Students nervously watched the midterm results trickle in, which has been described as a referendum on the Trump presidencyJoe Cook

Several hundred Cambridge students packed into the Union debating chambers overnight on Tuesday to watch the results of the midterm elections roll in.

With the entire House of Representatives, much of the Senate, and a number of governorships up for grabs, students discussed, cheered, worried, and drank the night away as they waited to see if the much anticipated “blue wave” would indeed crest.

Students congregated before the polls closed, jostling to order at the bar and filling up the seats in the chamber, which had CNN projected onto the wall and an American flag hanging from the balcony. The mood was fairly lighthearted, with a number of animated conversations anticipating what the night might bring.

Though the occasional ‘Make America Great Again’ hat was visible in the crowd, most students present backed the Democrats, with enthusiastic cheers whenever a blue candidate was projected to win.

Two years ago this week, around 800 Cambridge students converged on the Union to watch results roll in for the 2016 presidential race, reacting with shock and horror as the map turned red.

The mood tensed as the polls were closed and official results began to trickle in. Students nervously commented on the closeness of many of the races as candidates in key states were separated by tiny margins. Florida, which was shown narrowly leaning Democrats in the polls, appeared to be tipping towards the Republicans by razor-thin margins.

Emma Klahr, a Missourian at Caius, spoke to Varsity about her thoughts on the midterms, which echoed the prevailing mood of students at the Cambridge Union last night: “I really, really hope for a Democratic victory, just because the last two years of the Trump presidency have engaged the lives and the livelihoods of countless people across the United States, especially women and minorities”.


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Among the most animated cheers came as Democrat Beto O’Rourke was shown leading widely reviled Ted Cruz in Texas, though Cruz’s close victory over the Democratic upstart came shortly after 3am.

Sarah Dees, a Texan student at Emmanuel, said that voting in an absentee ballot for O’Rourke made her “excited and hopeful for the Democrats for the first time”, saying that “as a Texan, you know that at almost every election, you’ll do your civic duty, you’ll vote, and your vote will mean basically nothing”.

Another closely watched race was that between Stacey Abrams and Brian Kemp for governor of Georgia – by morning on Wednesday, the polls had Republican Kemp with a 3-point lead with 97% of precincts reporting, though Abrams has yet to concede the result, saying that she is waiting for all “the votes that remain to be counted”.