Election night liveblog – Is it Obama or Romney? And what about the Senate and Congress?

  • Published on November 6th, 2012

election night 2012 obama vs romneyWe’ll be providing live coverage all night as the returns trickle in. On the one hand, the polling and exit polling are close, so it could be a very long night – especially if it all comes down to Ohio.

On the other hand, Romney has very few paths to 270 electoral votes. So it’s possible we may know much earlier.

UPDATE: Nope. OBAMA WINS RE-ELECTION! Electoral Vote: 303 to 206. Read down for the details…

3:30 AM EST – Senate good news and bad news:

  • In North Dakota, it’s official: All returns are in, and Heidi Heitkamp has won this seat for the Democrats.
  • In Montana, John Tester continues to hold on. Looks like he’s got that one as well.
  • But in Nevada, Shelley Berkley looks like she’s going to lose her race to Dean Heller. Obama took the state by 6 points, but too many Obama voters didn’t mark their ballots for the Senate race as well.

2:15 AM EST – A few other notes:

  • Michigan voters had the chance to enshrine clean energy in the state constitution. The so-called “25 by 25” Measure 3 would have mandated a renewable energy standard for Michigan utilities, but it was voted down hard, 36 to 64%.
  • In Iowa, conservatives tried to shoot down Justice David Wiggins, a Supreme Court judge who had ruled in favor of gay marriage. But he won anyway!
  • GMO labeling in California also failed, after Monsanto and big corporations spent more than $44 million to convince voters they didn’t want to know what they were putting in their mouths. Leading 2 to 1 in early polling, it looks to be losing by almost as much in the other direction today.
  • Exit polling: Why did Obama win re-election despite a soft economy? Because half of voters STILL blame George W. Bush for the mess, 53 to 38%.

2:00 AM EST – Obama concludes a deeply moving, impassioned acceptance speech. I’ll get the transcript and video up as soon as I can… everyone should see this. Especially those who have tried to tear down this great man and this great country. Hopefully we’ll be able to move forward together, as Obama called for…

1:53 AM EST -He echoes Kennedy’s “Ask not what your government can do for you,” saying,

“America is not about what can be done for us but what can be done by us.”

1:39 AM EST – “The task of perfecting our union moves forward. It moves forward because of you… We rise and fall together as one nation and as one people”

1:38 AM EST – President Obama has taken the stage for his victory speech.

1:30  AM EST – Some more House races:

  • We already mentioned that Alan Grayson won in FL-09. Lois Frankel in FL-22 also won her race. Joe Garcia also picked up a D seat in FL -26, as did Barrow in GA-12.
  • Iowa was disappointing, though, with the GOP picking up IA-03, and Christie Vilsack failing to capitalize on her husband’s cachet and knock of ultra-right loudmouth Congressman King in IA- 04.
  • We picked up three seats in IL: Duckworth in IL-08, Schnieder in IL-10, and Foster in IL-11

NBC’s Brian Williams dripped with contempt in putting down Donald Trump for his distusting comments (See 12:00):

“Donald Trump, who has driven well past the last exit to relevance and peered into something closer to irresponsible here, is tweeting tonight.”

1:20  AM EST – The Obama coalition held. He lost a little ground over all, but gained in some key sectors – and those sectors are the future:

  • Obama won young voters by 30 points. Those kids are not going to turn around and vote for this kind of GOP.
  • Obama won Hispanic voters by even more (I’ll get numbers up as soon as I find ’em). They are the fastest Demographic group in the country, and Republicans have driven them away.
  • Obama won women by 9 points. With their government-run uterus and rape comments, the current crop of GOPers is not going to by winning the ladies back any time soon.

1:15  AM EST – Old school retail politics appears to be winning the day in the North Dakota Senate race. Democrat Heidi Heitkamp crisscrossed the state, shook hands and attended dinners, and worked it hard (not unlike an earlier Democrat who built a winning coalition in a deep-GOP state – George McGovern of South Dakota.).

With 93.9% of precincts reporting, Heitkamp is – improbably – holding North Dakota’s Senate seat by 153k to 148k, a margin of 5,000 votes (or 1.57% of votes cast).

1:00  AM EST – Most retweeted ever:

Four more years. pic.twitter.com/bAJE6Vom

President Barack Obama - four more years

12:55  AM EST – Romney has taken the podium to concede. “I have just called President Obama to congratulate him on his victory.”

He is gracious in defeat. “I pray that the President will be successful in guiding our nation.”

12:47  AM EST – CNN’s GOP commentator (not sure who he is) says that after preaching government shouldn’t interfere with peoples’ lives, “The GOP can’t be the party that says there is too much love in the world.”

12:45  AM EST – More on ballot initiatives – How did the Cannabis measures perform? A mixed bag:

  • AK NO to medical marijuana 52/48%
  • MA yes to medical by 63%
  • CO took it even further, saying yes to legalization 53%
  • But in Oregon, a poorly-worded initiative for full legalization  failed, 55 to 45% (but Oregon keeps medical).

12:40  AM EST – Still worried about Ohio? Don’t be.

With Obama leading by 50,000 votes now, CNN calls Virginia for Obama. That puts his EV at 303.

12:30  AM EST – Obama now leads the popular vote by 40,000. So THAT talking point is gone for the GOP, too.

Senator John Tester (D) appears to be winning re-election in MT. That means the Democrats have gained at least one seat, upping their numbers to 54. Six months ago, when the GOP believed they were poised to retake control of the Senate, nobody would have believe it.

But there were two senate disappointments – Jeff Flake (R) wins in Arizona, and Deb Fischer (R) in Nebraska. It looked like there might have been a chance in the last few days, but it was not to be.

Two races remain too close to call: Heitkamp in ND, and Berkley in NV.

12:25  AM EST – Mitt Romney’s popular vote lead is down to  335 votes. Not thousand – 335 VOTES. That will continue to slip as the West Coast states send in their numbers and as provisional ballots are counted in Ohio and Florida and other large states.

12:20  AM EST – It’s official: Colorado is called for Obama. Which puts the EV at 290 to 201. Pull Ohio, and it’s still 272. Even without Virginia and Florida, where Obama leads narrowly.

Colorado puts Obama definitively over the top.

12:15  AM EST – Marriage equality did well tonight:

  • Leading narrowly in Maryland
  • Leading narrowly in Maine
  • A “one man, one woman” amendment in Minnesota is going down by a wide margin.

12:10  AM EST –   In Colorado, Democrats have taken the majority in CO state House for a trifecta of  House, Senate, and Governor. The only disappointment here is that Miklosi is still trailing in the Co-6 Congressional district.

12:05  AM EST – Romney is holding off on conceding. But even if Ohio doesn’t come through, Virginia and Florida are both out of reach.

Laura Ingraham, meanwhile, proving that she has rather missed the point, as we expected:

JUST A THOUGHT…Next time, GOP might want to think about nominating a conservative.

12:00  AM EST – What about the popular vote? Hold your horses… As Nate Silver points out at 538:

That’s because the three Pacific Coast states — California, Oregon and Washington — conduct much of their voting by mail, yielding a lag of several days to a week before all ballots are counted.

As of 11:45 p.m., however, Mr. Obama trailed Mitt Romney by only about 150,000 votes nationally, a margin he should be able to make up on the West Coast.

Meanwhile, continuing to prove what a moron he is, Donald Trump tweets:

He lost the popular vote by a lot and won the election. We should have a revolution in this country!

This election is a total sham and a travesty. We are not a democracy!

11:53  PM EST -CNN just reported once again that since the map looks red, this is a center-right country. Excuse me, but if half the population votes center left, then you have to shut up about the “Conservative country” meme.

11:48  PM EST – CNN projects NV for Obama. Obama has a slim lead in VA, is leading by 40,000 in Florida. And a 60,000-vote lead in CO.

11:41  PM EST – She’s been trailing most of the night as the big cities have waited to report – but now Tammy Baldwin has taken a decisive lead in her race for the Senate in Wisconsin. She’ll be the first openly Lesbian Senator in history!

11:17  PM EST NBC calls Ohio for Obama. If that holds… it’s over. Barack Obama is re-elected as President of the United States.

11:05  PM EST – Did we mention Iowa? Well, CNN just did, too. Calling it for President Obama. Also New Mexico. 249 to 191 EV. Just 21 shy of re-election. With Oregon and Nevada being sure things, that takes us to 262 – and that means ANY OTHER STATE puts us over the top.

11:05  PM EST – CNN says Tim Kaine is going to hold the D Senate seat in VA. Another bitter pill for the GOP. It now looks like the Democrats may actually gain seats in the Senate.

11:00  PM EST – CNN calls CA, HI, WA for Obama. ID and MT for Romney. That makes it 228 to 176 in the electoral vote.

And WI for Obama, and NC for Romney. 238 to 191.

With Wisconsin gone, Romney HAS to take Florida and Ohio AND Virginia.

And Obama can win with JUST Colorado and Iowa. Forget OH, FL, and VA.

10:50  PM EST – Things look very subdued at Romney HQ in Boston. Romney’s pathways to victory are very, very narrow at this point. I wish I we could have a firm answer… but until we get definite numbers from WI, IA and CO we can’t be sure.

But keep in mind: If Obama wins those states plus NV, it doesn’t matter WHAT happens in OH, FL and VA.

10:50  PM EST – CNN projects MN to Obama and AZ for Romney. No surprises (although the GOP was claiming MN might go their way…)

Obama continues to lead in Colorado, 50 to 47%. In CO-7, Ed Perlmutter-D held back a tough challenge from millionaire Joe Coors. In CO-6, Joe Miklosi is trailing in his challenge of Tea Party GOPer Mike Coffman. And The Marijuana legalization ballot initiative is leading 52 to 47%.

10:45  PM EST -In Ohio, Obama is up about 90,000 with 60% reporting. But Cuyahoga is only 30% in, that’ll be big. He’s still running ahead of his 2008 numbers across the industrial heartland of Ohio.

10:35  PM EST – More House results:

In New Hampshire we have the chance to pick off both house seats. Kuster leads Bass by a solid 52/43 margin. And in the 1st district, Carol Shea-Porter just trails Frank Guinta in their rematch race by 40 votes! UPDATE 10:43 – and now Shea-Porter is in the lead by almost 1,000 votes.

(With Maggie Hassan having taken the Governor’s seat, if Shea-Porter can pull out the win that means ALL major NH offices will be held by women!)

10:30 PM EST – Romney is leading by 20,0oo votes in Wisconsin with 25 Percent in. That’s without Milwaukee and Madison. Obama still leads in FL, but trailing in VA and NC.

10:20 PM EST -More House news: Joe Kennedy III is in the House! Another Kennedy goes to Washington, holding Barney Frank’s old seat for the Democrats.

In one PA House seat we’re hoping to pick off, Mark Critz trails Rep Kieth Rothfus by 144 votes! But in two other PA house seats we had hoped to pick off, PA 6 and 8, we’re trailing.

10:15 PM EST – More good Senate results: Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) are both getting re-elected..

Allen (R) still leads in VA by a small margin – when will the Democratic bastion of NoVa report in?

And in N Dakota with 25% reporting it’s Berg (R) over Heitkamp (D) 51/49% – tight as a drum.

10:05 PM EST – CNN calls New Hampshire for Obama. Romney’s road map continues to narrow. And that was pretty much his last chance to have won a single one of his multiple home states.

Obama still has a 40,000 vote lead in Florida, with 86% reporting – and 50% of the vote still to come from Miami Dade. Not looking good for Romney. And Obama is overperforming 2008 in some key counties.

Mitt does have a slight lead in Wisconsin with just 16% reporting.

10:00 PM EST -CNN calls Utah for Romney. Big surprise there. IA, MT, NV, they’re not ready to project yet.

But exit polling: Obama leading in IA 52/46 and NV 51/45. MT Romney leads 53/43 (but they’re not reporting on Senate races, dammit…)

9:55 PM EST – Iowa is reporting huge turnout, with many polls running out of ballots. Nevada may be late, too. Latino vote up from 15 to 18% according to exit polling.

9:45 PM EST – Two big calls in the Senate: Joe Donnelly has captured Dick Lugar’s old Indiana Senate seat, and Elizabeth Warren has elizabeth warren and jeremy bloom at Netroots Nationtaken back Ted Kennedy’s old Senate seat in MA. Yay! (I got to meet Warren at Netroots Nation back in the spring – she is going to be one kick-ass Senator!)

9:40 PM EST – CNN calls Pennsylvania for Obama. And we’re still leading in CO with 50% reporting.

9:30 PM EST – In Florida, 81% of the vote is in and 7 million votes cast, and Romney is up by 600 votes. Two minutes later, and it’s Obama up by 300. (And again, Miami-Dade is still mostly out.)

9:20 PM EST – Colorado, with 22% in , Obama is leading 53 to 45%.

Bob Casey in PA will be going back to the Senate- GOP thought they might pick him off with a last-minute push; not happening. Indiana, Joe Donnely is still leading, but only 48 to 46%. Elizabeth Warren continues to lead 52 to 48.

In VA Senate, Republican George  Allen is leading 51 to 48, but again, Northern VA hasn’t spoken yet.

9:10 PM EST – Romney is now up by 1,0o0 in Florida, but Miami-Dade is still out. He’s 49,000 ahead in N. Carolina and 138,000 in VA. These are going to be tight. Obama is up 180,000, 55 to 44% in Ohio

A look at some house races…

  • Alan Grayson-D is going BACK to Congress from FL-9. That’s great news for progressives.
  • Allen West-R – has a razor-thin margin over D Patrick Murphy
  • Lois Frankel-D has a wider than expected lead in FL-22.
  • Joe Garcia-D is beating incumbent David Rivera by a wide margin.
  • Several other Florida congressional races that looked like they might swing to the Democrats… aren’t.


9:05 PM EST – exit polls also show Obama up BIG in Wisconsin. Again, blowing a Romney talking point (and hope) out of the water.

9:00 PM EST -CNN projections (no surprises here). So far it’s 123 for Obama, 152 for Romney… but that doesn’t really mean anything.

Obama: MI (it was NOT close, despite the Romney spin ), NY, NJ

Romney : KS, LA, NB, 3 of 5 EV, ND, SD, TX, WY, MS

8:45 PM EST -Voters under 30, Obama is winning with 67%. That’s gonna be bad for the future of the GOP.

Chris Murphy is projected winner, having kicked Linda Lingle’s WWF butt in the Connecticut senate race.

8:30 PM EST – CNN projects TN and AR for Romney. Booya, Mitt! Obama continues to lead Florida, and tracking the numbers that have come in so far, it’s matching his performance from 2008, which means he’s likely to take it. Mitt is leading in NC, and he’s leading in VA but so far it’s mostly GOP counties coming in, and Obama is holding his 2008 numbers.

Ohio only 20 percent are in, but it’s 58% to 40 for Obama. That’s going to be VERY hard to overcom.

8:20 PM EST – How are third party candidates doing? Not much.

Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate, had his best shot in New Hampshire, the “Life free or die” state. But he’s only polling 1.3 percent so far.

Virgil Goode, the Constitution party candidate, is from Virginia, so there was some chance that he might pull a point or two there. Not happening.

And what of Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate? I’m not seeing her polling even close to 1% so far… which is good news for Obama, since he’s going to need every environmentalist voter he can get.

8:15 PM EST – Senate results: Angus King, independent but D-leaning, is set to win in Maine. Joe Donnelly has pulled ahead of Richard Mourdock, leading 49 to 45%. Mourdock is the Tea Partier who knocked of Republican Senator Richard Lugar in the primary, then went on to explain how rape pregnancies are just part of God’s plan, alienating lots of lady voters.

8:05 PM EST – In REAL actual votes, Obama is leading in Florida and Ohio, Romney leading in VA.

8:00 PM EST – CNN projected winners: total electoral votes so far Obama 64 vs Romney 40. But that’s gonna change…. Fox has picked a couple more, listing EV at 78/71.

Obama: CN, DE, DC, IL, MA, MD, ME, RI

Romney: OK

7:55 PM EST –   Polls close in 5 minutes in Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia,  Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri,, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Tennessee.

In VAsenate, first exit polls project out to 50.7 Kaine (D) – 49.3 Allen (R). That’s tight, but I’ll take it. Public polling wasn’t quite that close. We’ll see. Same thing in Ohio, where exit polls show 52-47 Brown (D).

7:45 PM EST – Obama has a slight lead in Florida, but the conservative panhandle counties won’t close their polls until 8:00 EST.

7:30 PM EST – Polls close in Ohio.

CNN has called W VA, SC, IN, and KY for Romney, and VT for Obama. No surprises there.

CNN exit polls are good news for Obama. North Carolina was expected to be a Romney lead, and Romney was trying to convince reporters that Ohio was even despite the public polling.

  • North Carolina Obama/Romney49/49
  • Ohio 51/48

Obama is also winning 59-39 among young voters.

Demographics are looking good, too. Black turnout is up, and Hispanic turnout is up from 7.5% to 10%.

7:00 PM EST – Polls close in Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, Vermont. They’ve already closed in Kentucky and Indiana.

Good news in the Indiana senate race – President Obama is not expected to win Indiana this time, but early results show Joe Donnely is running stronger than President Obama, which reflects the polling that he is likely to beat Republican Mourdock, who had an abortion meltdown.


About the Author

Jeremy Bloom is the Editor of RedGreenAndBlue. He lives in New York, where he combines his passion for the environment with his passion for film, and is working on making the world a better place.