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Obama buttons and stickers are available for local Democrats as they watch early returns on the big screen at Golden State Theatre in Monterey on Tuesday.

Local Democrats said Tuesday night they wanted President Barack Obama to continue the job he started and criticized his opponent, Republican Mitt Romney, as out of touch.

"I believed in his message of change," Shira Diallo of Monterey said of Obama in the lobby of the Golden State Theatre, where Monterey County Democrats held a viewing party. "I wanted to see it through."

Diallo, who brought her three young children, joined hundreds of Obama supporters at the theater who screamed in unison as the results came in.

On Alvarado Street, supporters smoked cigarettes, shook hands and took pictures with their camera phones. Across from the theater, a second Democratic party took place inside My Attic bar.

"I think Romney's flip-flopping was transparent to the electorate," Christina Watson of Monterey said as she sipped a glass of wine at My Attic.

Her friend, Jessica Piombo of Seaside, said she thought Obama benefited from positive economic news in the past month.

Across town on Del Monte Avenue, about 70 Republicans huddled around two televisions playing Fox News.

Cindy Norlin of Pacific Grove said an hour before Obama was declared the winner that she did not think the Republican Party needed to change in the wake of a loss.

"We just keep working," she said.

Although the GOP faithful were hesitant to say what went wrong as results started to lean toward Obama, 22-year-old CSU Monterey Bay student Matt Bolner said Romney should have come out with his platform sooner, "to get everyone on the same page.


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Bolner, president of his college Republican organization, said it will be crucial to focus on building the local party in the wake of the election.

Although results for the state's 11 propositions were far from being announced, Prop. 32 seemed most on attendees' minds.

Democratic Assembly candidate Mark Stone said outside the Golden State Theatre that Prop. 32, which would limit unions' ability to make campaign contributions, would "take the voice of poor people (and) the middle class out of politics."

Republican Dana Doyle of Marina said her friends who are teachers saw their union dollars go to candidates they did not support, which is why she supported the proposition.

Despite the presidential election seeming like a foregone conclusion for California, Democratic volunteers said their efforts in battleground states made a difference.

"I think it was all our hard work," said Gail Lehman, vice president of the Democratic Club of the Monterey Peninsula. "We sat in those phone bank offices all day long."

Phillip Molnar can be reached at 646-4487 or pmolnar@montereyherald.com.