Posted by on September 26, 2016
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Categories: Bay Area

(BANT) – While Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump supporters are divided
sharply over big-picture political issues, they seem united in their
enthusiastic embrace of communal debate viewing events this evening.

Several local organizations are hosting watch parties tonight
around the Bay Area for the first presidential debate between Clinton and
Trump scheduled for 6 p.m.

For example, the organizer of a free watch party at the San
Francisco music venue The Chapel expects an overflow crowd of more than 600
people tonight when doors open at 5 p.m.

“We’ll be turning people away to nearby Mission bars. We’ll be a
very full event,” organizer Deborah Schneider said. “This is the most
high-stakes election in history. This is not a reality show … This is not a
spectator sport. The purpose of this event is to galvanize people to take
action.”

Schneider expects the crowd to be largely comprised of Clinton
supporters, but other events around the region will be hosted by Trump
supporters or neutral third parties.

The free watch party at Santa Clara University’s Learning Commons
at the University Library starts at 5:45 p.m. and will be attended by student
groups that support both candidates, according to university spokeswoman Tina
Vossugh.

“It’s a pretty exciting year,” Vossugh said. “There’ll be a
discussion and people will be talking about it afterwards.”

The website bayareagop.com lists several events where Trump
supporters can gather to take in the debate.

“Be among like-minded friends as you watch Donald Trump and
Hillary Clinton face off on the important questions of this election,” says
the invitation to the event hosted by the Piedmont Area Republican Women
Federated at Monaghan’s restaurant in Oakland.

Registration is required for the $30 event, which will include a
no-host bar, quesadillas and a taco bar. It begins at 5:30 p.m., according to
organizers.

Other Trump-leaning events will be at the campaign’s Marin County
headquarters in Novato at 5 p.m., at the Presidio Golf Course clubhouse in
San Francisco at 5:30 p.m. and at Katalina’s Island Grill in Hayward at 6
p.m., among others.

Other Clinton venues include two Hillary for California watch
parties at Everett & Jones BBQ restaurant in Oakland and the Holiday Inn
Golden Gateway in San Francisco. Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia
will host a viewing party at the Richmond restaurant Salute E Vita Ristorante
at 5:30 p.m.