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Trump win surprises both sides

Republicans rejoiced and Democrats mourned after Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton after one of the most raucous and surprising presidential election seasons in recent memory.

"From the very beginning, I was always for Trump," said White City resident Joyce Dezell, 71. "Luckily people are starting to believe Trump about all the corruption."

Dezell, who worries about assassination threats against Trump, was at a gathering Tuesday night of cheering Republicans at the Rogue Valley Country Club.

At the time, Trump had close to the 270 electoral votes needed to clinch the presidency. By 11:40 p.m., Clinton had conceded the race.

Across town at the Inn at the Commons, the mood among Democrats was somber.

"I'm in shock," said Medford resident Ruth Klaus, 62. "I can't even move."

Klaus said she was ready to see history being made Tuesday night with America's first woman president.

"I was a Hillary supporter when she first ran against Obama," she said.

At Four Daughters Irish Pub in downtown Medford, Megan Herzig said she wasn't happy when the Clintons were in the White House the first time and didn't want them in for a second time.

"I will be thrilled if Trump wins, because Hillary Clinton is a liar," said Herzig, 28, of Medford.

Many Republicans were as surprised as Democrats as they watched state after state fall into Trump's column Tuesday night, defying most polls.

"It was a surprise," said Medford resident Michael Torguson, 50. "It shows the polls were not correct."

Torguson said he was particularly heartened to hear that Congress was also safely Republican despite polls that showed Democrats had a shot at taking the Senate.

"If that happens, there's going to be a lot of change over the next two years," he said.

Still, he said Republicans need to be mindful not to overreach as they advance their causes.

Democrat Jason Houk said he also was surprised at the results of the race.

"It seems that the pundits were so wrong," the 48-year-old Ashland resident said. "I guess there is something to be said about the outsider candidate."

His wife, Vanessa, said, "I have to say I'm feeling a little stung by this."

She said she is concerned about what a Trump presidency will mean for America.

"Our country is obsessed with celebrity," she said, referring to Trump's celebrity career.

The couple said they will continue their work for low-income families and for social justice, though they worry what a Trump presidency will mean for those causes.

Margie Murch, a 60-year-old Medford Democrat, said, "It's just mind-boggling to me. It was that last email debacle that hurt her."

Even those who couldn't vote watched as the election night showed Trump surging.

Alex Anhorn, a 16-year-old North Medford High School student, brought along two foreign exchange students to the Republican gathering Tuesday night.

"He actually won Florida," Anhorn said when Trump took the pivotal state. 

One of the exchange students, Xenia Rasmussen, a 16-year-old from Denmark, said she didn't really know what was going on in American politics, though she has heard quite a bit about Trump in her homeland.

"It's way too crazy for a foreign exchange student to understand all of this," she said.

Emma Empo, a 16-year-old who is part of the youth caucus at North Medford High and hung out with Democrats, said, "It's a very bleak time considering how far we've come. It's very disturbing."

On a lighter note, about a dozen people showed up for a "scream-in" in Ashland Tuesday evening. 

Byron Carrier, former Unitarian Fellowship member who started his own church, said, "It's a chance to go with the flow and express our outright indignation."

At the scream-in, Ashland resident Jessica Simmons, 28, said she thinks having a personal connection to people is far more valuable than voting in an election. 

"Change comes from what we touch in the world," Simmons said.

She comes from a military family that she said would be voting. Simmons said she didn't vote.

"My mother would be very sad to hear me say that," she said. "I'm in the indifferent category."

Another Ashland resident, Leela Harmon, 60, said she's a Bernie Sanders supporter and wrote his name in on her ballot, a decision that she would have thought more about if she lived in a swing state.

"I think the DNC (Democratic National Committee) and the rest of the political system does not represent us," she said. "Money and greed have taken over the country."

— Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or dmann@mailtribune.com. Follow him on www.twitter.com/reporterdm.

John and Margaret Scarbough of Ashland show their displeasure with election results at the 'Blue Bash Party' at the Inn at the Commons in Medford. Jamie Lusch / Mail Tribune
Elizabeth Watson, left, of Talent, and Jean Hall of Medford react to news reports that Donald Trump had taken Florida Tuesday at a Republican Party celebration in Medford. Mail Tribune / Denise Baratta