The day started off so great … all those photos of women making pilgrimages to Susan B. Anthony’s grave to post their “I Voted” stickers — homage to the fact that women not only can vote but that women and men were voting today for a woman for president. A woman who was up in the polls and looked like she had a quick path to victory.
“This is over by 6 p.m.,” says a good friend — here in L.A. — and wonky follower of the electoral college map.
And then … a tiny but promising lead for Clinton in Florida turned to a tiny and then growing lead for Trump.
OK, she didn’t need Florida.
A text from a close friend in N.Y.: “I’m scared about Florida.”
“Be calm,” I tell her. “Broward County hasn’t reported in.”
“I’m so scared about this election right now,” my 16-year-old niece texts. She adds weeping emojis.
“She doesn’t need Florida to win. Hang in there,” I text back. Then, Ohio starts to go for Trump … then, wait, what’s going on in Michigan?
This is not happening this is not happening…. The texts start coming in fast and furious from friends on both coasts.
“Carla, what is happening?” says a friend, a lawyer, who did political volunteer work in New Mexico.
A bumpy ride, I suggest. Just everyone sit tight.
Then 54% of Wisconsin is reporting, and Trump is still leading. And Clinton, at this point, must win that state.
“Scary stuff going on now,” texts my brother from Wisconsin. I feel like a doctor who told everyone that the patient would live and now the patient has taken a bad turn….
“I feel like a patient with a terminal illness,” texts the friend in New Mexico, having seized on a similar metaphor, “and I want to connect amidst the craziness.”
They’re serving food at work but I can’t eat. I’m too shell-shocked. I just keep frantically refreshing the cyber voting count map to see what’s happening in Wisconsin.
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