New Mexico Republicans celebrated Donald Trump’s victory at the Albuquerque Convention Center Tuesday. The mood at the Republican election night watch party went from cautiously optimistic to elated as Donald Trump’s upset of Hillary Clinton took shape.
Rachel Hess is a volunteer with the Trump campaign, who said his election is a turning point for the country.
“Good Heavens. It means we’ve got a fresh day,” she said. “We got a way to turn back too much government, it’s a way to regain our own lives, where the government is our service and we’re not theirs.”
The polls might have put Donald Trump at a severe disadvantage early Tuesday night, but his supporters in the Republican Party of New Mexico said they never doubted he would win.
“I knew all along it was going to be like a Brexit,” said Conny Sena, who fought back tears as she watched the election results come in. She made over 5,000 phone calls urging people to vote for Trump leading up to Election Day.
But as excited as she was, she said she regrets how divisive this campaign has been.
“I’m really excited, I’m really divided because a lot of my family and friends are upset about it. I feel bad but I’m excited because things have to change.”
And if anything sums up Trump supporters’ feelings last night, it’s just that: things need to change.
“I’m just very happy that someone will be in there now that’s not a career politician,” said Albuquerque voter Brad Anderson. “And I think to get a businessman in here, whether you like him or not—I mean he’s definitely said some things I wish he wouldn’t have said—but to have a businessman in office versus a politician for four years, I think it’s a good opportunity to have some good things done.”
Republicans fared much worse in statewide races, with Democrats taking back control of the state House of Representatives and maintaining control of the Senate. But Trump’s victory in the presidential race overshadowed any disappointment for GOP voters at the watch party.