A boy cheers at the Republican watch party in Bellevue on Tuesday night, as Donald Trump clinches Florida. 
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A boy cheers at the Republican watch party in Bellevue on Tuesday night, as Donald Trump clinches Florida.
Credit: Daniel Berman for KUOW

PHOTOS: Republicans tell Seattle to pay attention

The Republicans in the ballroom at the Hyatt in Bellevue weren't expecting this. They showed up late, and bowls of popcorn sat alone on tables. The scene was glum.

The polls, after all, had put Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton way, way ahead.

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Early in the night some Trump supporters like Michael Chaffey of Woodinville held back: “I gotta wait. Is it going to be a pity drink or a celebration drink, right?”

Said Gary Allason, speaking with a KIRO TV reporter: "The American public is tired of the corruption that surrounds the Clintons."

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And then the good news for Donald Trump really started to roll in: “Are we having fun yet?” Washington State GOP Chairman Susan Hutchison asked the crowd.

Hutchison has been a staunch Trump supporter all year, and even made national news when she called Senator Ted Cruz a "traitor" at the Republican National Convention for not endorsing Donald Trump.

But on Tuesday in Bellevue, it was a very different mood: “There’s a message being sent here today, and it’s not Republican vs Democrat, it’s the common man vs. the elites. I’ve seen this over and over and over in the last few months."

And Hutchison believes the election results should be a wakeup call for liberal leaders in Seattle:

“If there’s one thing the people in Seattle have to start paying attention to, it’s the folks out there who are suffering right now with a lot of their bad policies, whether it’s property taxes going up, whether it’s the homeless situation, whether it’s jobs. All of these experiments they’re trying in Seattle have harmed regular people.”

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But the message sent by Washington State voters last night is more of a mixed bag for Republicans. Democrat Hillary Clinton took the state. Democratic Senator Patty Murray defeated Republican Chris Vance. And Democratic Governor Jay Inslee defeated Republican Bill Bryant.

This inability to win the biggest statewide offices has led some Republicans to call for a new direction in the state party, with messages that appeal to people all over the state.

Meanwhile, the Democrats at the Westin in downtown Seattle...