When Christine Patterson decided to host a TV watch party for President Barack Obama's State of the Union address at her home in south Naperville Tuesday, she didn't know exactly how many people would show up.
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Patterson, a long-time Obama supporter and volunteer for Organizing for Action, created a watch party event on Organizing for Action's website, but didn't receive one single RSVP.
However, shortly before Obama spoke Tuesday night, there wasn't an empty seat in the house.
Patterson quickly set up extra chairs and turned on a second TV to accommodate the 30 guests in her home just in time for the President to begin his address.
"This was the biggest crowd I have ever had," she said. "The second biggest crowd was the first phone bank after the Democratic Convention in Charlotte, but this completely eclipsed it."
Some guests had visited Patterson's home in the past when she hosted phone banks and other Organizing for Action events, but the majority were new faces.
During the address, Obama touched on everything from the economy to a plan to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
The biggest applause from the party-goers came after Obama spoke on education and the hot-button issue of gun control.
"Gabby Giffords deserves a vote. The families of Newtown deserve a vote. The families of Aurora deserve a vote. The families of Oak Creek, and Tucson, and Blacksburg, and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence – they deserve a simple vote," Obama told Congress.
Similar Organizing for Action watch parties were taking place in about 1,100 different living rooms and homes across the country Tuesday night, according to Organizing for Action.
"The fact that 1,100 people held similar events is just incredible," Patterson said.
Most of Patterson's guests were Naperville residents or from the surrounding area who became aware of the party through the Organizing for Action website. Organizing for Action is a volunteer-based nonprofit supporting President Obama's national agenda and policies.
President Obama also addressed his supporters via conference call following the State of the Union. Guests at Patterson's home gathered in the kitchen around a telephone, which was set on speaker mode, to listen.
During the call, President Obama urged supporters across the country to work with neighbors and friends to make their voices heard.
"Wherever you are, it's people like you that are going to help us realize the vision laid out tonight," he said. "We couldn't have achieved everything we've gotten without you."
What did you think? Was the president on point? Did he touch on issues important to you?