American expats watch U.S. presidential election closely

U.S. election watching is serious business for Kyle Smalls and his friends.

That hasn’t changed for the American expat even though he moved to Scarborough from New York two years ago, he says.

With the U.S. presidential election taking place today, many Americans like Smalls are watching what unfolds even while residing in Canada.

“Me and my boys pretty much have our own panel of criticism at the bar similar to CNN,” he said. “We talk about things like the economy, poverty and war the day before the election, and root for our selected candidates on election day.”

Smalls said he has supported President Barack Obama since his victory four years ago.

“His win was such an inspiration for many and a blessing as well,” he said. “I remember sitting in my living room with my family when the final votes were televised. We were all happy for him.”

Dwight Jenkins, a friend of Smalls’, says he believes this presidential race will end differently for Obama.

“I’ve been watching the news and it seems like voters are steering more towards voting for (Mitt) Romney,” Jenkins said. “If you ask me I think the majority of Americans want a change every term until they get the perfect president.”

Although Jenkins and Smalls are very close friends, both said the scene on election day can get loud and argumentative.

“We all got our opinions at the end of the day and none of us are afraid to speak our minds,” Jenkins said with a laugh. “If Kyle goes and says something that sets the alarm off in my mind then all hell’s going to break loose until I have the last word.”

Bartender Alicia Ward has been working at the Queen’s Head pub on Victoria Park Avenue for almost five years. She said election nights can get heated in the pub.

“On the day of the election back in 2008, I must’ve seen at least two or three people get kicked out of the pub because of their behaviour,” she said. “You had Obama supporters and McCain supporters going at it like there was no tomorrow. This year’s should be a little more subtle though.”