Opinion: For Clinton supporters, confidence dissolves into terror

Clinton supporters in New York City
People watch voting results at Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s election night event at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.
(Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

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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