U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina lost to incumbent Barbara Boxer in Tuesday's election, with the latest results showing Boxer with a 10 point victory.
Throughout the night, a ballroom full of Republican Party loyalists in Irvine heard about their party’s victories across the country. They’d come to hear the same from Carly Fiorina.
The candidate addressed the crowd about half an hour before midnight. "Well, ladies and gentlemen, let’s start by saying that it is a great night to be a Republican tonight."
She’d declared victory in the same hotel earlier this year when she won her party’s nomination for U.S. Senate. She did not concede or declare a win last night.
Her supporters said her very red Republican campaign in the very blue Democratic state left a lasting imprint. Randy Burtt, a retired firefighter from Norco, said President Obama’s economic policies pushed him to vote for Fiorina.
"I voted for Obama. I wanted to give it a chance," said Burtt. "I wanted to see if he was going to make a change. I don’t know if he’s had enough time to make a change, he’s only had two years. But the change I’m seeing is not the change I was hoping for."
Fiorina supported Arizona’s tough immigration law and opposed abortion rights. That made it difficult for her to secure the Latino and female vote. Those voting blocs become fluid, her strategists say, because the tough economy’s focusing people’s minds on job creation.
It was a great night for Republican Michelle Park-Steel, a Korean-American who ran for State Board of Equalization. Nearly a dozen Korean-language reporters mobbed her at the Fiorina party.
"Republicans embracing more ethnic background people," said Park-Steel. "So I think this is going to change totally, there’s just no Grand Old Party anymore because me, with accent, people like me coming out representing Republican, this is a big deal."
Now it’s up to her and the rest of the Republican party to decide what to do with their newfound political capital.