Archive: November 06, 2012

Barack Obama is Re-Elected

Barack Obama has overwhelmingly won re-election as President of the United States by winning the majority of the swing states at stake in this year's election.

Tracking the Calls

The New York Times has a fantastic chart tracking the network calls of the states in the presidential race.

Swing state watch: Obama wins Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, New Hampshire.

I'll be tracking the calls on Twitter at @politicalwire.

Romney Internal Polls Showed Obama Winning Ohio

CNN's Peter Hamby reported that a senior Romney campaign official told him that their internal polling yesterday showed President Obama winning Ohio by 5 points.

Election Night!

Here are all the final poll closing times (Eastern time):

7:00 pm: GA, IN, KY, SC, VT, VA

7:30 pm: NC, OH, WV

8:00 pm: AL, CT, DE, DC, FL, IL, ME, MD, MA, MS, MO, NH, NJ, OK, PA, RI, TN

8:30 pm: AR

9:00 pm: AZ, CO, KS, LA, MI, MN, NE, NM, NY, ND, SD, TX, WI, WY

10:00 pm: IA, MT, NV, UT

11:00 pm: CA, HI, ID, OR, WA

1:00 am: AK

Exit Polls

Here are exit polls being circulated by Republican staffers. They are based on waves one and two, except where noted. 

Provided for your enjoyment only. It's probably best to ignore them.

7:00 - Virginia - Tied
7:30 - North Carolina - Romney +1
7:30 - Ohio - Obama +4
8:00 - Florida - Romney +1
8:00 - New Hampshire - Obama +3
8:00 - Pennsylvania - Obama +4
9:00 - Colorado - Tied
9:00 - Minnesota - Obama +4
9:00 - Wisconsin - Obama +4

10:00 - Iowa (wave 1) Obama +3
10:00 - Nevada (wave 1) Obama +5

A String of Close Elections

Joshua Spivak notes there hasn't been a string of president elections this close since the end of the 19th century.

"Our presidential elections are frequently both Electoral College and popular vote blowouts. Of the 21 races from 1900 to 1984, 11 saw one candidate win by more than a 10 percent margin of the popular vote. In nearly half of those victories, candidates great and small, like Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon, won by more than 20 percent."

"In the 20th century before 1988, there was only one stretch of as many as three elections without a 10 percent popular vote margin of victory -- and those were the Democratic victories from 1940 to 1948."

"But clearly the blowouts have ended. No candidate has had a victory margin above 8.5 percent of the vote since Ronald Reagan's trouncing of Walter Mondale in 1984. Obama's victory in 2008 may have seemed large, but he won by 7.3 percent -- historically speaking, not that impressive."

Obama's Nightmare

John Heilemann: "If the EV/PV split does occur, Obama's people fret that it will be terrible for the country and will make it much harder for the president to govern effectively. And this fear seems to me well-founded: In light of the rejectionist tendency regarding Obama's legitimacy that already exists on the right -- together with its lunatic voter fraud paranoia -- it is hard to imagine the fever-swamp hatred of him not being exacerbated by such an outcome."

"There is, to be sure, an even more nightmarish possibility from the Democratic point of view: Despite all the polling and other evidence that suggests he is on track to win, Obama could simply lose outright. Beyond the political and policy implications for the country, the bitterness of this pill for Obama personally is impossible to overstate. More than he almost ever lets on, the president wears the mantle of history heavily on his shoulders. And he knows that, if he is defeated, a narrative will arise that recasts him in the minds of many from a seminal figure to a pedestrian one, and that renders his presidency rendered a failed, one-term accident."

Collecting the Predictions

New York magazine has an exhaustive collection of pundit predictions about the presidential election.

Make your own in the comments.

Voting Machine Turns Obama Votes into Romney Votes

A Pennsylvania electronic voting machine has been taken out of service after being captured on video changing a vote for President Obama into one for Mitt Romney, NBC News has confirmed.

Confidence in Chicago

John Heilemann: "The Obama campaign's confidence extends well beyond Pennsylvania. In conversations with an array of top advisers this morning, a clear picture emerged that Chicago believes it has Nevada, Iowa, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire more or less in the bag; that it feels nearly as certain of carrying Ohio; and that Obama is just a tad ahead in Virginia. As for Colorado and Florida, Team Obama believes they are both too close to call, but thinks they could well win both; they are forthrightly pessimistic only about North Carolina among the nine battlegrounds. This could all just be spin, of course -- or they could simply be proven wrong. But having known and reported on these people for a solid six years now, my sense of their tone and body language is that their self-assurance is for real."

Ignore the Exit Polls

The Week: "Almost inevitably, incomplete or even fake exit polls will make their way to Twitter or blogs before the voting's done. Don't be fooled."

Pennsylvania is the New Ohio

The Note: "All the body language from the Romney campaign suggests that they see Ohio as a long-shot.  Instead, it is now Pennsylvania that paves their path to 270. The Keystone state has eluded plenty of industrious and hopeful Republicans before Romney. While the western and central parts of the state tilt red, the city of Philadelphia and its sprawling and populous suburbs are the key to winning the state. And, those Philly suburbs, once a GOP bastion, have been voting Democratic for the last dozen years."

"If you want to know if Romney can pull off a Pennsylvania surprise, watch the following counties tonight: Bucks, Delaware, Chester and Montgomery. Obama carried all of them by at least 54 percent. Romney can't win the state and lose those suburbs by that kind of margin. Also, check out the Philadelphia margin. Last time, Obama racked up 83 percent and logged over 574,000 votes from the City of Brotherly Love. Again, if Romney is to prevail, he can't come out of the city down 400,000 votes."

Key Senate Races to Watch Tonight

The U.S. Senate races to watch tonight are in Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri and Virginia. Other potentially interesting races are in Wisconsin and Montana.

The Note: "Two years ago, conventional wisdom held that Democrats would almost certainly lose their majority. After all, they had 23 seats up compared to just 10 for the GOP. And, many of those Democratic-held seats were in deep red states like Nebraska, North Dakota, Montana as well as battleground states like Wisconsin, Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida. So, why on Election Day are Democrats poised to remain in the majority? The biggest reason: Poor recruiting in states like Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania and flawed candidates in states like Missouri (Todd Akin) and Indiana (Richard Mourdock). And, just plain bad luck (Olympia Snowe's unexpected retirement)."

Politico: "Democrats are in a better position than anyone could have imagined on election eve -- and poised to hold their Senate majority."

Is Election Day Dead?

Wonk Wire looks at the growing prevalence of early voting and notes Election Day has "become a relic of community solidarity."

Biden Suggests He'll Be on the Ballot Again

Vice President Joe Biden has cast his vote in the 2012 election, saying "it's always a kick."

It was the eighth time he's been on the statewide ballot in Delaware. When asked if he thought it was the last time he'd vote for himself, he told reporters, "No, I don't think so."

An Ideological History of the U.S. House

This is pretty interesting: An interactive ideological history of the U.S. House, from its inception all the way up to the 111th Congress.

Quote of the Day

"It's out of my hands now. It's in yours. All of it depends on what you do."

-- President Obama, quoted by NBC News.

How to Watch Tonight

First Read: "With several battleground states having poll-closing times at 8:00 pm ET or earlier (Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Florida, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania), we're going to know a lot about how the race is breaking fairly early in the evening. How long does it take to call North Carolina (a state Romney probably wants to put away early) and Pennsylvania (ditto Obama)? Will Florida and Virginia take hours to call? (Remember, no state better matched the 2008 popular than Virginia did four years ago.)"

Here are all the final poll closing times in ET:

7:00 pm: GA, IN, KY, SC, VT, VA
7:30 pm: NC, OH, WV
8:00 pm: AL, CT, DE, DC, FL, IL, ME, MD, MA, MS, MO, NH, NJ, OK, PA, RI, TN
8:30 pm: AR
9:00 pm: AZ, CO, KS, LA, MI, MN, NE, NM, NY, ND, SD, TX, WI, WY
10:00 pm: IA, MT, NV, UT
11:00 pm: CA, HI, ID, OR, WA
1:00 am: AK

It's Election Day!

New York Times: "The most expensive presidential race in American history now becomes the biggest show on television, a night with enough uncertainty that it could become a telethon lasting well into morning."

Wall Street Journal: "After more than one million television ads, countless appearances and three contentious debates, the 2012 presidential election remained on a knife's edge with both candidates seeking to shore up support in states crucial to their chances Tuesday."

Washington Post: "President Obama held a slim advantage in national and battleground polls going into Election Day as the candidates made their last mad dashes across swing-state America and their campaigns braced for a day of intense battle -- and the legal fights that may follow."

Obama is Heavy Favorite to Win Re-Election

In his final forecast, Nate Silver now projects President Obama's margin of victory to be two or three percentage points in the popular vote, approximating the margin that George W. Bush achieved in defeating John Kerry in 2004.

In addition, he gives Obama a 91.6% chance to win the necessary 270 electoral votes for re-election.

Feeling Over Polls

Peggy Noonan: "There is no denying the Republicans have the passion now, the enthusiasm. The Democrats do not. Independents are breaking for Romney. And there's the thing about the yard signs. In Florida a few weeks ago I saw Romney signs, not Obama ones. From Ohio I hear the same. From tony Northwest Washington, D.C., I hear the same."

"Is it possible this whole thing is playing out before our eyes and we're not really noticing because we're too busy looking at data on paper instead of what's in front of us? Maybe that's the real distortion of the polls this year: They left us discounting the world around us."

Independents and Centrists Split

John Avlon: "The final polls are out and behind the national horserace is a fascinating dynamic -- Mitt Romney is narrowly winning independent voters while President Obama is winning centrist voters by a nearly 20-point margin."

"This is significant because in past elections independents and centrist voters have been largely synonymous-overlapping cohorts, reflecting the belief of many independents that the two parties are too polarized and disproportionately dominated by their respective special interests. But what I think we're seeing this year is the extended impact of the tea party - a growth in the number of independent conservatives that has moved the overall independent voting block slightly to the right. In turn, centrist voters are more likely to vote for Obama precisely because of the polarizing impact of the tea party and the intransigence of many conservative congressmen when it came to working in a good faith spirit of principled compromise with the Obama administration."


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