President Obama's victory elicits strong reaction from residents

President Obama's victory elicits strong reaction from Knox County residents

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"I believe that he's going to do what he can to change whatever the problems we're having," said Ernest Pulliam, an Obama supporter. "I believe that he's going to do what he can to change whatever the problems we're having," said Ernest Pulliam, an Obama supporter.
"I knew he was going to win, I didn't like it, I wanted Romney to win but I can accept it,. You don't have any choice," said one resident. "I knew he was going to win, I didn't like it, I wanted Romney to win but I can accept it,. You don't have any choice," said one resident.

By MIKE KRAFCIK
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - President Barack Obama's re-election elicited strong feelings, from optimism to skepticism, around East Tennessee.  

It was a different political landscape in Tennessee, where more than 60% of voters chose Romney.  

In Knox County, nearly 64% of voters chose Romney as well. The countywide reaction was cut and dry just one day after Election Day.

Many Republicans and Romney supporters were discouraged by Obama's win. Democrats and Obama supporters remain elated after the election night victory. 

At Wright's Cafeteria in West Knoxville on Wednesday morning, it was hard to miss Ernest Pulliam, spotted wearing his bright Barack Obama sweatshirt.  

"An African American did something that was told all my life that we couldn't do and he did it twice," said Pulliam. "I believe that he's going to do what he can to change whatever the problems we're having."

The fact that Pulliam may have been the only Obama supporter at Wright's Cafeteria was perhaps a fair representation of just how people voted in East Tennessee.

"I knew he was going to win, I didn't like it, I wanted Romney to win but I can accept it. You don't have any choice," said one resident.  

Some said there's a clear skepticism about the future direction of the country.  

"I think we will have repeat of the last four years, and that's about what will get done, a slow recovery," said Cliff Harris.  

UT Political Science Associate Professor Nathan Kelly said the gridlock in the U.S. House and Senate could continue even after Obama's re-election.

"We really had a status quo outcome where the president's in the same party, the Senate is still Democratic, and the house is still Republican. In large part, it's going to be more of the same," Kelly said.  

Kelly said things like Obama's health care legislation and Wall Street reform should remain unhindered. He said change will only start with the House Republican caucus.

"If Republicans have taken a message from this election that they need move toward the center, then that might help things move along in Washington," Kelly said.  

Going forward, voters like Ernest Pulliam hope there's a chance of more bipartisanship during Obama's second term.  

"I believe any president has to set out to do it in the first place. Because they're not the only ones making the decisions. They can't pull the plug, they can't turn the light on, they have to ask someone else, can it work the way they want it?" Pulliam questioned.

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