The Wash
The Arlington County Republican Committee provided a Costco cake, decorated “Make America Great Again.” (Sarah Salem / The Wash)

Arlington Republicans celebrate election night at sports pub during COVID-19

While other locations canceled their watch parties for COVID-19 restrictions, the Arlington Republican Women and Arlington County Republican Committee reserved a sports pub to watch the election results.

Arlington Republicans gathered at a Crystal City sports bar tonight to witness election results.

“I love our president,” Carole DeLong, 77 and former president of the Arlington Republican Women’s Club, said. “I’m Catholic so I’ve been doing a lot of prayers… for him and for all of us actually. But I can lose my temper when I see liars on the news.”

DeLong said that she and the other Arlington Republican organizations wanted a place to gather, have some drinks and celebrate the election results.

Due to coronavirus prevention measures in place, such as staying six feet apart and prohibiting more than 50 people in an indoor dining facility, most election watch parties around the D.C.-metro area have been canceled to avoid crowds.

One of these events includes a gathering at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., where President Trump planned to make an appearance.

“I’ll be perhaps between the White House and the hotel,” Trump told the New York Post when asked about his plans for Election Day.

Instead of holding a gathering at the hotel, Trump plans to host a viewing party in the White House East Room for 400 people, the largest room in the White House.

One of the most recent White House events was the White House Rose Garden ceremony, where Trump announced his Supreme Court nomination of Justice Amy Coney Barrett. White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci nicknamed this event a “super spreader,” since masks were not required and many attendees got infected with coronavirus as a consequence.

Some members of the cabinet plan to watch results at the hotel, while others plan to spend the evening at the White House.

Bill Bayne, who is 56 years old and one of the owners of the bar, said they had different groups reserve spots in the venue to be able to stay under the capacity of 250 per group in Arlington, Virginia.

“They have a party of 65,” Bayne said, pointing to one group, “they have a party of 50, I think, and I have a party of 10, so we’re fine.”

Arlington County law, and the Crystal City Sports Pub, requires people in indoor public places to wear their masks (Sarah Salem / The Wash).
Members of the Arlington County Republican Committee and Arlington Republican Women’s Club take off their masks as they gather to watch the results on multiple screens (Sarah Salem / The Wash).

One party attendee, John, who did not want to provide a last name and is 45 years old, said he believes we will still hear either late tonight or early tomorrow morning. He additionally said even though Pennsylvania will take a while to give full results, he believes Trump will get to 270 electoral votes faster than Joe Biden will.

“As long as he keeps Michigan,” he said, “he can lose Pennsylvania, which is 20, he can lose Wisconsin, which is 10, and he can keep everything else and be at 276.”

As polls close in the background, Rhoda Wheeler (left), vice president of membership for the Arlington Republican Women’s Club, and Carole Delong (right), immediate former president of the club, bear themed masks (Sarah Salem / The Wash).

DeLong and Bayne explained that though they understand why people think that Trump is “flawed,” they believe his work shows more than his attitude and encouraged people to look at his record, “not at his roughness.”. “He’s from New York, for God’s sake,” DeLong said.

Bayne said that Trump being transparent, and being “qualified to run the biggest business in the world,” is what ultimately impressed him.

“I love a businessman running the United States of America,” he said. “We don’t need politicians, we need people that are competent to run a business, and I’m just very impressed with the guy. I think he’ll go down as the greatest president in the history of the country.”

Delong, along with Debbie Martin, 66, said if Trump loses the election, they fear the country will turn to socialism. Martin specifically said she fears the entire country being on Medicare, since her experience with Medicare was difficult and expensive.

“They want to run us from cradle to grave,” she said. “Like sheeples, they want to run us around and tell us what to take in school, what kind of job to have, you know, they just want to be in total control of our lives, and that’s not what the constitution and our founders fought and died for.”

DeLong, however, said she worries even if Trump wins.

“If he loses, God forbid, we’re going into communism,” she said. “If Trump wins, we’re all happy and blessed, but I think we’re gonna have riots, and tearing up the streets, and… it scares me.”

Sarah Salem

Sarah Salem is on the international track in the Journalism and Public Affairs program. She is a 2019 graduate of William and Mary with a bachelor's in Economics and Russian & Post-Soviet Studies. She spent the past year working as an analyst for a defense contractor, where she analyzed and compiled news articles and social media mentions in Russian and in English for clients. In her free time, she likes to read about economics and the Israel-Palestine conflict, listen to or arrange music, or watch reality tv.

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