MADISON — Supporters filled into a series of statewide Dem candidates’ parties in Madison after the polls closed tonight.
At U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s event, where national media outlets called the race for the Madison Dem just minutes after polls closed, the Monona Terrace party was already in full swing.
Supporters there were enjoying the cash bar and free appetizers as a mix of folk music and pop played in the background while watching election night coverage on two large screens flanking each side of Baldwin’s podium.
Following the announcement of Baldwin’s victory, U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan approached the podium and gave a congratulatory address, telling supporters to “keep enjoying the Wisconsin beer” until Baldwin’s arrival.
On the opposite side of the Square at Dem guv candidate Tony Evers’ election night event, the crowd was similarly upbeat.
There, scores of Evers supporters began filling into the Orpehum shortly after the polls closed, though the state superintendent has yet to make an appearance.
Former Dem guv candidates Andy Gronik and Madison Mayor Paul Soglin were among those in attendance. Gronik, a Milwaukee businessman, said he is energetic and hopeful. He called Baldwin’s early victory “really great.”
“We really need Tony to win,” he added.
Meanwhile, backers of Dem AG candidate Josh Kaul and state treasurer contender Sarah Godlewski filled into the Constitution Ballroom at the Madison Concourse Hotel.
As a Spotify playlist of blandly buoyant pop burbled in the background, Kaul supporters
clustered around the TV and scooped drinks from the complementary bar. The group, which skewed young, easily packed the room. Enthusiastic and chatty, an attendee could be heard confidently saying he believes “it’ll be a good night.”
Filtering through the room, chatting to supporters and colleagues were a number of Kaul’s staffers. One advised the night would be close. “Keep calm and count on,” he added.
Guests around the room also periodically told each other to wait and see, though they smiled when they said it.
— By Brighid Hartnett, Lawrence Andrea and Caroline Jackson