GRAZ, Austria - Hundreds of partygoers in Arnold Schwarzenegger's home region packed into a bar last night to cheer on their native son and await news of whether he would become California's next governor.
Chanting "Go, Arnie, go!" the party crowd sipped "Stars and Stripes" cocktails and a drink dubbed the "Gouvernator" in downtown Graz - a historic city in southern Austria a few miles from Schwarzenegger's boyhood home in the village of Thal.
"I should be against Schwarzenegger since the Republican Party is too conservative under [President] Bush - but he's an Austrian," said Guenter Riedmueller, a 30-year-old physician at the party. "He stayed connected with his roots."
The mood was upbeat as house music played in the smoky bar, decorated with "Join Arnold" campaign fliers and balloons - red, white and blue.
The party was financed by the conservative and business-friendly Austrian People's Party.