- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Bright sunshine notwithstanding, it was a bleak morning yesterday for the overwhelming number of D.C. Democrats who turned out Tuesday to cast ballots for Sen. John Kerry.

“I’m depressed,” said Norah Taylor, 42, an art history professor, who was eating a chicken salad sandwich on a bench in Dupont Circle. She had expected a victory for President Bush, but had been “hoping for a miracle.”

“We need change,” said Miss Taylor, who does not know anyone who voted for Mr. Bush.

Steve Ryan was so sure that Mr. Kerry would win that he went to bed Tuesday without checking the news.

“I figured I had nothing to worry about. I kind of left it in what I thought might be God’s hands,” said the 32-year-old personal trainer who lives in Dupont Circle.

He awoke at 5:30 a.m. to news that put him in the dumps. On a scale of one to 10, Mr. Ryan ranked his dejection a nine.

“I guess I underestimated the rest of the country,” he said.

Many residents of the District — where Mr. Kerry got 90 percent of the vote — said they were not happy about sharing the city with their neighbor on Pennsylvania Avenue for four more years.

“I’m pretty dismayed about it,” said Allison Cohen, 32, a lawyer and art consultant. “Four years feels like a long time right now.”

Miss Cohen, a Democrat, returned in the afternoon from South Dakota, where she had flown at her own expense on Saturday to monitor polling precincts in the race between Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle and former Republican Rep. John Thune.

She had hoped Mr. Daschle would retain his seat, but Mr. Thune won, and Republicans gained several seats in the Senate as well as the House. Miss Cohen credited the Republican rout to the national mobilization of evangelical Christians.

“I’m feeling more and more apart from a lot of the countryin the way I view things. I haven’t felt like that before,” she said. “Democrats are going to have to do some major reassessing about how they can reach America.”

Other Kerry supporters were more sanguine.

“I was a little disappointed John Kerry didn’t win, I voted for him, but things happen all the time that you don’t want,” said Janay Widdison, 23, an information-technology worker.

Mrs. Widdison, 23, who lives in Northwest, said she had been a staunch supporter of Mr. Bush until recently.

“I think [Mr. Bush] could be a great president, but he needs to make some changes. He needs to be a better communicator, and maybe he can find some new friends in the United Nations,” she said.

Todd Jagers, a 43-year-old business owner, was worried about the Republican control of the federal government.

“They will appoint [their own] Supreme Court justices, they will raise the deficit, they will deplete Social Security, and they are going to continue the war effort to keep the military contractors supplied,” he said.

“I feel as if this is the Bush era’s last go-round and possibly conservative Republicans’,” he said.

Chris Yambao, 31, a valet at the exclusive Sultrav women’s club on Massachusetts Avenue, was upbeat about Mr. Bush’s victory.

Mr. Yambao, a Filipino immigrant, said he was confident that Mr. Bush could learn from some of the mistakes he made during his first term.

“He knows what to do right now,” Mr. Yambao said.

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