Obama Takes NH, Pa., Trails in Electoral Count

3 years 10 months 2 weeks ago November 06, 2012 Nov 6, 2012 Tuesday, November 06 2012 Tuesday, November 06, 2012 8:36:56 PM CST in News
By: Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama captured hard-fought New Hampshire Tuesday night in a tense duel for the White House with Mitt Romney, claiming the first of the pivotal battleground states in a close election shadowed by a weak economy and high unemployment.

The president also secured Pennsylvania, where Romney campaigned twice in the race's closing days after virtually ignoring it for months.

Romney led in the national popular vote with 25.2 million votes, or 50 percent. Obama had 24.2 million, or 48 percent, with 32 percent of precincts tallied.

The former Massachusetts governor also held an early electoral vote advantage, 159-147, with 270 needed for victory, although he lost his home state of Michigan as well as Massachusetts, where he served as governor.

New Hampshire aside, the battlegrounds that held the keys to the White House were anything but settled - Virginia, Ohio and Florida among them - with long lines in many locations more than two hours after closing time long after poll-close time.

The economy was rated the top issue by about 60 percent of voters surveyed as they left their polling places. But more said former President George W. Bush bore responsibility for current circumstances than Obama did after nearly four years in office.

About 4 in 10 said the economy is on the mend, but more than that said it was stagnant or getting worse more than four years after the near-collapse of 2008. The survey was conducted for The Associated Press and a group of television networks.

Democrats got off to a quick start in their bid to renew their Senate majority, capturing seats in Indiana and Massachusetts now in Republican hands.

In Maine, independent former Gov. Angus King was elected to succeed retiring GOP Sen. Olympia Snowe. He has not yet said which party he will side with, but Republicans attacked him in television advertising during the race, and Democrats rushed to his cause.

Polls were still open in much of the country as the two rivals began claiming the spoils of a brawl of an election in a year in which the struggling economy put a crimp in the middle class dreams of millions.

The president was in Chicago as he awaited the voters' verdict on his four years in office. He told reporters he had a concession speech as well as victory remarks prepared. He congratulated Romney on a spirited campaign. "I know his supporters are just as engaged, just as enthusiastic and working just as hard today" as Obama's own, he added.

Romney reciprocated, congratulating the man who he had campaigned against for more than a year.

Earlier, he raced to Ohio and Pennsylvania for Election Day campaigning and projected confidence as he flew home to Massachusetts. "We fought to the very end, and I think that's why we'll be successful," he said, adding that he had finished writing a speech anticipating victory but nothing if the election went to his rival.

Like Obama, Vice President Joe Biden was in Chicago as he waited to find out if he was in line for a second term. Republican running mate Paul Ryan was with Romney in Boston, although he kept one eye on his re-election campaign for a House seat in Wisconsin, just in case.

Voters also chose a new Congress to serve alongside the man who will be inaugurated president in January, Democrats defending their majority in the Senate, and Republicans in the House.

The long campaign's cost soared into the billions, much of it spent on negative ads, some harshly so.

In the presidential race, an estimated one million commercials aired in nine battleground states where the rival camps agreed the election was most likely to be settled - Ohio, New Hampshire, Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada.

In a months-long general election ad war that cost nearly $1 billion, Romney and Republican groups spent more than $550 million and Obama and his allies $381 million, according to organizations that track advertising.

In Virginia, the polls had been closed for several minutes when Obama's campaign texted a call for volunteers "to make sure everyone who's still in line gets to vote."

In Florida, there were long lines at the hour set for polls to close. Under state law, everyone waiting was entitled to cast a ballot.

According to the exit poll, 53 percent of voters said Obama is more in touch with people like them, compared to 43 percent for Romney.

About 60 percent said taxes should be increased, taking sides on an issue that divided the president and Romney. Obama wants to let taxes rise on upper incomes, while Romney does not.

Other than the battlegrounds, big states were virtually ignored in the final months of the campaign. Romney wrote off New York, Illinois and California, while Obama made no attempt to carry Texas, much of the South or the Rocky Mountain region other than Colorado.

There were 33 Senate seats on the ballot, 23 of them defended by Democrats and the rest by Republicans.

Democratic Rep. Chris Murphy, a Democrat, won a Connecticut seat long held by Sen. Joe Lieberman, retiring after a career that included a vice presidential spot on Al Gore's ticket in 2000. It was Republican Linda McMahon's second defeat in two tries, at a personal cost of $92 million.

The GOP needed a gain of three for a majority if Romney won, and four if Obama was re-elected. Neither Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada nor GOP leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky was on the ballot, but each had high stakes in the outcome.

All 435 House seats were on the ballot, including five where one lawmaker ran against another as a result of once-a-decade redistricting to take population shifts into account. Democrats needed to pick up 25 seats to gain the majority they lost two years ago.

Depending on the outcome of a few races, it was possible that white men would wind up in a minority in the Democratic caucus for the first time.

Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, raised millions to finance get-out-the-vote operations in states without a robust presidential campaign, New York, Illinois and California among them. His goal was to minimize any losses, or possibly even gain ground, no matter Romney's fate. House Democratic leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California campaigned aggressively, as well, and faced an uncertain political future if her party failed to win control.

In gubernatorial races, Republicans picked up North Carolina, where Pat McCrory won easily. The incumbent, Democratic Gov. Bev Purdue, did not seek re-election.

In a campaign that traversed contested Republican primaries last winter and spring, a pair of political conventions this summer and three presidential debates, Obama, Romney, Biden and Ryan spoke at hundreds of rallies, were serenaded by Bruce Springstein and Meat Loaf and washed down hamburgers, pizza, barbecue and burrito bowls.

Obama was elected the first black president in 2008, and four years later, Romney became the first Mormon to appear on a general election ballot. Yet one man's race and the other's religion were never major factors in this year's campaign for the White House, a race dominated from the outset by the economy.

Over and over, Obama said that during his term the nation has begun to recover from the worst recession since the Great Depression. While he conceded progress has been slow, he accused Romney of offering recycled Republican policies that have helped the wealthy and harmed the middle class in the past and would do so again.

Romney countered that a second Obama term could mean a repeat recession in a country where economic growth has been weak and unemployment is worse now than when the president was inaugurated. A wealthy former businessman, he claimed the knowledge and the skills to put in place policies that would make the economy healthy again.

In a race where the two men disagreed often, one of the principal fault lines was over taxes. Obama campaigned for the renewal of income tax cuts set to expire on Dec. 31 at all income levels except above $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples.

Romney said no one's taxes should go up in uncertain economic times. In addition, he proposed a 20 percent cut across the board in income tax rates but said he would end or curtail a variety of tax breaks to make sure federal deficits didn't rise.

The differences over taxes, the economy, Medicare, abortion and more were expressed in intensely negative advertising.

Obama launched first, shortly after Romney dispatched his Republican foes in his quest for the party nomination.

One memorable commercial showed Romney singing an off-key rendition of "America The Beautiful." Pictures and signs scrolled by saying that his companies had shipped jobs to Mexico and China, that Massachusetts state jobs had gone to India while he was governor and that he has personal investments in Switzerland, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.

Romney spent less on advertising than Obama. A collection of outside groups made up the difference, some of them operating under rules that allowed donors to remain anonymous. Most of the ads were of the attack variety. But the Republican National Committee relied on one that had a far softer touch, and seemed aimed at voters who had been drawn to the excitement caused by Obama's first campaign. It referred to a growing national debt and unemployment, then said, "He tried. You tried. It's OK to make a change."

More than 30 million voters cast early ballots in nearly three dozen states, a reflection of the growing appeal of getting a jump on the traditional Election Day.

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA- On Saturday, Meals with Mom brought together mothers and their children to make homemade pizza rolls and desert. ... More >>
8 hours ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 7:08:00 PM CDT in News
WARSAW (AP) — A 51-year-old Springfield man already in prison on drug charges has been sentenced to life in prison... More >>
10 hours ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 5:58:00 PM CDT in News
JOPLIN (AP) — A former Joplin police officer has pleaded guilty to a federal charge for offering to help a... More >>
10 hours ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 5:32:00 PM CDT in News
FULTON - Fulton Police arrested two siblings Saturday morning at a residence on the 900 block of Lyle Street. ... More >>
10 hours ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 5:20:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A 41-year-old man was accused of beating his significant other with a hammer Friday, according to the Boone... More >>
11 hours ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 4:03:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Old Munichburg Association brought the community out to celebrate German culture during Saturday's Oktoberfest. The... More >>
12 hours ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 3:52:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - MU Children's Hospital held a tailgate for the MU vs. Delaware State football game Saturday. With help... More >>
12 hours ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 3:15:00 PM CDT in Continuous News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A 25-year-old man was struck and killed after he got out of a vehicle stopped... More >>
13 hours ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 2:50:51 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri Tigers' quarterback Drew Lock threw for 402 yards and five touchdowns, including four to wide receiver J’Mon... More >>
13 hours ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 2:22:00 PM CDT in Sports
HAZELWOOD (AP) — St. Louis area police said injuries have been reported after a car hit people waiting for a... More >>
14 hours ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 1:51:48 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - This morning officers confirmed a report of shots fired in the area of Arlene Drive and Gillespie Bridge... More >>
15 hours ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 12:54:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — One person was killed when a vehicle plunged into a Kansas City area lake. ... More >>
15 hours ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 12:15:43 PM CDT in News
ROGERSVILLE (AP) — A 13-year-old Missouri boy who's mowing lawns for free for single mothers, senior citizens and the disabled... More >>
16 hours ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 11:30:43 AM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump tried unsuccessfully to buy a Kansas City casino in 1999, but... More >>
17 hours ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 10:50:02 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – Puppies with Purpose, a CHAMP Assistance Dogs, Inc. program gives puppies the opportunity to train to become assistance... More >>
19 hours ago September 24, 2016 Sep 24, 2016 Saturday, September 24 2016 Saturday, September 24, 2016 8:35:00 AM CDT in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - A 23-year-old man is accused of breaking into the MU Alpha Chi Omega sorority house Thursday. John... More >>
1 day ago September 23, 2016 Sep 23, 2016 Friday, September 23 2016 Friday, September 23, 2016 10:40:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A car and motorcycle collided at the intersection of Brown School Road and Highway 763 Friday evening. ... More >>
1 day ago September 23, 2016 Sep 23, 2016 Friday, September 23 2016 Friday, September 23, 2016 9:53:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Two people told police they saw someone with a weapon on the 400 block of Brooks Street... More >>
1 day ago September 23, 2016 Sep 23, 2016 Friday, September 23 2016 Friday, September 23, 2016 7:55:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 72°
4am 73°
5am 73°
6am 72°
7am 70°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

3:30a
Paid Program
4:00a
Paid Program
4:30a
Wild About Animals
3:30a
Paid Program
4:00a
Paid Program
4:30a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

6:00p
Football Night in America
7:20p
Sunday Night Football
6:00p
Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult
8:00p
Paid Program
8:30p
Cops Reloaded
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld