They walked into the plush MGM Grand Hotel ballroom in Detroit believing they were going to witness history - the first female president in US history elected thanks to their votes.
But instead devastated Democrats saw their worst nightmare become reality as Donald Trump was elected President.
The Michigan Democratic ball at the MGM Grand Hotel in Detroit attracted hundreds of local campaigners, party members and organisers who arrived in an initially hopeful mood.
But the racially-diverse crowd watched on in horror and near silence as the night progressed and it became clear that Hillary Clinton would not deliver the victory they were expecting - either in the traditionally Democratic state of Michigan or the country as a whole.
The night began with local senator Gary Peters talking of his optimism that Michigan could help deliver the first female US president.
In media interviews he said: ““This is probably the ultimate glass ceiling that will be shattered tonight by Hillary Clinton when she ascends to the presidency,” he said.
“Every little girl growing up will know she could be president of the United States. That is very important to our country.”
He said he believed Clinton was on course for victory.
As Democrats poured into the Grand Ballroom at 8pm (1am in the UK), the mood was expectant and quietly confident.
But as the votes were counted and it became increasingly clear Trump was on course for victory in the key swing states of Florida and Ohio, as well as Michigan, the optimism disappeared.
Speaking at shortly after 2am, Ron Liscombe said he believed a Trump presidency would be ‘Armageddon’.
Ron said: “He has a character flaw, it is about him. You can’t have a president where it is about him. It is about us.”
He said he was frightened by the prospect of President Obama being replaced by President Trump.
“You think you have taken an enormous step forward electing our first black president and re-electing him.
“I think Trump has tapped into a feeling that people don’t have a place and he will be their voice and their champion.
“That is what he has tapped into but it is not true.
“It is Brexit 2.0. It is too bad Article 50 wasn’t automatically triggered and people could see the results. People think this is the answer and it is not.”
Speeches by Democratic politicians which had begun with a confident air and talk of claiming back the Senate from the Republicans as well as winning the Presidency, turned to ‘hoping for the best’ to ‘keep fighting’ before ‘This is not how this was supposed to happen tonight’.
By 4am in the UK, many Democrats were sat on the floor in despair while organisers started playing music instead of the commentary on the live coverage.
Dana Braxton said black people in Detroit were deeply frightened by what a Donald Trump presidency would mean.
“This is going to be felt in the city of Detroit,” she said.
“We have got a lot of people here on state assistance. That is one of the first things he is going to get rid of.
“I think we will have backstreet abortions.
“I can’t sleep at night, our stomachs are just in knots.
“In Michigan we are the number one area for white supremacy groups. I think they are coming out. It is very, very scary.
“People are considering moving to Canada. Educated people are very scared. The ones that aren’t don’t see it but they will see it.”
Sean Elkhatib said he hoped the ‘checks and balances’ built into the American constitution will keep the full effect of a Trump presidency ‘at bay’.
He said: “The Democratic party lost when Bernie lost. It was an unappealing candidate at a time when America was looking for something different and for change.”
He said: “The polls [for Trump] had it wrong from the beginning. I’m not surprised. He had over-performed every single poll in the primaries.”
He added: “We are going to roll up our sleeves and go back to work.”