[Update 5:20 PM PST]
Independent candidate Angus King is projected, by CNN, to win the Senate seat in Maine.
[Update 5:15 PM PST]
In Ohio, 1.8 million voters cast their ballot early or by absentee ballot. It could still be some time before we know a victory.
CNN projects Georgia will go to Mitt Romney.
In Florida, over half of the precincts are reporting a very slight lead for Romney now. This is the first time the GOP candidate has taken the lead tonight. His lead is 52-47.
[Update 5:05 PM PST]
Barack Obama is projected to take Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia (DC), Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine (3 of the 4 electoral votes), and Rhode Island
Mitt Romney is projected to take Oklahoma, but while many southern states have not been projected yet, they will likely go to him.
The president still has a slight advantage in Florida and Mitt Romney has a 80,000 vote advantage in Virginia, Remember, if Obama takes Florida this race could very well be over. In Ohio, Obama is up 62-37 with an estimated seven percent of the precincts reporting.
[Update 4:54 PM PST]
[Update 4:40 PM PST]
With the latest projection of South Carolina going to Mitt Romney, this is what the electoral map looks like:
[Update 4:34 PM PST]
Mitt Romney is projected to win West Virginia. This is another state that was expected to go to the GOP candidate.
Electoral Vote Count: Obama 3, Romney 24
In Virginia, Mitt Romney is up 58% with two percent of the precincts reporting. In Florida, Barack Obama is edging Romney 51-48 with an estimated 24% in.
[Update 4:24 PM PST]
Here is what some important Senate races look like early on:
In Virginia, Tim Kaine and George Allen are in as close of a race as President Obama and Governor Romney are in. With one percent of the precincts reporting, George Allen is currently up 52-48.
In Indiana, Rep. Joe Donnelly is up on GOP candidate Richard Mourdock 48-46 with eight percent of the precincts reporting.
In the race for the White House, Mitt Romney has been projected as the winner in Indiana.
[Update 4:14 PM PST]
Early numbers from Florida: Obama 55% - Romney 45% with 4% precincts reporting
In Indiana, Romney is up with 58% compared to Obama's 40%
Stay tuned for more results.
[Update 4:00 PM PST]
Vermont has been projected for Barack Obama
Kentucky has been projected for Mitt Romney.
In Virgina, CNN reports exit polls show a tie 49% to 49%
[Update 3:50 PM PST]
As we get closer to the first wave of East Coast results, there are increasing results that Republican strategists on the ground in Ohio and perhaps even the Romney Campaign itself is pessimistic about Mitt Romney's chances in the state. This is big news, because there are very few paths to victory for Romney without Ohio and most of those paths are improbable.
[Update 3:30 PM PST]
Here we go again. Many Americans remember 2000 and the ballot issues in Florida. In Palm Beach County, FL, there have been a number of problems reported throughout the day, including precinct ballots with the wrong precinct number, ballots showing up late, and the most common issue, broken scanners.
There are some precincts that have had such severe problems that election officials said the results for those precincts will not be reported until tomorrow at the earliest.
[Update 3:15 PM PST]
The site is back up. Thank you everyone for your patience.
Early poll results are out for Kentucky and Indiana. As expected, Mitt Romney has a strong lead early on, leading by over sixty percent in both states with one percent of the precincts reporting in. It is expected he will secure both states, probably pretty quickly too.
[Update 1:30 PM PST]
Currently, this is a realistic look at what the electoral map looks like if states that are even leaning one way over the other are assigned to a candidate. Nevada and Wisconsin are currently leaning towards the Obama campaign. North Carolina is currently leaning Republican. The remaining battleground states are still considered toss ups.
What to watch for:
- Florida is a must win for Mitt Romney.
- The Romney campaign is ready to give up Nevada for the sake of electoral strategy. The state looks like it will go blue regardless.
- Wisconsin is currently in the blue, but many Republicans are hoping to swing the state.
- Mitt Romney has concentrated efforts in Pennsylvania and has gained some ground in the state. It might be an interesting state to watch though still likely to go Barack Obama's way. It is possibly Romney's contingency in the event he loses Ohio.
- Provisional ballots in Ohio could create a legal nightmare. If there isn't a clear winner at the end of election night, expect the lawyers to get involved. It is expected that there will be roughly 200,000 provisional ballots
- Current polls in Iowa indicate that the president has a slight lead in that state. If the results end up being the same as the electoral map is colored in, then Mitt Romney would have to win all of the remaining "toss up" states if he loses Iowa.
[Update 12:30 PM PST]
Question from Twitter: 131,257,542 Americans voted for president in 2008, 9 million more than in 2004. @TheShawnG What are your predictions for 2012?
2008 was a phenomenon in voter turnout. It was fantastic to see so many people get out and vote and to see the dramatic increase in voter participation. However, a populous wear of war, rising unemployment, gradual economic decline, and a growing desire for change in Washington politics created what I like the call the "perfect storm" for voter participation. While voter turnout was amazing, it was also unprecedented.
When all of the votes are counted for the 2012 presidential election, Americans will likely see a sharp decline in voter participation compared to 2008. Voter turnout has a better chance of looking more like 2004, but the levels for 2012 may even be lower than that. The reason is because of cynicism among voters. There is always one constant when it comes to voter participation. Participation is driven by motivation and motivation is dependent on perception.
What have voters perceived in 2012? They have witnessed one of the most polarized eras in American history, certainly modern US history. Voters have watched attack ad after attack ads in one of the ugliest and most negative election cycles people in this country have seen in a long time. People came out to the polls in droves in 2008 because they saw an opportunity for change from the status quo. Four years later, they don't believe that change has come or that there is any hope of it coming in the near future.
The areas ravaged by Hurricane Sandy will also see drops in voter participation and it will be most notable in cities, counties, and voting precincts with dense populations. Overall, though, there is a great deal of cynicism within the voting age population and increased voter fatigue does not motivate people to vote. So, we will likely see voter turnout return to 2004 levels, and that is probably the optimistic prediction.
[Update 11:55 AM PST]
Republicans nationwide hope not only to gain the Oval Office, but a majority in the Senate. In the beginning of the election season, this looked like a real possibility. There was a time earlier in 2012 when people were seriously considering a Republican-controlled House and Senate and the implications of it if Barack Obama won re-election, or what we could expect if the GOP took the White House too.
However, in only a couple of months, things have changed significantly. The GOP needs a net gain of four seats in the Senate to gain back full control of Congress. Democrats need a net gain of twenty-five seats in the House of Representatives. It is still more likely that the Republicans will take the Senate, but even more likely that the 113th Congress will be as divided as the 112th. The GOP doesn't just have to worry about gaining seats, but losing some seats too.
Missouri was once considered the easiest state for the Republicans to pick up a Senate seat. That is, until Republican candidate Todd Akin made his now infamous remarks on rape and abortion. The National Republican Senatorial Committee quickly distanced itself from Akin, as did prominent GOP leaders, including presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Akin's poll numbers plummeted and he hasn't been able to recover.
Richard Mourdock also was in a position to win the Senate seat available in Indiana and defeat Democratic rival Rep. Joe Donelly. It's an extremely close race, but Mourdock could easily lose the election for the same reason Akin will likely lose his race. If the GOP wants to gain majority control in the Senate, they really can't afford to lose any seats, which could easily happen in Massachusetts as Democrat Elizabeth Warren is the odds-on favorite to unseat current incumbent Republican Senator Scott Brown.
There are plenty of close Senate and congressional elections that independent voters are going to have a huge impact on. IVN.us will be covering the most significant ones with in-depth analysis and will have the projected winners posted when they are announced.
[Update 10:10 AM PST]
If you have any questions or comments for me please leave them in the comment section or tweet them to me @TheShawnG. Be sure to follow IVN.us on Twitter for the latest unfiltered news from independent contributors.
[Update 9:20 AM PST]
Third party presidential candidate Gary Johnson was interviewed by Politico on Monday about his thoughts on President Barack Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, as well as the current state of presidential elections in the US. During the interview, Governor Johnson said he believes the incumbent will win re-election when it is all said and done.
“I think Obama’s going to win, that’s what I think,” Johnson said.
None of the third party candidates have voiced a realistic chance of winning the presidential election, but Johnson, candidate for the Libertarian Party, does hope to garner at least five percent of the popular vote nationwide. Winning over five percent of voters who participate in the 2012 election cycle will ensure the Libertarian Party will be guaranteed federal funding in 2016, but does not guarantee ballot access nationwide as he has suggested.
“I would ask that everybody look at it and maybe recognize that this is phenomenal that we spent $2 million and may get 5 percent of the general – now maybe it doesn’t turn out that way at all – but that we spent $2 million bucks and here we are playing in a game that by all accounts we should not be playing in..."
Gary Johnson said that, no matter which of the mainstream candidates wins, the American people will not see a change in the status quo. He even sees and recognizes several similarities between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. He specifically mentioned that voters will not see a decrease in federal spending no matter if the GOP contender wins or the Democratic incumbent.
“Either one of them are elected, although they talk a big game: Continued unsustainable spending,” said Johnson.
Gary Johnson is never shy about discussing the challenges third party candidates not only experience to get ballot access across the country, but also to get the exposure they need to get their name and message out to voters. The mainstream media doesn't give third party candidates very much exposure, if any, and major polling agencies often leave third party candidates out of the available options when conducting presidential polling.
Johnson added in the interview:
“The most underreported significant showing of all time and space when it comes to a presidential election — I would love for that to transpire tomorrow. Get recognized for it. And maybe we even accomplish it and it goes unrecognized. That’s also another thing that could be very real. I get 5 percent of the vote but, ‘Oh, it’s just the pot smokers.’”
[Update 8:20 AM PST]
Barack Obama visits an Illinois field office where he spoke to campaign staff and volunteers. He went around and shook hands and gave out hugs. He engaged in playful banter with those who have helped his campaign in the state and made calls to members of his ground support, thanking them for their efforts.
[Update 8:15 AM PST]
I thought my half an hour wait in line was commitment when I voted early, but there are people in Florida who have been waiting in line for hours and will continue to wait in line for hours. This is an election that voter turnout is going to be crucial because of how close statewide races are in several states.
The side that wins the "Get Out the Vote" effort will not only decide the presidency, but if Congress continues to be divided. Analysts speculate that it likely will, because the hope many Republicans had of gaining a net four seats in the Senate dwindled fast and it is unlikely the Democrats will be able to pick up a net gain of twenty-five seats in the House.
[Update 7:45 AM PST]
Unemployment in the "Toss Up" States - June 2012 Figures
- Colorado: 8.4%
- Florida: 9.0%
- Iowa: 5.2%
- Nevada: 11.9%
- New Hampshire: 5.4%
- North Carolina: 9.9%
- Ohio: 7.4%
- Virginia: 6.0%
- Wisconsin: 7.6%
[Update 6:30 AM PST]
In a presidential election as close as the race between mainstream candidates Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, people like to speculate on such things as, what if there is an electoral tie? The more common question, however, is: Could Mitt Romney/Barack Obama reach the 270 electoral vote threshold and lose the popular vote?
It is not something that happens often, but it certainly can happen. Most people recall the 2000 election between George W. Bush and Al Gore. Bush won the election after a drawn out legal battle by taking the electoral votes for the state of Florida. The state was captured with just over five hundred votes so it truly speaks to the idea that every vote counts. However, Gore won the overall popular vote by over half a million votes.
Even in races that are very close, a presidential candidate winning the Oval Office without the popular vote doesn't happen often. In fact, it is only slightly more common statistically than an electoral tie. There have been four instances in American history, including the 2000 election, where this has happened and it has only happened once since the beginning of the twentieth century.
That being said, it is still possible, just like the electoral tie. Looking back at the 2000 election, it seems a candidate winning the popular vote, but losing the Electoral College would only happen in instances where the electoral vote difference is very close. President Bush won the Electoral College 271-266. If he didn't carry New Hampshire that year, he would have lost the election even with Florida.
Many political analysts and pundits don't expect a situation where either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney win the Electoral College, but lose the popular vote just because of the states that are currently considered "in play." People don't think the race is going to come down to a state like New Hampshire or Iowa, but it could. There are still plenty of states that will be interesting to watch tonight.
[Update 6:12 AM PST]
Mitt Romney casts his ballot. I wonder who he voted for?
President Barack Obama already voted. He was the first president to take advantage of early voting, which he used to push supporters to vote early as well.
Vice President Joe Biden voted earlier this morning. GOP vice presidential candidate, Paul Ryan, will vote later in the hour.
[Update 5:05 AM PST]
Two towns in New Hampshire traditionally cast their ballots at midnight on Election Day. Dixville Notch and Hart's Location have already decided who they want to be the next President of the United States.
For the first time ever, there was a tie in Dixville Notch last night. Five people voted for Mitt Romney and five people voted for Barack Obama. This could very well be a sign of things to come as many expect election night to be one of the longest we have experienced in modern American history. Dixville has accurately predicted the last three consecutive presidential elections and seven out of the past thirteen, dating back to 1960.
Hart's Location wasn't split at all on who they want to be the next president. Barack Obama won the town with twenty-three votes to Mitt Romney's nine.
New Hampshire is currently considered one of the nine remaining "toss up" states. Analysts believe it will likely go blue, but Romney campaigned strongly in the state in the last few days before Election Day, strategically campaigning for a possible loss in Ohio. In a race as close as the 2012 presidential election, those four electoral votes could make all of the difference at the end of the day.
Election Day is here, and for some it could not come fast enough. For others, however, it is astonishing how quickly it came. Today we should celebrate the democratic process. Millions of Americans will go to their local polling location and vote on which four year vision they want for the country.
Nine of the eleven battleground states in the 2012 presidential election are still considered "toss ups," but even some of these are more likely to lean one way over the other: Florida, Virginia, Ohio, Wisconsin, Colorado, Nevada, North Carolina, Iowa, and New Hampshire.
Florida, Virginia, and Ohio are always big states analysts watch on the Election Day of a presidential election. These three states are very important. Both mainstream campaigns spent the last days of campaign season fighting for the upper hand in these states. Florida is considered to be a must win for Mitt Romney with how the electoral math works out with the remaining toss up states.
Wisconsin is currently looking like it favors President Barack Obama, but Republicans are confident they can swing the vote in Paul Ryan's home state. The incumbent is currently ahead to some degree in statewide polls in many of the remaining toss ups, but not by much, and within the margin of error. All eyes are on Ohio most of all, but there are certainly paths to victory for both candidates without it.
Most people are watching the presidential election very closely, but there are a handful of Senate races to watch closely and House races where independent voters will have a major impact on. Republicans want to gain the majority in the Senate. They need a net gain of four seats to do that, which doesn't sound like much, but that means they can't afford to lose any. Democrats want to regain majority control in the House, but they would need a net gain of twenty-five seats, which is not likely to happen.
Most political analysts agree that, by the end of election night, we will have a divided Congress, which makes the race for the presidency even more interesting. Americans will then want to know which candidate is more likely to work the hardest to end gridlock in Washington. They both promise bipartisan leadership on the campaign trail, but many Americans want the candidate who will follow up with that promise.
Certainly, it is going to be an exciting day and a long day for some. Election Day should be celebrated, but by the end of it, it may also be filled with immense drama. Updates to Election Day coverage will be added as they become available. Election Day is a busy day and it can be tricky keeping track of everything. Check back for frequent updates on what is going on nationwide. Follow my twitter account for additional information and commentary.