This dispatch comes from AJC reporter Craig Schneider:
By 9 p.m., the big Democratic Watch Party in Atlanta had settled down and turned into, well, very much a “watch” party. People who had been cheering and socializing focused intently on the big TV screens showing CNN.
“It is a closely contested election,” said Jordan Barkin, 36, of Atlanta, as he stood watching the newscast, which revealed a very close contest between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump.
Jonathan Dodd was among those who set up chairs right in front of a screen, eschewing any socializing. There were several rows of people doing that in the ballroom of the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta.
“I’m scared,” said Dodd, 54, of Atlanta. “I don’t like the way Ohio is looking. I don’t like the way Florida is looking. I don’t know.”
The night had started out full of hope and optimism. People cheered with gusto the early wins for Clinton. Some posed with a life-sized cardboard cutout of the candidate. One woman sported a vest with over 80 buttons.
Virginia Webb of Clarksville epitomized the early excitement here. She wore a vest plastered political buttons, and was even handing out buttons to others. There were buttons of Jimmy Carter, Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton.
“I’m so proud to be here as the granddaughter of a suffragette,” she said. “Ninety-six years ago my grandmother walked (in a march) for women’s right to vote.”
She was confident a win was at hand.
“Not only are we going to win, we’re going to win for all America,” she said. “Our country needs to come together and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”
Democratic Party chair DuBose Porter jazzed up the crowd.
“I am proud to be a Georgia Democrat tonight,” he said, to a roar of cheers.
He praised the grassroots effort in the state as the greatest that the Georgia has ever seen, for either party.
“We’re working to make history to elect Hillary Clinton as the president of the United States,” he said, to another loud cheer.