DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - At Obama's caucus night headquarters in Des Moines, the hall is filling up with people - many young - screaming "We did it!" When they see returns on the big screen TVs ,the crowd bursts into spontaneous rounds of Obama's campaign chant: "Fired up - Ready to go!"
Obama aides say returns show Obama did better than expected among seniors and in rural districts.
The candidate himself seemed to be in a confident mood today. At a visit to a restaurant this afternoon he told diners "I feel good" or "We're doing great."
Obama began the day playing about an hour's worth of basketball with staff and old friends. He spent this evening with family at the Residence Inn and is expected at this hall later in the evening.
Meanwhile, CNN's Candy Crowley and Sasha Johnson report a mellow, but not morose crowd of a few hundred gathering in Des Moines for Hillary Clinton's speech. Clinton aides are passing out a potpourri of signs as supporters wait to hear from their candidate – "AFSCME for Hillary," "Women for Hillary," "Ready for Change."
UPDATE: "There's a lot of hugging going on. Everyone is excited, and quite frankly shocked," Steve Hildebrand, Obama's deputy campaign manager, tells CNN's Suzanne Malveaux. "We started a year ago. In a lot of respects it was a dream. We started with nothing. We were up against a Clinton, and a former vice presidential candidate who spent the last six years in Iowa.
But we've only won one state. There are 49 to go. There's no doubt this will be a protracted fight. We have 26 more contests in the next 33 days."
He added that Obama, who has been watching results with his family and a small group of friends at his hotel, will be heading to the HyVee Hall soon for the party, then on to Portsmouth, New Hampshire around midnight.
–CNN's Jessica Yellin