The Election Night live blog is up! Just click the link at the bottom of this post to join and hang out with me throughout the night.
In addition to discussing each state’s results—and what they mean—I’ll also be commenting on the speeches given by President Obama and Governor Romney (assuming, of course, that we’ll know the winner by the end of the night).
Your voice is a critical part of the live blog. I hope you’ll keep it up on your browser and comment throughout the night. I’ll post many of your comments to the blog.
And good news: There’s no need to refresh your browser. New comments will appear automatically.
Here we go!
President Obama gave a barnburner of a speech. But it’s also a speech that would have been well-suited for the Democratic National Convention. If his goal was to extend an olive branch out to the almost 50 percent of Americans who voted for Mitt Romney, I’m not sure he fully succeeded. If it was to fire up and express gratitude to his supporters, he surely did.
It’s 2:00am, so it’s time to sign off. I hope you enjoyed these seven…yes, seven hours, of the live blog.
Thank you for following the live blog. Please join me later in the week, as I return to my usual media and presentation training posts!
In the meantime, Michele Bachmann has a 1,600 lead in her re-election bid with 74% of the vote in. That may be enough to squeak out a win, but not great for a woman who spent so much time on the presidential primary debate stage.
Paul Ryan wins his House race. Wonder if that role will seem too small for him after being a vice presidential nominee.
Miami-Dade announces it won’t finish counting its votes tonight. With 12 years to improve their voting processes after the 2000 fiasco, this is nothing short of a national embarrassment.
Still awaiting Obama’s speech.
In the meantime, interesting that NBC News hasn’t called Virginia or Nevada yet. They’re being more cautious than other news orgs.
By the way, Todd Akin didn’t just lose tonight – he got crushed. He lost to 54-40 to Claire McCaskill in his Missouri Senate race; keep in mind that before his “legitimate rape” comment, McCaskill was very vulnerable.
What a strange thing. After months and months of campaigning, the whole thing is over in a short, five minute Mitt Romney speech.
Mitt Romney offered a short but gracious concession speech. He congratulated President Obama and encouraged leaders to work across the political aisle. He praised running mate Paul Ryan, and poignantly remarked that his wife, Ann, “would have been a wonderful First Lady.”
So what becomes of Mitt Romney now? His career in politics is likely over – so will he go back into business? Will he head a non-profit or foundation? Immerse himself more fully into the Mormon Church?
CNN projects that Obama wins Virginia. Ohio suddenly doesn’t matter any more. Even without it, Obama wins.
Seems to me that Mitt Romney will now be persona non grata in the Republican party. Think about the fates of presidential losers Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, Bob Dole, and Al Gore.
CNN reports that family members of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are filtering into the Romney headquarters. We may be close to a concession speech.
Now that California is being added to the totals, President Obama takes the popular vote lead for the first time.
Big news on the culture wars tonight, too. The AP reports that gay marriage passed in Maine. It’s ahead in Washington State and Maryland. And Minnesota voters are rejecting a ban on gay marriage. After going 0-32 when gay marriage has been put on state ballots, it could go 4-0 tonight.
Looks like Obama will likely take Virginia, may take Florida. This whole “who won Ohio” debate may continue for a while but may not be relevant to the electoral math at all.
According to MSNBC, Mitt Romney has not called President Obama to concede yet. This could go on a while longer.
Marriage equality was 0-32 until tonight. Maryland passes marriage equality; a few others may also join tonight.
If I’m correct, NBC News hasn’t called Oregon yet. Even without Ohio, Florida, or Virginia, Obama would win the election with Oregon.
Dear Governor Romney and President Obama: I’d like to do a writeup of your speeches tonight. But it’s getting very late. Would you kindly keep me in mind?
Donald Trump tweets that this election is a travesty and calls for “revolution.” His case is that Romney will win the popular vote while Obama will win the electoral college.
First, he may be wrong. California hasn’t been fully counted yet, and will add a ton of votes to Obama’s tally. Second, isn’t it about time NBC pulls him off the air? To have one of its hosts calling for “revolution?” Absolutely nuts.
Washington State legalizes marijuana. State’s voters reach for Cheetos, ask, “Was that on the ballot?”
John King on CNN suggests Obama will win Florida, Virginia, and Colorado. That’s not an official call.
I have a feeling that it’ll be a while before Mitt Romney concedes. They’re reportedly saying they won’t concede Ohio yet; therefore, Obama will need a few more uncontested wins.
In fairness to Karl Rove, I do see what he’s seeing. He’s seeing a state in which only 77 percent has reported, with only 2,000 votes separating the candidates.
Karl Rove back on Fox News fighting his own network’s call. I can’t remember ever seeing a pundit challenge his own decision desk so vigorously.
Donald Trump tweets out: “This election is a total sham and a travesty. We are not a democracy!” Class act.
Megyn Kelly roves down the hallway looking for the Decision Desk. This is really must-see TV on Fox News.
Karl Rove is taking on his own network’s decision desk, challenging their call for Obama in Ohio.
Fox News (Karl Rove, speaking based on sources from the Romney campaign) contests Fox News’ call for Ohio. He says this is not settled in Ohio yet. Based on my experience at CNN in 2000, I’m willing to listen to what he’s saying.
This is not a partisan comment, but one based on my love of facts and data. Data won this year (I’m thinking of Nate Silver’s wonderful 538 blog). Bullshit lost (I’m thinking of Dick Morris’s alternative universe).
Is it too soon to ask who the 2016 candidates will be? Hillary vs. Rubio? O’Malley vs. Christie?
Fox News calls the race for President Obama. Brett Baier and Megyn Kelly look like they want to cry.
Obama wins Iowa. That’s a big one. He’s Virginia, Ohio, or Florida away from being a two termer.
Anthony Palmer writes:
“Win or lose, the Republican Party is going to have to get real about its woeful performance among Blacks, Hispanics, gays, non-Christians, moderates, women, and other non-Whites. You can’t keep antagonizing these groups with that crazy birther talk and “rape” talk and “they hate God” talk.”
Feels like I’ve heard that before. I’m skeptical that change will come quickly – the Moral Majority and Tea Party have lived within the Republican party for 30+ years.
From Twitter, Republican pundit David Frum:
“This is not a reaffirmation of the status quo. This is a Republican thumping.”
Just looked, county-by-county, at what’s still uncounted in Florida. The state looks good for Obama. Only question is about whether there are uncounted provisional ballots, and if so, when they’ll be counted and whom they favor.
Elizabeth Warren giving her acceptance speech now. “This victory belongs to you. You did this for every family that has been chipped at…and hammered.”
I’m not sure I’ve ever seen quite this many states with this close a margin. We’re going to have several states in which no more than two percent of the vote separates the candidates.
Todd Akin knocks President Obama with a “you didn’t build that” reference. That line failed to be a winner for Republicans, but he’s not ready to let it die yet.
Claire McCaskill may be the biggest genius of this entire race. She paid for ads to encourage Republicans to nominate Todd Akin, who she thought she could beat. She was right.
Watching Todd Akin’s concession speech. It’s a very somber speech; only three people visible behind him. Polite but downbeat crowd.
MSNBC reports that President Obama is doing better in Miami-Dade this year than he did in 2008 against John McCain.
With 65 percent in, Obama leads Romney 51 – 47 percent. The story of our country is a nation divided.
Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs on Fox News Channel right now. His audio isn’t working well. Cue the conspiracy theorists, who will tell you that’s happening because he’s a Democrat.
On CNN, David Gergen makes the point that Mitt Romney is leading in the popular vote by 1.5 million people so far. Of course, that doesn’t include the west coast, where the President will add a lot of raw votes.
Virginia may look good for Romney with 69% in (51-48), but the counties out heavily favor Obama. Question is whether he closes the gap.
I thought Wisconsin had already been called for Obama? CNN hasn’t called it yet – didn’t others?
On MSNBC, Rachel Maddow says she’ll be speaking with Senator-Elect Elizabeth Warren shortly. Chris Matthews, thinking they’re in commercial, asks “Why are they speaking to us before the concession?”
Polling guru Nate Silver of the New York Times predicted a 313 – 225 electoral college victory for President Obama. He’s looking increasingly prescient.
Alex Castellanos, Republican strategist, seems to concede on CNN that Obama will win Florida.
I give Sarah Palin enormous credit. Even on a night that’s looking lousy for Republicans, she’s happily talking a lot of trash.
Sarah Palin on Fox uses present tense to describe President Obama’s second term. She seems to know it’s over.
Claire McCaskill beats Todd Akin in the Missouri Senate race, says NBC News.
Memo to make politicians: when speaking about rape and abortion, be very, very careful. (cc: Richard Mourdock)
With 84% in, Romney looks good to take North Carolina. It’s a must-win state for him, would have been a nice steal for Obama.
If my math is correct, Obama wins 270 electoral votes if he wins Virginia and Nevada. He can lose Ohio, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, and Colorado.
Candy Crowley is reporting for CNN at Romney headquarters. Given her damaging interjection at the second Republican debate on Libya, I wonder what kind of reception she’s getting.
Romney up in Virginia, 51-47 percent, with 60 percent of the vote in. But a lot of votes in the Virginia suburbs haven’t been counted yet, so that one will likely tighten.
Again, I want to be careful here. But it’s inescapable that pundits on all three networks – including Fox – are speaking about this race as if it’s over.
After his failed 2008 presidential run and his failed 2012 Senate race, is Wisconsin’s Tommy Thompson done?
And Richard Mourdock loses his Indiana Senate race against Joe Donnelly, another big Democratic win. Has not been a huge or unexpected Republican win tonight, unless I’m missing one.
Elizabeth Warren beats Scott Brown in Massachusetts, reclaiming Ted Kennedy’s seat for the Democrats. That news, according to NBC News and CBS News.
You know there’s not much to report when all three cable news networks stay with their normal commercial rotation. If there were calls to make and actual news, they’d shrink the number of commercials they show.
Will Paul Ryan go down as one of the most useless vice presidential picks? That’s only partially his fault – the campaign picked a guy with big ideas, then muzzled him.
“So, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin have been called for Obama. This means Romney really has to thread the needle now because he hasn’t been able to flip any states Obama couldn’t afford to lose.”
Too soon to publish Romney’s political obituary. But maybe a good idea to start researching it.
MSNBC calls Wisconsin for President Obama. So far, the”"quasi-battlegrounds” have landed exactly where they were expected to.
Carly Fiorina, a Mitt Romney surrogate, speaking on CNBC about Obama’s second term as if it’s fait accompli.
I know I’m a broken record with Florida tonight, but that’s where the action is. Romney is ahead by about 12,000 votes with 74 percent in, but Broward and Miami-Dade have a lot of votes still uncounted. Any guesses what’s going to happen there?
Reading the subtext of the Fox News panel, it seems to me they know they’re losing. They’re admitting that the math is looking tough for Romney. BUT…this thing is close, and it ain’t over.
“fastest growing voting population is Latino (re: NBC); neither candidate speaks Spanish.”
It will be interesting to dissect the numbers tomorrow. Assuming Mitt Romney loses, he might have won if he had taken a softer line on immigration and matched George W. Bush’s 2004 vote totals with Hispanics.
Some advice for North Dakota Republicans: In four years, tell pollsters you’re voting Democratic. You’ll be lavished with visits from your candidate. And you can still vote Republican as usual.
74 percent in in Florida. Romney has a 2,000 vote lead. Just unbelievable. The vote hasn’t changed AT ALL in 12 years.
Bob Menendez wins his New Jersey Senate race, despite The Daily Caller’s attempt to “get him” with a story about Dominican prostitutes. Sorry, Tucker Carlson.
Jimmy Carter should seriously stop monitoring elections in Haiti and take up residence in Virginia, Wisconsin, and Florida. Lines still out the door, polling places out of ballots. An insane way to vote.
Romney leads in the electoral college by 153-114, according to MSNBC. That lead would be erased by California alone, which is still open for voting.
71 percent of the vote counted in Florida. And guess what? Obama leads Romney by fewer than 3,000 votes.
I have a serious case of deja vu.
And the 9pm polls close. Mitt Romney wins Texas. (When you think Texas, don’t you just think, ‘Mitt Romney?’)
With two-thirds of the vote in, just 16,000 votes separate Obama from Romney. Someone page Katherine Harris. She just might be needed again.
Matt Faustini writes:
“Re: Scott Brown if he losses. Look for John Kerry to be a possible Sec. Of State if a 2nd Obama term happens and him running in that special election.”
(Almost) everyone thought this election would hinge on Ohio. It still might. But it’s increasingly looking like Florida might be an important decider.
I wonder if Pat Buchanan has any regrets for not jumping in the race.
“Scott Brown’s problem is that he’s running as a Republican in a heavily Democratic state. Think of Brown as the Republican equivalent of Blue Dog Democrats (conservative Democrats in the South).”
So, here’s the question: If he loses, does he have a political future? Massachusetts did elect Mitt Romney and Bill Weld as governors, after all.
If the great Tim Russert were still alive, he might be on TV with his white board exhorting “Florida, Florida, Florida.” And just like eight years ago, he might have been right.
“Waiting anxiously for the Massachusetts senate results to come in!”
Scott Brown vs. Elizabeth Warren is one of the most competitive races in the country. It’s amazing that Scott Brown has high favorable ratings – and might still lose. A truly unusual race.
On Fox News, Carl Cameron reports that the Romney people say the punditry is wrong and they’re going to win. We’ll find out in the next couple of hours if that’s based on reality or the final spin of a dying campaign.
The presidential race is obviously the story of greatest interest tonight. But an important second story is that the Democrats may well gain seats in the Senate.
And Linda McMahon, the Republican World Wrestling Entertainment magnate, loses her second bid for Connecticut’s Senate seat. Insert your own “body slammed!” joke here.
Is it me, or is Florida counting incredibly fast? They’re already at 56 percent, just closed 36 minutes ago. Given the dysfunction in their voting system, that seems like impressive speed.
Jane Jordan-Meier, a native Australian, writes:
“Some more trivia for you:
As a point of comparison, the 2010 Australian Federal election campaign took 35 days (from formal announcement on 17-Jul to election day on 21-Aug). Most agreed the campaign was too long and too much money was spent!
That pales into comparison when one thinks about what has been spent in America for these elections, and how long it has been.”
35 days?!? Wow, I’m jealous. Tine to move to Sydney.
Folks, it’s early. But if you had to be in the Obama or Romney camp right now, you’d rather be Obama.
Mitt Romney takes Arkansas and Tennessee.
According to CNN, It’s Romney with 73 electoral votes to Obama’s 64. Of course, those totals mean nothing at this point.
From Twitter, @MattFaustini writes this regarding Florida:
“Panhandle is the R stronghold not in yet. Obama’s numbers in Hillsborough and Pinellas worry R’s like me though.”
Obama up in Florida by one point with 53 percent in. Broward County, an Obama stronghold, hasn’t reported anything yet. That could be good for Obama (but a long way to go).
Richard Mourdock losing his Indiana senate race with 29 percent in, 49-45 percent. You’ll remember his comments that children of rape are a gift from God.
Anthony Palmer writes:
“A bit of trivia for you:
Oklahoma is the only state in which Obama failed to win a single county in 2008. Even the college town counties voted for McCain.”
A word about the graphics on each of the networks. I find Fox’s totally confusing. MSNBC’s is fine, not special. CNN’s isn’t great either. The best I’ve seen so far? CNBC’s. Easy to follow, not cluttered on the screen.
CNN is generally being more cautious with calls than MSNBC and Fox. I mean, is there really any reason not to call Alabama?
Romney gets Oklahoma. CNN hesitates to call Alabama and Tennessee for Romney – but that’s simply out of an abundance of caution.
Eight states go blue at 8pm: Connecticut, Delaware, Washington DC, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Rhode Island
Obama with a slight early lead in Ohio, North Carolina, and Florida. If two of those two states go blue, this thing is probably over.
First, my Internet went down. Then, my cat spilled water on my (other) computer. The Gods are fating me not to live blog. I scoff at the Gods.
So, who’s going to win? Leave your guesses (and electoral totals or states won) in the comments section below.
17 states close at 8:00 pm eastern. Most of them aren’t “battleground” states – but Florida, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire will matter a lot.
Here’s a fun drinking game: Every time Wolf Blitzer says, “Take a look at this,” do a shot. He does it every time there’s a call.
Okay, CNN is still airing political ads (a generic one for the Republican ticket). It’s 7:40pm on the east coast. I suspect the ads are geared toward influencing the all-important Inuit vote?
On the other hand, I waited no more than three minutes to vote at my voting precinct in suburban NYC.
I still can’t believe how many horror stories I’m hearing about voting around the country. Why can’t we get this basic civic responsibility right?
Sorry for the radio silence there for a few minutes. We had technical difficulties, but I think we’re back!
Anthony Palmer writes:
“I notice the MSNBC map has all the states in blue, but they gradually flip to red when a state is called for Romney. Gray would have been a more suitable color, obviously.”
According to CNN, fathers went for Mitt Romney by double digits and mothers went for Barack Obama.
MSNBC surprisingly running ads without vote totals on the bottom of the screen. Both CNN and Fox have voting numbers on the screen during commercials.
A quick story while the counting gets started.
In 2000, I was working at CNN in Washington when the network made the call for George W. Bush in Florida (and thus, the presidency). They then famously retracted the call. I remember wondering why they had called it in the first place, since the two counties that were still out (Broward and Dade) favored Al Gore.
The moral of the story? Don’t believe early vote tallies unless you know which counties are still out and who they favor.
For those interested, polling guru Nate Silver of the New York Times is predicting a 313 – 225 electoral college victory by President Obama. If he’s right about an Obama victory, he’ll be THE most important pundit to watch in 2016. If he’s not, his book will be in remainder bins by morning.
All three cable news networks are using shiny graphics that do little to increase the audience’s understanding of the key issues. Makes me wonder what type of, you know, news coverage they could provide with that graphics budget.
There are also some fascinating Senate races tonight – Scott Brown is taking on Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts, and two Republicans who would have been favored (Richard Mourdock in Indiana and Todd Akin in Missouri) may have squandered their chances due to making controversial comments about rape.
And Mitt Romney takes Indiana and Kentucky – 19 electoral votes in his column.
Barack Obama takes Vermont.
I try not to make predictions on this blog – which is a good thing, since I really don’t know what to expect tonight. Nate Sliver’s projection of a 91 percent likelihood of an Obama win seems high to me. I suspect President Obama has a slight lead coming into tonight, but this race appears within reach for either man.
What do you think? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
Welcome to the live blog!
Here are the closing times for each state tonight, courtesy First Read (all times eastern):
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