Eight years ago I was a freshman in college. My roommate and I were up watching CNN freaking out over results. I remember talking to people online and going over how Florida was all that mattered anymore. It was late. They called it for Bush. I don't remember our exact reactions throughout the dorm, but they weren't good. We went to bed exhausted and full of disgust. The next morning we woke up to a world of confusion.
Four years ago I was in grad school, and somehow my memories of election day are not as clear. It seemed a lot less hopeful, as Bush was an imcumbent, and Kerry just wasn't that inspiring. All I distinctly remember is wondering how so many people thought Kerry shouldn't secede when Bush clearly had a majority of the vote. And even though this was hugely disappointing, I think it fit my image of Americans at the time - so it all made sense in a cruel way.
Today I have hope. Not too much. But I do have a good feeling that isn't based so much on electoral maps. I hope it isn't crushed.