Shock in Colorado at national results

Chris Citron despairs on Election Night 2016 at the downtown Denver Westin. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)
Chris Citron despairs on Election Night 2016 at the downtown Denver Westin. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)
Chris Citron (right) despairs on Election Night at the Colorado Democratic Party at the downtown Denver Westin. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)

The results in Colorado largely conformed to polling results, but they did not in much of the rest of the nation, leaving both Republicans and Democrats stunned at Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election.

“I’m shocked,” said Aly Shmidt, a Republican from Glendale who ultimately voted for Trump after her first choice lost the Republican presidential nomination.

“I ultimately decided I hate Clinton more than I hate Trump, and I like Mike Pence,” Schmidt said. “I don’t necessarily think he’s a great, upstanding person. I don’t think either of them are. But I have faith he’ll put smart people around him who will do good things, and he’ll back down a little bit and do good things for America.”

Chris Citron, a lawyer from Denver gathered with other Democrats at the Colorado Democratic Party’s watch party, said she was feeling “shocked, nauseous actually. I really can’t believe it. To me it’s a grave threat to democracy. He’s racist, sexist, a traitor, a crook. I can’t believe it, I just can’t believe it.”

At the Republican Party’s watch party in Greenwood Village, people were just as surprised, but in a good way.

“I can’t believe it. I woke up this morning and this wasn’t supposed to happen,” said Joe Walker a Republican from Castle Pines.

Republican women celebrate Donald Trump's victory at the Colorado Republican Party's watch party on Tuesday. (Adrian Garcia/Denverite)
Republican women celebrate Donald Trump’s victory at the Colorado Republican Party’s watch party on Tuesday. (Adrian D. Garcia/Denverite)

Walker had supported Trump since the primaries but he didn’t believe he would win.

“I think Americans wanted change,” he said.

Cathy Lynch, a Republican from Highlands Ranch, said she doesn’t believe Trump is any more flawed than the other candidates, and Trump is “the best chance for changing the economy and getting the national debt under control.”

Donald Trump supporters cheer during the 2016 GOP Watch Party at Doubletree Denver Tech Center in Greenwood Village on Nov 8, 2016. (Jessica Taves/For Denverite) election; vote; colorado; republicans; campaign; jessica taves; denverite; denverite;
Donald Trump supporters cheer during the 2016 GOP Watch Party at Doubletree Denver Tech Center in Greenwood Village on Nov 8, 2016. (Jessica Taves/For Denverite)

Some Democrats are trying to look beyond the election to the work to come.

Moises Munoz said he was reeling from Trump’s win.

“I’m shocked,” he said. “Truth be told, I live in my own liberal bubble — here in Denver, as a queer person — but I continue to be shocked by the rest of our country. This is where they stand.”

There is nothing for it but to keep working, he said.

“My community and I will have a lot of work to do in terms of mobilizing against policies that he is going to push forward,” he said. “Advocating very much with our state senators and congress people, lobbyists, all the people to actively work against his policies. If anything, we should come out of this more united to stop what he is doing.”

Crisanta Duran on Election Night 2016 at the downtown Denver Westin. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)
Crisanta Duran on Election Night 2016 at the downtown Denver Westin. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)

Democratic state Rep. Crisanta Duran, the majority leader of the House, said the local results are still good for her party.

“I’m honored that the voters of Colorado have chosen Democratic candidates to maintain the majority in the House. Tonight we will celebrate. Tomorrow we will get back to work. We have work to do to reach out to Republicans and Democrats, folks in urban, rural and suburban areas of the state to work together to address the needs of the people of our state. I’m looking forward to engaging in those conversations. I’m hopeful we’ll be able to address some of the issues facing Coloradans, and that’s going to be our focus.”

People who represent the government need to listen to all sides, she said.

“As elected officals, we need to listen to the voices and values of the people we not only agree with, but also the people we don’t agree with,” she said. “If we continue to focus on what matters most — and that is putting people first — I think there are some things that we’ll be able to get done in the state of Colorado.”

Chloe Aiello, Christian Clark and Adrian D. Garcia contributed to this report.

Erica Meltzer

Author: Erica Meltzer

Erica Meltzer covers government and politics. She's worked for newspapers in Colorado, Arizona and Illinois and once won a First Amendment Award by showing up in the wrong place at the wrong time. She served in the Peace Corps in Paraguay and can swear fluently in Guarani. She gets emotional about public libraries. Contact Erica Meltzer at 303-502-2802, emeltzer@denverite.com or @meltzere.