Former Independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin spent his 2016 Election Day sipping Coke and snacking on hummus and olives, according to Esquire.
McMullin held his doomed election party in Salt Lake City, Utah Nov. 8, 2016. McMullin’s campaign had hoped to take his home state of Utah, becoming the first presidential candidate unaffiliated with the Democratic or Republican parties to win a state since 1968. President Donald Trump took the state, however, beating McMullin by more than 20 points.
“I looked at my staffers. In my mind’s eye, they were all seated up against this wall,” McMullin told Esquire. “They were disappointed, they were afraid, all of that. I told them that I didn’t want to see any long faces. I told them to buck up. And it had no effect.”
The outlet also interviewed several staffers from Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, who described their journey from confident elation to utter dejection as the votes came in.
“I am normally a glass-half-empty guy when it comes to expectations on election days. This was the first big election where I was absolutely certain we were going to win,” said Jim Margolis, a senior campaign adviser.
“We were waiting for the coronation,” Clinton spokeswoman Zara Rahim said. “I was planning my Instagram caption.”
As Florida flipped to Trump and it became more and more clear that the country was on its way to a Trump presidency, the Clinton camp’s mentality quickly shifted.
“There was a massive garage behind the Javits center. John Podesta stood up on a box and told us, ‘We will have more information for you soon,’ which is the most frustrating thing to hear in that moment,” Rahim said. “Everybody was in this big circle of sadness and nobody knew what to do. Leadership didn’t know what to do. We were all at a loss.”
“There were die-hard Hillary supporters that were like, ‘We’re not going.’ Folks who were sobbing and literally couldn’t move because they were so distraught,” she continued. “I remember pieces of memorabilia on the floor, little Hillary pins and ‘I believe that she will win’ placards.”
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