Whether fans of the left wing, right wing, or just the West Wing, more than 150 people flocked to the University of Sydney's Manning Bar to watch the Super Tuesday results live on a giant screen and mingle with fellow political pundits. Geoff Gray, executive director of the American Australian Association, and Harry Melkonian, US Studies Centre lecturer on the US Constitution, offered their analyses of the results.
The event attracted a diverse array of students, academics, retirees, and professionals from the business, government and media communities.
Results from the simulated voting centre revealed the following about the election watch guests:
- 50% cited Barack Obama as their preferred Democratic nominee, versus 45% for Hillary Clinton. Yet 69% of guests believed Clinton would win the most delegates, versus only 31% thought Obama would take the lead. (Obama claimed 837 committed delegates, with Clinton picking up 824).
- On the Republican side, 60% of guests listed John McCain as their preferred Republican candidate, with Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee each garnering 7% among election watch guests. An overwhelming 92% predicted McCain would take the most delegates. (McCain won 602 delegates on the day, compared to 201 for Romney and 152 delegates for Huckabee).
When asked which they thought was better for Australia, election watch guests responded as follows:
- 80% favoured a Democrat in the White House;
- 10% preferred a Republican in the White House; and
- 10% cited no difference.
The delegate draw tested participants' political astuteness by asking them to guess how many delegates Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John McCain each would win on Super Tuesday. Congratulations to first place winner Tim Andrews who came within 68 delegates of the total gained by the three candidates. Tim is a University of Sydney alumnus who holds a Bachelor of Economics and a Master of Public Policy. Tim indicated he wished the US Studies postgraduate program would have been offered at the time of his studies. Rounding out the top three delegate draw winners were University of Sydney staff members Lucinda Crossley and Emily Reid who came within 100 delegates of the correct total.