Reporters' Notebooks: Election Night With The Senate Candidates

Bianca Vazquez Toness with the Coakley campaign, 8:15 p.m.

Martha Coakley's campaign event is gearing up at the Sheraton in Boston's Back Bay. The reporters are here, the food is out, the band has warmed up and the supporters are just starting to stream in.

Raul Medina, from Jamaica Plain, says he's "really nervous."

"A lot is on the line," he says. "Like gay rights and health care."

Roubina Panian, from Watertown, worked on Coakley's campaign and says it's "frustrating" that Scott Brown has come within striking distance of Coakley.

Seth Urbanoski, from Dorchester, worked on the campaign for the last two months. He's "anxious" tonight but says he still thinks Coakley can win.

More than anything, Urbanowski says he's "shocked" by the turn of events. "Are people not getting what they want from Obama?" he asked, noting that the state voted heavily for the president. "Don't they realize that he can't pass his agenda if he's getting filibustered all the time?"

Urbanowski says the campaign geared down after Christmas and said the campaign and the party seemed to just take the "race for granted." He said, "the lesson here is you have to treat every election like it's the most important.

Curt Nickisch with the Brown campaign, 9:15 p.m.

Scott Brown's campaign event at the Park Plaza Hotel is PACKED. I've covered a lot of Democratic campaign events — including Sen. John Kerry's presidential bid in 2004 — and this is even more packed.

It is incredible how many people are here. I've talked to a lot of the candidate's supporters and it really seems as though Republicans in Massachusetts feel like they finally have a chance to come out and celebrate.

The mood is really, really good. There's a band playing and it feels like there's an actual program for the evening, rather than a bunch of people just standing around watching TV, as is often the case at events like this.

If you go into the ballroom , which you have to wait in line to do because it's so crammed,  they're selling campaign buttons for — get this — $5 apiece. Some of the buttons say: "Scott Brown: American Idol," and show Brown with the logo from the reality TV show (which one of his daughters happens to have competed on).

One man joked with me that his $25 donation to the campaign might have saved the nation a few trillion dollars.

People here are watching the results, but they aren't glued to the TVs. Every few minutes, someone will get on the stage and report the latest numbers — and the crowd goes wild.

This program aired on January 19, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.


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