Voter Concerns Run the Gamut on Election Day

Dorothy Rowley | 11/7/2012, 10:23 a.m.

As Election Day in the District progressed, the sentiments of many voters were repeatedly expressed about the outcome of the historic event. In the event President Barack Obama was declared the winner, it would mark the third consecutive time that a president was elected for two terms. If Obama lost, the defeat would mark some time before another black man would ascend to the presidency. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's defeat would signal the end of a political career seven years in the making.

At the onset of early voting last week, Obama had gained a slight margin over his Republican opponent. But a different scenario began to emerge on Tuesday among Obama supporters, many of whom appeared leery of the contest among the swing states. Not only did apprehensive local District supporters begin to exercise caution in their comments, some like Wiley and Maxine Charles of Southeast, held out hope that Obama would win a second term.

"I don't know what the outcome will be," said Maxine Charles, 68. "I'm concerned about Romney winning, although I want it to be Obama who claims victory. I think it will be a close call, but we'll just have to wait and see."

Wiley Charles, 74, added that even if Obama won, voters shouldn't expect his policies and accomplishments over the past four years to give him an immediately stronger upper hand.

"We will still have to wait things out because he [won't be able to] do too much at first, unless Congress gives him the Okay," Wiley Charles said. "For example, there are still millions of people without jobs and they're talking about cutting Social Security. But they can't hold that against Obama, even if he wins because he's not to blame."

Carolyn Robertson agreed.

The "50-ish" Southeast resident also admitted being on edge about the election's outcome.

"At this point, it's clearly come to be a color thing," said Robertson, who added that, "Romney's shown that he's a racist by the comments he made [about] the 47 percent [of people he said thought of themselves as victims]. But Obama could be pink as far as I'm concerned . . . I'm supporting him based on what he's done in the last four years."

Still others feared that the outcome of this year's election could be so close, that it would mirror the 2000 presidential race. At that time, while Democratic contender Al Gore won the popular vote, it was former President George W. Bush who claimed the presidency by winning more electoral votes. To that end, many African-American voters who'd thrown support behind Gore, felt like Bush had stolen the election.

"It's going to be a rough deal," said James Sanchez, 48, of Northeast. "I believe that in numbers, Obama is going to prevail. But on paper, at the end of the day, it'll look like it was just too close to call out a winner, and then they'll get a recount [of votes]."

However, as Election Day quickly turned into Election night, it became obvious that the District - which is traditionally Democratic - had Obama's back.