Trump supporters celebrate and party amid election returns
© Getty Images

It was a tale of two political worlds on election night at Trump International Hotel D.C. — as TV pundits wondered aloud about a blue wave, the crowd gathered at President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: WHCA picking non-comedian for headliner a 'good first step' Five takeaways from Mississippi's Senate debate Watergate’s John Dean: Nixon would tell Trump 'he's going too far' MORE’s namesake destination in the nation’s capital was awash in red.

A line formed early in the night outside, with a security detail informing would-be patrons that the establishment was already at capacity before most returns started rolling in from the midterm elections.

Inside, a gathering of hundreds reveled and roared on a night that was privately dreaded among many Republicans, who were bracing for potential losses in House and Senate races across the country.

“I’ve never seen it so packed,” remarked one guest as he made it through the hotel’s lobby to the bar. A hostess at the hotel’s steakhouse, BLT Prime, was heard apologizing on the phone that the culinary hotspot was “completely booked” with reservations on Tuesday.

While Trump has frequently attacked CNN — dubbing it “fake news” — the network had a prime spot in the commander in chief’s eponymous digs, with four large TV screens showing the network along with Fox News (although only Fox’s audio blasted throughout the midterms festivities.)

Rep. Darrell IssaDarrell Edward IssaDemocratic gains erasing House GOP in California California New Members 2019 Dem Mike Levin wins Issa's open House seat in southern California MORE (R-Calif.) looked relaxed as he had a taste of white wine from the bartender early in the night, before being poured a full glass. Former Fox News host Eric Bolling smiled with selfies for fans throughout the evening.

Guests wined and dined — and dug deep into their wallets — as races were called, with house-popped parmesan truffle popcorn being offered for $15, and a dozen prime cheeseburger sliders setting hungry political junkies back $55.

The crowd served as a sort of vocal barometer for GOP victories and defeats — cheering wildly whenever a Republican was projected to win and jeering at what was considered bad news.

The group booed in unison when TVs announced it was looking to be a tight race between Florida gubernatorial candidates Andrew Gillum (D) and Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisElection Countdown: Florida fight ends with Scott, DeSantis wins | Dems see Sunbelt in play for 2020 | Trump to campaign in Mississippi ahead of runoff | GOP wipeout in Orange County | Ortiz Jones concedes in Texas House race Manual electoral process results in higher voter trust, says pollster DeSantis: GOP voters overcame 'blue wave' spurred by Andrew Gillum MORE (R) — with DeSantis ultimately eking out a win. There were loud whoops heard as Fox projected that Rep. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnTennessee New Members 2019 McConnell reelected as leader, Thune promoted to whip Rick Scott appears with GOP senators, ignores voter fraud question as recount continues MORE (R) was expected to defeat her opponent, former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen (D) in the state’s Senate race.

Although the crowd's reaction appeared more muted when an announcement was made that Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzObama praises Beto O'Rourke: 'Impressive young man' Dem bundler: Donors waiting on 2020 commitments until Beto O'Rourke makes decision The Hill's Morning Report — GOP victorious in Florida while Dems say `Sunbelt strategy’ looks bright for 2020 MORE (R) pulled out a win in his high-profile reelection bid against Rep. Beto O'RourkeRobert (Beto) Francis O'RourkeProgressive strategist says Dem candidates need to 'lean into economic populism' The Hill's 12:30 Report - New White House threat to Acosta's press pass | Trump defends criticism of McRaven | Hamilton biographer to headline WHCA dinner Sanders on 2020 White House bid: 'We're looking at it' MORE (D). Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyPoll: Trump easily defeats potential GOP rivals in hypothetical primary matchups Some of us Midwesterners think maybe Amy Klobuchar would do OK as president Electric car tax credit is just corporate welfare for Elon Musk MORE's (R) win over Jenny Wilson (D) in the Utah Senate race elicited a similar low-key response from the largely pro-Trump partygoers. 

A steady slew of journalists were also among the throng, scoping out the election night scene.

Pro-Trump sartorial fashions were on full display as the midterms coverage blared. One woman picked at her food at BLT while sporting a “Proud to be a Deplorable” shirt, another patron donned a t-shirt that read, “Hollywood Sucks.”

Another woman slipped on a bright red jacket over her white dress as she prepared to pose for a photo with a male companion. “I hope this jacket doesn’t make my dress look funny,” she said. “I’ll look like Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWatergate’s John Dean: Nixon would tell Trump 'he's going too far' Senate Homeland Security chairman requests briefing on Ivanka Trump emails House GOP to hold hearing into DOJ’s probe of Clinton Foundation MORE.”