It’s a Jazzy Tuesday Night at Romney HQ

With polls showing a Romney deficit, partisans at the election-night party are drinking, chatting, and crossing their fingers. David Freedlander reports from the ballroom.

Romney Headquarters, Mass.—It is still early here at the Mitt Romney election party at a convention center in downtown Boston, with polls in Massachusetts still open for another hour and the candidate himself just returned from a hastily-scheduled swing through the swing states of Pennsylvania and Ohio. As a jazz quartet of young white kids in blue jeans rips through a set, and Fox News plays silently on a pair of large television screens, the most avid of Romney partisans have already begun to make their way into the ballroom, holding glasses of red wine and beer.

Polls show Romney with a slight but surmountable deficit, and Republicans here say they’re optimistic. “Things seem to be going positively,” said Clark Kelsey, 26, a student at the University of Utah. “Polls looks close, but turnout will be better than the polls. Our side can’t wait to vote.”

But even the most Romney-fied Republicans admit that their candidate has struggled to break through in a year in which the incumbent has faced considerable headwinds. Matt Black says the reason is simple: “The vast majority of the media is very biased on the left side,” said the 26-year-old who helped Romney’s finance team raise money. “That’s why Romney did so well in the debate. It was unfiltered.”

Other party-goers acknowledge that their candidate had major flaws. “He doesn’t have the personal charm that Obama does,” said one person here in the ballroom, who would only give his name as “Joe” and allow that he got his floor pass from “a connection.”

“Obama is easy-going, comfortable to be around. Romney doesn’t have those characteristics. From a personality standpoint, he is just not there. He can’t work a room like a lot of other candidates can,” said Joe. “He’s not really a cool kind of guy. He’s not necessarily the kind of guy you want to hang out with. But the kind of guy who you want to hang out with isn’t the kind of guy who you should be electing.”

Some say it took them a while to warm up to Romney. But they did. And now, with returns set to come in at any moment, they can only hope that a majority of Americans did the same.

“That’s a great question,” said, Jeff Smith, 56, when asked why Romney had struggled to break through. “That’s a question everybody wishes we were better prepared to answer. I think it’s because he struggled to show more of his personality at first. Let’s face it, it is hard to warm up to him.”