The day after the November 5 election finds some San Diegans sad, others elated, and many just indifferent. At the time these interviews took place, the race between Bonnie Dumanis and Paul Pfingst was still undecided, and many other races were not fully counted yet.
William Garrison, 34, lives in North Park and considers himself an independent. "I was disappointed by what I perceived to be the quality of candidates for certain offices. I don't think I was particularly surprised about anything. I was glad to see that Bill Simon didn't win the governor's office in California. I'm not a big fan of his."
Dr. Kirk Wachtmann, 53, is a Democrat who lives in La Mesa. "I'm pretty disappointed that there isn't anything to balance out George Bush. I was a little bit surprised that Simon came as close as he did to Davis and that Mondale lost in Minnesota. It was good that the voter turnout was somewhat better than I had anticipated it would be -- more across the country than locally."
Jeff Hansen, 39, is a Hillcrest resident and a registered Democrat. "I'm not happy that more Republicans won than Democrats. My biggest surprise was before I went to bed, to hear that Gray Davis was losing. I'm glad about how many people participated in the election, the voter turnout."
Robert Dilley, 38, is a Republican from Clairemont. "I'm pretty upset that Paul Pfingst appears to be losing. It's not final yet, but that would be my only disappointment. I was surprised that the Republicans gained control of the Senate -- I didn't think that was going to happen. I was very happy about that."
Michelle Wright, 27, lives in Encinitas. While not registered with any party, she is registered to vote. "I'm still waiting for the results to be officially in and the absentees to be officially counted before I decide what the actual results were. The governor's race wasn't important to me, but I know Davis won. I voted for somebody in the Green Party for that one. I didn't really like either candidate. I'm tired of the party politics of Republicans versus Democrats. It's not directly related to the election, but I was surprised by everything that happened with Jesse Ventura in Minnesota. I'm glad that the numbers of Republicans and Democrats in the Senate are still fairly close."
Roy Packer, 83, is a Democrat from Chula Vista. "I just didn't like the mudslinging. Instead of saying what they would do, they criticized what the other guy didn't do, and that, to me, is completely wrong. My biggest surprise was the small turnout. I'm glad they didn't split the city of L.A. apart. The best thing I can say about the election is that is was a nice day."
Charles Spratley, 32, is a Democrat who lives in Golden Hill. "My biggest disappointment is that somebody won! I was disappointed with a lot of the candidates' character, in one form or another. I really didn't have anybody I was overall pleased with, so I had to choose the lesser of the evils that I could. I was actually surprised that Davis got reelected. I wasn't exactly for Simon, but I was at least hoping that [Davis] would step down from office. Honestly, I'm not pleased about anything in the election."
Mary Hannify, 50, lives in Poway and is a Republican. "I don't have any disappointments. I'm happy with the results. I'm glad Daschle's out [as Senate majority leader]. Republicans need a break. They need to be there. The biggest surprise was Mondale. I thought he would win because of his background and reputation. The biggest result is that the Republicans have won the Senate and the House, and I'm happy with that. We need a change in government."
David Stephenson, 48, is a Hillcrest Democrat. "My biggest disappointment is probably that I didn't vote. To tell you the truth, I don't even know who won what." I tell him some of the major race results. "I wish Gray Davis wasn't in office. I know there was a lot of mudslinging in the campaign for governor, but with the energy crisis and all that, I think the governor really screwed up. He dropped the ball, as far as I'm concerned. I'm not really surprised about anything or pleased."
David Murphy, however, is quite pleased by the results. A 65-year-old Republican from Allied Gardens, he is only disappointed by one race. "Doofus Davis got reelected. What an asshole. People talk about how much he spent, what about how much he stole? The turkey came in with a $14 billion surplus, and he put us in debt $24 billion. You'd fire anybody running a company who did that! My biggest surprise was the Senate and House elections. I was so pleased. We got rid of that moron Daschle! I was especially pleased by the Minnesota race after that big rally [Senator Paul Wellstone's funeral] and all that B.S. Seeing Mondale get his ass kicked made me happy. Watching the Senate -- now we can get some honest judges instead of liberal judges. Look at Proposition 187. It went to a liberal judge and he just -- I mean, those people have no conscience."
Todd Way, 60, is a Republican who lives in University City. "I was pretty upset with Gray Davis winning...and all those bond issues that passed. I was really surprised by the gains of the Republican Party. That's highly unusual in a midterm presidential election. That's also what pleased me. But I don't know what people are thinking about when they sign up for these bonds -- where they think the money's going to come from. They can look for increased taxes very soon, I'm sure."
Robert Gordon, 46, is an independent from Point Loma. "I was disappointed with the poor choice of candidates. What surprised me the most is that the Republicans did as well as they did, since the economy is weak and a lot of people oppose the war with Iraq. The best thing about it is that we're a free country and we have the opportunity to vote."
Gale Hertz, 49, lives in Mission Valley and is a Democrat. "Walter Mondale's loss was a big disappointment. and Mitt Romney's win in Massachusetts was unfortunate too. The biggest surprise was Gray Davis, that he won at all. I really thought people were going to go with Simon just because they were tired of [Davis's] antics, but we had two not-so-good candidates. I haven't really taken it all in yet. I'm almost indifferent to this election because of California. We just didn't have great candidates running."
Thomas Moreno, 46, is a Democrat who lives in Point Loma. "It's kind of hard to say what was worse. Both of the people running for governor I wasn't real happy with -- kind of a rock and a hard spot. Nothing surprised me. Nothing pleased me. I voted, but I'm not real happy with it. What are you gonna do?"
Judy Wright, 53, also lives in Point Loma and is a Republican. "I'm disappointed that so far Pfingst hasn't been reelected and also that Kevin Faulconer is running behind. I'm not surprised that the Republicans gained seats at all. I'm glad Davis got reelected. I'm a Republican, but I don't like Simon. All that mudslinging -- I know they all do it -- but I think he did it more than Davis."
Anissa Hannon, 35, lives in Loma Portal and is a Democrat. "My biggest disappointment is the Republicans getting the Senate. I think the national Republican success is the biggest surprise. I'm at least glad that Davis won."
Sarah Hallock, 23, is a Democrat who also lives in Loma Portal. She sums up her disappointment with one word: "Davis. I think he's stupid. He was also the biggest surprise for me. I was hoping other people would realize what a moron he is, but apparently not. Everything kind of turned out how I thought it would, except for Davis. That's the biggest disappointment there could be."
Doug Downing, 22, lives in Point Loma and considers himself an independent. "I wanted Faulconer to win, so I was kind of disappointed there. I thought Simon was going to be just crushed, but he made it really close with Davis. I was actually pretty impressed with how efficient they were at the place I voted. The people in there did a really good job getting people in and out and explaining everything. Results-wise, nothing really stood out."
Aubree Green, 27, is a Democrat who lives in Point Loma. "The biggest disappointment is that the Republicans now have the majority. I was kind of surprised that Mondale lost. I'm glad that some of the propositions passed, especially the after-school proposition for kids -- I think it was 49."
Greg Stecher, 29, is a Republican from Point Loma. "The worst thing is Gray Davis winning again, because he...it seems like he rides the glory of other people. They'll do something and he'll say, 'Hey, that looks like a great idea,' and he'll take credit for other people's accomplishments. I'm not surprised at anything at all. I'm glad that there was a lot of competition. Especially in the local areas and the governor's race. It shows that whoever votes makes a difference."
Nora Mally, 75, is a Democrat and lives in the College Area. "I didn't like the Republicans getting the Senate. I just feel that there won't be any check and balance now. The biggest shock was that Mondale didn't win. I'm glad there weren't any problems like there were in Florida the last time."
Joe Brown, 69, lives in Boulevard and is a Democrat. "It seems like nobody realizes what's going on in the world, so the Republicans won. I don't think I had any surprises. Everything was close. I'm at least glad that we got rid of Simon."
Aldan Gomez, 66, is a Republican from El Cajon. "My biggest disappointment was the governor's race. I'm not real happy with Simon, but I'm very unhappy with Davis. I'm real surprised how the Republicans did overall. It's an unusual event. I guess that's also what pleased me the most."
Democrat Forrest Johnson is not pleased at all. Johnson, 80, lives in Julian and found watching the Republicans prevail in the House and the Senate hard. "I don't want to see them give Bush free reign. The only pleasant surprise was Gray Davis. For a while it looked like he might lose. San Diego County was almost two-to-one for Simon. I guess the best thing is Gray Davis being governor again. Another disappointment was Ray Haynes being reelected for our area. He was a state senator, and I think he could no longer run for Senate because of term limits, and now he'll be in the Assembly for two years and then he'll run for state senate again. He's a John Bircher."
Rod Bass, 80, is a Republican who lives on Mount Helix. "I'm satisfied with the election. I'm really surprised at most of the races. I didn't expect the Republicans to come through as well as they did. I'm pleased with the turnout and, of course, the Republican sweep."
Karen Young, 42, lives in Del Cerro. "I'm registered Republican, but I never vote that way. I'm pretty upset that the Republicans took over the House and Senate. I don't like Republicans. I've just been too lazy to change parties. I'm surprised that Dumanis didn't come out way ahead of Pfingst, and it's so close. I thought she would win by a slam dunk. I'm glad that Davis won and that some Democrats got their seats. I was also very pleased that Proposition 49 and the schools won. We should have after-school programs and put our money into that. I'm hoping Vince Hall pulls ahead in the Assembly race."
Richard Klotsche, 50, is a Republican who lives in Granite Hills. "My biggest disappointment was with the two fools that were running for governor. I was surprised that it was so close. For a while, while Simon was ahead, I thought maybe all of Davis's money was working in reverse! I'm just glad I got it over with. It was that bad."
Donna Roberts, 58, of Spring Valley describes herself as a "sort of Democrat." "My biggest disappointment is that not many people voted. The low turnout. I was surprised with the district attorney's race. I expected Pfingst to win big. I was in favor of the school bond issues, and I'm glad they went through. We need to have all those buildings repaired."
Susan Bailey, 31, is a La Mesa Republican. "I didn't really have any disappointments. Even Davis...if that's what the people want. I'm surprised how extremely tight the Dumanis race was. I thought she would be a lot stronger at the polls than Pfingst. Overall, I'm pretty happy with the results."
Keith Miller, 56, is an independent who lives in the College Area. "I was disappointed with the way the news didn't report how the smaller parties were doing. All we got was Democrat and Republican. Nothing surprised me. When it comes to government, nothing surprises me. I was pleased with the people at my polling station. They were upbeat and interested in what they were doing."
Denise Edmund, 43, is a Democrat from San Carlos. "I was disappointed that Davis won. He's a moron. I'm not really surprised at anything. I'm not very pleased with anything either. I would have liked a few people to have won that didn't...other Senate races -- except Mondale! God! Not him! There's a few Democrats who I think are morons."
La Mesa Republican Ron Kawecki will only admit to being older than 39. "I was disappointed with the Democratic chairman McAuliffe. He was such a bitter loser. Instead of being gracious about the whole thing, he was extremely bitter, and that was my biggest disappointment. I was surprised by Jeb Bush winning. I thought he was going to have a really tight race and maybe lose. And the secretary of state in Florida -- what's her name? Katherine Harris! She was elected to Congress. And they took control of the Senate! I wasn't surprised about the House, but the Senate was something else! I'm most pleased that George Bush was given a mandate by the people by winning everything. The people respect him and his job as president. They feel that they have a good president with a decent outlook on things."
Louise Hall, 62, lives in Southeast San Diego and is a Democrat. "My biggest fear is that Simon was going to win. I'm glad he didn't. Nothing really surprised me -- well, I expected the Democrats to keep control of the Senate. I guess I'm surprised about that. I'm most pleased and surprised that Gray Davis won."
Randy Belknap, 47, lives in Lemon Grove and is a Democrat. "My biggest disappointment was the governor's race, how they were hacking after each other. It seems like when you want to vote for somebody, they never keep their promises. It's a waste of money putting the polls and paperwork out. I wasn't really surprised at anything. I expected it to be slow, and I expected the Republicans to win the Senate back. I'm most pleased with the propositions and bond issues for education."
Joyce McLaughlin, 65, is a Democrat who lives in Southeast San Diego. "I was most disappointed that Garamendi was reelected insurance commissioner. He was commissioner before, and he got caught taking insurance money and was forced to resign, and I'm surprised the people reelected him. I'm a little surprised that in Maine they elected a Democrat as governor, because they're always Republican. I visit Maine quite a bit. I'm most pleased that Simon didn't get elected governor. Gray Davis hasn't been the greatest, but I don't think Simon would have been any better."
Angel Salazar, 29, is a Chula Vista Democrat. "It's very disappointing that the Democrats lost the House and the Senate to Republicans. I was surprised at the Democratic leaning here in San Diego, because it's traditionally always been a very conservative county. I was happy with the mayoral race in Chula Vista. It's going to be the first time we're going to have a Mexican-American mayor in Chula Vista."
Jeffrey Obayashi, 21, is a Democrat who lives in Clairemont. "I'm pretty much upset that the Democrats lost control of the Senate. I was pretty surprised by Walter Mondale losing Minnesota. I was actually surprised that the Democrats swept the California administration. I'm also pretty pleased about that."
Matt Swerdlin, 22, lives in Ocean Beach. He describes himself as a registered Democrat who doesn't have any loyalty to a particular party. "I'm most disappointed that I didn't vote. Walter Mondale losing -- that disappoints me. I'm registered in Maryland, and I was just a slacker and didn't take care of my stuff to get an absentee ballot. I was surprised that the Republicans got control of the House and Senate. I'm glad that Bill Simon lost. If I had to choose between Republican and Democrat, I would choose Democrat, and it pleases me that the Democrats have taken control over certain governorships they haven't had control over in a long time."
Shawn LaConta, 43, is a La Mesa Democrat. "I'm disappointed that not enough Democrats voted to make a difference. I was surprised that the Republicans had such a dominating win. I think that most people who didn't vote now realize that if they had voted, it would have made a difference."
Fernando Reyes, 22, lives in East San Diego and has no party affiliation. "I was disappointed that Gray Davis won. Everything went just the way I thought it would. I thought the Republicans would take over the Senate and they would hold on to the House. I'm really glad that the Republicans have control over the full Congress."