Over 800 conservatives react at RedState’s debate-watching party

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What happens when nearly a thousand conservatives gather for a debate-watching party?

At Thursday night’s RedState Gathering in Atlanta, the cheers and boos could have been mistaken for a football game, although it’s not quite football season yet.

Conference attendees joined conservative blogger and radio host Erick Erickson and Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich to watch the debate. As each candidate spoke, the crowd reacted — sometimes quite viscerally.

The biggest cheers of the night were for remarks by Sen. Ted Cruz, with Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson tied for second.

The boos were no contest: former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush won in a landslide.

Cruz’s closing statement about his first day in office roused attendees to the biggest cheer of the night.

“If I’m elected president, let me tell you about my first day in office,” Cruz said. “The first thing I plan to do is to rescind every illegal and unconstitutional action taken by Barack Obama.”

Attendees tweeted their agreement whenever they heard something they liked.

When they disagreed, tweets also went out.

Most of the candidates will speak at the conference Friday and Saturday, with the notable exceptions of Sen. Rand Paul, who did not accept an invitation, and Gov. John Kasich, whom Erickson said he wouldn’t invite “if he were the last person on earth.”

In typical fashion, instead of speaking from a podium, Trump will headline the wind-down tailgate party Saturday night.

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