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Exuberant Democrats Await Obama Victory

Across the Maryland suburbs, Democrats watched with excitement as Sen. Barack Obama neared victory in a historic presidential election.

At the University of Maryland at College Park, scores of students in the Grand Ballroom turned to a huge screen showing the election as reported by the comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.

"It still counts as news to me, it just has more punch," said Robert Garner, 24, a graduate student and Obama supporter studying library science.

"I don't know how much it's sunk in yet how groundbreaking this election is," Garner said. "I don't think Obama is going to come in and fix everything. I'm looking for an honest effort."

Meanwhile, Montgomery County Democrats gathered Tuesday night at the North Bethesda Conference Center, where the parking lot was filled with Priuses, Subarus, Chevy Blazers and VW Bugs -- all bearing Obama stickers. Inside the Grand Ballroom the atrmosphere was charged.

Obama supporters were giddy as television pundits declared McCain's path to victory was growing increasingly grim. But some were still nervous.

"We never take it for granted, not for a moment," said Margaret Wright of Silver Spring. "I was an original Obama supporter. I never questioned him for a moment."

-- Nelson Hernandez and Lori Aratani

By Philip Rucker  |  November 4, 2008; 10:57 PM ET
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