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Obama's projected win warms up Thompson Center crowd

  • The crowd gathers outside of the Thompson Center (100 W. Randolph St.) to watch as the presidential election votes roll in on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. (Hilary Higgins/RedEye)
The crowd gathers outside of the Thompson Center (100 W. Randolph St.) to…
November 06, 2012|By Adam Lukach, @lucheezy | For RedEye

As the electoral margins on the giant screen looming over the Thompson Center grew closer, so did the bodies huddled beneath it.

Attendees of the downtown Chicago rally tried to stay warm on a relentlessly rainy, windy Tuesday night. The weather thinned the turnout, but not the enthusiasm, as the crowd cut through the air with rousing cheers for blue, while red results received a smattering of boos.

Draped in an American flag featuring an Obama-as-Batman caricature, Wrigelyville resident Chris Breiler raised his arms and unleashed the full width of the flag with each Obama victory, much to the amusement of people around him. Breiler, 28, said he thought Mitt Romney's inconsistencies from the onset of the campaign hurt him most during the election cycle.

Another person who mentioned Romney's mixed messages was Joni Ross, an Obama voter who drove from St. Louis to be in Chicago on the night of what she hoped would be a repeat of 2008.

"I really wanted to be here in 2008, but I had work the next day so I couldn't. This time I wanted to come up here to make sure I enjoyed it to the fullest," said Ross, 28. "I'm disappointed it wasn't in Grant Park again, so it's not as big. But the energy is still good."

A group of Roosevelt students from all across the country, Oregon, Florida, Ohio, Nevada, said coming out to support Obama was important as first time voters, where they supported Obama on his social issues.

"I really appreciate what Obama has done in the battle for women's rights," said Jennie Spector, 19. "He's been so much more inspiring than Romney, who, if anything, wants to take us back to be more like some insane, old time period."

While the temperature fell, cheers rose as Obama's positive projections poured in, loudest regarding hugely important swing states like Florida and Ohio.

"I drove 300 miles to be here tonight," said Ross. "We're going to stay as long as my mom can hang."

Turns out they didn't have to wait too long: News outlets were calling the race for Chicago's very own as early as 10:30 p.m.

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