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Election Night

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"Previously on the West Wing" spoken by Leo

President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) faces the voters, but when he returns to his limousine in Manchester, N.H., after casting his own ballot, Charlie (Dulé Hill) notices things in the president's behavior that make him fear more for Bartlet's physical health than his political well-being.

Meanwhile, in Orange County, Cal., the recently deceased Democratic congressional candidate might not be as politically dead as had been assumed. And in Washington, Debbie Fiderer (Lily Tomlin) is making rules that Josh (Bradley Whitford), for one, doesn't like.

Andy (Kathleen York) is pregnant (with twins), but dad-to-be Toby (Richard Schiff) is worried mostly about how that will play professionally. Meanwhile, Donna (Janel Moloney) meets an intriguing Navy Lieutenant Commander, Jack Reese (Christian Slater), who has been transferred to the White House as Deputy Military Aide.

Finally, Sam (Rob Lowe) is shocked to discover that the campaign in California, run by Will Bailey (Joshua Malina), is actually going to win. Sam has to decide if he will honor his promise to run.


Opening - Precinct Four Polling Place - West End Public Library, 24th and L - 7:17amEdit

Josh is at his polling place voting before heading to work.  He is questioned by several people asking about how they voted and if they had done so correctly.  He becomes increasingly frustrated, until one of the people tells him that Toby Ziegler has a message for him, "ten bucks" (the amount of the bet from the previous episode where the President set up Toby). 

Act I - 10:00amEdit

The Senior Staff are meeting in the Roosevelt Room about plans for the evening after the results are announced.  Sam questions why Toby wrote both an acceptance and a concession speech - Toby tells him that's what you do and Sam has to go outside to break the spell.  Josh arrives and the others rib him on the joke they played.  C.J. follows Toby out and tells him that Roll Call (the Congressional Newspaper) has the story of Andy's pregnancy.  Sam comes back inside and Ginger tells him that Will Bailey is on the phone.  Sam picks up and Will tells him that he is hearing from his informal exit polls that Horton Wilde is winning.

In New Hampshire - the Bartlets finish voting.  The President is planning to head back to Washington and the First Lady later.  The President gets into his limo and attempts to sign some papers that Charlie gave him - but his hand is trembling too much for him to sign.

Act II - 1:30pmEdit

  • BARTLET [D]: 597,343
  • RITCHIE [R]: 551,794
  • WILDE [D]: 16,916
  • WEBB [R]: 16,864

Josh is trying to figure out what to do with himself - Donna tells him he has Senior Staff - but would like him to take her absentee ballot to the President to sign.  He looks at it are realizes that she voted for Ritchie (and every other Republican in Wisconsin).  She starts to devise a plan to correct this.

Josh arrives for Senior Staff but Debbie stops him from going into the Oval Office without the Briefing Memo.  She is staking out ground on running the Oval Office.  Charlie arrives and Debbie tells him that Security called for him.  He turns around to head for the lobby, where he finds Anthony and a friend.  Anthony needs Charlie's help with his friend, who got stopped with an open can of beer in his car.  Anthony doesn't want Orlando (the friend) to lose out on his college scholarship to play football in Ohio.

Josh returns to the outer office with the Briefing Memo (Debbie's Rule Number Two) but she doesn't let him go in because he's late (Debbie's Rule Number One).  He goes back out to the hall where Donna tells him that she is going to find someone here in DC to vote for the President to counter her voting for Ritchie in Wisconsin.  He then sees Toby and Andy - who are on their way to the doctor.  Josh jokingly tells Toby he should tip the nurse.  Sam arrives and Josh overhears Bonnie tell Sam that Will Bailey's on the phone again.  Josh tells Sam that they are going to lose that race by 20 points based on exit polls.  Sam gets on the phone with Will and tells him what Josh just told him.  Will points out those were tracking numbers and the last poll was a week earlier and then the DNC left town.  Josh pops his head back in and tells Sam that he was mistaken and it was tracking polling and the DNC had pulled out of the race.  Will gets off the phone and tells his volunteers to get back out on the streets.

Act III - 4:00pmEdit

  • BARTLET [D]: 9,438,042
  • RITCHIE [R]: 7,992,713
  • WILDE [D]: 31,465
  • WEBB [R] 31,117

At the doctor - Toby picks that time to tell Andy that Roll Call is going to break the news about Andy's pregnancy.  The doctor comes in while Andy and Toby continue to talk about what to do - then they hear the babies' heartbeats.

Donna is still trying to find someone who was going to vote for Ritchie to vote for the President instead.  Sam comes up to her and they talk - Sam tells her about what he said to Will Bailey (that he would run if Wilde were to win).  Charlie comes to collect Anthony and Orlando and brings them upstairs.  Charlie tells them they are going to go with him to vote and then go home - Orlando points out that he is registered to vote - he just doesn't know where.

Bartlet arrives in the Oval Office where Debbie and phone technician are looking at the phone on the President's desk.  She tells the President that line one is now a direct line to her and she will place all of the President's calls going forward.  He questions why, if she noticed anything in particular (his hand is on his mind), she says no.

Act IV - 4:00pm PSTEdit

  • BARTLET [D]: 39,063,986
  • RITCHIE [R]: 32,365,173
  • WILDE [D]: 41,364
  • WEBB [R]: 41,374

In California, Will is frantic about trying to get the race to the finish.  He keeps asking when it is going to start raining.

7:15 P.M.Edit

  • BARTLET [D]: 41,182,004
  • RITCHIE [R]: 34,091,976
  • WILDE [D]: 41,382
  • WEBB [R]: 41,484

Donna is still outside the polling place trying to find someone who will swap votes with her.  Finally, Jack Reese appears.  She explains that she is looking for someone to swap votes with her - and he agrees, although for the first time in a while, he is voting in person rather than by absentee ballot.  He has recently been assigned to work in the White House.

8:35 P.M.Edit

  • BARTLET [D]: 43,994,784
  • RITCHIE [R]: 35,475,855
  • WILDE [D]: 43,007
  • WEBB [R]: 43,210

Josh and Toby are talking about election results.

Charlie has brought Anthony and Orlando to his polling place.  Orlando is going to cast his first vote.

In California - Will is standing outside the Wilde headquarters and as he shouts at the sky to rain - it does.

Back at the White House, C.J. gets a call, listens, and walks over to the Oval Office.  She goes in - fixes the President a drink and hands it to him.  He asks what's going on - she tells him he is going to win New Hampshire.

11:01 P.M.Edit

  • BARTLET [D]: 53,766,221
  • RITCHIE [R]: 42,992,342
  • WILDE [D]: 53,622
  • WEBB [R]: 53,710

Sam is closely following the results from Orange County and can't believe they haven't called the race.  In a ballroom, the President takes the stage to cheers and applause.  He attempts to finish his remarks but cannot seem to read the teleprompter - so he improvises.

Josh and Toby come up to Sam to tell him they are going to watch the returns of the last few close races, including the California 47th.  When the President leaves the stage and meets up with the First Lady - who asks him how he is feeling - she noted he went off the teleprompter - he admitted to her that he couldn't see it.  She tells him not to worry - there will be more days like this but everyone will look out for him.


Toby Ziegler: Of course I wrote a concession. You want to tempt the wrath of whatever from high atop the thing?
Sam Seaborn: No.
Toby Ziegler: Then go outside, turn around three times, and spit. What the hell is the matter with you?

Trivia / Goofs Edit

  • The West End Library is an actual polling place for the District of Columbia - however the opening scene was not filmed in the library.
  • While there is a Grace Episcopal Church in Manchester, NH, there is not a "First Emmanuel Episcopal Church," nor is Grace Episcopal a polling place for Manchester.
  • The Secretary of Agriculture is actually 8th in line of succession to the Presidency, but currently the 7th because of the Secretary of the Interior is ineligible, because she is not born in the US.

Cast Edit


Special Guest StarsEdit

Guest StarringEdit