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US Elections 2012 Special: EA's Live Coverage and Analysis

Scott Lucas: Why Obama Should Win Today --- and Romney's 3-Step Plan to Upset Him
Lee Haddigan: The Hope for a Romney Upset --- Voter Turnout
James Miller: EA Video Analysis: 270 Votes or Bust --- The Electoral Map Favors Obama
Lee Haddigan: The 7 Senate Races to Watch --- and Why They Are Important for the Next President

0658 GMT: President --- The Victory Speech. President Obama has concluded a rousing victory speech, "We are and forever will be the United States of America....We will continue our journey forward and remind the world why it is that we live in the greatest nation of earth."

0637 GMT: President --- The Victory Speech. President Obama has arrived, with his wife Michelle Obama and daughters, to a wildly-applauding crowd and Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours".

Obama opens, "The path of perfecting our union moves forward. It moves forward because of you. It moves forward because you have reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and depression."

He continues, "We are one American family and we rise and fall together."

And then, "We know in our hearts the best is yet to come."

0621 GMT: President --- The Result. With only Florida outstanding, President Obama has 303 Electoral Votes to Mitt Romney's 206.

So far, EA staff have called 49 out of 49 states and the District of Columbia correctly. However, we gave Florida, where Obama holds a 60,000-vote lead with 92% of the vote in, to Romney.

0615 GMT: Romney and Obama Speeches. We are back after a short break to find that Mitt Romney has finally given a concession speech. The address, just under five minutes long, has split listeners on social media, with some calling it "classy" and others "disappointing" and "depressing".

Romney said that, despite defeat, his principles always remained, and he called on supporters to reach a hand across the aisle to work with President Obama.

CNN reports that President Obama is on his way to greet supporters.

0445 GMT: DEMOCRATS WIN WHITE HOUSE & SENATE, REPUBLICANS KEEP HOUSE. There are still races, there are still results, but the bottom line is clear --- Obama has captured the White House, and by a decisive margin. He has done so without results from Florida or Virginia. The Democrats have also won several Senate seats that, just a few months ago, were expected to go to the Republicans. In the House, the Democrats have narrowed the Republicans lead, but have not recaptured the second chamber. The numbers and full extent of the House races will be much more clear by tomorrow.

We're closing tonight's live coverage. Stay tuned for tomorrow's updates and analysis.

And thanks for reading.

0422 GMT: BARACK OBAMA WINS RE-ELECTION. All major networks now call the race for Barack Obama:

0415 GMT: PRESIDENT --- FINAL RESULT. NBC says Iowa, Ohio, and Oregon, they are predicting that Obama has won re-election. Denver Post also reports that Colorado has been won by Obama.

Assuming these stands, Barack Obama has won a second term.


0403 GMT: Ohio --- Trends. It may be too early to call, but the numbers are looking worse and worse for for Romney. Lee Haddigan reports:

"Ohio is Obama's. All the votes to come are in urban areas where he's handily beating Romney. Cuyahoga County's numbers bear this out, where Obama is winning more than 2 to 1."

0400 GMT: POLLS CLOSED. Polls have closed in California, Idaho, Oregon, Washington State and Hawaii.

0359 GMT: SENATE PROJECTION --- VIRGINIA. NBC is now calling that Democrat Tim Kaine will beat Republican George Allen in Virginia.

0353 GMT: More Confirmation. NPR's Andy Carvin confirms some results we've already reported:

0348 GMT: Ohio and Florida --- Trends. Real Clear Politics looks at Ohio's numbers, and they look good for Obama:

CNN is reporting similar trends in Florida, where Obama's margins in areas he won in 2008 are even higher this year than they were then.

It's still too early to call, but it's not looking likely that Romney is going to win Florida, and Ohio, and Virginia, and at least one of swing state.

0341 GMT: Video showing Bill O'Reilly's rant where he says that women and minorities are voting for Barack Obama because "they want stuff" (see update 0241):

0331 GMT: Electoral College --- Maine. No split votes for Maine's electoral college:

0328 GMT: Bellwether Trends. Ohio is renowned for being the bellwether state of US presidential elections. But within Ohio, Ottawa County is the place to watch. It has voted for every presidential winner since 1948, and in 2012 it has gone for Obama over Romney 51-44. The networks are not yet projecting an Obama win in Ohio, but this snapshot of the Ohioan electorate is good news for President Obama .

0323 GMT: SENATE PROJECTION --- MISSOURI. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) has defeated Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) for Missouri’s senate seat, NBC projects.

Tod Akin, another Republican favorite only a few months ago, had his stock collapse quickly after he said that women could not get pregnant if it was a "legitimate rape."

0315 GMT: SENATE PROJECTION --- MASSACHUSETTS. With 50% of the votes now tallied, Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren is beating incumbent Republican Scott Brown by 8 points - 54% to 46%. Interestingly, looking at my own district, where I ran a successful campaign in 2010, Brown seems to be polling lower than many other Republicans polled in the 2010 election, and in an area that is among the most Conservative districts in the entire state.

0308 GMT: PRESIDENT PROJECTION --- NEW HAMPSHIRE According to the AP, a major development:

There are now few scenarios where Romney can win this race.

0305 GMT: PRESIDENT --- PROJECTION. CNN calls Utah (6 Electoral Votes) for Mitt Romney.

Fox calls both Utah and Montana (3) for Romney.

0300 GMT: POLLS CLOSE. Polls are closed in Montana and Utah, both solid Romney states, as well as in the nominal toss-up states --- both are leaning to Obama --- of Iowa and Nevada.

0258 GMT: Senate --- Wisconsin. FOX news projects Democrat Tammy Baldwin will beat Republican Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin Senate race. Baldwin would be the first openly gay Senator.

0253 GMT: Senate --- Virginia. Scott Lucas has been watching CNN and reports that Republican candidate George Allen is up 51-49 with 59% of precincts reporting. However, Lee Haddigan, who has been watching local media, reports that with 74% reporting in Virginia, according to local media, Kaine is closing the gap that was reported on CNN.

0252 GMT: President --- Florida. With 84% of the ballots counted, President Obama has taken a lead of more than 19,500 votes over Mitt Romney.

0245 GMT: Senate --- Indiana. Fox is projecting a notable gain for the Democrats, with Joe Donnelly defeating Richard Mourdock.

Mourdock had an advantage in the polls until recent weeks, when he made controversial statements that abortion should not be permitted in cases of rape.

0245 GMT: Historical Fact. With the Republicans losing Massachusetts and Wisconsin, this is the first time since 1972 that a campaign has failed to win the home state of either the Presidential or Vice-Presidential candidate.

0241 GMT: Media Watch. A bit more from the Bill O'Reilly rant on Fox earlier tonight as he saw the writing on the wall in the Presidential race:

The white establishment is now the minority/ And the voters, many of them, feel that the economic system is stacked against them and they want stuff. You are going to see a tremendous Hispanic vote for President Obama. Overwhelming black vote for President Obama. And women will probably break President Obama's way. People feel that they are entitled to things and which candidate, between the two, is going to give them things?

The demographics are changing. It’s not a traditional America anymore.

2035 GMT: President --- FloridaFiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver has all but called Florida for Obama:

In every presidential election since 1960, the candidate who prevailed in Florida’s Hillsborough County, home to Tampa, has also prevailed in Florida. There is no guarantee that the pattern will hold in 2012, but the Tampa region is critical in carrying the Sunshine State (which is why the Republican Party held their national convention there this year).

More than 80 percent of the vote has been reported in Hillsborough, and President Obama leads Mitt Romney by five percentage points. Mr. Obama, as we have written, is likely getting a push from Florida’s fast-growing Hispanic community. In Hillsborough, Hispanic residents have grown by 71 percent since 2000, now accounting for a quarter of the county’s population.

Mr. Obama is also leading in another Florida bellwether, Pinellas County, Hillsborough County’s western neighbor. In Pinellas, 99 percent of the vote has been reported, and Mr. Obama is edging out Mr. Romney 52 percent to 47 percent.

So far, tonight's results largely vindicate many of Silver's predictions:

0227 GMT: President --- Pennsylvania All the major networks are now calling Pennsylvania as an Obama win. This is hugely significant because it was the state the Romney made a last minute attempt to take. With its 20 votes, this means that by most calculations Mitt Romney will not be able to win the race without both Ohio and Florida.

0222 GMT: President --- Florida. This may be good news for President Obama, who holds a 300-vote edge with 78% of ballots returned.

Only 15% of the votes have been counted in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, both of which are traditionally heavily Democratic and are trending that way this evening.

0220 GMT: PRESIDENT --- PROJECTIONS. In addition to CNN's calls, Fox has called North Dakota for Mitt Romney.

0218 GMT: Media Watch. Fox "analysts", such as Tucker Carlson, are now blaming an apparent Obama victory on unmarried women and fewer people going to church.

0216 GMT: President --- Florida. As Wolf Blitzer of CNN was describing the results board, Mitt Romney took a lead of 1288 votes with about 75% of the count.

Blitzer nearly jumped with excitement, "Wow!".

He may have jumped some more if CNN had stayed longer on the board. Obama is back in the lead --- by 2400 votes --- with 78% of the ballots returned.

0212 GMT: President --- Florida. With 71% of the result in, President Obama is ahead by less than 3000 votes.

0210 GMT: SENATE RESULTS. A bit of an upset. Though it's still early, this call is a combination of official results and exit polls:

0207 GMT: PRESIDENT --- PROJECTIONS. CNN calls Kansas, Louisiana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Mississiipi, and three of Nebraska's five votes for Romney. The big prize is Texas with 38 Electoral Votes.

CNN calls Michigan for Obama --- that is big not for the outcome, but for the timing, as Republicans had made noises about trying to keep the result close. New York and New Jersey have also been called for the President.

0203 GMT: POLLS CLOSE. Polls have closed in States with 156 of the 538 electoral votes.

New York, with 29 votes, is a lock for Obama, joined by New Mexico, and Minnesota and Wisconsin should be safe, despite last-minute Republican efforts to tip the balance. Mitt Romney can count on Louisiana, Nebraska, Arizona and Wyoming. However, it looks like Romney will only get 4 of 5 electoral votes from Nebraska.

The one toss-up state is Colorado, whose six electoral votes have swung back-and-forth in polls over the last month.

0159 GMT: National Trends - Exit Polls. Politico reports that according to exit polls, "6 in 10 voters nationwide say they think taxes should be increased". They also reportedly show that voters typically see Obama working for the middle class, whilst Romney would help the rich.

0155 GMT: President --- Florida. With 62% of the vote in, President Obama has a lead of just under 100,000 votes --- 50% to 49% --- over Mitt Romney.

0150 GMT: SENATE RESULTS: Democrat Chris Murphy has beat Republican Linda McMahon in Connecticut. That was a seat Republicans thought they could win until the last few weeks --- their candidate, Linda McMahon, is wife of World Wrestling's Vince MacMahon who had put $42 million of her own money into the race.

0146 GMT: SENATE RESULTS. According to the Washington Post, "Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) has been reelected, defeating Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.)"

0143 GMT: Media Watch Mike Huckabee --- former Governor of Arkansa and Presidential candidate in 2008 --- is staying hopeful on Fox, linking Mitt Romney's campaign to the call this year by some people to eat Chick-Fil-A chicken after its CEO condemned same-sex relationships: "I'm confident Virginia and North Carolina are going to swing to Mitt Romney before the evening is over. I think what we said August 1 with all those people eating a chicken sandwich --- Chick-Fil-A Day was a dress rehearsal for today."

0140 GMT: Official Results Delayed. According to the Boston Globe, Virginia will stop reporting results because in some areas there are still long lines of people still waiting to vote.

0137 GMT: President --- Virginia. It could be a long night in Virginia:

0130 GMT: PRESIDENT --- PROJECTIONS. Fox and CNN call Arkansas and Tennessee for Mitt Romney.

0125 GMT: POLLS CLOSE. Polling officially closes in five minutes in Arkansas, a safe state for Mitt Romney.

0120 GMT: President --- Florida. President Obama is up 50-49 with 53% of the vote returned in Florida.

0115 GMT: Media Watch. Fox's "analysts": "Romney needs more white people voting."

0111 GMT: President --- Projections. We have updated our electoral map at the top of the entry to add Georgia, Alabama, Missouri, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Tennessee to the Romney column. President Obama adds Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Illinois, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, Connecticut, and three of Maine's four electoral districts.

For Mitt Romney, we can also call Alabama, Missouri, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

0108 GMT: Media Watch. Fox hands over several minutes to Bill O'Reilly to give excuses for a Romney loss. O'Reilly puts the blame on Hurricane Sandy, which allowed Obama to appear Presidential while "the Romney campaign disappeared for five days", but also adds the problem of "people who feel entitled and will vote for the candidate who gives them entitlements".

0102 GMT: PRESIDENT --- PROJECTIONS. Most networks call Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Illinois, and three of Maine's four electors for Obama.

Fox adds Alabama and Oklahoma, as well as Georgia from earlier in the night, for Romney.

The key "toss-up" states of Ohio, Virginia, and Florida are still too close to call.

0101 GMT: Complications Watch The Guardian reports that "Virginia election officials have now delayed reporting of results until 8pm, citing crowded polling places".

0100 GMT: POLLS CLOSE. Polling has officially closed in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Mississippi, New Jersey, Tennessee, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, Connecticut, Texas, Alabama, the rest of Florida, Missouri, Michigan, and Oklahoma.

Almost a third of the night's Electoral Votes will come from these states. Florida is the key "toss-up" state; New Hampshire is also in our list of seven states in play, but is tilted towards Obama at this point.

The Romney camp will also be hoping for an upset in Pennsylvania or Michigan, both states we have as safely Democratic at this point.

0050 GMT: President --- Florida. While the state is too close to call, the early numbers appear to be stronger for Barack Obama than anticipated.

CNN is now reporting a 52-48 Obama lead with a third of the vote counted.

0046 GMT: PRESIDENT --- PROJECTIONS: At this point only Vermont has been called for Barack Obama. Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia, and South Carolina have been called for Mitt Romney.

None of these are surprising and do not vary from our original predictions.

The updated electoral map is at the top of the entry.

0043 GMT: President --- Florida. Adam Smith, political editor for the Tampa Bay Times, has tweeted his first impressions of the early voting and absentee ballots cast in two conservative counties in Florida. Noting that Mitt Romney has only secured a 52-47 advantage in Pasco County and a slimmer lead of 50-49 in Duval County, he contends that these are “excellent early numbers for Obama".

0035 GMT: PRESIDENT --- PROJECTIONS. Fox and BBC call West Virginia (5 Electoral Votes) for Romney.

Fox and MSNBC call South Carolina for Romney.

0031 GMT: Media Watch. Fox is covering all angles, playing both cheerleader and excuse-maker. On the one hand, they are exalting Mitt Romney's chances in Pennsylvania --- a state we see as a near-certainty to back Obama.

On the other, Brit Hume is implying that the race is close because a lot of stupid people still think Obama is a hero. The anchor adds, "And what all about all those negative ads about Governor Romney?"

0030 GMT: POLLS CLOSE. Polls have closed in three states. West Virginia is safe for Romney, and North Carolina, which was in play at the start of October, is a near-certainty for the Republican.

The third state is the key: it's Ohio, a must-win for Romney (see our separate analysis).

0019 GMT: President --- Florida. CNN is very excited that, with 5% of the vote in, it is 50-50. "This is close as you can get!" Wolf Blitzer exclaims.

0013 GMT: President --- Florida. A small snapshot --- Barack Obama is ahead 55-45 with 4% of the vote in.

Obama's lead rests so far on a 61-38 advantage in the Orlando area. In 2008, he won Orlando 59-41 over John McCain on his way to winning Florida.

0001 GMT: POLLS CLOSE. CNN projects Kentucky (8 Electoral Votes) for Romney and Vermont (3) for Obama.

Fox, NBC, ABC, and CBS project Kentucky and Indiana (11) for Romney and Vermont for Obama.

0000 GMT: POLLS CLOSE. Polls have closed in six states: Indiana, Kentucky, South Carolina, Georgia, Vermont, and Virginia.

2358 GMT: Media Watch. CNN is very excited, "Soon we will have real numbers."

2342 GMT: Media Watch. Fox is showing off its own operations --- many TV screens because "lots of stuff happens in a control room", "guys at who are in quarantine but not because they are sick", and "televisions in the elevators".

On CNN, Wolf Blitzer is very excited that the top of the Empire State Building will turn blue or red depending on who is winning the Presidential vote.

2340 GMT: Polls Closing. Polls close in 15 minutes in six states. Indiana, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Georgia are all safe for Romney; Vermont for Obama.

The critical state in the first group is Virginia, one of our seven "toss-up" states and a near must-win for Romney if he is to win the election.

2333 GMT: Media Watch. CNN's John King is reduced to micro-analysis of Vigo County, Indiana, as it has "only been wrong twice since 1888" in voting for the winner of the Presidential election.

Some unidentified person is talking about exit polls as the dangers of over-reporting the "cool guy" vs. the "un-cool guy", who apparently is the Republican.

2319 GMT: Media Watch. After John King spends several more minutes with a muddle of exit poll information --- slightly more people in Ohio and Virginia think Romney is better for handling the economy, but a slight majority say economic conditions are already improving --- Wolf Blitzer gives the summary, "We're going to be here all night. But that's what they pay us for: to be here all night."

2306 GMT: Media Watch. The media are caught in a Bermuda Triangle of coverage where nothing significant will happen until the polls close across six states, including the swing state of Virginia, at 0000 GMT. So CNN --- after an apocalyptic top-of-the-hour sequence with "THE FIGHT", "THE BATTLE", "THE ISSUES" --- is filling time with John King's lengthy but empty chatter at the "Magic Wall", and correspondents giving platitudes from the Romney and Obama campaign headquarters.

Expect a lot of detailed chatter for 50 minutes about the "exit polls" and whether or not they have significance for the outcome. So far, CNN concludes, "It's going to be a long night."

2300 GMT: POLLS CLOSE. Polling stations have closed in parts of Kentucky and Indiana, although balloting will continue in other areas until 0000 GMT (7 p.m. local time).

2249 GMT: Voter Turnout Watch. The latest update from election officials in Cuyahoga County in Ohio, a region that voted heavily for Obama in 2008, suggests turnout will “meet or exceed” 2008 levels.

2246 GMT: Complication Watch. A curious development in Ohio, where Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted has asked voting machine manufacturer ES&S to install last-minute, unverified, custom firmware updates on the state's ballot boxes. Husted's office have been reticent in explaining the reason.

2234 GMT: Voter Turnout. In Virginia, officials say voter turnout is likely to surpass the record high turnout in the 2008 election. Furthermore, "officials aren't seeing a large number of provisional ballots being cast for not having proper identification stemming from Virginia's new voter ID law".

2149 GMT: Complication Watch. Some ironic news from Tampa, Florida --- an Associate Professor of History at the University of South Floria, due to appear on the BBC tonight to discuss voter suppression, was a victim earlier today of...voter suppression:

David K. Johnson...went to his N Florida Avenue precinct, where he's voted the past six years. It was there that a poll worker told him he wasn't on the rolls. He spoke with a second poll worker who was able to track down a David Johnson with the same birth date and voter ID number who had registered under an Orlando address that he had never heard of until then. He was told the change had been made on Oct. 23 — well past the deadline to update addresses.

"It's very suspicious," Johnson said.

2130 GMT: Pundit Watch. There is already one clear winner from the 2012 Presidential Election: Nate Silver of, whose statistical predictions have been the talk of the town throughout the campaign.

In a profile of his rise to success, the New Republic reports that 20% of all visitors to the New York Times on Monday looked at Silver's blog on the site.

OSilver may also be the real loser if his predictions are wrong --- he currently gives Barack Obama a 90.9% chance of winning this election. However, he won't be alone if Romney wins. Intrade gives Obama a 67.9%% chance of triumph, and Real Clear Politics predicts Obama to win 303 electoral votes to Romney's 235, the same as tje prediction of EA's James Miller.

2116 GMT: Complications Watch. Earlier we reported that the wait to vote in Virginia in two hours --- the local paper in Hampton Roads reports that the line is four hours, and it is up to five hours in the Chesapeake area:

2114 GMT: Complications Watch. New Jersey, facing problems over voters not receivng e-mail and fax ballots after Hurricane Sandy, has extended the deadline for their return to county clerks to 8 p.m. Friday.

2111 GMT: Complications Watch. EA's Scott Lucas reports:

Reported problems in Pennsylvania, from the Philadephia City Paper:

The names of registered Philadelphia voters are not showing up on voter rolls and poll workers are instructing them to vote using provisional ballots, according to voters and poll workers in West and North Philadelphia. Provisional ballots, if they are counted, are not counted until up to seven days after the election.

"We think it's a real concern," said a staffer at The Committee of Seventy, which monitors elections in Philadelphia. Voter ID, he says, is "not the central problem in Philadelphia today: [it's] the messy administration of this election. The phones are just ringing off the hook. We're fielding calls about people who are not in the polling books."

Some poll workers are not even instructing people that they can file provisional ballots, and other voters are reportedly just walking away in frustration.

At this point, the complication is unlikely to affect the Presidential race --- unlike the case in Ohio, where there could be a 10-day delay over provisional ballots if the count is close --- because President Obama has been showing a steady lead in polls. If a last-minute Republican effort succeeds, however, that gap could close.

2059 GMT: Voting Problems. EA's John Horne reports:

Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Castor tells Guardian journalist Chris McGreal of alleged irregularities in Florida:

2053 GMT: SENATE. EA's Lee Haddigan reports:

Interesting news from Intrade, the political betting website, who rate Democrats as an 80% favorite to take the Indiana Senate race. Indiana has strict rules restricting telepolling, and this is the clearest indication yet that Mourdock's controversial comments on abortion have cost Republicans an otherwise safe Senate seat.

Intrade sounds like a poor source of political information, but it's been surprisingly effective at predicting races. Never discount a market price. People "in the know" in Indiana will be driving those odds.

2041 GMT: President. Bad news from Ohio for Mitt Romney's hopes that Democratic voters would not turn out as heavily as in 2008 --- in Cuyahoga County, including Cleveland, 50% of registered voters had cast a ballot as of 2:30 EST (1930 GMT).

In 2008, the turnout for the entire day was 61%.

2037 GMT: Complication Watch. CNN reports that voters have waited for two hours in northern Virginia and three hours in some parts of south Florida, leading some people to walk away before casting a ballot.

A breakdown of two voting machines in north Philadelphia also led about 30 voters to walk away.

In contrast, voting is reportedly going smoothly in Cuyahoga County --- whose major city is Cleveland --- in Ohio.

2032 GMT: Fun with Voting. Yeah, elections are serious business. But sometimes politics is just funny. In small towns across America, there may not be a school, town hall, or other location large enough to handle the amount of voters who show up. Sometimes, if the town is small enough, there may not be a school at all. In this spirit, Slate magazine has a photo spread of the most ludicrous polling places in all of America. Below we'll post a photo of just one example.

Remember --- Every Vote is a Winner!

2021 GMT: Voting Problems. Ohio became infamous in 2004, and again in 2008, for voting problems. Long lines, accusations of vote fraud and voter intimidation, and problems with the actual voting machines have plagued the state for years. The Washington Post reports that there are more problems today:

Voting equipment has been down in parts of Cleveland and several suburbs, including Cleveland Heights, Maple Heights and Parma, The Plain Dealer reports. In Parma Heights, problems were reported with a machine counting the ballots. Election officials said voters will be asked to put ballots in a gray box that will be counted later.

2010 GMT: Presidential Race. Social media is changing the way election day turnout is influenced. Candidates send emails to supporters, asking them to volunteer, call family, and turn out to vote. However, this sort of real-time influence is a new component to the race. It's too early to tell if it will have an influence:

2002 GMT: Turnout Watch. Turnout is huge. I voted at approximately 8 AM, an hour after polls opened, and there were already longer lines than I have ever seen in front of my polling place in Milford, Massachusetts:

In my hometown, there are more than 17000 registered voters. There are 8 precincts. As of 20 minutes ago, more than 1126 voters had already cast a ballot in precinct 5, according to a source.

It's anecdotal, and it's hard to say what is driving turnout in my hometown. Not only is there a hotly contested Presidential race, but there is also a hotly contended Senate race, where Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren is trying to recapture a seat that once belonged to Ted Kennedy from Republican Scott Brown. Furthermore, there is a race for the House of Representatives following the retirement of Democrat Barney Frank.

My town is an interesting example of the direction that parts of Massachusetts are moving. The town is still strongly Democratic, but has been pulled much further to the right in recent days. Also, support for Republican Scott Brown here is very strong.

As someone who has run campaigns in the past, it's interesting to see traditional patterns break down. For instance, it's very clear that Scott Brown has established a very strong ground game here, as signs and supporters have been everywhere in recent days. Elizabeth Warren's campaign does not seem as strong here. On the other hand, Democrat Patrick Kennedy seems to have run a very strong campaign here, and his supporters appear far more organized than Republican Sean Bielat. Neither candidate is an incumbent, and even though Bielat has previously run for this seat, Milford has just been added to the district, so neither candidate should have a natural advantage.

In summary, politics here is far more complicated than Democrat or Republican. In fact, most of the voters here are "unenrolled" independents with no party affiliation. At the end of the day, different voters may have varied reasons to be enthusiastic about multiple candidates. While the energy level does not seem to match that of 2008, it's hard to call either side "unenthusiastic" - after all, we may be looking at record turnout, regardless of whether the smiles are broader four years ago.

James Miller takes over today's live coverage. Thanks to Scott Lucas for getting us started.

1913 GMT: Complication Watch. Ari Berman writes of problems raised at a meeting of the Election Protection Coalition:

Poll workers in Pennsylvania wrongly telling voters they need photo ID to cast a ballot --- according to the law, poll workers in Pennsylvania can ask voters for ID, but they are not required to show it in order to vote. However, that is not how the law is being enforced. Eric Marshall, co-director of Election Protection, says such problems are occurring across the state, although reports are that minority voters are being targeted in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Harrisburg. “Poll workers are asking black voters for ID but not white voters,” Marshall reported.

Voting machines are not working in the Ohio cities of Cleveland, Dayton and Toledo --- the optical scan electronic voting machines are broken. These are heavily Democratic cities where Obama needs a big turnout to win.

1906 GMT: Complication Watch. New Jersey media report a possible problem in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy:

One big problem Twitter followers reported was with the e-mail and fax voting system state officials implemented for displaced voters. Voters were instructed to send an application via fax or e-mail. They were to receive a ballot back once their application was approved. But voters reported on social media they never received a ballot back or could not reach the clerks' offices.

The problem is unlikely to affect the Presidential race, with Barack Obama holding a big lead in polls.

1858 GMT: Complication Watch. NBC News reports that a Pennsylvania electronic voting machine has been taken out of service after being captured on video changing a vote for President Obama into one for Mitt Romney.

1845 GMT: Complication Watch. Here's a scenario that could hold up a result in the Presidential election until mid-November --- welcome to Ohio's procedure for voting by post, which has caused some furour over application of the rules by officials:

By the end of the Election Day counting, it will be known which candidate is ahead and how many provisional ballots remain to be counted.

Provisional ballots tend to be used more often by low-income and transient voters, and both sides assume they will break strongly for Obama.

That means Romney could hold a small lead in Ohio at the end of the counting on Tuesday and still lose the race there --- possibly even decisively --- if several hundred thousand provisional ballots remain to be counted.

Under that scenario, the public should prepare for a long wait. Ohio rules say provisional ballots cannot be counted until 10 days after an election.

And, if Florida is on a knife-edge, expect this error to get some attention:

Hundreds and potentially thousand of voters in Florida’s Pinellas County received automatic calls from the local supervisor of elections mistakenly informing them that they had until 7 p.m. tomorrow to cast their votes. Of course, they actually have until 7 p.m. this evening.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, the calls went out between 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday because of a phone system glitch. The calls had been intended for Monday to alert voters who hadn't returned mail ballots that they still had time to vote. About 12,000 of those calls didn't get through, but at least some of them accidentally went out again on Tuesday morning, Nancy Whitlock, a spokeswoman for the Pinellas supervisor of elections, told the paper.

"We stopped it immediately when we found out about it," she said.

The office sent out a second message asking residents to disregard the earlier call and reminding them that today is, in fact, Election Day.

1745 GMT: Welcome to EA's Live Coverage of the 2012 Presidential and Congressional elections.

Polling started on the East Coast at 6 a.m. (1100 GMT), with the rest of the country opening the election booths over the next few hours. The traditional opening votes were cast, however, just after midnight (0500 GMT) in the New Hampshire community of Dixville Notch --- Obama 5, Romney 5.

That gave an immediate headline for US media outlets trumpeting a "Too Close to Call" race. We are bucking the trend, however. For weeks, Scott Lucas has said in EA's Video Analyses that President Obama had the advantage because of the State-by-State breakdown in the US "Electoral College" system. Even if the popular vote was close, the Democrats' hold on big states like New York and California meant that they had less to do to get the 270 Electoral Votes to claim the White House.

Despite Obama's stumble in the first Presidential debate in early October, we have held to that line, and the President's recovery in the following debates as well as a solid Democratic campaign of "steady as she goes" on the economy has reinforced that analysis. Indeed, in the last week, Obama has edged ahead in the showcase of the national polls as well as reinforcing his lead in the real battlegrounds from Ohio to Nevada.

Scott Lucas' projection --- outlined in his analysis today --- is that we will know by late tonight in the US that President Obama is returning to the White House. The projection in the Electoral College: Obama 303, Romney 235.

James Miller is also looking at an Obama victory in EA's Video Analysis of the electoral map.

Lee Haddigan offers a bit of caution to these projections, however. In his analysis, he explains that Romney could overturn the odds if there is a high Republican turnout and Democrats stay home. There is also the possible complication of officials in Ohio and Florida allegedly deterring Obama voters with disqualifications and hindrances resulting in long queues at the polling stations.

And, of course, it's not just a battle for the Presidency tonight. Indeed, given the prospect of tension between President and Congress over the next two years, the races for the Senate and the House of Representatives --- especially the former --- may be as important as Obama v. Romney. Lee Haddigan looks at the seven "toss-up" Senate races and explains their significance, given the economic battles as soon as the President is inaugurated in January.

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    Response: 45 pound dumbbells
    EA WorldView - Home - US Elections 2012 Special: EA's Live Coverage and Analysis

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