Election 2012 Poll Results and News as it Happens 11/06/2012

Who is winning the election? Stay tuned to our live blog.

  • A campaign staff member walks past the stage being set up for Romney's election night rally in Boston. (Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images)

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  • Could "megaprayer" ensure a win for Romney? Liz Flock of U.S. News reports.
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  • Intrade, the popular online gambling website, predicts that President Obama will win re-election. As of 8 a.m. EST Tuesday, this map reflects predictions based on "the last trade prices for each market," according to Intrade.

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  • Vice President Joe Biden voted this morning in Greenville, Del. Asked if it was the last time he'd vote for himself, Biden told reporters, "No, I don't think so." The garrulous VP has toyed with the idea of running for president himself in 2016.

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  • Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown dances during a Jay-Z concert in Columbus, Ohio, on Monday. During his performance of the song "99 Problems," Jay-Z substituted "Mitt" for the word "b-tch." The concert was organized to support President Obama's re-election campaign.

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  • Allison Uthe voted in Butler County, Ohio, on Tuesday morning. In 2008, Republican nominee John McCain received 61 percent of votes in the crucial swing-state county. Uthe informs U.S. News:

    Lines were never outside of the building during the 45 minutes I was there. There wasn't much enthusiasm for either candidate/party. Most people in line were older (seniors) and were very quiet. I was the only college-aged voter in line at 7:30 A.M. There were a few people who chose paper ballots, but almost everyone stepped up to the electronic machines.

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  • Are you unsure of where to vote? If so, there's a profanity-laced website that will help you locate your polling place.  Google provides the same information, without vulgarity.
    Voters cast ballots in in Crawfordville, Fla. (Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)
    by U.S. News & World Reporton Nov 6, 2012 at 9:38 AM
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  • Mitt Romney kisses his wife Ann Romney outside their polling place in Belmont, Mass., Tuesday morning. After voting, Romney embarked on an eleventh-hour trip to Cleveland and Pittsburgh. President Obama will not be voting today -- he voted early in Chicago on Oct. 25. 
    (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) 
    by U.S. News & World Reporton Nov 6, 2012 at 10:00 AM
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  • Ex-Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell -- who won the 2010 Republican nod in Delaware -- wants Condoleezza Rice to return as Secretary of State if Romney wins. O'Donnell, of  "I am not a witch" fame, tweeted this Tuesday morning:

    Forget fantasy football, how about fantasy cabinet? I pick Condi for Sect of State. #fantasycabinet#election2012

    — Christine O'Donnell (@ChristineOD) November 6, 2012
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  • According to Google, the most searched terms heading into Election Day are “Where do I vote,” “Barack Obama,” Libertarian presidential candidate “Gary Johnson,” “Am I registered to vote,” “Barack Obama & Joe Biden,” and “Voting locations.” Conspicuously absent from the search terms is “Mitt Romney.”
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  • Washington, D.C., residents line up to vote before the polls open at the Walker Jones Education Center as Matt Kozey, running for a neighborhood advisory commission post, works the crowd.

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  • It’s (Still) the Economy, Stupid
    by U.S. News & World Reporton Nov 6, 2012 at 10:23 AM

    There are a lot of divisive issues for candidates to squabble over, but it seems the economy remains the top priority for swing-state voters. 

    Almost 56 percent of respondents to a U.S. News survey of swing-state voters reported that the economy was the important issue for them in this election, followed by healthcare (16 percent) and education (6 percent).

    (Data collected from 2,654 registered voters using SurveyMonkey Audience.)

    -- Meg Handley

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  • A new poll out of the U.K. says President Barack Obama will win the election with two thirds of the electoral college vote.

    The YouGov poll of 27 states says Obama also will win the popular vote by 2 percent, and win most battleground states, according to a Reuters report.

    "We are predicting that Obama is going to hang on to the presidency, but by a smaller margin than in 2008," YouGov President Peter Kellner said in a statement.

    Obama captured 365 electoral votes in his first presidential election, far exceeding the 270 needed to win.

    However, the London-based polling organization points to the 2000 election between George W. Bush and Al Gore, adding there is the potential for the candidate who won the popular vote to lose the overall election.

    "In such a tight race, no doubt the Democrats are not only concerned about losing the White House, but are also worried about the cloud that could hang over Obama's second term if he does not win the popular vote," Reuters reports Kellner as saying.

    See the full results of the poll.
    by Paul Shinkman edited by U.S. News & World Report 11/6/2012 3:32:11 PM
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  • The national trending terms on Twitter today include: "Happy Election Day" #TeamObama, #rockthevote, #voting, “Ohio,” #4moreyears and a promoted tweet from the Obama campaign: #VoteObama. Like the Google search terms, the Twitter trends seem to favor the president.
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  • Voters wait in the rain to cast their ballots at the polls in St. Petersburg, Fla. (Edward Linsmier/Getty Images).

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  • In this video, produced by The Associated Press, former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords drops off her mail-in ballot on Monday afternoon. Giffords, a Democrat, resigned from Congress in January 2012. Giffords continues to recover from a Jan. 2011 gunshot to her head.

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  • PHOTOS: People head to the polls as voting begins in the presidential election.
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  • Most Swing-State Voters Solid on Prez Pick

    by U.S. News & World Reporton Nov 6, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    With all the campaign ads, debates, and media coverage, it’s easy to have doubts about which candidate is best suited to sit in the Oval Office come January.

    That wasn’t the case for most swing-state voters this election. More than 80 percent of respondents to a U.S. News survey of swing-state voters said they never flip-flopped when it came to knowing who they would vote for on Election Day.

    Just 10 percent said they ended up changing their minds while 9 percent remain undecided going into Tuesday’s vote.

    (Data collected from 2,654 registered voters using SurveyMonkey Audience.)

    -- Meg Handley

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  • In a potentially ominous sign for election-watchers, voters in Dixville Notch, N.H., were evenly split between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama when they voted at midnight. The tiny town's votes often supply Election Day chatter for journalists eager to pontificate about possible outcomes.
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  • Bookies are betting on an Obama victory, at least across the pond. The Dublin-based Paddy Power, which calls itself Europe’s biggest betting company, has already paid out to those who bet on the president. According to the company, the bookmaker is putting $650,000 on the line with its “gutsy call.” Obama’s odds at the payout: 2/9.
    by Elizabeth Flock edited by U.S. News & World Report 11/6/2012 4:14:07 PM
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  • A reminder: voters in Dixville Notch, N.H., cast their votes just after midnight and their ballots have been counted. Five votes for Obama, five votes for Romney: a tie for the first time in the town's history. Dixville Notch residents have been running their first-in-the-nation voting since 1960.
    by Rebekah Metzler edited by Steven Nelson 11/6/2012 4:16:35 PM
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  • So what are the candidates up to today? Mitt Romney started his day voting in Belmont, Mass. Now he's headed to Cleveland and Pittsburgh before coming back to Boston for his election night party.

    Romney's running mate Paul Ryan voted in Janesville, Wis., before joining Romney in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

    President Barack Obama is in Chicago, where he plans on playing some basketball; he voted early in person already. Vice President Joe Biden voted in Delaware and will join Obama in Chicago.
    by Rebekah Metzler edited by Steven Nelson 11/6/2012 4:17:03 PM
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  • Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan shows his ballot to his daughter Liza as his wife Janna looks on at left, while voting in Janesville, Wis. (Mary Altaffer/AP)

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  • NBC News Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd predicts there's "no chance" either Obama or Romney delivers a concession speech tonight. He says it will be too close for that. He expects one will occur around noon on Wednesday.
    by Rebekah Metzler edited by Steven Nelson 11/6/2012 4:28:59 PM
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  • The folks at Grindr, a site that facilitates casual hookups between gay and bisexual men and is the "world's biggest mobile network of guys," says that its userbase overwhelmingly favors President Obama, who came out in support of gay marriage earlier this year.

    According to their survey of 8,200 users, 76 percent support Obama, while 18 percent support Romney. Users of the site have their eye on gaining equal rights, but the economy dominates their concerns: According to the survey, 46 percent said the economy and job creation is their top concern, followed by equality (29 percent) and healthcare (11 percent).

    In early September, Grindr announced its political arm, Grindr for Equality, which is meant to "mobilize gay men as a political bloc in the 2012 elections." The site has 1.5 million U.S. users and 4 million users worldwide.
    by Jason Koebler edited by U.S. News & World Report 11/6/2012 4:42:15 PM
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  • Campaigning in a Country of Consumers

    There's no shortage of trinkets Americans can buy to show support for their favorite candidate. Check out U.S. News' rundown of the wackiest election-themed products out there.
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  • In 44 states, voters today decide not only who takes the White House and sits on Capitol Hill, but who will occupy their statehouses. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 82 percent—or more than 6,000—of all state legislative seats are on the ballot today. Below are a few more facts and figures from NCSL on where things stand going into today’s state-level elections:

    • In 15 states, Democrats currently control both houses of the state legislatures, while 26 are fully Republican-controlled. Eight are split, and Nebraska’s one-house legislature is nonpartisan.
    • 3,979 state legislators are Republican, accounting for around 55 percent of all partisan state legislature seats.
    • Eight chambers are toss-ups, according to the NCSL: both the House and Senate in Arkansas, the Colorado House, the Iowa Senate, the Minnesota House, the Nevada Senate, the New York Senate, and the Washington Senate.
    • 20 chambers have a “likely chance” of switching control.
    • On average, 13 chambers switch parties in each two-year cycle.
    • 11 Senates are within three seats of switching control, along with nine houses.
    by Danielle Kurtzleben edited by Steven Nelson 11/6/2012 4:50:03 PM
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  • Update: Vice President Joe Biden makes an unannounced stop in Cleveland en route to Obama campaign HQ in Chicago. According to the White House pool report, the stop was long planned. GOP nominee Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan are also scheduled for an Election Day stop in Cleveland.
    by Rebekah Metzler edited by Steven Nelson 11/6/2012 4:50:11 PM
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  • As people head to the polls, civil rights groups are worried about efforts to suppress the vote, while poll monitors are worried about the possibility of voter fraud.

    These issues are coming to a head in Ohio, a major battleground state, where elections chief Jon Husted held a briefing last night to address concerns. Controversial poll monitoring group True the Vote was just barred from Franklin County, Ohio, after the candidates who backed the group allegedly withdrew their support.

    And in another swing state, in Allegheny County, Pa., a judge just issued an order to stop electioneering after county officials three were told Republicans outside a polling location were asking people for ID, according to the local TribLIVE.
    by Elizabeth Flock edited by U.S. News & World Report 11/6/2012 4:57:23 PM
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  • Obama autographs a shoe for a supporter as he leaves a campaign office in Chicago. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

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  • Many Detroit autoworkers have Election Day off. That’s right: The United Auto Workers union lobbied to get its employees off the clock on Election Day in the late 1990s. Since 2000, autoworkers have enjoyed a paid holiday on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

    The day off could help Obama cement his win in Michigan. Obama already leads Romney by 6 points in the state, according to a Detroit Free Press poll. And Obama’s auto bailout is overwhelmingly popular among the constituency.
    by Lauren Fox edited by U.S. News & World Report 11/6/2012 5:19:59 PM
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  • The election is trending heavily on Instagram, the country's fastest-growing social network. The picture-posting site has already had more than 531,000 photos posted with the #vote tag as of noon today.

    But people posting pictures of their ballots could get themselves in hot water: Seven states (Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Nevada, North Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia) prohibit all types of recording within polling places, while nearly all states (with at least eight exceptions) expressly prohibit sharing of marked ballots. A quick glance at the #vote Instagram page shows at least a handful of people posting their completed ballots.

    The Citizen Media Law Project says that "photography and video can be critically important to document the election process and to preserve a record of any procedural improprieties and interference with voter rights," but adds that "election laws are serious business."
    by Jason Koebler edited by U.S. News & World Report 11/6/2012 5:19:59 PM
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  • Photo via @Timodc/Twitter 
    by U.S. News & World Reporton Nov 6, 2012 at 12:30 PM
    A polling place in Philadelphia, Pa., is in hot water after voters noticed it had an Obama mural on the wall. A photo of the mural posted to Herman Cain’s web site CainTV shows the image included President Obama’s face, the words “hope” and “change,” and an Obama quote.

    Republican National Committee spokesman Tim Miller says a judge has now ordered the mural be covered up.

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  • Tuesday’s election isn’t the only political event with worldwide implications. Later this week, the 18th Communist Party Congress convenes in China, where that country’s top political echelons will engage in secretive deliberations to choose new leadership. Communist Party leader Hu Jintao is expected to cede power to Vice President Xi Jinping.

    One expert thinks whoever wins the U.S. presidential election should wait to appoint top cabinet level positions until after the dust settles across the Pacific.

    “It’s important for there to be a period of reflection,” says Karl F. Inderfurth, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The former ambassador was also an assistant secretary of state and representative to the U.N. Security Council.

    Both candidates in the lead-up to the election have discussed taking a hard line against China. Romney, particularly, has adopted the challenger’s usual rhetoric of accusing the incumbent of soft relations abroad and offered his own hard-line strategy.

    “It would be advisable for [Romney] to think again and take a big breath that on day one he would declare China a currency manipulator,” Inderfurth says. He suggests instead taking “measure of the new Chinese leadership” to determine if a new line of communications can be opened.

    “These will be initial steps, and these can be either ones that can help the two countries during these respective transitions, or build up a big road block.”
    by Paul Shinkman edited by U.S. News & World Report 11/6/2012 5:39:11 PM
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  • Election workers help a voter, right, finalize his affidavit ballot at a consolidated polling station for residents of the Rockaways on Election Day in the Queens borough of New York. Election Day turnout was heavy in several storm-ravaged areas in New York and New Jersey, with many voters expressing relief and even elation at being able to vote at all. 
    (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow) 
    by U.S. News & World Reporton Nov 6, 2012 at 12:52 PM
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  • If your state votes for President Obama, should you expect a more Democratic statehouse next term?

    Probably...but not necessarily.

    “There have been 28 presidential elections since 1900. And in 20 of the 28, the party winning the White House also wins seats in legislatures,” says Tim Storey, a legislative elections expert at the National Conference of State Legislatures. “So it’s not an absolute correlation, but it matters.”

    By the same token, then, if your state swings Republican on the presidential vote, your state legislature could very well be redder next session. Still, that correlation is by no means hard and fast, says one expert.

    “There’s usually a fair amount of deviation, particularly at the local level,” from the parties that voters choose for higher offices such as president, says David Peterson, director of the Harkin Institute of Public Policy at Iowa State University.

    The Iowa Senate is a close match this year, with Democrats currently holding 26 seats to Republicans’ 24. In those races and any other state legislative races, says Peterson, incumbents—regardless of party—tend to have a strong advantage.

    “Candidate quality makes a huge difference,” Peterson says. “Incumbents win a lot in part because they’re just better at campaigning and better at this than their opponents are.”
    by Danielle Kurtzleben edited by U.S. News & World Report 11/6/2012 5:57:59 PM
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  • Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin voted for himself Tuesday morning in Missouri. Akin is challenging incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill. After initially leading in polls, Akin's commentary on abortion and "legitimate rape" led to the race becoming one of the most competitive Senate match-ups.

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  • Elana Natker voted in Fairfax, Va., on Tuesday morning. In 2008, President Barack Obama received 60 percent of votes in the county, which contains approximately one-eighth of the swing state's population. Natker informs U.S. News:
    I voted this morning around 9 a.m., after dropping the kids off at daycare and before heading to work. At that time the lines were manageable - no wait at all to check in, and about 10 minutes to wait for a computer voting machine (there was no wait for people choosing to submit a paper ballot). My husband drove by the polling place around 6:15 this morning (polls in VA open at 6 a.m.) and there were zigzag lines of people waiting. He needs to be at work by a specific time, so he drove away but will be able to try again later.
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  • According to Real Clear Politics, Obama’s approval rating on the eve of the presidential election is 50 percent. In 2004, George W. Bush’s approval rating was 49.5 when he was reelected. Bill Clinton's approval rating, according to Gallup, was 54 percent right before he won his reelection in 1996.
    by Lauren Fox edited by U.S. News & World Report 11/6/2012 6:40:51 PM
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  • Here are some of the more eye-catching newspaper covers from around the U.S. (and Barbados) on Election Day, via the Newseum
    by U.S. News & World Reporton Nov 6, 2012 at 1:29 PM
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    by U.S. News & World Reporton Nov 6, 2012 at 1:36 PM
    by U.S. News & World Reporton Nov 6, 2012 at 1:30 PM
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    by U.S. News & World Reporton Nov 6, 2012 at 1:31 PM
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  • America's caffeinated masses have spoken -- Obama will remain President if 7-Eleven's 7-Election has any validity to it. Over the past few weeks, the convenience store chain has been asking coffee buyers to grab a blue cup if they support Obama, red for Romney.

    So far the "voting" is a rout: Obama has a 59 percent to 41 percent lead and is winning in all but three of the 35 participating states, including battlegrounds such as Florida, Ohio, Colorado, Nevada, and Wisconsin. Romney has leads in West Virginia, Vermont, and Idaho.

    Here's how things are shaking up:
    Florida: 56% Obama, 45% Romney
    Virginia: 58% Obama, 42% Romney
    Ohio: 57% Obama, 43% Romney
    Texas: 57% Obama 43% Romney
    Colorado: 59% Obama, 41% Romney
    Nevada: 61% Obama, 39% Romney
    by Jason Koebler edited by Steven Nelson 11/6/2012 6:44:11 PM
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  • America: Elect! (The Graphic Novel)

    It's been a long campaign, but you can refresh your memory on the ups and downs of the past year with a graphic novel of the journey to Election Day.
    by Meg Handley edited by U.S. News & World Report 11/6/2012 6:44:47 PM
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  • Election days are historic in nature, and this year things are no different. Here is a roundup of a few firsts that could happen in 2012:

    Democrat Tammy Baldwin, if elected, would be the first openly gay member of the Senate. Baldwin holds a narrow lead over former Wisconsin governor and Republican opponent Tommy Thompson.

    Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Barney Frank was the first openly gay member of the House of Representatives back in 1987.

    In Utah, voters could elect Republican Mia Love, who leads by 12 points in Utah’s 4th Congressional District. Love would be the first black Republican woman elected to Congress. Love is up against six-term incumbent Jim Matheson, the Democrat who represents the most conservative district in the country.

    Smoking marijuana could soon be legal in Washington, Oregon and Colorado. All three states have recreational pot on the ballot this year. Washington’s ballot initiative is polling the best, but supporters are cautiously optimistic about all three.

    Maine could make history Tuesday if constituents vote to legalize gay marriage. Washington, Maryland and Minnesota also have marriage on the ballot this year, but Maine’s initiative would be the first citizen-initiated ballot question ever to pass in the U.S.

    If Obama wins re-election Tuesday, it would mark the first time that a Democrat has won a presidential election held on Nov. 6 since 1860. The election has fallen on Nov. 6 six times, and Republicans have won on each occasion. Ronald Reagan beat Walter Mondale in 1984, Dwight Eisenhower defeated Adlai Stevenson in 1956, and Herbert Hoover won over Al Smith in 1928.
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  • GOP Hopeful For More Statehouse Seats

    Is the country going to see a few more governors aligned with the GOP after Tuesday night? Tight races in Montana, Washington, and New Hampshire will bring us answers.
    by Meg Handley edited by U.S. News & World Report 11/6/2012 6:55:51 PM
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