The evening had been gradually turning into a party in this rather cold aircraft hangar of a hall. But then one TV station after another flashed their predictions that President Barack Obama had won.
Report by BBC
They danced, they cheered, they quite literally jumped for joy.
But perhaps the biggest shout of the night came when their opponent appeared on the giant screen and Mitt Romney very graciously conceded victory.
Then they had to wait.
The gigantic red curtains behind the stage drew apart to show another even bigger screen, and pictures of them, swaying, waving the flag. President Obama walked on – happy, smiling, with his wife, he held the hand of one daughter, the other patted him on the back. Then he spoke.
He said he would ask Mitt Romney to work with him… and then talked to the America outside the hall.
The president is challenging his opponents. For also newly re-elected with a fresh mandate are the Republicans in the House of Representatives.
He is asking them to work with him.
It will be hard, but for supporters here that is the future – this was a moment of history, a moment of joy and relief.
He ended amid a stream of red, white and blue confetti, more hugs more embraces.
This was an election campaign that had some extraordinary moments – but it was won by long, hard planning.
In 2008, they built a coalition forged in the white heat of passion. In 2012, they carefully constructed it, patiently persuading supporters to become voters.
Both candidates said this was a choice of two visions, and America has chosen.
The key appears to have been a big turnout of Democratic supporters – especially black people and Hispanics.
The ground game paid off.
There will be many problems ahead in a second term, but for the president’s supporters, this is a moment of joy and relief.