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West Wing Wiki

ELECTION NIGHT -- Election Day arrives as the President (Martin Sheen) and his staff begin counting exit poll votes across the country -- especially in a conservative California congressional district where the result has important implications for Sam (Rob Lowe) and its maverick campaign manager (Joshua Malina).


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

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 as he realizes that each of them intended to vote for the President but accidentally spoiled their ballot, until one of the people tells him that Toby Ziegler has a message for him: "ten dollars" (the amount of the bet from the previous episode where the President set up Toby). It dawns on Josh that Toby has hired a troupe of actors to prank him in revenge for Josh's role in the prank that the President and the senior staff played on Toby before the debate.

Act I - 10:00am[]

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 castigates Sam for jinxing the election by showing confidence that they will win. Josh arrives, and he and Toby force Sam to go outside and engage in a superstitious ritual to break the jinx. The others rib Josh 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 - 1:30pm[]

  • 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 for the day. Donna tells him he has a Senior Staff meeting and asks him to take a photocopy of her absentee ballot to the President to sign so she can frame it. He looks at it and realizes that she accidentally 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 for Andy's ultrasound. 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 - 4:00pm[]

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

At the doctor, Toby tells 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 and are captivated.

Donna is still standing outside a polling place, 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 collects 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. Charlie encourages Orlando to cast his first-ever vote.

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 resists the idea until she explains that her new system will allow her to keep a record of all his calls—which will be important when his MS begins to affect his memory. The President, still worrying about the symptoms he experienced after casting his ballot, asks Debbie whether she noticed anything in particular to trigger this change. She says no.

Act IV - 4:00pm PST[]

  • 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. The race is tight, and he is counting on an impending rainstorm to depress Republican turnout. He keeps asking when it is going to start raining.

7:15 P.M.[]

  • 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, a naval officer named 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 returned from a submarine mission and has been assigned to work in the White House.

8:35 P.M.[]

  • 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, and she and Leo tell him he is going to win his home state of New Hampshire.

11:01 P.M.[]

  • 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. They tell Sam that a series of freak occurences have given the Wilde campaign a real shot at victory. When the President leaves the stage and meets up with the First Lady, she asks how he is feeling. He tries to conceal his symptoms from her, but she tells him that she noticed that he went off the teleprompter. He admits that he couldn't see it.  She tells him not to worry—there will be more days like this, but he has good people in his corner who love him and will look out for him.


Rob Lowe as Sam Seaborn
Stockard Channing as Abigail Bartlet
Dulé Hill as Charlie Young
Allison Janney as C.J. Cregg
Janel Moloney as Donna Moss
Richard Schiff as Toby Ziegler
John Spencer as Leo McGarry
Bradley Whitford as Josh Lyman
and Martin Sheen as President Bartlet

Special Guest Stars

Christian Slater as Lieutenant Commander Jack Reese
Joshua Malina as Will Bailey
and Lily Tomlin as Deborah Fiderer

Guest Starring

Kathleen York as Andy Wyatt
Omar Benson Miller as Orlando Kettles
Danica McKellar as Elsie Snuffin
Andrew McFarlane as Anthony Marcus
Megan Cavanagh as Voting Shortcut
Kaarina Aufranc as Ten Dollars
Kris Iyer as Andy's Doctor


Devika Parikh as Bonnie
Kim Webster as Ginger
William Duffy as Larry
Peter James Smith as Ed
Melissa Fitzgerald as Carol Fitzpatrick
Richard Saxton as Anahiem Anchor Alan
Lynette Romero as Anahiem Anchor
Ivan Allen as Roger Salier
Penny Griego as Anchor
Christopher Schauble as Anchor
Mindy Thomas as Anchor
Howard Mann as Senior Citizen
Don Dowe as Technician
Ron Ostrow as Reporter John
Charles Noland as Steve
Timothy Davis-Reed as Mark O'Donnell
Maria Lazam Hanson as Passerby
Derek Thompson as Man
Leesa Severyn as Michelle
Kris Murphy as Katie Witt
Ron Morehouse as Bow Tie
Ashleigh Olden as Aide Sharon


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


  • The West End Library is an actual polling place for the District of Columbia - however the opening scene was not filmed in the library.
  • Despite being Jed Bartlet's running mate, John Hoynes is not shown during the victory speech nor at any time during this episode.


  • 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 the line of succession to the Presidency.
  • When Donna is outside the polling place trying to find a voter to switch ballots with, the opening shot shows a tall sky scraper in the background. No building of such a height exists in Washington, DC due to height restrictions on buildings there.
  • When Donna meets LCDR Jack Reese outside the polling place, he is in violation of Navy uniform regulations by being outdoors without wearing his cover.


the times they are a-changin' (cover) | RICHIE HAVENS
bartlet's victory

I PilotPost Hoc, Ergo Propter HocA Proportional ResponseFive Votes Down
The Crackpots and These WomenMr. Willis of OhioThe State DinnerEnemiesThe Short List
In Excelsis DeoLord John MarburyHe Shall, from Time to Time...Take Out the Trash Day
Take This Sabbath DayCelestial Navigation20 Hours in L.A.The White House Pro-Am
Six Meetings Before LunchLet Bartlet Be BartletMandatory Minimums
Lies, Damn Lies and StatisticsWhat Kind of Day Has It Been?
II In the Shadow of Two Gunmen (Part I)In the Shadow of Two Gunmen (Part II)The Midterms
In This White HouseAnd It's Surely to Their CreditThe Lame Duck CongressThe Portland Trip
ShibbolethGalileoNoëlThe Leadership BreakfastThe Drop-In
Bartlet's Third State of the UnionThe War at HomeEllie
Somebody's Going to Emergency, Somebody's Going to JailThe Stackhouse Filibuster
17 PeopleBad Moon RisingThe Fall's Gonna Kill You18th and PotomacTwo Cathedrals
III Manchester (Part I)Manchester (Part II)Ways and MeansOn the Day BeforeWar CrimesGone QuietThe Indians in the LobbyThe Women of QumarBartlet for AmericaH.Con - 172100,000 AirplanesThe Two BartletsNight FiveHartsfield's LandingDead Irish Writers
The U.S. Poet LaureateStirredEnemies Foreign and DomesticThe Black Vera Wang
We Killed YamamotoPosse Comitatus
IV 20 Hours in America (Part I)20 Hours in America (Part II)College KidsThe Red Mass
Debate CampGame OnElection NightProcess StoriesSwiss DiplomacyArctic Radar
Holy NightGuns Not ButterThe Long GoodbyeInauguration (Part I)
Inauguration: Over There (Part II)The California 47thRed Haven's on FirePrivateers
Angel MaintenanceEvidence of Things Not SeenLife On MarsCommencementTwenty-Five
V 7A WF 83429The Dogs of WarJefferson LivesHanA Constituency of OneDisaster ReliefSeparation of PowersShutdownAbu el BanatThe Stormy PresentThe Benign PrerogativeSlow News DayThe Warfare of Genghis KhanAn KheFull DisclosureEppur Si Muove
The SupremesAccessTalking PointsNo ExitGazaMemorial Day
VI NSF ThurmontThe Birnam WoodThird-Day StoryLiftoffThe Hubbert PeakThe Dover TestA Change Is Gonna ComeIn The RoomImpact WinterFaith Based Initiative
Opposition Research365 DaysKing CornThe Wake Up CallFreedoniaDrought ConditionsA Good DayLa PalabraNinety Miles AwayIn God We TrustThings Fall Apart2162 Votes
VII The TicketThe Mommy ProblemMessage of the WeekMr. FrostHere Today
The Al Smith DinnerThe DebateUndecidedsThe WeddingRunning Mates
Internal DisplacementDuck and CoverThe ColdTwo Weeks OutWelcome to Wherever You Are
Election Day (Part I)Election Day (Part II)RequiemTransitionThe Last Hurrah
Institutional MemoryTomorrow