MTV News' Street Team '08 members were on hand to witness the excitement Tuesday night, when it was announced that Barack Obama would be the 44th president of the United States. Parties across the country could've been mistaken for New Year's Eve celebrations, if not for the chants of "Yes we can!" and "Obama!"
As Virginia Commonwealth University students ran through the streets, yelling and lighting firecrackers, Street Teamer Lauren Compton called it "mayhem" and "an emotional thing to watch," adding, "It just goes to show you that your vote counts, that your voice counts."
One of these excited voters told her, "I voted early absentee on Saturday. I was too excited for this election." When asked about the prospect of achieving unity in the U.S., he said, "I think we can definitely come together because he has so many [people] supporting him. ... I think people are going to do the right thing now that he's in office."
Sarah Phillips told Florida correspondent Anthony Wojtkowiak, "It's probably the most excited I've ever been in my entire life. I seriously think I had an emotional seizure or something. My whole body seized up. I couldn't breathe. It's like I really mattered. ... I picked the president! That was me! ... I think I'm in love with America right now!"
Of course, some voters didn't have much to celebrate. Before the election was called, University of Pennsylvania student and Republican Peter told Pennsylvania Street Teamer Cassidy Hartmann that he was disappointed in how McCain was doing: "It's not going well. ... I'm going to be frank with you — clearly we knew he wasn't going to win Pennsylvania, but the fact that he did tighten up polls in the last week or so, it did give us hope." He added, "Best case scenario is that Obama suddenly becomes a conservative."
One young voter, Mary from Indiana, told Alex Damron that by voting, she had a personal hand in determining this year's election. "I just felt very inspired, and I feel like this is the change and motivation we needed as a country to get us out of this funk. ... It's really going to make a change, especially the younger generation. ... It's ours. We accomplished this," she said. "Yes we can. That's probably what I say every day when I'm frustrated, but it's true."
But it wasn't just people out at election parties who felt the need to share their reactions with us. On MTVNews.com, commenters from all political backgrounds shared their opinions.
Although most reactions — whether good or bad — were visceral, some were especially over the top. Glam_Balam wrote, "We're Doomed," and wereallgonnadie said, "He shouldn't be president!!!!!!!!!!!! ... What about experience? Something Obama doesn't have!"
Meanwhile, McCain supporter Crites06 took a calmer approach to the Obama win, writing, "I will not sit here and bash Obama. I listened to his campaigns and realized how good he was at inspiring people and making them believe in him. He even had me going for a minute. I pray that he will be great for this country, but that will remain to be seen."
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Paloma said, "I am so excited that Obama won!!!!!!!!!!!! I have never been prouder to be an American. Yes We Can! To all those haters, I can't wait until Obama proves you wrong when he leads this country to a better place. Skin doesn't mean anything. Obama has heart, passion, experience and hope to make this country the best it has ever been. Go Obama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
"And knock this racist nonsense off, don't judge him based on his skin," alohaserveddaily said. "It's his brains that count. He's an intelligent man and I believe he will accomplish many amazing things for our country."
One MTV commenter, Íaliey, couldn't have been happier to see Obama win, but also gave props to his opponents. She said, "Whoa! We got him to be president!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had my house egged and had bricks thrown at it because we had Obama on our lawn!!! We love you, like, forever!!! But yeah, no offense to McCain and Palin — they did an amazing job too."
MTV News was on the ground in all 50 states to cover this historic election, and now we want to hear from you! Share your voting experience and your reaction to the results in the comments area below, upload video at yourhere.mtv.com, or text VOTE to 66333 with your first name, age, state and comment.