AT THE PARTY: State Sen. Joyce Elliott and others at the Democratic Party event. Brian Chilson

There’s a loud and optimistic shindig over at the Democrats’ election night event at Next Level Events, though there are nail biters in the room worrying about the narrowing presidential races in Florida and Ohio. Around 7 p.m., the crowd erupted in huge cheers at early returns from blue counties in Florida that showed Hillary Clinton with a big margin. They weren’t looking for joy from blood-red Arkansas, and didn’t have to.

Among the Dems: An exuberant state Sen. Joyce Elliott; Sheila Bronfman, just returned from Florida with the Arkansas  Travelers, who said their admiration for Clinton and belief that she is the most qualified presidential candidate in recent history (“Sorry, Bill,” she added) made the task of going door to door and asking for votes a pleasure; Pat Youngdahl, a longtime activist for women’s rights and civil rights, who praised Clinton’s work in Arkansas; a gentleman from Germany in Arkansas to visit his mother and celebrate the election; a young mom with her baby on her lap glad to be a part of history.

Earlier, at the Allsopp Park party, where the neighborhood has hooked up a giant television hooked to a hot spot for a little woodsy political partying, early returns showing Trump taking West Virginia, Indiana and Kentucky were greeted with grimaces. But Vermont, good old Vermont, picked up the spirits. A Donald Trump pinata was about to be hung. The Allsopp Park/Hillcrest neighborhood is solidly Democratic (with the exception of one two outliers, like the Rockefeller family); there people wonder why their fellow Americans would trade in their moral standards — such as not mocking disabled people or calling for a Second Amendment solution to Clinton’s campaign or bragging about grabbing women’s genitalia — for the P.T. Barnum of politics.


The night is young.