17:12: Obama wins
As I’m stuck in a hotel room in the US, with cable TV, fast internet and not a lot else, I might as well keep you up to date with what’s happening. It’s been an incredibly negative campaign – $2.5 billion spent on the presidential race at last count, mostly on deriding the other guy. I’ve spent most of the last month here, and at all levels (state auditor, attorney general, governor, senator, president etc) the ads on TV have been about how the other guy has no judgement, people hate him, and he wants higher taxes. I’ve seen a sum total of 1 positive ad. The ads from the billionaires downing Obama continue today; I’m in a very Democratic state and Obama doesn’t seem to have bought ads here to compare… With unemployment at 7.9%, and the relentless running down he’s received, you can see why Hope shriveled.
State of the Race: (what counts are 538 electoral college votes – largely allocated per state)
Actual: Obama – 303 Romney – 206 just Florida to come
(270 electoral college votes to win) Vote Share so far: Obama 50% Romney 49%
Predicted: Obama – 237 Romney – 191 Tossup – 110
House: Democrats – 170 Republicans – 226 (218 to win)
(previously 193-242, predict 178D-224R-33 Toss up) [currently D+3]
13:56 (NZ time): CNN’s various political sections have been sponsored by the Coal Industry and the Oil Industry (“my name’s x, and I’m an Energy Voter”), with Natural Gas Industry ads sandwiched inbetween – at least we don’t have that in Aotearoa. I’m flicking between all the major channels to see how they’re calling it.
14:00: Vermont in for Obama; Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia, South Carolina for Romney
Virginia dead heat in exit polls. ABC’s projected additional states put race at 57 Obama : 40 Romney. Still thousands lined up to vote in Virginia – if you’re there before voting closes, you get your chance…
14:05: NBC project Senate up to 37D : 39R so far. 64 Obama : 82 Romney on their projected states
Florida early vote has 50% Obama, 49% Romney, up by 50,000 votes
14:24: Obama still ahead in Florida with 53% counted, but it’s basically dead-heat. Virginia less vote, but also still dead heat. Ohio vote in teens, Obama with lead but early days… Fox is projecting Obama 78 Romney 82
14:31: 20% of Ohio vote in 59% Obama to 40% Romney; 51% Obama to 48% in Florida after 56% of vote; 57% Romney 42% Obama in Virginia after 26% (ABC)
14:50: Florida 62% in, Obama up by 100,000, 50% – 49%; Virginia 32% of vote 55% Romney, Obama 44% – still queues there. Voting massively up in both Republican & Democratic areas…
14 states about to finish voting.
15:02: And the networks immediately project a whole bunch more. Because Arkansas and Texas aren’t really in doubt…
15:12: NBC Project a House of 194 to 241 – a net gain of 1 seat to the Democrats… (+/-11). Currently D+1 in Senate.
15:30: Obama currently 80,000 behind in Virginia and North Carolina, 160,000 in Ohio, and 636 behind in Florida – quite close…
15:31: Obama ahead by 1,200 in Florida now… 82% reported.
Democrats currently looking like picking up Massachusetts and Indiana in the Senate.
15:35: Obama leading Colorado (51%-47%; 47% counted) and New Hampshire (55%-44%; 16% counted). Although they appear to still the odd vote being cast there.
15:40: Big call – Pennsylvania (where Romney was still campaigning today) with its 20 votes goes Obama’s way.
15:44: Florida 83% in, Obama 29,000 votes up.
Forgot to say – exit polls gave it to Obama a couple of hours ago… but actual votes are what matters. NBC has Obama on 158, but I’m still working out what their extra 15 are… (Minnesota & New Mexico?)
15:50: Massachusetts legalise medical marijuana. Washington, Oregon & Colorado are looking at outright legalisation for-over 21s (plus taxed etc). No results on those yet, but it’d still be illegal at federal level. ie the FBI could arrest you but state and local police couldn’t…
NBC – New Hampshire to Obama. Up to 162.
15:55: 4 more states about to close. Obama team confident about Florida, as they think they’ve got more of their counties to come in.
15:58: Still 51%-47% to Romney in Virginia. Romney just ahead in Wisconsin after 11% of vote.
16:00: Utah to Romney. CNN exit polls for Iowa & Nevada put Obama ahead by 6%
Obama still ahead by 40,000 votes in Florida with 86% in.
16:03: CNN are about the last to give New Hampshire to Obama. Still only 22% in there, but Obama leads by 11%. It was where Romney started and finished his campaign and where his holiday home is…
16:05: Half the vote in in Ohio – Obama still 51% to 47%. We’re all about Ohio tonight. Romney really needs to win it to have a chance.
Florida getting a lot of attention because it’s so close – and if Romney loses that he’s really struggling.
Virginia 65% in – Romney leading 51% to 48%
16:15: Ohio and Missouri have stayed with the Democrats in the Senate. Missouri – like Indiana – had Republicans who should have won, but made horrific comments about rape – and have lost. The Democrats will now keep the Senate. There are a couple of other very tight races they’re waiting on.
16:18: Florida looks like it will go Democrat. The Democrat & Republican commentator both can’t see how Romney will pull Florida back with Democrat areas to come in. And with Florida goes Romney’s chances. The Republican is sounding quite depressed.
16:25: Ohio 50% Obama – 48% Romney; 58% in
Colorado 51% Obama – 47% Romney; 58% in
Virginia 48% Obama – 51% Romney; 68% in
North Carolina 49% Obama – 50% Romney; 94% in
Florida 50% Obama – 49% Romney; 87% in
Wisconsin 48% Obama – 51% Romney; 23% in
Iowa Obama well ahead.
16:30: Despite his being behind in Wisconsin – Romney’s running mate’s home state – ABC call Wisconsin for Obama.
16:40: Massive gender gap – Obama leads among women by 11%
Obama still leads by 16,000 votes in Florida; 88% in. Still people queuing to vote in Miami where most votes to count remain – a massively Democratic area. (That’s 16,000 out of nearly 8 million votes)
16:44: Romney is doing better than Bush 04 for white men, white women, old men, old women… and losing.
Obama only getting 38% of whites in Florida – but looks like he’ll make it. Republican coalition is dying out.
16:46: Obama ticks over the extra Maine vote to go to 173. 5 States still awaiting the end of voting.
ABC call Arizona for Romney. Neck-and-neck, but the West Coast is about to come in for Obama…
16:55: Elizabeth Warren doing her Senate victory speech in Massachusetts.
And NBC are projecting Virginia’s very tight Senate race to go to the Democrats – does that bode well for Obama there?
Their House projection is now up to 196 Democrats (still losing it though…)
17:00: Next wave of states close: 55 votes from California, 12 from Washington, 4 from Hawaii all going to Obama. Idaho’s 4 go to Romney. Too early to call Oregon.
90% in, Obama still ahead in Florida by 50,000.
17:03: Democrats have 51 in the Senate.
98% in in North Carolina – apparent win to Romney.
17:09: Obama keeps Iowa. Only Ohio or Florida needed.
In fact once Nevada & Oregon come in for Ohio, he only needs Colorado.
17:12: Ohio comes in for Obama – he’s won. The auto-bailout wins it for Obama according to NBC.
17:15: Oregon in for Obama.
17:20: ABC still haven’t called it. CNN & Fox have it.
Obama tweets: we’re all in this together. thank you.
17:29: Romney camp waiting to be more sure about Ohio (only 73% in) before they make the call…
Obama now ahead in Virginia.
17:32: ABC’s called it. Even BBC’s called it…
17:40: Interesting Ballot measures across the States. Looks like Washington State will legalise marijuana and same-sex marriage. Colorado legalise marijuana, Maryland and Maine legalise same-sex marriage. Some states limiting Obamacare, others rejecting such measures.
17:43: Nevada comes in for Obama. Along with some nasty Republican messages about how he doesn’t have a mandate, as half the country doesn’t want or trust him… $300 million spent by Republican “Super PACs” on Senate races alone – and they look to have lost seats there.
17:45: Obama has 56 days to get Congress to agree measures to avoid the fiscal cliff of the Government running out of money… Easy start to his second term then.
Obama and team not talking to media – want to have speech be the supporters moment.
17:50: Romney currently ahead in Ohio… (by 2,000, but behind in Florida by 50,000 and Virginia by 20,000)
17:59: Obama looks to have Colorado, but they’re not calling it yet.
Ohio – 750,000 votes to come from Democrat counties, 140,000 votes from Republican counties, Romney ahead by 6,000 currently
Florida – Obama ahead by almost 50,000 and all 150,000 votes left are from Miami, where he leads by 25%
Virginia – Obama ahead by 50,000 with not too many more to count.
18:06: Romney still slightly ahead on popular vote, but a lot of California to count – projected to win by about 1%
Latino vote 69% to 29% to Obama
18:09: Looks like Republicans will pick up 1 Governorship (up to 30 states)
Colorado to Obama – another 9 electoral college votes.
18:18: Obama back up by 23,000 in Ohio, with still lots of his votes to come in. Similar stories in Florida & Virginia, but a while before they’re all counted.
Alaska still voting… Romney still waiting before conceding…
18:34: We’re petering out now. General chat about gay marriage being supported now (with a change in short time) – but big red state blue state difference. Similarly on women’s issues and how that affects the red-blue divide…
Actually not sure what Romney’s waiting for – Obama’s won with or without Ohio, Virginia & Florida (and probably has all 3)
18:38: Obama finally ahead on popular vote.
18:41: CNN call Virginia for Obama.
Still very quiet at Romney headquarters. Has been for a while now, although apparently crowd’s been increasing. Still nobody’s heard from Romney. Ryan is in the hotel next door. Romney had apparently only written a victory speech so he’s probably quickly writing a new one…
18:42: Obama first over 50,000,000 votes.
Medical Marijuana yes in Massachusetts, no in Arkansas
Full legalisation yes in Colorado, no in Oregon
Same-sex Marriage – having been banned in 33 previous state votes – looks like going 4 from 4 in the ballot initiatives tonight.
18:52: Hoping for Romney’s speech soon apparently.
Short polite phone call between Romney & Obama apparently, prepared to concede.
A minute or so away now – he’s with his wife, 5 sons and 18 grandchildren…
Here he comes…
18:55: Wishes Obama, his wife and daughters well. Hopes & prays they are successful in guiding the USA.
Thanks Paul Ryan, his wife, sons, campaign team, volunteers, …
“Ann would have been a great first lady; she’s been a great first lady to me through my life” Aw, shucks, Mitt.
Leaders must reach across the aisle apparently – be good to see if the Republicans in Congress follow that advice…
“Thank-you and God Bless America.” Short & sweet.
Obama ahead by 260,000 in popular vote now.
19:04: Still no Republican winning president since 1928 without a Bush or Richard Nixon on the ticket…
Obama voters – White in 2008: 43%; 2012: 40%
Non-White 2008: 80%; 2012: 80%
2012 Women: 55% (43% Romney); Men: 45% (52% Romney)
19:08: Crowd trying to call Obama to the podium in Chicago. It’s a party!
Obama won Washington DC by 91% to 7%…
19:15: Obama coming up (brought to you by Red Lobster restaurants apparently…)
Michelle Bachmann’s Congress seat is on a knife-edge apparently.
CNN’s called Florida for Obama – oop, no they haven’t, just talking as though they have… but not officially called
Still impressed with the Rhode Island Senator’s name – Whitehouse. he has to make a run for president.
Wisconsin has elected the first openly gay senator. There will now be 19 or 20 female senators – also a high.
Wisconsin’s senator and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts will be far to the left of the current Senate.
Hispanics hit 10% of voters for first time – 71% voted for Obama.
19:30: Republicans tick past the 218 needed to control the House, unsurprisingly.
Big call on ABC – with the changing demographics, this may be last election that we have 2 white guys running against each other for president…
Ah… umm… Barack Obama…
19:35: Obama on stage… Here he comes… (Crowd goes wild, Signed Sealed Delivered playing..)
Whole photogenic family out (man his daughters have got tall!)
Thanking the American people. Whether they held Obama signs or Romney signs.
And Mitt’s getting some kudos.
Joe Biden’s getting lots of love.
Michelle, I’ve never loved you more…
Sasha & Malia aren’t getting another dog.
Lovely speech of a wonderful world (no need for specifics )
Climate Change got a mention – and a cheer.
Tolerance, moving on from war to peace, education for all…
A decade war of is over…
Whether I earned your vote or not, I listened and you’ve made me a better president…
I go back into office more energised and more determined than ever.
The role of citizen doesn’t end with your vote
It’s not what can be done for us, but what can be done by us
We have more wealth than any other country, but that’s not what makes us rich; we have the mightiest military the world has seen, but that’s not what makes us strong… He’s at his rhetorical best.
It’s not short, but it is inspirational, this America place sounds amazing…
Speech streamed live on mittromney.com apparently.
20:03: Looks like Heidi Heitkamp might win North Dakota against the odds (92.5% she wouldn’t according Nate Silver – no polls has picked her since the start of June). That’s a really good night in the Senate for the Dems, and 20 women in the Senate.
20:07: Very optimistic Obama, very different from 4 years ago. More like 2004 Democratic Conference Obama from when he first made the national stage.
CNN pundit: Barack may mean ‘blessed’, but he had the economy collapse in his first week, a hurricane in his last week, and not a lot of easy days inbetween…
Romney-Ryan hall is empty.
20:12: Obama up by more than 1,000,000 votes in popular vote. Only lost 2 incredibly Republican states from his wins last time.
Up by 65,000 votes in Florida, with 3% left. They’re not counting them tonight, so we won’t get a call on it tonight.
So presidential map looks pretty much exactly as Nate Silver called it with his maths. Everything called right, including Florida being too close to call, with slight advantage Obama (he had 50.3% chance of Obama winning…)
Could well be a couple of misses on his Senate map.
Previous high of 17 Senate women is shattered as they will have 20 or 21 – still somewhat off parity obviously…
New Hampshire’s 2 women Senators weren’t up for election, but their 2 Congress reps and their Governor are all newly (Democrat) women tonight.
Virginia had a ballot measure to require a vaginal probe(!) before any chance of an abortion – soundly defeated, as were a number of other anti-abortion and similar measures across the states. Looks like the conservative right over-played their hand and ended up activating their opposition – may have helped Virginia go Democrat for both President and Senate.
20:39: Righty, not much more to come, so I’m going to sign off and enjoy the Colbert Report live special.