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 TrumpDemocrats blast Trump for commuting Roger Stone: 'The most corrupt president in history' Trump confirms 2018 US cyberattack on Russian troll farm Trump tweets his support for Goya Foods amid boycott 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 IssaGOP sues California over Newsom's vote-by-mail order Conservative group files challenge to California vote-by-mail order New poll shows tight race in key California House race 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 DeSantisDeSantis breaks with Fauci, says Florida didn't rush reopening Overnight Health Care: Coronavirus deaths rise again amid mounting outbreaks | The Trump-Fauci divide is getting more apparent | New York to deliver remdesivir to Florida after DeSantis dismisses offer for help New York to deliver remdesivir to Florida after DeSantis dismisses offer for help MORE (R) — with DeSantis ultimately eking out a win. There were loud whoops heard as Fox projected that Rep. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnKoch-backed group urges Senate to oppose 'bailouts' of states in new ads The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Teachers' union President Randi Weingarten calls Trump administration plan to reopen schools 'a train wreck'; US surpasses 3 million COVID-19 cases The Hill's Coronavirus Report: DC's Bowser says protesters and nation were 'assaulted' in front of Lafayette Square last month; Brazil's Bolsonaro, noted virus skeptic, tests positive for COVID-19 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 CruzTrump tweets his support for Goya Foods amid boycott Trump says he'll sign order with 'road to citizenship' for DACA recipients Texas lawmakers ask HHS to set up field hospital, federal resources in the state MORE (R) pulled out a win in his high-profile reelection bid against Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeBellwether counties show trouble for Trump Colorado GOP Rep. Scott Tipton defeated in primary upset Clinton, Buttigieg among Democrats set to hold virtual events for Biden MORE (D). Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyDemocrats hope for tidal moment in Georgia with two Senate seats in play Sixth GOP senator unlikely to attend Republican convention Koch-backed group urges Senate to oppose 'bailouts' of states in new ads 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 ClintonTrump confirms 2018 US cyberattack on Russian troll farm Hillicon Valley: Facebook considers political ad ban | Senators raise concerns over civil rights audit | Amazon reverses on telling workers to delete TikTok Biden campaign hires top cybersecurity officials to defend against threats MORE.”