For weeks, months - make that years - the conventional wisdom has been that the presidential election would all come down to Ohio, and Ohio would be very close. Well, that was partially right. Ohio was very close, but as NPR's Tamara Keith reports, not as pivotal as predicted.
TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Jack Shumate(ph) flew into Ohio last Thursday from Dallas, Texas. He came here because this was the place where he felt he could really make a difference for his candidate, Mitt Romney.
Five hundred thirty-eight electoral votes were up for grabs on Election Day. President Obama has won, so far, 303 of them, a comfortable majority. Mitt Romney has 206. Twenty-nine are still unaccounted for - the electoral votes of Florida. Too close to call there. Less than a percentage point divides the candidates. But down the ballot, Democrats did well. The party retained a Senate seat and picked up a few key congressional races as well. NPR's Debbie Elliott reports.
Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 8:40 pm
For months, Americans have been watching the presidential political drama play out nightly on the news. Now, with President Obama's victory, that story is ending.
But for the economy, an action thriller is just beginning.
Congress has just weeks to jump to the rescue of an economy moving closer and closer to the so-called fiscal cliff. That phrase refers to a $600 billion cluster of automatic spending cuts and tax hikes — all coming together at year's end.
Winning matters. Having earned a second term, President Obama will attempt to build on and expand the agenda from his first, launching new initiatives on tax policy, education and immigration.
But having won the popular vote by a bare majority — and still facing a divided Congress — Obama may find it difficult to gather momentum for his policies.
Despite the close result in the popular vote nationwide, Obama wasted no time claiming vindication for his ideas. In his victory speech early Wednesday in Chicago, he tied his re-election to two centuries of American progress.
Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 1:10 pm
Imagine a ballot Tuesday that confronted you not with a choice between candidates named OBAMA and ROMNEY, but that looked more like this:
How much do you support the REPUBLICAN?
Pick only one.
More than that ____
For much of Election Day, that was what viewers encountered in watching Fox News' coverage. President Obama was, in the words of Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy at the outset of the day, a guy who "promised hope and change — a lot of stuff — and he didn't deliver."
In a highly polarized electorate, there's not a lot of room for third-party candidates to make a strong showing. Still, minor parties did see some bright spots on Tuesday.
Maine elected an independent to the Senate, former Gov. Angus King, while Vermont re-elected its independent senator, Bernard Sanders.
Both those victories may have been "idiosyncratic," says Cary Covington, a University of Iowa political scientist, having more to do with the personal popularity of the candidates than pointing to any wider desire for independent candidates.
Voters in North Carolina put a Republican in their governor's office for the first time in two decades, and New Hampshire elected a new female Democratic governor.
But the closely watched tossup races in Montana and Washington, where Democrats currently serve as governors, remained too close to call late Tuesday.
Eight of the gubernatorial seats up for grabs are now held by Democrats; three are in Republican hands. Republicans currently hold 29 governorships, Democrats have 20, and Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee is an independent.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A top Democrat Senate leader lost his re-election bid Tuesday after being targeted by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez in one of the most costly legislative races in this year's general election.
Roswell farmer Cliff Pirtle defeated Senate President Tim Jennings, a Roswell Democrat, according to unofficial returns.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico voters have approved one of the proposed constitutional amendments aimed at revamping the Public Regulation Commission, one of the state's most powerful, highest paid and most scandal-plagued bodies.
The amendment allows the state Legislature to establish minimum qualifications for PRC candidates.
Currently, a candidate needs only to be 18, a New Mexico resident for at least one year and have no felony convictions.
Two other proposed amendments that target PRC duties have yet to be decided.