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Trump Fans Flood Chicago's Trump Tower As The Donald Declares Victory

By David Matthews | November 8, 2016 9:09pm | Updated on November 9, 2016 5:17am
 Trump supporters gather to watch the results at Trump Tower.
Trump supporters gather to watch the results at Trump Tower.
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DNAinfo/David Matthews

DOWNTOWN — Donald Trump was elected president Tuesday, and hundreds of his supporters here made sure to celebrate at his namesake tower.

A horde of Trump supporters packed Trump Tower's hotel bar Tuesday night to see their candidate prevail in his unorthodox run for the White House.

The supporters — many of them clad in suits and Trump's "Make America Great Again" hats — drank and applauded election results throughout the night as media reported key swing states going Trump's way. 

The crowd started a series of "Trump" chants for each electoral victory by the time the now president-elect had won Florida:

Rebar, the second-floor bar at the Trump International Hotel & Tower, 401 N. Wabash Ave., stopped serving guests around midnight Wednesday, but many supporters stayed longer for a chance to see Trump declare victory. 

"This is a revolution," one supporter in a white "Make America Great Again" hat told his friend.

"You're watching history being made," said another.

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The 98-story skyscraper on the Chicago River has been a backdrop for local opponents' rallies since Trump entered the presidential race last year, but on Tuesday night Trump fans felt vindicated after a long and bruising campaign.

Election Night drew visitors of all types to the tower: business travelers, suburban Trump fans who drove into Chicago, and foreign tourists who thought seeing the election results at Trump Tower was the best slice of America they could get on a Tuesday night.

"Most Canadians are fearful of a Trump presidency," said Andrew Borrell of Vancouver, who was staying at the Trump hotel this week. "The results have been surprising."

Some of Trump's biggest supporters at the tower expressed the same sentiment.

"I voted for Trump, and I'm surprised," said Catherine Snyder of Los Angeles, who was in town for a conference. "But in the back of my mind, I thought it would go the Brexit way."

Like many Trump supporters, Snyder said she was "sick" of the country's political establishment. She heard Trump's infamously crude taped remarks about grabbing women without consent, but her vote was unswayed. 

"I'm not electing a husband or a boyfriend, I'm electing a president," she said. "I really just think that was 'guy talk.' The way they talk isn't necessarily the way they behave."

Another supporter cheering on Trump in the tower was Marcus Brown, 31, of South Shore. 

Brown, a truck driver, said he voted for Barack Obama in 2012 while he was an "uninformed voter" and has been disappointed with Obama's presidency since.

He's voting for Trump now, he said, even if it ruffles feathers with many of his friends and family. 

"I don't consider myself a Republican but I'm through with the Democratic Party," Brown said. "I voted based on race and politics, and I didn't want to do that this time."

"At this point, it's anybody but Hillary," he said. 

Brown said he supports Trump's immigration policies and recently attended a Trump rally in St. Louis.

Brown's friends told him to steer clear of Trump supporters they thought would threaten a black man at the rally, but Brown said he was only disparaged by black activists protesting Trump's events. 

Brown said he's made his political views known on social media, fraying relationships along the way.

But unlike last election, he said he's voting independently now. 

"Trump, what he represents is that quintessential middle finger to the establishment," he said. 

The scene at Trump Tower when CNN called Ohio for Donald #ElectionNight https://t.co/zyHpz1p5Pr pic.twitter.com/wmdUPKfIs0

The crowd had thinned by early Wednesday, even with Trump's victory appearing imminent. But a few supporters stayed till the very end.

One of them was Adam Keene, 32, of suburban Palatine, who drove Downtown "to celebrate a well-deserved victory."

"Every single one of my friends think I'm nuts for supporting this guy," Keene said. "I'm looking forward to picking up a new hobby."

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