moving to the U.S. in 1997. Like Collier, she too referenced voter misogyny as a potential reason for the Trump victory.

“I was very excited to play my part in electing the first female president… There’s so much dislike toward women. But Hillary is very capable. I was extremely excited for all the mothers, daughters and future generations.”

Pai’s son, Rohan, had even created his own Hillary Clinton-logo tee shirt in anticipation of the win.

“[Trump voters] think the government is going to take liberties from them. But many are people who would benefit the most from social services that Democrats want to provide."

Now it feels like a brutal joke from a parallel universe / Photo: Stephen Gossett

Related Coverage:
Tears At Hillary Clinton's Javits Center Election Night Party