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Though George W. Bush didn't win Massachusetts last night, his Bay State supporters didn't seem to care.
At Boston's Commonwealth Fish and Beer Co., Bush for President posters and multicolored banners lined the walls as more than 200 Bush devotees celebrated their candidate's landslide victories elsewhere.
Sipping a congratulatory beer while sitting with her husband, Bush supporter Sharon K. Kolandjian summed up the mood of the crowd.
"We're excited about George W. Bush," she said.
Kolandjian and her husband have volunteered for Bush at campaign events throughout the state.
"We did anything we could do, faithfully," said Greg E. Kolandjian.
Supporters stood anxiously watching CNN on the big screen display as results trickled in.
When CNN anchor Bernard Shaw projected a victory for Arizona Sen. John S. McCain in the state, the crowd booed.
But moments later, when Ohio was projected to have gone in Bush's favor, the cheers returned.
Though his political reputation has been somewhat sullied by the results of the primary campaign in his state, Governor A. Paul Cellucci, an avid Bush supporter, was greeted with cheers and whistles when he began to address the crowd.
"The race is almost over today," Cellucci said. "We are supporting the candidate who has the record and the vision to be the next president of the United States."
At the Institute of Politics last night, Harvard students, regardless of their political stripe, joined the post-election party.
The crowd stood silent when a contrite Bill Bradley addressed a crowd of supporters in New York.
Even Gore supporters said they were surprised by how quickly the former senator's campaign had lost its momentum.
"I didn't think he would be gone this soon," said Marcie B. Bianco '02, the coordinator for Harvard Students for Gore.
She praised Bradley for his strong campaign.
"Bradley has definitely helped Gore by making him a stronger candidate," Bianco said.
Bush student coordinator Robert R.. Porter '00-'01, who rushed from a two-hour evening section to attend the party, said that yesterday's results also made the Republican nomination final. "Bush essentially has the nomination," he said.
Attention will now turn to the general election, most likely featuring Bush and Vice President Al Gore '69.
"It's definitely gonna be a competitive race," said Phil Musser, a political consultant well-versed in Bay State Republican politics. "Anyone who thinks it will be a blowout on either side is mistaken."
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