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Election Day 2012: Constant Coverage

Continuous updates throughout the day and night until this is all over.  If you have any news or tips email me at or tweet to @matpierson.

Election Day 2012: Your Choice: Obama Or Romney?

12:15 pm (EST), 11/7: CBS News has called the nail biter Montana Senate election for incumbent Sen. Jon Tester over challenger Denny Rehberg (R).

That leaves Florida, the North Dakota Senate race and the Washington and Montana gubernatorial races as the only uncalled major races. 

Florida is right on the precipice of an automatic recount that will have no effect on the race for the presidency.  Obama leads by 46,430 votes with all precincts reporting.  Right now that's 0.56% of the vote.  If the margin drops slightly to below 0.5% an automatic recount will be triggered.

In North Dakota Heidi Heitkamp (D) has a lead of just 2,994 votes over Rick Berg (R) with all precincts reporting.  We’re probably going to see a recount on this one.

While the race in Montana for the Senate was called for Tester, Steve Bullock (D) clings to a lead half that of Tester’s over Rick Hill (R) as he attempts to succeed Gov. Brian Schweitzer.  787 of 794 precincts have reported so absentee ballots will make or break Bullock.

Things are coming in slowly in vote-by-mail Washington and Jay Inslee (D) maintains a 2-point edge over Rob McKenna (R) as just half of precincts reported.  This one will be a while.

2:14 am (EST): Continuing election results for the outstanding election results for Florida, US Senate and same sex ballot initiatives can be found at these links:

Florida results

Nevada results

Minnesota results

Washington results

Montana results

North Dakota results

1:58 am (EST):
Heidi Heitkamp (D) leads Rick Berg (R) by under 3,000 votes with just 10 precincts outstanding in North Dakota.

In Nevada Dean Heller (R) has expanded his lead to a little more than 6,000 votes out of 855,000 cast as we cross the 50% threshold of precincts reporting.

1:36 am (EST): President Obama is giving his victory speech in Chicago

Dean Heller (R) has reversed the slight lead Shelley Berkley (D) had and now leads by 2,000 votes with just under 40% of precincts reporting.  The Democratic turnout machine might pull her across the finish line, but it will be a close one if it does.

With 98% of precincts reporting President Obama still holds a 41,000 vote lead in Florida.

In Minnesota the constitutional amendment against same sex marriage has moved into a tiny lead of 500 votes with 67% of precincts reporting.

The AP has called the Colorado ballotin initiative on legalizing marijuana has been called in favor of legalization.

1:16 am (EST): President Obama will speak to supporters in Chicago shortly.

Dean Heller (R) has reversed the slight lead Shelley Berkley (D) had and now leads by 2,000 votes with just under 40% of precincts reporting.  The Democratic turnout machine might pull her across the finish line, but it will be a close one if it does.

12:56 am (EST): Romney is now addressing supporters in Boston. Says he has called the president to congratulate him on his victory.

12:39 am (EST): CBS News has called Virginia for the president.  Virginia made a play for it, but Florida will be the last one in tonight.

Electoral count: Obama - 303, Romney - 203

12:37 am (EST): While Virginia and Florida stubbornly remain tight and have not yet finished reporting we can do another check in with ballot initiatives.  Same sex marriage is still just barely ahead in Maryland with 85% of precincts reporting.  In Minnesota the initiative to ban same sex marriage has pulled back to within 2 points with just over a third of precincts reporting.  In Washington approval of same sex marriage is up 4 points with half of precincts reporting.

Marijuana legalization is also on the ballot in Washington and Colorado.  In Washington the AP has called it for legalization.  In Colorado legalization is ahead 6 with 44% of precincts reporting.

In Nevada the Senate race has Shelley Berkley (D) ahead ever so slightly over Dean Heller, 46% - 46% separated by just 4,000 votes.

Jeff Flake (R) easily bested Richard Carmona (D) for Jon Kyl’s seat in the Senate in Arizona.

In Montana, incumbent John Tester (D) is ahead by 8 points over Denny Rehberg (R) with nearly 20 percent of precincts reporting.  The Democrats are currently over performing as Attorney General Steve Bullock is running 9 points ahead of former congressman Rick Hill.  These will almost certainly tighten in the next few hours.

Heidi Heitkamp (D) is holding onto a lead of less than 4000 votes in North Dakota over Rick Berg (R) for the Senate seat there with 402 of 426 precincts reporting.

12:00 am (EST): All the polls have closed in the United States.  CBS News has called Colorado and Nevada for the president.

Electoral count: Obama - 290, Romney - 203

11:41 pm (EST): The networks have called it, but the Romney campaign has not yet conceded believing Ohio is still in play.

In the time between my two previous posts CBS News also called Oregon.  That’s one I missed in the dash to get everything up.

In Virginia President Obama has inched ahead by 15,000 votes with just under 200 precincts left to report.  It won’t matter now, but it could end up being icing on the cake.

Florida remains tight as results have slowed considerably.  We’re still seeing an estimated 90% of the vote and Obama continues to hold a small lead of just under 40,000 votes.

In Colorado Obama’s lead has narrowed somewhat and he now holds a 60,000 vote lead over Mr. Romney.

In Montana Senate John Tester (D) is up 55.3 % to 40.6% over Rehberg (R) with just over 10% of precincts reporting.

In Louisiana’s 3rd Congressional District featuring a face off of Reps. Charles Boustany (R) and Jeff Landry (R).  Boustany leads with over 44% ahead of Landry pulling 29% and Democrat Richard receiving just over 21%.  This one looks like it’s headed to a run-off.

11:24 pm (EST): CBS News has called Ohio for for President Obama.  With Ohio Obama has 274 electoral votes and thus is reelected as president.

Electoral count: Obama - 274, Romney - 203

11:12 pm (EST): CBS News has called California, Washington, Hawaii, Iowa and New Mexico for Mr. Obama and North Carolina and Idaho for Gov. Romney.

Electoral count: Obama - 256, Romney - 203

In the Senate, CBS News has called Nebraska for previously little known Deb Fischer (R), Diane Feinstein (D) has won reelection in California, and Mazie Horono has won the Senate seat in the president’s home state of Hawaii.

11:00 pm (EST):

In California and Hawaii polls have closed.

California results

Virginia continues to narrow as more results come in.  Romney is now up by 40,000 votes with 87% of precincts reporting.  It’s going to be a nail biter.

Same sex marriage is on the ballot in several states.  Right now in Maryland with just over half of precincts the initiative to legalize same sex marriage is ahead narrowly.  In Minnesota, the initiative against same sex marriage is losing by double digits.

In Ohio, the margin has stayed about the same from last report as more than 67% of precincts reporting.

In Iowa with a quarter of the precincts reporting Obama leads Romney by nearly 80,000 votes, 56% - 43%.

Florida now has an estimated 90% of the vote in and Obama holds a small lead of less than 40,000 votes out of nearly 8 million cast.  It’s not going to turn into a rout.

10:42 pm (EST):
CBS News has called Minnesota for Barack Obama and Arizona for Mitt Romney.

Electoral count: Obama - 167, Romney - 184

In Virginia let’s check what’s still out.  Fairfax only has 110,000 votes in when they had 500,000 in 2008.  Obama is leading 57% – 44%, but that’s not nearly carrying it by two thirds as he did in 2008.  In Norfolk 0% are reporting and the president is likely to carry a large number of those votes.  Still, Romney’s lead continues to hold.

In Colorado just over 30% of precincts have reported.  Obama leads by 4 points.  He’s winning key counties, but the margins are not what they were in 2008 and we still have many red counties to come in.

10:29 pm (EST):
CBS News has called Missouri for Romney and the Senate race there for incumbent Senator Claire McCaskill (D). Orin Hatch (R) has won reelection to the Senate in Utah.

Electoral count: Obama - 157, Romney - 173

Right now a lot of eyes are on Florida.  Obama's lead remains small, but if it remains Mr. Romney's path the White House becomes nearly impossible.

Now with more than half the Ohio precincts are now in and Romney continues to close the gap.  Obama's lead is now down to 2 points and just over 80,000 votes.

In Virginia we now have more than 80% of precincts reporting as Romney holds his advantage, but it's down to 3% and just over 70,000 votes.  Tim Kaine has been called the victor in the Senate race over George Allen.

10:11 pm (EST): CBS News has called Montana and Utah for Mitt Romney.

Electoral count: Obama - 157, Romney - 163

In North Carolina Romney continues to lead with 83% of the precincts reporting.  The lead is now over 100,000 votes.

With three quarters of precincts reporting in Virginia Romney maintain his 4 point and approximately 100,000 vote margin.  The Northern Virginia counties are starting to report more results.  Obama maintains leads in these counties, but will need more padding to win.  Loudon, the bellwether county just a little farther out is a slight Obama lead.

In Florida it’s still razor thing with Romney now slightly behind with an approximate 85% of the vote reported.

In Ohio it’s narrowed slightly with Obama holding a 4 point lead with about 40% of the vote in.  Very little of reliably blue Cuyahoga has come in.  In bellwether Lake County Romney holds a slight lead.

10:00 pm (EST): Arizona, Idaho, Iowa, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Utah.  After this it’s just California, Alaska, and Hawaii.

In Missouri, the other state in which a GOP nominee is in trouble for comments on rape, incumbent Claire McCaskill (D) is holding an 11 point lead with 10% of precincts reporting.  Just like Indiana the Libertarian candidate is pulling 6% of the vote.

In Indiana, CBS News has called the election for Joe Donnelly (D) over Richard Mourdock (R) as Horning, the Libertarian took enough votes to make the difference.

9:52 pm (EST): CBS News has called perhaps the marquee race of this years Senate match ups.  Elizabeth Warren (D) has unseated Scott Brown (R) in one of the nastiest and most expensive races this cycle.

In Ohio, Obama leads Romney 52% - 47% with just under a third of precincts reporting.  Additionally, CBS News has called the Senate race in Ohio for incumbent Sherrod Brown (D) over challenger Josh Mandel (R).

9:40 pm (EST): CBS News has called New Hampshire and its 4 electoral votes and Wisconsin with its 9 for Obama.

Electoral count: Obama - 157, Romney - 153

Virginia continues to give Gov. Romney the lead with over 60% of precincts reporting.  He leads by 4 points or about 80,00 votes.  Allen also continues to lead, but with only half the lead that Romney holds.

9:22 pm (EST): CBS News has called Pennsylvania for President Obama and Senator Casey (D).  Romney made a late play and Casey's challenger, Smith, stayed surprisingly close in the closing week.  In the end the map didn't expand.

CBS News is also calling the Senate races in Michigan for Debbie Stabenow (D), New York for Kristen Gilibrand (D), Minnesota for Amy Klobuchar (D), and Texas for Victor Cruz (R).

Florida is absolutely neck and neck with only several hundred votes separating Obama and Romney out of nearly 6.8 million ballots counted.  There are still some panhandle counties to come in for Romney and the count is low in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, which will boost the president.

In Indiana Mourdock has continues to trail by 2 points with more than 60% of precincts reporting and the Libertarian still hold 6% of the vote.

9:12 pm (EST): CBS News has called North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, and Louisiana for Gov. Romney.  New York and Michigan have been called for Obama.

Electoral count: Obama - 123, Romney - 153

With more than half of precincts reporting and by some estimate 70% of the vote in Obama's lead is now just under 10,000 votes in Florida. 

Slightly fewer than half of Virginia's precincts half reported and Romney maintains a lead of about 125,000, 54% - 45%.  George Allen (R) continues to lead Tim Kaine (D), 51% - 49%. The more blue DC suburban counties of Northern Virginia have not reported many votes so it will certainly tighten.

In North Carolina with more than 40% of the precincts reporting in North Carolina Romney holds a 50% - 49%, or about 35,000 votes of nearly 3 million counted.

9:00 pm (EST): Colorado, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Wisconsin, and Wyoming are now closed.

Colorado results

Wisconsin results

Minnesota results

New York results

In Florida Obama is showing margins and turnout similar to his 2008 numbers with big leads in south Florida and leads in other population centers.  He continues to lead Romney by around 40,000 votes, 50% - 49%.

8:40 pm (EST): CBS News has called Connecticut for Rep. Chris Murphy (D), who bests Linda McMahon (R) in a bitter and expensive Senate race.

In Indiana Mourdock continues to trail with now just more than 40% of precincts reporting.  Libertarian candidate Horning has nearly 64,000 votes, which is greater than the gap between Donnelly and Mourdock. With nearly have the precincts reporting Rep. Bucshon (R) continues to hold a 7 point lead over challenger Dave Crooks (D).

CBS News had called Kentucky's 6th District for challenger Andy Barr (R) over Rep. Ben Chandler (D).

8:30 pm (EST): CBS News has called New Jersey for President Obama.  Sandy may have disrupted things, but Obama still wins easily.  I'm sure the Chris Christie and Obama bromance didn't hurt either.  Also, as expected, Bob Mendendez holds onto his Senate seat.

Electoral count: Obama - 78, Romney - 82

8:22 pm (EST): CBS News has called the Senate race in Maine for independent Angus King who is thought to be likely to caucus with Democrats. Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee also cruises to victory. With about 30% of precincts reporting in Indiana Donnelly leads Mourdock by 40,000 votes, 50% - 45%.

8:12 pm (EST): CBS News has called Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts and Rhode Island for Obama.  Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Tennessee for Romney.

Electoral count: Obama - 64, Romney - 82

In Florida CBS News has called the race for incumbent Democratic Senator Bill Nelson over challenger Connie Mack.  President Obama continues to have a small lead with just over 40% of the vote in.

In Virginia, Romney leads Obama by a nearly 2-to-1 margin and George Allen (R) leads Tim Kaine (D) for the Senate seat.  Right now in Virgnia it's mostly red rural precincts that have reported.

8:00 pm (EST): 8:00 is a big hour. Polls close in 19 states. Connecticut, DC, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Texas.

Ohio Election Results

North Carolina Election Results

Virginia results

Florida results

New Hampshire results

Pennsylvania results

Michigan results

Massachusetts results

Connecticut results

DC results

Delaware results

Illinois results

Maryland results

New Jersey results

Texas results

7:49 pm (EST):

CBS News has called South Carolina for Romney.

Electoral count: Obama - 3, Romney - 33

Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia has won reelection.

Andy Barr has pulled ahead of incumbent Ben Chandler with a lead of about 5,500 votes with about a third of precincts reporting.

7:38 pm (EST): In Florida with an estimate of nearly a quarter of the votes in President Obama is ahead of Gov. Romney by just under 70,000 votes. 

Joe Donnelly holds a small lead over Mourdock for the US Senate seat in Indiana with just over 10% of precincts reporting. 

7:30 pm (EST): North Carolina and Ohio polls have closed as well as West Virginia and Arkansas.  CBS News has called West Virginia for Mitt Romney.

Electoral count: Obama - 3, Romney - 24

7:20 pm (EST): Chandler and Carr remain knotted. 20 votes separate them with a bit more than 10% of the vote in. Indiana's "bloody" 8th is staying close again with nearly 20% of the precincts reporting.  Freshman Bucshon leads.

7:10 pm (EST): Kentucky and Indiana have been called for Mitt Romney by CBS News.  Barack Obama has won Vermont.  Also in Vermont, Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, easily won reelection.

Electoral count: Obama - 3, Romney - 19

7:00 pm (EST): And now it starts to get interesting.  Battlegrounds Virginia and Florida (except the western panhandle in central time) polls have closed.  Georgia, South Carolina, and Vermont have also closed.  All polling places in Kentucky and Indiana no matter the time zone are closed. 

Virginia results

Florida results

Results in Kentucky and Indiana continue to trickle in.  Mourdock holds a lead with under one hundred precincts of more than 5000 reporting.  Chandler and Carr are not with single digit precincts reporting.

6:45 pm (EST): Results are coming in at a very slow trickle in Kentucky and Indiana.  Mourdock leads with a tiny percentage of precincts reporting.

6:10 pm (EST): Some polling place that are on Eastern Time have closed in Indiana as well.  Richard Mourdock looked like a lock for a victory and adding another Tea Party up and comer to the Senate, but his comments on rape in a debate with Democrat Joe Donnelly has caused significant damage. 

6:00 pm (EST): Kentucky polls in the Eastern Time zone have closed.  We won’t have anything surprising for the presidential, but Rep. Ben Chandler (D) is locked in a tight race for Kentucky’s 6th House district with Andy Carr (R).

5:08 pm (EST): In Philadelphia a judge ordered that a large Obama mural inside a polling place must be covered.

Email and fax voting for those displaced by Sandy has been extended in New Jersey.

If you’re looking for election results theatrics, the Empire State Building will be lit in either red or blue when the election is called this evening.

4:45 pm (EST): I noted earlier a report that Chrysler employees have the day off.  It's true, but it also needs to be pointed out that the employees at GM and Ford also have the day off.  This came from labor negotiations years ago and inflamed the GOP at the time.

Vice President Biden responded in Ohio to all of our 2016 speculation from earlier saying he would "go back home and run for county council or something."

4:15 pm (EST): While the election has had reports here and there of problems they’ve mostly been quick fixes in the morning and complaints of lines.  That isn’t to say there aren’t some crazy things happening out there.  Here’s a round up of what CBS Local has seen today.

In Detroit a poll watcher was allegedly threatened with a gun.

There’s video of a voting machine in Perry County, PA switching an Obama vote to Romney.

A Chicago election worker came to the polling place in an Obama hat.  Also in Chicago, as noted earlier, an election judge showed up drunk today and a woman in labor voted before going to the hospital.

3:55 pm (EST): For those wondering about Sandy’s impact on voting in New Jersey and New York we have news that things started smoothly in Jersey. In the Rockaways voters cast their ballots in tents, but things have gone surprisingly well.

3:30 pm (EST): Mitt Romney is in Pennsylvania and headed to his final event in Pittsburgh.

2:41 pm (EST): President Obama's traditional election day pick-up basketball game is underway.  Pool reports players include Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Reggie Love, Mike Ramos and Marty Nesbitt.

Take a moment to show your support and claim your turf on the CBS Local battleground map. Who did you choose, Obama or Romney?

2:11 pm (EST): Another CBS 4 update, this time in Miami.  CBS 4 Miami's Jim DeFede interviewed President Obama via satellite earlier today.

1:44 pm (EST): CBS 4 in Denver reports GOP leads turnout in 3 key counties at 11:20 mountain time. Jefferson: 85,375 Republicans to 78,736 Democrats. Larimer: 48,496 Republicans to 40,872 Democrats. Arapahoe: 80,977 Republicans to 80,587 Democrats.

1:09 pm (EST): Some long lines and early problems in Philadelphia and Missouri were also reported. While they were having problems, Chicago reports another bright spot. Only one election judge showed up drunk today.

12:23 pm (EST): While Biden and Romney are in Ohio, President Obama is keeping busy in Chicago. He visited volunteers in a field office and accidently drinking from a volunteer’s cup of coffee.

Chicago is in high gear for the election. A Chicago woman in labor held off going to the hospital to give birth until she was able to vote. 

Politico reported a tweet by Chrysler’s vice president of design, Ralph Gilles, that Chrysler has given it’s entire workforce the day off to go vote.  Chrysler has pushed back hard against an ad by the Romney campaign that led viewers to believe Jeep was moving manufacturing to China.

12:00 pm (EST):
Hawaii has started voting.  Every state is open and we’ll start reversing this list at 6:00 pm EST starting with the eastern time zone portion of Kentucky.

Vice President Biden has landed in Cleveland to make a final unannounced appeal to Ohio voters.  Romney's charter is also on the tarmac as he makes his Ohio stop.

11:37 am (EST): There are many reports of long lines at polling places. Some local looks in Virginia, Minnesota, south Florida, and DC.

11:00 am (EST): Polls in Alaska are open.  And people think it's cold waiting in line to vote where they are.  Just the president's home state of Hawaii left.

10:37 am (EST): It’s too early to tell much about who will win tonight based on what’s happening today, but for those who need something, anything to go on, bulls named Obama and Romney squared off in a Kenyan village. Obama bested Romney in that matchup.

If American sports predicting political outcomes is more your thing, the Redskins lost their home game Sunday. In all but one of the previous 18 elections the Redskins’ fate in their final home game before the election has matched that of the incumbent president.

10:00 am (EST): Polls in California, Nevada, and Idaho are open.  Only Alaska and Hawaii have yet to start voting today.

Paul Ryan has voted in Janesville, WI.  Like Joe Biden in 2008, Paul Ryan gets to vote for himself.  While he's Romney's running mate he's still on the ballot for his seat in the U.S. House, Wisconsin's 1st district.

President Obama voted early in Chicago so now both men on each ticket have voted.

9:27 am (EST): Mitt and Ann Romney cast their ballots near their home Belmont, MA. Romney is now headed to closing campaign rallies in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

9:00 am (EST): Polls in Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming and Oregon are open.  Montana polling places may open as late as noon mountain time, but they’re starting now.  Note: Oregon mostly votes by mail so in person voting is minimal. 

Polls are open in 45 states and the District now.

8:25 am (EST): After voting, Biden was asked if it was the last time he would be voting for himself.  He replied, "No, I don't think so". Today is about 2012, but 2016 has already started.

8:00 am (EST): Polls in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin are open. 

Remember, Wisconsin has same day registration so go vote even if you forgot to register.  In 2008 nearly half a million registered Election Day.  It will be interesting to see how this affects turnout and results in 2012.

7:46 am (EST): Some sporadic reports of polling place and voting machine problems, but all appear to be the usual morning glitches that are quickly being fixed.

7:15 am (EST): Vice President Joe Biden is waiting in line in his home state of Delaware to vote. As expected, smiling and joking with other voters to pass the time.

7:00 am (EST): Polls in Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee and Washington, DC are open. 

The entire east coast has polling places open now.

A reminder that those in New York should go to their regular polling place first, but if your site is shutdown or you are unable to get there you are able to vote at alternate sites.

6:30 am (EST): Polls in North Carolina, Ohio, and West Virginia are open.

6:15 am (EST): The two small towns in New Hampshire which have cast the first ballots on election day since 1948 also have reported their results.  In Dixville Notch Obama and Romney came out knotted at 5 votes each.  In Hart's Location President Obama received 23 votes, Gov. Romney took home 9 and Libertarian Gary Johnson got 1.

6:00 am (EST): Polls in Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Virginia are open.  Also, some towns in Massachusetts may open this early.  Finally, towns in Maine may open their polling places as late as 10:00 am so they’re not all open now.

It looks like good weather throughout most of the country, but there's some rain and maybe snow expected here and there.  None of it should really affect turnout.  Look for light rain in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina and maybe some thunderstorms in Florida.  Light rain and snow are expected in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.  Finally, rain is expected in vote-by-mail Washington.


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