Election night 2012 live feed

Well, what  is said to have been one of the most expensive, longest, and ideologically charged national elections in recent memory has ended. Despite a stubborn 7.8 percent unemployment, tepid economic growth, and a growing partisan divide, American voted to give President Barack Obama a second term.

The final result was of little surprise. Since May, when the General election began in earnest, polls consistently showed Mr Obama beating Republican candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney by a narrow margin in the popular vote and with a built in advantage in the electoral college. In the end that is how it turned out. President Obama edged out Governor Romney in the popular vote 51-48 percent, and a wider margin in the Electoral college 332-206.

Of the nine states seen as most pivotal and competitive in the 2012 General Election, President Obama took all but North Carolina. In fact, of the twenty eight states he won in the 2008 election, President Obama carried all of them with the exception of Indiana and North Carolina.

The explanations for this outcome will be many, conservatives will likely blame the ‘increased dependence on government’ that they assert buys people’s votes, the media, and the so-called rise of voter fraud. Already many have lashed out at the very American public they claimed to be leading to ‘take back their country’.

But there are many reasons. Chief among them is the fact that Republicans have

 Wicked local election results:

Despite his longtime residence and one term as Governor of Massachusetts, Governor Romney lost his home state to President Obama by some 23 percent. The final results showed President Obama winning the Commonwealth and its 11 electoral votes (one less than in 2008 due to redistricting) with 60.8 percent to Romney’s 37.6 percent. Third Party candidates Libertarian and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson and Green party candidate and Lexington native Jill Stein received  1 percent and 0.6 percent respectively.

The outcome in Massachusetts was of little surprise. Polls leading up to Election Day showed Mr. Obama with a comfortable lead in the state that has voted for the Democratic candidate in 18 of the last 22 Presidential elections. Giving this history, combined with the near moribund condition of the state’s Republican Party and Romney’s own unpopularity in the state, Team Romney seemed to cede his home turf to President Obama fairly early on in the campaign.

Just as he had four years earlier against his Republican candidate John McCain, President Obama carried all 14 of the state’s counties by varying margins, though Romney was able to secure a majority in a smattering of the more upscale communities on the South shore and the suburbs or more rural areas of Worcester county. President Obama performed strongest in Boston and the surrounding suburbs where he took 77.6 percent of the vote, Berkshire County (75.8 percent), and Dukes County (72.9 percent).

In down ticket races across the state the outcome was just as depressing for state Republicans.  Democrats held onto all 11 of the states  seats in the U.S House of Representatives.  In the Massachusetts fourth congressional district, one of the few seats without an incumbent seeking re-election, Democrat Joseph P Kennedy III won the House seat currently occupied by retiring Congressman Barney Frank. Kennedy,

Tierney’s prospects for an eight term appeared grim, after his wife and in-laws were charged with involvement in a scandal involving an illegal gambling operation. Tierney’s wife was jailed, but despite this he denied any knowledge of the scheme.

Just three years following the death of longtime Massachusetts Senator Edward M Kennedy, the Kennedy name will once again appear on the congressional roll call, as Joseph P Kennedy III, the 31 year old son of the former Massachusetts Congressman and grandson of the late Robert F Kennedy, won a U.S House seat in the newly configured Massachusetts 4th Congressional District, taking more than 60% of the vote against Republican candidate and businessman Sean Bielat.Kennedy will now take over the seat occupied by retiring Democratic Representative Barney Frank, a district reshaped following the 2010 census.

At the state level Democrats also showed their power, increasing their already lopsided majorities in both  (where they picked up one seat) and the State House of Representatives  (where they picked up four additional seats).

But it was  the contest between Democrat Elizabeth Warren and Republican Senator Scott Brown that has made the most headlines.  As stated below Warren, a Consumer advocate and former Harvard Law Professor was able to take down Brown.

Just two years earlier Brown, then a state senator from Wrentham sent shock waves through the political world when he unexpectedly defeated Democratic candidate and state Attorney General Martha Coakley in a special election to fill the U.S Senate seat left vacant following the death of  Edward M Kennedy.  Brown, a Republican calling for cutting federal spending, shrinking government, and opposing President Obama’s healthcare reform proposal, galvanized conservatives across the country, and portended the rise of the conservative tea party movement within the Republican party that would eventually cost Democrats control of the house and narrow their majority in the senate.

All along I thought it wouldn’t be until the final two or three weeks of this campaign, that it would become apparent who would win. Just as I said many times before, each of these two candidates had strengths with different groups in Massachusetts. Brown, with his populist image as a barn coat wearing pickup truck driver who railed against big government, taxes, and partisanship, while calling for compromise and an end to Washington gridlock appealed to those in the suburbs of Cape Cod and the more rural areas of Worcester county. He appealed to the white blue collar voters who worked in construction, the mechanics, and the blue collar workers. He appealed to senior citizens, the investors, and the small business man. Warren with her academic background appealed to the state’s large student population saddled with debt, young people, minorities, women, and bulk of the Democratic party faithful in the Boston suburbs and the graying progressive activists in Western Massachusetts.

In the end Warren was able to pull off a win. Partly because of her own outsider status, campaign treasury, and emphasis on the middle class ‘feeling hammered’ as she put it, but also because of  high national name recognition and the higher turnout to support a democratic presidential candidate also worked in her favor.

It would be a mistake though to think this election was a repudiation of Brown himself, or his moderate image.  His personal popularity  and job approval  numbers have always been high, and it is a safe bet to say that he is one of the very few Republicans in the state who can be a formidable challenge to Democrats in the state.

11/11- (2:00PM)- In terms of down ticket races there were 33 seats in the Senate up for re-election, all 435 seats in the U.S House of Representatives, Governorships in 11 states and two territories (American Samoa and Puerto Rico), and a total of 6,034 state legislative seats in 44 states across the nation.

Democrats were able to pick up two Senate seats. Independent candidate and former Governor of Maine Angus King who will likely caucus with the Democrats, predictably trounced his two opponents Republican and Maine Secretary of State Charlie Summers and Democratic candidate State Representative Cynthia Dill . In Massachusetts, consumer advocate and former Obama administration Treasury official Elizabeth Warren recaptured the seat once held by Liberal lion Edward Kennedy, defeating Republican incumbent  Senator Scott Brown by seven points (more on this a little later) . And in an upset win for the Democrats, three term Indiana Congressman Joe Donnelly  beat  Indiana State Treasurer Republican Richard Mourdoch.

Mourdoch, a tea party backed candidate  defeated five term incumbent Richard Lugar in the Republican primary several months earlier, but his rhetoric against compromise has turned off many moderates and others, specifically raising eyebrows when during a televised debate with Donnelly, he deemed pregnancies resulting from rape ‘ a gift from God’ when explaining his opposition to allowing rape victims to terminate a pregnancy.

The party also held onto the seat left open with the retirement of Independent Joseph Lieberman who caucused with the Democrats. Three term Democratic Congressman Chris Murphy had been locked in a tight race with Republican candidate Linda McMahon, but in the end Murphy ended up delivering an electoral body slam to the one time World Wrestling Federation CEO who spent millions from her own fortune on what is now a second failed run for the Senate.

In Nebraska, Republicans were able to nab the seat held by retiring Democrat Ben Nelson. Former State Senator Deb Fischer took down former Governor and U.S Senator Bob Kerry who was attempting to stage a political comeback and retake the seat he had given up in 2000.

Former Representative and Nevada Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) was able to eek out a win against Democratic Congresswoman Shelly Berkley by a single percentage point, giving him been elected to a full term of his own. Heller was appointed to fill the Silver states the U.S Senate seat left vaccant with resignation of Senator John Ensign.

Republicans were able to also retain the seats held by Senator John Kyl of Arizona and Kay Bailey Hutchinson of Texas, both of whom opted not to run for re-election. Following a divisive primary fight in the lone star state between former Texas state Solicitor General Tea Party backed candidate Ted Cruz and current Republican Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, Cruz coasted to victory in the general election.  In Arizona meanwhile,  five term Republican Congressman Jeff Flake was able to muster the votes needed to fend off former Bush administration Surgeon General and Democratic candidate Richard Carmona.

Democrats will maintain control of the Senate with a 55-45 majority (including Independents King and Sanders of Vermont).

Many House races have still not been called. Though Republicans will maintain control of the House for at least another two years, it looks like it will be without some of its most vocal and ideological members. Tea Party Freshmen such as Joe Walsh and Bobby Schilling both of Illinois, Nan Hayworth of New York, and others who came to the House two years ago on a tidal wave of support from the Tea Party have apparently been swept out. Other longtime congressional veterans such as Mary Bono Mack of California have also gone down.

Former U.S Colonel and Freshman Republican Congressman Allen West was said to be heading for defeat, but his campaign is calling for a recount alleging  the margin of victory between West and his Democratic challenger is due to election tampering.

Still the vast majority of Republican held thier seats and will be returning for the next congress that will officially be sworn in on January 3rd.

Most of the big name gubernatorial races happened in 2010, when Republicans dislodged Democrats across the country. However eleven states as well as the American territories of American Samoa and Puerto Rico were up for grabs, most with incumbents winning re-election. Only in one state North Carolina did a governorship change party hands. In the Tar Heel state former Charlotte Mayor and Republican candidate Pat McGrory was able to best Democratic Lieutenant Governor Walter Dalton in the race to replace the immensely unpopular Democratic Governor Bev Perdue.

Lastly, as mentioned earlier, 44 states had party majorities in their state legislatures at stake in this election. Republicans were able to seize control of the Arkansas House of Representatives, making it the first time in the states’ history that the party will hold a majority in both legislative chambers. Similarly, the party was able to re-take control of the Wisconsin State Senate that just a few months ago Democrats were able to narrowly capture following recall elections across the state.

The GOP was also able to break the tie in the Alaska state Senate in their favor.

Just two years after losing control though, Democrats have made a comeback in many state legislatures s. In both Maine and Minnesota they regained the majority in both the House and State Senate. In three other states (Colorado, New Hampshire, and possibly New York) Democrats were able to take control of at least one legislative body, while edging out Republicans to take control of what had previously been a deadlocked Oregon House of Representatives.

But  its not just candidates but also some 174 ballot initiatives in cities, counties, and states across the country that were decided on the ballot.

In  Maine, Maryland, and Washington state voters made history, becoming the first states to vote in favor of extending marriage benefits to same sex couples. The result was a dramatic shift from eight years ago when voters in some twelve states voted in support of amending their state constitutions defining marriage as the union between one man and one woman.

Measures were met with voter approval in both Maryland and Washington upholding laws passed earlier this year by their  state legislatures and signed by thier respective  Governors. The victory by supporters of same sex marriage in Maine comes two years after same sex unions were approved by the states’ legislature and governor before ultimately being overturned by voters at the polls in 2009.

Six other states: Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont as well as the District of Columbia also recognize same sex unions within their states, but these were all either the result of legislative action by elected officials or court rulings. In another victory for same sex marriage proponents, Minnesota also became the first state to REJECT a constitutional amendment banning same sex unions. The measure was narrowly defeated 51-48 percent.

Also in the Gopher state, an amendment that would have required all voters to show a state issued ID at polling place before being allowed to cast a ballots was rejected by voters. Some 19 states have similar laws that supporters say preserves the integrity of elections by preventing in person voter fraud, but several reports and opponents of the restrictions say their are few if any documented cases of in person voter fraud, and that the law would impede citizens who don”t have drivers licenses or access to IDs such as the poor, urban residents, minorities, college students, the elderly, and the disabled from voting

The issue of in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants was taken up in Maryland, where voters decided to uphold that state’s version of the much talked about DREAM act  passed by the Maryland House of Delegates and signed into law by Governor Martin O’Malley earlier this year. Under the law undocumented immigrants who don’t otherwise have a criminal record, have attended a Maryland Public School for at least three years, reside in the state, and whose family has paid taxes can attend Maryland colleges and pay county or in-state tuition rates.

In Florida an initiative that would have empowered the state to block the implementation  of the federal Affordable Care Act (known as ‘Obamacare’)  failed, while similar measures in the more conservative states of Alabama, Missouri, Montana, and Wyoming passed. Another measure in the Sunshine state that would have amended the state constitution to prohibit the funding of abortions using tax payer dollars was vetoed by Floridians, while in Montana a parental notification law was passed with overwhelmingly support .

As usual taxes were another topic on the minds of the electorate, with voters in Arizona voting to end a temporary tax increase which funded education programs.  South Dakotans rejected a measure temporarily raising state sales taxes to fund state education and medicaid programs, and Missouri voters reacted the same way to a measure increasing tobacco taxes .

But the outcome was different in other states such as California, where a measure to temporarily hike sales taxes and taxes on upper incomes in order to fund K-12 education, community and state colleges, and balance the state budget were approved. On a related note, the increase in elected Democrats in both the California  Senate and State Assembly have reportedly reached the two-thirds needed to approve additional tax increases. The electorates in Florida also turned down a measure that would have capped the amount of tax revenue that could be collected by the state and Michiganders vetoed a proposal that would have required the support of two-thirds of voting members in both houses of the state legislature to hike any taxes.

The battle over collective bargaining rights of public sector workers made headlines in Wisconsin and Ohio last year, however it looks like voters in Idaho, Indiana and South Dakota  haverejected measures that would weaken the power of teachers unions in bargaining within those states.

 Colorado and Montana both passed nonbinding measures calling on the U.S Congress led by their respective congressional delegations, to propose and then send to the states for ratification a constitutional amendment  overturning the landmark Citizens United Supreme Court decision that stated limits placed on how much corporations and labor unions could spend on influencing the outcome of elections were unconstitutional.

In Arkansas voters turned down a measure  legalizing medical marijuana.  However, a similar law passed in Massachusetts was approved, making the Commonwealth the 18th state in the country to allow those with certain debilitating conditions and the prescription of a physician to use and grow medical marijuana.

But it was marijuana initiatives in two other states— Colorado and Washington that not surprisingly  seem to be the subject of  much conversation. In both states majorities voted to become the first to allow state residents over 21 years of age to possesses and use small amounts of marijuana for recreational use within their own homes. Under the proposal those criminal and civil laws against marijuana would be abolished for those over the age of 21 who possess up to one ounce of marijuana for personal consumption within their own residences. The manufacturing, growth, and sale of marijuana would be regulated by the state and subject to taxes similar systems and restrictions placed on alcohol.

Advocates of decriminalization say the measure will lessen penalties on a substance that often results in disproportionate sentences for offenders, will thin out crowded prisons, and  result in revenue from the sales taxes and licensing fees resulting from its legalization. Opponents argue that marijuana is a gateway drug and its legalization sends the wrong message.

Voters in Oregon defeated a similar measure.

On December 7, recreational use of marijuana within ones own residence will be legal, while the new law will go into affect in Colorado in January. No word yet how the Justice Department plans to react, but if the past is any indication, its unlikely the Obama administration and federal government overall is unlikely to go along with such changes.

11/09- (1:30PM)- Boom goes the dynamite, news outlets are reporting that the Associated Press has officially called Florida  for President Obama, bringing the total Electoral vote tally to 332-206 for President Obama.  Will be back with popular vote figures later.

2:02am- I will add to this tomorrow night as I sew together the rest of these results. But tonight a clear electoral, albeit a more narrow popular vote for a second term for President Barack Obama.

1:16am- Somewhere along the line it also appears President Obama won the commonwealth of Virginia bringing his electoral college total to 303.

1:14am- Again, I don’t know when this happened, but according to ABC News President Obama has won Nevada.

1:08am- Gov Romney officially concedes, says to supporters: “The election is over, but our principles endure.”

12:52am Trump also tweets that election a ‘sham’ and a’ travesty’, and urges people to ‘fight like hell and stop this great injustice’. Note to Trump, those railing against the establishment should typically not be rich guys who name everything after themselves and have a so-called ‘reality’ TV show.

12:47am- Governor Romney to address crowd in Boston following election day loss.

12:45am- Could Shelly Berkley pull an upset in the Nevada Senate race?

12:52am- Trump reportedly tweets that the election is a ‘sham’ and a’ travesty’, because Obama took won the electoral vote but not the popular vote. He urges people to ‘fight like hell and stop this great injustice’. That’s right a white guy in his 60s with immense  wealth , who has a reality show, and names everything after himself is now calling for revolution. Priceless.

12:36am- A good night for weed, Massachusetts approves ballot initiative on Medical Marijuana making it the 18th state to legalize the drug for medical use.  Marijuana legalized for recreational use  in Washington state and Colorado. 

12:24am- Electoral vote count 284 Obama,  203 Romney

12:20am- NBC commentators say that Romney taking so long to come out and concede because team believed they would win and thus did not write a concession speech. If only they had listened to Toby and Josh.

12:18am- Donald Trump calls election, ‘disgusting injustice’ says we are no longer a democracy’.

12:16AM- Big night for supporters of gay marriage, efforts to recognize and allow same sex couples to obtain marriage licenses pass in both Maine and Maryland, my guess is it will in Washington state as well.

12:10AM- State of Colorado with its 9 electoral votes goes for Obama.

12:09AM- Marijuana legalization measure passes in Colorado, making it the first state to approve the legalization of Marijuana for recreational use.

12:02AM– Popular vote still trending Romney, but NBC points out that much of California has not come in and will likely go for Obama.

t11:46PM– Republican Congressman Jeff Flake defeats former Surgeon Richard Carmona in Arizona , Rep. Martin Henrich in New Mexico wins open senate seat.

11:32PM– NBC News says Romney team insists that Ohio has not gone for Obama .

11:27pm- Republicans would need to take four seats to take the senate. So after having a Democratic President, a narrowly Democratic senate seat, and a Republican House for the past two years billions have been spent, aggravated voters have been roused, and voted to re-elect a Democratic President, a narrowly Democratically controlled Senate, and a Republican House.

11:15pm- President Obama now becomes only the second Democrat since Franklin Roosevelt to win a second term.

11:12- Ohio called for President Obama,  reaches 274 votes surpassing the needed 270 votes to win a second term, volunteers for Obama campaign uproarious at Chicago gathering.

11:10- NBC projects President Obama takes Iowa

11:05- With all the votes counted, Governor Romney declared the ‘apparent winner’ in North Carolina.

11:02- Big catches, media projecting that Obama will take California, Hawaii, and Washington while Romney nets Idaho. Oregon still too early to call.

11:00- Polls closing in California, Hawaii, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. All seen as strong Obama states accept for Idaho.

10:56- In Virgina Tim Kaine declared the winner in the commonwealth’s senate race, sounds promising for Obama.

10:50- Romney grabs another 10 electoral votes by taking Missouri

10:44- President Obama nets Minnesota. No Republican has carried Minnesota in a presidential election since Richard Nixon in 1972.  Obama now ahead  in electoral math 173-163.

10:39- In North Carolina Republican candidate and Charlotte Mayor  Pat McCrory declared the winner in the North Carolina governors race, netting the Republicans one pickup of the 11 gubernatorial contests.  Indiana Republican Congressman Mike Pence also won his race for Governor of Indiana.

10:35- NBC has just called Arizona for Romney, giving him 11 additional electoral votes for a total of 174 to Obama’s 162. Ohio still being counted, could have to wait until provisional ballots are counted ten days from now.

10:31- Wow, the U.S Senate race in Wisconsin has been called for Tammy Baldwin, when did that happen? She will be the first openly gay Senator in U.S history.

10:25- Obama takes New Mexico, no word on the senate race there between Democratic Congressman Martin Henrich and former  Republican Congresswoman Heather Wilson.  Henrich has been  seen as leading in the polls.

10:22- Exit Polls on groups candidates did strongest with. Romney: 80% of white evangelicals, 59% of whites, 57% of married voters, and 56% of those 65 and older. Strongest groups for Obama: 93% blacks, 69% Latinos, 67% unmarried women, and 59% of voters between ages 18 and 30.

10:19- Current electoral vote count: Romney 163, Obama 162.

10:13 Does anyone think anyone would vote for both a populist like Sherrod Brown and for Mitt Romney? I doubt it so it sounds promising for team Obama.

10:10- Incumbent Senators Republican Orrin Hatch of Utah and Democrat Sherod Brown of Ohio win re-election.

10:07- Democratic Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill has won re-election against Rep. Todd Akin. Hopes for Republicans of winning the Senate have slipped away.

10:01- Romney declared winner in Utah and Montana. Iowa and Nevada too early to call with Obama leading slightly. Virgina, Florida, Ohio, and North Carolina still too close to call.

9:55- Obama leads in the electoral college 162-152.

9:52PM- In seven minutes polls will close in Iowa, Montana, Nevada, and Utah. My not too bold prediction is Romney will carry the beehive state which has been carried by every Republican presidential candidate since 1964 and will take Montana too. Nevada is said to be leaning Obama, and Iowa a little more up in the air.

9:49- CBS projecting that President Obama will carry New Hampshire’s’ four electoral votes and now NBC does too. Democrats have carried the granite state in five of the last six presidential  elections.

9:44- Indiana Congressman  and Democratic candidate Joe Donnelly trounces Indiana state treasurer and tea party favorite Richard Muordoch. Murdoch was ahead until in a debate weeks ago he said that women getting pregnant while raped was ‘Gods will’. Seriously the fact Republicans will not be taking the senate, means they only have themselves to blame. The terrain in both Indiana and Missouri (though in fairness Missouri hasn’t been called yet) was in the direction of Republicans but because of bizarre, offensive and idiotic comments about rape they injured themselves in true Sharon Angle fashion.

9:43-  Elizabeth Warren declared winner in Massachusetts senate race, Brown goes down. Some say Obama on the ticket helped Warren I think it could also be the other way around.

9:40- Current math Obama 158 to Romney 153

9:38- Less then 100,000 votes  separating Romney and Obama in Virgina and Florida.

9:35- Ballot measure legalizing medical marijuana in the commonwealth of Massachusetts passes.

9:31- Wow just 636 votes separating Obama and Romney in Florida with 81% of votes counted in the sunshine state. Though polls closed at 7pm several counties have people still standing in line to vote.

9:29- NBC projects that President Obama will carry the state of Wisconsin, no word on the state’s close senate race however.

9:27- NBC reporter describes Romney campaign as ‘being at peace’ now.

9:17- Pennsylvania with its 20 electoral votes are projected to go to President Obama. Ohio now a MUST win for Romney.

9:14- In Florida with 78% of the vote in, Romney is ahead by just 193 votes. Obama said to be ahead in Wisconsin.

9:11- NBC declares Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey  the winner in his race for re-election.

9:07- Race called for Obama in New Jersey, incumbent Senator Robert Menendez declared winner in U.S Senate race.

9:06- Senate races:  Republican Ted Cruz of Texas is the winner, as is  Senator John Borasso in Wyoming, and  Democratic incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand wins re-election in New York.

9:02- Romney takes  Kansas, Louisiana Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Wyoming . Meanwhile states of New Mexico, New York, and Michigan go for Obama. Electoral vote is Romney 141- and Obama 124. With 72% of votes counted in Florida Obama inching ahead 50-49%.

9:00PM Colorado too close to call, Minnesota and Arizona too early to call.

8:55- Every time a commentator or news anchor mentions Hurricane Sandy they should have to take a shot of yager.

8:53- President Obama said to be spending election night at his home in Illinois along with first lady Michelle Obama, his daughters, his sister and his brother-in-law. Romney is watching results from his home in Belmont, Massachusetts.

8:51- Romney ahead in electoral vote 82-79, still early. Btw last state to close its polls in the nation will be Alaska at 1am.

8:48- In Commonwealth of Virginia big turnout, though polls closed at 7PM, voting still taking places. Vote in Northern Virgina seen as crucial.

8:46- Daily Show will definitely be lampooning big Rockefeller plaza ice map used by NBC News.

8:44- In the next 15 minutes, polling places in a slew of states will be closing. These states are: Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Some big electoral prizes in there.

8:41- NBC reported just ten minutes ago that  the senate seat in Maine has been won by former Governor and independent candidate Angus King in a three way race. The seat  became an open race after Republican Senator Olympia Snowe earlier this year announced she would be retiring.

8:37- Masslive.com shows that with just 1% of precincts reporting, Republican Senator Scott Brown leads against Consumer watchdog and Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren 51-49%.  Locally according to a report this morning turnout is very high in Western Massachusetts which would be great news for Warren since that region of the state is her strong hold.

8:31- Polls in Arkansas close and it goes for Romney who now holds 88 electoral votes, to Obama’s 64. Florida, North Carolina,  New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virgina still close too call. Connecticut Senate race being called for Rep. Chris Murphy against Republican  Linda McMahon.

8:28- Obama now ahead 64-51 in electoral vote totals. Guess I was wrong on previous count.

8:25- NBC calls Illinois for Obama that gives him another 20 electoral votes.

8:23- By the way if Romney wins the election he will be the first presidential candidate since 1916 to win the presidency but lose his home state. The last was Woodrow Wilson inwho won  re-election but lost his home state of New Jersey to Republican candidate Charles Evans Hughes.

8:22- Miss not hearing the banter between Chris Matthews and the MSNBC crowd, online I just get Brian Williams and a little Chuck Todd.

8:19pm- Exit polls in Ohio: 59% approve of auto bailout of those 75% broke for Obama. White working class vote goes to Romney 55-43%. And my apologies Linda McMahon was CEO of the WWF not the WWE, my bad wrestling fans.

8:18pm- Senate race in Connecticut between former WWE CEO Linda McMahon and U.S Rep. Chris Murphy too close to call.

8:14PM- Though it may still be too early to call it in the presidential election Talking Points Memo reports that NBC NEWS and the Associated Press have declared Florida’s incumbent U.S Senator Bill Nelson the winner in his battle for re-election against U.S Rep. Connie Mack IV.  Doubt it will be a blowout as big as his 2006 win though.

8:07PM In Florida, Obama carries EARLY VOTE by about 50,000 votes

8:06PM- Electoral vote: Romney- 88, Obama 64

8:05PM- New Jersey results coming in late due to Hurricane Sandy

8:04PM- Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Bob Corker (R-TN)  projected to head back to the Senate.

8:01PM- Maryland, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, District of Columbia, and Maine go for Obama. Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, and Oklahoma for Romney. No real surprises. Pennsylvania too early to call.

7:54- If conventional wisdom holds that would bring Obamas electoral total to 79 and Romney’s to 76. Analysts predicting long race. Still too close to call in VA, OH, NC.

7:46PM/ET- In 14 minutes polls will close in Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Tennessee. Not too many swing states here. Romney likely to take:  Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Tennessee;  Obama: Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia,  Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. New Hampshire and Florida who knows?

7:43PM- Gov Bob McDonnell in Virgina says there has been about 75-80% turnout in some areas, predicts a close race.

7:40PM Issues being decided through ballot measures include: medical marijuana, marijuana legalization, gay marriage, parental notification, and the Affordable Care Act (‘Obama care’).

7:36PM- NBC called West Virgina earlier for Romney and has just called South Carolina for Romney. No big surprises so far. West Virgina was once seen as a staunchly Democratic state, but since 2000 has not voted for a Democratic on a national ticket. No big surprises here. Electoral college vote so far Romney 33, Obama 3.

7:34- Though the Presidential contest has dominated talk of this years elections 33 U.S Senate seats, 435 House seat, 11 governorships, countless state legislative races, and 176 ballot measures across the country.

7:31PM/ET- Former Governor and current Democratic Senator Joe Manchin is expected to win Senate race in West Virgina

7:30PM- Race too close to call in North Carolina and Ohio, Mitt Romney projected to win West Virgina.

7:29PM- Along with the presidential election there are  also 435 House races,

7:26PM- In 2008, President Obama became the first Democratic Presidential candidate since LBJ to win the Commonwealth of Virginia. He also won Ohio in 2008, where Obama is said to have a lead. No Republican has ever won a national election without Ohio. West Virgina is a strong Romney state. Senate races in all three.

7:24PM/ET- Still too early to call in South Carolina and Georgia, polls in North Carolina, Ohio, and West Virgina set to close tonight at 7:30pm.

7:22pm: Condition of the economy: 39% getting better, 31% getting worse, 28% staying the same.

7:21PM- On the economy biggest issue: 40% unemployment, 37% rising prices, 17% Taxes, 8% housing.

7:20PM- More Exit polling: Biggest issue facing Americans: 60% the economy, 17% healthcare, 15% the deficit, and 4% foreign policy.

7:19PM- Virginia still too close to call with just 995 votes separating Obama and Romney.

7:07PM-  Exit polls: A survey posted on politico says 53% of voters say Government is doing too many things better left to individuals and businesses, while 41% say its doing too little. Meanwhile, a survey by Michigan radio station WKSO finds  a majority stated that Hurricane Sandy and President Obama’s response to it was not a factor in deciding their vote.

7:05PM- Current electoral vote count: Romney 19 (IN, KY), Obama (VT). First candidate to get 270 electoral votes wins.

7:03PM- Virgina too close to call, David Gregory said its crucial for a Romney win. Former Governor and DNC chair Tim Kaine and former Governor and ex-U.S Senator George Allen are in a tight Senate race for the seat being vacated by retiring Democratic Senator Jim Webb.

7:02PM/ET- Correction Georgia too early.

7:01PM NBC News calls Indiana, Kentucky, and Georgia  for Romney, Obama captures Vermont.

7:00PM/ET- First polls to start closing now with polling stations in the states of Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky,  South Carolina, Virginia, and Vermont closing and the first results will trickle in. Most of these are Romney states ( accept for Virgina too close to call, Vermont a solid Obama state).

6:58PM/ET- Miss not having cable TV

6:55PMET- Early preliminary exit polls from NBC News show 46% say country is headed in the right direction vs 52% who say wrong track. They also note that in 2004 there was a similarly close division with voters splitting 46-49 on that question.

6:53pm: My live coverage of election returns will hopefully begin at 7PM when MSNBC’s live coverage will hopefully be streamed on its website. Unfortunately due to money, the cable had to be shut off in my house so this will be the first presidential election (or election of any kind)  I will be covering based on web coverage and video. It sucks but its reality.

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