US Election day live:Its on Twitter, so it’s official? @BarackObama Four more years – Latest updates
|OFFICIAL: FOUR MORE YEARS
• Obama wins New Hampshire and leads in swing states
• Both campaigns watch as Florida goes to the wire
• Exit polls put Obama ahead in Ohio and Wisconsin
• ‘Firewall’ holding as Obama wins Michigan, Pennsylvania
• GOP to hold House, Democrats on course for Senate
• Live video from campaigns’ headquarters
04.06 (23.06) CNN is now calling Wisconsin for Obama. The entire Midwest is now blue except for the state of Ohio.
04.05 (23.05) Polls close on the West Coast and with that California’s 55 votes have marched into Obama’s column. There are huge cheers at Obama’s rally in Chicago as they his electoral vote tally surges forward.
04.00 (23.00) Al Gore, a man has who spent more time thinking about the importance of Florida than anyone else, predicts it will go for the President. If you were a Democrat would you welcome a prophecy like that? Not sure.
03.55 (22.55) Obama has left his home and driven to the Fairmont hotel, where and the First Family will wait in one of the suites and continue to watch the results flow in. There’s only one more stop after this – the convention centre where his increasingly hopeful supporters are waiting.
03.50 (22.50) Will it all end in Florida? 88 per cent of the vote has been counted and Obama is up by 16,000 votes. There are still ballots to be counted but right now they look to be in Miami-Dade, a Democrat county.
03.45 (22.45) The Democrats have won the Senate’s marquee race in Massachusetts and Elizabeth Warren will replace Scott Brown as the Bay State’s junior senator. Brown, who upended the political world by winning Ted Kennedy’s old seat, is conceding in Boston now. Not far away Romney’s staff must be watching him concede defeat and wondering how their own night is going to end.
03.40 (22.40) For months and months and months we have been told Ohio was the centre of the political universe and would crown the next President of the United States. That may still prove true but there is a distinct possibility that Florida may steal the show. If Obama wins there then suddenly the Midwest may not matter.
03.10 (22.10) Two new battleground exit polls and both spell more gloom for Boston.
So far, Romney has only taken one of the states that Obama won in 2008 – Indiana, which the Democrats didn’t contest this year. Romney needs some good new – any good news – soon.
03.05 (22.05) We are at 86 per cent of votes counted in Florida and Obama is still ahead. As I said in my list of things to watch – if the Republicans are defeated in Florida then they fall at the first hurdle.
02.57 (21.57) Multiple networks are now calling New Hampshire for Obama, meaning Romney has lost the state where he launched his campaign and where he owns a summer home. The walls are beginning to close in on Romney and very soon he is going to have no path left to 270.
02.55 (21.55) Mark Hughes reports on the chaos in Florida.
With more than 80 per cent of the vote counted in Florida, the lead is continually changing with neither candidate leading by more than a few hundred votes at a time.
At times the margin has been fewer than 200 votes. It’s worth remembering that The Gore v Bush 2000 debacle was a 537 vote margin. Under Florida law a recount will be triggered if the margin of victory is less than a half of one percent which, going by the numbers at the last election, means one candidate needs to win by a margin of at least 40,000.
The latest numbers show Obama up by about 20,00 but you would be crazy to call it now.
02.45 (21.45) Rob Portman, the Republican Senator from Ohio is addressing Romney’s Boston supporters by video link. He says that the campaign’s efforts in the Buckeye State have been beyond anything Republicans have ever done before. But there’s no mistaking the heaviness in his voice – it’s not looking good for Team Romney in Ohio.
01.40 (20.40) We have 60 per cent of the vote counted in Florida and Obama is leading 51-49. That’s a tiny margin and there’s time for Romney to close the gap but it will have to come soon. In Chicago they may be beginning to indulge in the idea that they win Florida and end election night almost before it begins.
01.35 (20.35) Could the deeply-divided US bear a repeat of the Florida 2000 recount?
Romney: ‘I’ve written my victory speech’ 07 Nov 2012
01.30 (20.30) More bad news for Republican Senate hopes: the Democrats have held off a challenge from Linda McMahon, the former wrestling executive who poured $100m into her candidacy, are going to win in Connecticut, the AP reports.
FIVE DAYS before the presidential election, president Barack Obama’s campaign has been cheered by a new poll showing their candidate ahead in Florida, Ohio and Virginia, which hold the lion’s share of electoral college votes among swing states.
“At this time next week, president Obama will have been re-elected for a second term and we can all get some sleep,” Obama campaign manager Jim Messina told reporters in a conference call. “The bottom line is we have the math and they have the myths. Whether we are talking about getting out the vote or bringing down the deficit, our numbers add up.”
Obama will resume campaigning in Wisconsin, Nevada and Colorado today after devoting the past three days to dealing with Hurricane Sandy.
The poll, conducted by Quinnipiac University for the New York Times and CBS, found Obama five points ahead in Ohio – without which no Republican has ever won the presidency – at 50 per cent to 45 per cent for Romney. But Obama’s lead in Florida is tiny, at 48 to 47 per cent, and hardly better in Virginia, at 49 to 47 per cent. Republican challenger Mitt Romney has a 30-point lead in Florida and Ohio among white, working-class voters.
Obama’s senior adviser David Axelrod cited three “desperate moves” by the Romney campaign. “The most notable are the automobile ads in Ohio,” he said, referring to misleading advertisements that give the impression that Chrysler, which benefited from the administration’s $80-billion bailout, is shipping jobs to China.
“In keeping with Halloween, governor Romney has decided to masquerade as a champion of the American auto industry, an industry he was willing to let go bankrupt,” Axelrod said.
The second sign of desperation, he said, was Romney advertisements in Pennsylvania “reprising the discredited welfare-to-work charge from over the summer”. The Romney campaign falsely claimed Obama rescinded a Clinton-era requirement that welfare recipients seek employment.
The third sign was a Romney campaign thrust into “three states they simply are not going to win: Michigan, Pennsylvania and Minnesota”, Axelrod said.
The Obama camp believes its greatest advantage is its “ground game” – the network of local campaign offices and workers it retained from the 2008 campaign and fortified over the past year, while Romney was fighting challenges from other Republicans. Messina quoted a Republican memorandum from Florida that said: “The Democratic turnout machine is cleaning our clocks.”
Democrats “have a significant early vote advantage in battlegrounds from North Carolina to Nevada,” Messina said. “Governor Romney wants you to think he has momentum. That’s a hard case to make when you haven’t put a single battleground state away.”
The Romney campaign was “at a break-glass moment. They understand their path no longer gets them to 270 (the electoral college votes required to win).”
New Jersey governor Chris Christie, who yesterday guided Obama through devastated parts of his state, called the president’s handling of Hurricane Sandy “outstanding”. “I don’t give a damn about election day after what has happened here,” he said. Christie delivered the keynote address at the convention that nominated Romney.
Romney’s performance lifting boxes of tins for hurricane victims on Tuesday was mocked by liberal media, who pointed out that the Red Cross has asked for donations of money, not goods. Romney ignored repeated questions from journalists about whether he still wants to dismantle the federal disaster relief agency Fema, which is co-ordinating relief efforts.
Why Barack Obama is likely to win Ohio? It is the improved economy, stupid — Unemployment cut by one third as auto companies hire and so do banks
Which state in the union has featured the following employment developments this month?
Chrysler announced they are adding 1,100 new jobs, J.P. Morgan Chase is looking for hundreds of bankers, and the Cleveland Clinic needs so many new nurses they rented out the Cleveland Browns football stadium for a jobs fair.
Yes, indeed,� it’s Ohio, and the unemployment rate is just seven percent these days, well below the national average and seemingly ready to go even lower as the above statistics make clear.
Ohio was once the rust belt and a byword for decaying infrastructure but now thanks to the auto bailout and an upbeat economic forecast, the populace are set to vote for Barack Obama over Mitt Romney.
There is precedence for this. Back in 1988, Democrat Michael Dukakis won several farm states like Iowa which he had no right to win after farm states made clear how much they blamed the Reagan administration and Dukakis opponent V.P. George Bush for the farming prices slump.
Similarly, Obama has stayed ahead in Ohio despite every effort by the Romney camp to undermine that lead– it truly is the economy stupid.
“We’re doing great,” says Rich DeVore, 47, president of a United Autoworkers Union local in Perrysburg, on the outskirts of Toledo told Bloomberg News. “You see a lot of great things happening.”
Put simply, unemployment has dropped by one third and Ohio looks like it will continue to support Obama as a result.
It may well put him in the White House.
As East Coast residents brace for Hurricane Sandy, President Obama visited the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s headquarters this afternoon to receive a briefing on the latest preparations for the storm, expected to make landfall late Monday evening.
“This is a serious and big storm,” the president said in a brief statement to reporters. “You need to take this very seriously and follow the instructions of your state and local officials, because they are going to be providing you with the best advice in terms of how to deal with this storm over the coming days.”
The president said he was “confident” that the resources needed to respond to the storm are in place, but stressed “this hasn’t hit landfall yet.”
“We don’t yet know where it’s going to hit, where we’re going to see the biggest impacts. And that’s exactly why it’s so important for us to respond big and respond fast as local information starts coming in,” he said.
Obama said he had an “excellent” meeting with the FEMA team. He also participated in a conference call this afternoon with the governors and mayors whose states and cities are expected to be impacted as the storm makes it way up the Eastern Seaboard.
Looking ahead, the president vowed to work with local officials to “cut through red tape” and not get “bogged down with a lot of rules.”
“Anything they need, we will be there,” he said. “We want to make sure that we’re anticipating and leaning forward into making sure that we’ve got the best possible response for what is going to be a big and messy system.”
Obama encouraged residents to be “vigilant” and encouraged the public to go to http://www.ready.gov for hurricane preparation information.
“In times like this, one of the things that Americans do is that we pull together and we help out one another,” he said. “Check on your neighbor, check on your friend, make sure they are prepared. If you do then you’re going to get through this storm just fine, but we are going to have to make sure that we are vigilant, and vigilant for a couple of days.”
With nine days until Election Day, the storm has forced Obama to scale back his campaign schedule. He still plans to hit the trail in Florida and Ohio tomorrow, but has cancelled a Monday evening rally in Virginia and Tuesday morning travel to Colorado. GOP nominee Mitt Romney has also altered his plans. He scrapped plans to campaign in Virginia today, opting to spend more time in Ohio instead.
– Betsy Klein and Mary Bruce
Writing a column like this with more than ten days to go is inherently risky. But based on the polling data I’ve been examining, the Electoral College math I’ve been doing and the political instincts I’ve always relied upon, I have a theory of how this year’s extremely close fight for the presidency between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney might unfold when the votes are tallied into the wee hours on election night.
The truth is that I never envisaged that the election would be this close. The president’s disastrous performance in the first televised debate, and Governor’s Romney’s strong showing that night, put paid to my ideas about how things would play out. On that night, Governor Romney appeared to be presidential and a centrist. He undoubtedly appealed to those Americans who were only then tuning in to the campaign.
I had written and said in a number of different fora that I believed Florida would be pivotal to the outcome this year. Specifically, my view was that, if the president were to win Florida, he would prevail in an Electoral College landslide. On the other hand, if Governor Romney were to pull off a victory there, then I believed that President Obama’s path to the 270 Electoral College votes he would need to be re-elected would become less straightforward, yet nearly as certain.
Needless to say, the first debate and the consequential movement in the polls in key battleground states forced me to readjust my calculus. Some commentators, particularly those who favour Governor Romney’s election, have incorrectly relied on national polls in support of their view that both the first debate and the fuller attention being paid to the candidates and the issues by the electorate wholly changed the dynamics of the race.
The first debate and the broader electorate’s heightened focus unquestionably made things tighter. National polls, however, are inherently misleading in US presidential elections and the wild divergences in these polls reflect this reality. Making predictions as to a result based on national polls verges on the nonsensical.
So where does this lead me? And why do I think that Republican-leaning commentators, many of whom now believe that Mitt Romney is likely to be the next president, are wrong?
My fundamental starting point is that the following states – in roughly counter-clockwise order from the northeast and followed by their number of Electoral College votes – can still be regarded as “in play”: New Hampshire (4), Pennsylvania (20), Ohio (16), Michigan (16), Wisconsin (10), Iowa (6), Colorado (9), Nevada (6), Florida (29), North Carolina (15) and Virginia (13). The dye is fairly well cast in the other 39 states, and barring something completely unforeseen, will leave President Obama with a 10 vote lead, 201-191, over Governor Romney.
The aforementioned mix of data, math and instinct tells me the following.
Obama will win Pennsylvania and Romney will win North Carolina. I suspect somewhat less strongly that Obama will take Michigan and Wisconsin. I have a similarly formed suspicion that Romney will take Virginia and New Hampshire. That would leave things at 247 votes for the incumbent and 223 votes for the challenger.
And here is where hunches come in. My hunch is that Nevada and Iowa will break for Obama. On the other side, my hunch is that Colorado and, yes, Florida will break for Romney. My Obama hunches are shaped by my sense of Nevada’s demographics and by Iowa’s still strong populist streak. My Romney hunches are a product, especially in Florida, of polling data and numbers I find very surprising, but which are difficult to refute, notwithstanding my contrary instincts. Governor Romney and his campaign deserve a lot of credit if this is borne out on November 6th.
They recognized, from the earliest days of the campaign, that they would need to win Florida to win the presidency. To this end, and despite tacking hard-right on just about everything else in the Republican primary, Governor Romney steadfastly defended Social Security. The comments of his primary opponent, Texas Governor Rick Perry, likening the government programme on which so many Florida-based retirees depend to a “Ponzi scheme,” were a gift in this regard. Moreover, the repeated statements of fidelity to Israel and oft-touted friendship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were meant to be heard by Florida’s large Jewish community. They lean Democratic, but have never trusted the president on Israel.
If Romney does indeed win Florida – it is far from certain that he will – it will be by a very narrow margin. And it will be due in no small part to this shrewd posturing on issues that matter to Floridians whose votes were identified at an early stage as being “in play.”
A Romney victory in Florida, coupled with my other hunches being on the money, would put him in the lead by two votes, 261-259. In my analysis, Ohio would then remain to determine who will be the next president.
While polls show the two candidates in a virtual dead heat, I just can’t see Governor Romney winning Ohio for two reasons. First is the extraordinary ground game and get out the vote operation that the Obama re-election team have put together there. Some elements never really went away after 2008, and media reports are that absolutely everything possible has been done to ensure that their voters, particularly African-Americans, exercise their right to vote. Early voting, which is now in full swing, will be crucial.
Second is Governor Romney’s past as a venture capitalist with Bain Capital. Hard-hitting and evidently relentless ads in Ohio highlight his complicity in the demise of companies and the concomitant loss of livelihoods of thousands of working men and women. This makes garnering the votes of blue collar workers and ethnic Catholics, whose support Romney will need to win the state, a far more difficult task.
Accordingly, as of now, my prediction is that President Obama will win 275 Electoral College votes and secure a second term. I may well be wrong. I believe, however, that my error could just as likely lie in underestimating the scale of the president’s triumph as in picking the wrong winner. We shall soon see.
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