Democrats and Obama supporters cheered in Chicago on Election Night. Barack Obama won a second term in the White House with a convincing win in the Electoral College count, even though the popular vote totals were much more evenly split.
Credit: AP Photo/Jerome Delay
Four More Years – Obama Wins Election
After a grueling and costly campaign season, President Barack Obama was re-elected to a second term, defeating his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney. While the popular vote was very close, Obama was successful in winning 303 of the 538 available Electoral College votes (with 29 of Florida’s votes still undecided at the time of writing).
In his concession speech, Romney urged Republicans and Democrats to put aside partisan bickering and put people before politics. In his acceptance speech, Obama promised to work with Republican leaders to reduce the deficit, fix the tax code, and reform immigration.
Despite a still weak economy, Americans voted to maintain the same balance of power in the White House and Congress. Obama is the first incumbent since Franklin Roosevelt to be re-elected with high unemployment numbers. Women voted for Obama by a margin of 55% to 43%. Minorities also voted overwhelmingly for Obama. This may spell future problems for the Republican party, as minority voters in the population grows approximately 2% each year.
In terms of class, only 28% of voters earning more than $100,000 a year cast a vote for Romney. Early voting was big this election season. Although they vary in terms of the rules, most states provide some kind of early voting option beyond traditional absentee ballots. Voters took advantage of this in record numbers in 2008, and are likely to exceed that number for this election.
One thing is clear: Americans were greatly invested in this election. A recent Gallup poll found that 7 in 10 registered voters said that the outcome of this election mattered more to them than any in previous years.
Election Central reported on six Senate and five House races. Here’s how those candidates fared:
- Arizona– Despite a strong opponent in Richard Carmona, voters retained their tendency to vote Republican and elected Jeff Flake.
- Connecticut–Christopher Murphy, Democrat, replaced retiring Senator and one-time Vice Presidential candidate Joe Lieberman. He defeated Republican candidate and professional wrestling executive, Linda McMahon.
- Indiana–Democrat Joe Donnelly won the vote over Republican Richard Mourdock, who received bad press over a controversial public comment.
- Massachusetts–Elizabeth Warren defeated incumbent Scott Brown, returning a Democrat to the seat once occupied by liberal icon Ted Kennedy, who died in 2009.
- Missouri–Claire McCaskill maintained her seat, defeating Republican Todd Akin who also received bad press over an ill-informed public comment.
- Virginia–In a race between two former governors, Democrat Tim Kaine proved victorious over George Allen.
- Democrats won in several other congressional districts across the country, weakening the amount of a majority that Republican maintained in the House of Representatives. Democrats won in California District 30 with Howard Sherman, in Illinois District with veteran Tammy Duckworth. Joe Kennedy III maintained a tradition of Democrats representation in Massachusetts by winning the state’s District 4 race. And Jim Matheson won Utah’s District 4 for the Democratic Party as well.
Highlights of Key Ballots
- Gay Marriage–A hot topic during this election, same-sex marriage referendums were passed in Washington State, Maine and Maryland.
- Marijuana Legalization–Washington and Colorado voted in favor of legalizing the recreational use of marijuana.
- Death Penalty–In response to another hot-button topic, voters in California rejected a proposal to end the death penalty in their state.
- Statehood–Puerto Ricans passed a referendum indicating the desire for statehood. To become the Union’s 51st state, however, this will need to be approved by Congress.