Fearful that Republicans would win a majority, spectators packed Halifax bars on Tuesday to watch the United States midterm elections unfold, while they enjoyed beer and wine and chatted about the incoming results.
Except for the presidential elections, U.S. federal government positions are voted on every two years. All 435 seats in the House of Representatives were up for grabs, with the Democrats projected to win a majority. The Republicans were expected to keep control of the senate. If the senate belongs to the Democrats, any proposed bills presented by Republicans could be more difficult to pass.
There were a few people, like Michael Dalrymple, who were expecting the Republicans to take both the House and the senate.
“There’s a lot of red and it’s terrifying,” said Dalrymple, an education student at Mount Saint Vincent University who was at the Good Robot Brewing Company viewing party.
“I’m expecting the worst.”
Kelly Trout, who was also at Good Robot, likened the elections to a UFC fight.
“This is my MMA right now — Democrats against Republicans,” said Trout. “Some people watch sport; I watch elections.”
Trout attended the event with her friend, Hunter Scholey. Scholey said he’s “never felt the stakes be so high for an American midterm election,” because of the negative impacts of the Trump presidency.
As the polls closed, Trout and Scholey became more hopeful the Democrats would win the House.
“This is not something that I would have gone out to watch (before),” Trout said. “The way that things have been going for the last couple of years, the last couple of weeks, it’s not just about who’s in office; it’s about who governs the modern world. Trump’s administration is really rocking the boat and we need to talk about these things.”
By 9:20 p.m., newcomers were turned away from Good Robot as it reached capacity. While viewers showed no signs of leaving, the bar did close before most of the results were reported.
The Grawood at Dalhousie University and Gorsebrook at Saint Mary University also had viewing parties for students.
Nova Scotians weren’t just following and talking about the election at bars; they were also voicing their opinions on Twitter:
Really wishing Canadians could vote. We would help make things right. #ElectionNight has me stress drinking all the way from Nova Scotia.
— Angie D. (@Angiedunnett) November 7, 2018
Republicans decided in 2016 as many Dems stayed home – tonight everyone is coming out on both parties – so independents are going to be the ones deciding tonight – anti trump or booming economy – #Midterms2018
— Tristan Flynn (@TristanCPDT) November 6, 2018
The Democrats won the House of Representatives with 220 seats, with the remaining 193 going to the Republications. The Senate stayed with the Republicans who now hold 51 seats. The Democrats have 43 seats and two others are held by independent politicians.
About the author
University of King's College journalism student, Mount Saint Vincent University graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology.