Election 2012 Poll Results and News as it Happens 11/06/2012
Who is winning the election? Stay tuned to our live blog.
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.
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
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:
— Christine O'Donnell (@ChristineOD) November 6, 2012
It’s (Still) the Economy, Stupidby 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
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.
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.
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.
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 PMby U.S. News & World Reporton Nov 6, 2012 at 1:32 PMby U.S. News & World Reporton Nov 6, 2012 at 1:36 PMby U.S. News & World Reporton Nov 6, 2012 at 1:30 PMby U.S. News & World Reporton Nov 6, 2012 at 1:30 PMby U.S. News & World Reporton Nov 6, 2012 at 1:31 PMby U.S. News & World Reporton Nov 6, 2012 at 1:30 PMby U.S. News & World Reporton Nov 6, 2012 at 1:30 PMPreviousNext
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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
Sure, waiting in long lines just to fill in a few boxes on a piece of paper can be a pain. (This reporter waited at his polling station for an hour and a half this morning. And they ran out of coffee.) But the U.S. election process is still the envy of many countries around the world whose citizens can’t participate in governance.
Laos is consistently ranked among the worst offenders, according to a FreedomHouse.org study, which gives it the worst grade for political rights and second-worst for civil liberties. Despite this oppression among the 6.3 million citizens, a group of students at the end of October was able to learn more about a political process they have never known through a project organized by the U.S. Embassy there.
The students from the Lao American College in Vientiane, the capital, participated in a mock presidential election, including pleas from a makeshift incumbent asking for more time, and a supposed challenger claiming actions are better than words.
FreedomHouse ranks seven countries as the worst worldwide for societal oppression: Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
Laos is among seven other countries that are on the threshold of the what FreedomHouse calls the “Worst of the Worst,” along with Belarus, Burma, Chad, China, Cuba and Libya.
-- Paul Shinkman
Your Vote and the Fiscal Cliff
For any last-minute voters still wondering how the election results might affect the upcoming “fiscal cliff,” here’s a quick synopsis courtesy of Russ Koesterich at BlackRock’s iShares blog.
The fiscal cliff, of course, is the huge set of spending cuts and tax hikes that could lop 4 percent off of the GDP next year if Congress allows all of those measures to go into effect as scheduled.
Changes in the stock market following the election will indicate whether investors have become more optimistic about a benign resolution, or more concerned that a gridlocked Congress will fail to reach some kind of compromise. Possible scenarios based on today’s election results:
A Republican sweep of the White House and both houses of Congress: “The [Romney] administration would be likely to retroactively rescind most of the expected tax hikes, removing a good part of the fiscal drag,” writes Koesterich. The prospects of this happening could trigger a sharp rally in stocks right away. But that’s unlikely, because at a minimum, there are strong odds the Democrats will retain at least 50 seats in the Senate.
A narrow Obama or Romney victory, with a divided Congress: Under either of these outcomes, political combat would threaten a “cliff dive,” in which most or all of the spending cuts and tax hikes go into effect because Congress can’t negotiate a compromise. “If either of those occur – and at this point there is a good chance they could — we’d expect a pickup in volatility going into the end of the year,” Koesterich advises.
A Democratic sweep of the White House and Congress: Not considered plausible, since Dems basically have no chance of regaining control of the House. (Sorry, Dems.) So investors, prepare for volatility.
Ring Ring: Candidates Go Heavy on Phone CallsCampaigning can take many forms: incessant ads on television, robo-calls during dinner, and even visits from local grassroots volunteers.by U.S. News & World Reporton Nov 6, 2012 at 4:52 PM
But this election it seems campaigns spent far less time pounding the pavement in swing states and more time punching in phone numbers. More than 64 percent of voters in swing states reported receiving calls from various candidates while just a quarter said volunteers knocked on their doors.
(Data collected from 2,654 registered voters using SurveyMonkey Audience.)
-- Meg Handley
Children at a New Orleans elementary school learn about their civic responsibilities on Election Day.
UPDATE ON SPEC OPS vs. BLACK PANTHERS:
Fox News reported a member of the New Black Panther Party, who was charged with trying to intimidate voters in 2008, is back outside a polling station in Philadelphia. He declined to comment to a reporter.
Capt. Brink, the founder of “Seal Team November 6,” told HuffingtonPost.com in an email that there had been little work for his covert operators.
"Philly has lots or rumors that we are tracking down, but only one dejected, unarmed NBPP seen so far," Brink wrote.
Obama is victorious in Vermont, Romney carries Kentucky, CNN projects.
The atmosphere at The National Press Club was electric as early poll information rolled in Tuesday night.
Often described as a nonpartisan environment, the Press Club broadcasted election coverage from major networks of all stripes in the rooms dedicated to the election watch party.
Even hours before any state could be called definitively, political junkies crowded into the Press Club ballroom munching on a variety of hors d'ouevres while pundits mused over early polling results in the background.
-- Meg Handley
More polls closed at 8 p.m. on the East Coast, and with it, CNN is making more projections on Senate races.
Incumbent Democrats will win in Maryland (Ben Cardin), Delaware (Tom Carper), Florida (Bill Nelson), Rhode Island (Sheldon Whitehouse), and West Virginia (Joe Manchin). Incumbent Republican Bob Corker will win Tennessee.
In Maine, former Governor Angus King will fill the seat vacated by retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe. Though King is an independent, he is expected to vote with Democrats on most issues.
Earlier on Tuesday, U.S. News discussed countries that might envy the American political system. However, data from previous elections shows we might have something to learn from countries like Afghanistan.
The central Asian nation that has been home to America’s longest war has a higher voter turnout rate than the U.S., according to the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance. Almost 46 percent of Afghans turned out to vote in their last election, according to the data, versus 41.59 in the U.S.
America ranks 14th overall on the list, behind first-place Sweden at 84.63 percent, Brazil with 81.88 percent and Malaysia with 75.99 percent. Sweden has had voter turnout above 80 percent consistently since 1960, after it dipped into the high 70s in the 1950s. More than 91 percent voted in 1976 and 1982.
Buzzfeed.com put together a graphic of the data, including some other facts about countries with compulsory voting (of the top three voter turnout countries, only Brazil mandates the vote), and some of the consequences for truancy. Check it out here.
In the Connecticut Senate race, Linda McMahon, wife of WWE magnate Vince McMahon, has lost to Democratic Rep. Chris Murphy, who will move up from the state's 5th Congressional District.
McMahon invested more than $40 million of her own money into the race, and topped $100 million spent between this year and her unsuccessful run in 2010.
The state's heavy Democratic lean ultimately proved too much for McMahon to pin down. Murphy will replace Sen. Joe Lieberman, who is retiring after 24 years in the Senate.
Americans for Tax Reform Founder Grover Norquist says even if Obama wins, tax hikes for millionaires still won't happen in the lame duck Congress.
Norquist predicts Republicans will keep a stronghold in the House and they are the ones who will control the "fiscal cliff" negotiations.
"The president's weaker, the House is stronger and the Senate will be stronger," Norquist says.
Need a mid-election party dance break but can't tear yourself away from political coverage? Behold Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown.
Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown got down to Jay-Z's "On to the Next One" at an Obama rally this week. He faces a tight reelection battle Tuesday, but it looks like he will have reason to dance later -- the Associated Press projects that he will win against Republican state treasurer Josh Mandel.
Fresh off a flight back from the battleground state of Ohio, AFL-CIO secretary treasurer Liz Shuler felt nothing but relief at the labor organization's watch party Tuesday night, filled to the brim with staff and supporters.
Much like the highly charged atmosphere at AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington, Ohio felt like "the epicenter of the Earth," Shuler said.
"It was everything everyone talks about," she added. "The energy just shot off the roof -- everyone knows their role is critical."
The feeling was much the same in the AFL-CIO's phone-banking operation, housed in a room near the building's breakroom and plastered with photos of volunteers, and a life-sized cardboard cut-out of President Barack Obama.
"It's a tradition if you’re a first time phone bank volunteer," says Ja-Rei Wang, a communications rep for AFL-CIO. "You have to take a photo with the cardboard cutout of Barack Obama."
A little after 9 p.m., volunteers had pretty much closed up shop in order to migrate to the watch party happening in the building’s lobby, but the excitement and anticipation for election results was still going strong.
"Did you see Wisconsin?" one volunteer shouted across the room. "What's Virginia look like?"
The volunteers who've been running phone banks for months now are really the organizations lifeblood, Shuler emphasizes.
"This is when our ground game kicks in [because] we can't saturate the airwaves like super PACs can," Shuler says. "We believe in this process."-- Meg Handley
Most of the states on the eastern seaboard have closed their polls, and many of those races have been called for presidential candidates already. One of the time zone’s closest races is North Carolina, where Romney is at 51 percent and Obama 49 percent, with an estimated 72 percent of the vote in.
It appears the Tar Heel State will go down to the wire for the second presidential election in a row. In 2008, Obama won the state’s 15 electoral votes by fewer than 15,000 votes. The razor-thin win for Obama was the first for a Democratic presidential candidate in the state since Southerner Jimmy Carter in 1976.
However there are a few signs the president won’t pull the state out as he did last time around. For one, Republican Pat McCrory has already won the state’s governor’s race by a large margin. In 2008, Democrat Bev Perdue edged McCrory out in the governor’s race thanks in part to Obama coattails. For another, Obama won Wake Co., the state’s second-biggest county, 56 percent to 42 percent in 2008. So far this year Mitt Romney is ahead there, 49 percent to 48 percent.
MSNBC reports that Dem. Elizabeth Warren will defeat incumbent Sen. Scott Brown in a close race for the seat vacated by the death of Ted Kennedy in 2009.
Stephanie Taylor, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, said in a release that "progressives just won our marquee race of 2012 and elected a leader who will shake up the corridors of power from Washington to Wall Street ... the election of Elizabeth Warren is a historic moment."
by U.S. News & World Reporton Nov 6, 2012 at 11:30 PM