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Page last updated at 07:32 GMT, Wednesday, 5 November 2008
Watching Obama clinch historic victory

By Rod McKenzie
Editor, Radio 1 Newsbeat, Scranton, Pennsylvania

Newsbeat has been following the US election campaign since it began and with Barack Obama winning the presidency our team was in the States to get reaction to his historic victory. Rod McKenzie reports from one battleground state.

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Obama makes victory speech

It was midnight in Molly Brannigan's Irish pub in Scranton, Pennsylvania when Obama finally spoke.

"He's a good listener," one of the Democrat Party workers there confided to her friend - but it was they who were doing the listening.

Man watching election results
Tensions were raised amongst voters as the results came in

By then, of course, Obama was claiming his prize as 44th president of the United States, to an ecstatic and adoring crowd at Chicago's Grant Park.

Earlier in the night, Pennsylvania - a key swing state, had gone Obama: it felt like a pivotal moment. Although it didn't clinch victory… that came later.

Now with a few beers and the odd cocktail inside them, the joy and relief among the party workers here was tangible.

One Obama campaign organiser, who didn't want to be named, told Newsbeat: "We cleaned house. We gave it our best efforts and we came through in the end."

They did.

Spilt beer, half eaten chips and discarded cocktail straws littered the table tops. All eyes were fixed on the screen.
Molly Brannigan's
Supporters watching Obama's victory were very relieved

There was real emotion in the room as Democratic Party workers, loyal supporters and ordinary voters mingled to take in Obama's words.

Emotional hugs, tears, laughter and relief were all visible among the Irish décor of the pub

Anna Metcalfe, 25, from Scranton, seemed to sum up the views of many there when she said: "We finally got something that's a symbol for America to the rest of the world. It's wonderful.".



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