News24 US election live blog

2012-11-07 07:55
Barack Obama, Mitt Romney (File, AP)

Barack Obama, Mitt Romney (File, AP)

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01:19 EST (08:19 SA time) - NBC's political director Chuck Todd claims votes in Miami-Dade county in Florida will not be completely counted this evening, meaning we will likely not get a result for Florida tonight. Although NBC has not yet echoed calls giving Virginia to Obama, Todd claimed he couldn't quite see how Romney could make up the 60 000-odd votes he is currently behind Obama.

00:56 EST (07:56 SA time) - The Associated Press has projected President Barack Obama will win Virginia and its 13 electoral votes, which means a contested Ohio result will mean very little now. Virginia voted for Obama in 2008, picking a Democrat for the first time since Lyndon B Johnson won in 1964.

00:56 EST (07:56 SA time) - The Associated Press has projected President Barack Obama will win Virginia and its 13 electoral votes, which means a contested Ohio result will mean very little now. Virginia voted for Obama in 2008, picking a Democrat for the first time since Lyndon B Johnson won in 1964.

00:50 EST (07:50 SA time) - With over 70% of the national vote now counted, Obama has taken the lead in the popular vote. Due to the Electoral College system, it is possible for a candidate to get more votes but lose the election, which stirs immense controversy as it did in the 200 election between George W Bush and Al Gore.

00:47 EST (07:47 SA time) - With over 70% of the national vote now counted, Obama has taken the lead in the popular vote. Due to the Electoral College system, it is possible for a candidate to get more votes but lose the election, which stirs immense controversy as it did in the 200 election between George W Bush and Al Gore.

00:31 EST (07:31 SA time) - Democrat Senate candidate in Wisconsin, Tammy Baldwin, is projected to win, which makes her the first openly gay person ever to serve in the US Senate. She ran against a former governor, Tommy Thompson.

00:21 EST (07:21 SA time) - This is a huge night for social issues in the USA. Gay marriage passed state referenda in Maine and Maryland, and leads in Washington State and Minnesota, while marijuana has succeeded in ballots in Colorado, and leads in Washington State.

Obama, a socially liberal president, won re-election, and Democrats running on liberal platforms in tight Senate contests won, such as Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts and Tim Kaine in Virginia. Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin is leading in her race, and could become the first openly gay Senator in US history.

00:07 EST (07:07 SA time) - The Associated Press has projected Nevada to Obama which puts the president on 290 electoral votes with only Alaska, Florida and Virginia to come. NBC's political director Chuck Todd claims Obama is ahead in Florida and Virginia.

Gay marriage survived a referendum in Maine, which is the first time it has ever been OK’d by an electorate - it has been voted down over 30 times previously. It is also on the ballot in Maryland, Washington State and Minnesota (although in Minnesota it is to vote to decide on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage).

23:54 EST (06:54 SA time) - The Associated Press has awarded the hotly contested state of Colorado and its 9 electoral votes to Obama. This state was virtually indecipherable in polling leading up the election - it was absolutely neck and neck.  Although Obama won Colorado in 2008, it voted for Bush in 2000 and 2004. Colorado is a very useful state to add to the Democrat fold, should it have changed its allegiances.

Also in Colorado, the state's Amendment 64 passed a referendum to legalise the recreational use of marijuana.

23:42 EST (06:42 SA time) - Fox reports that Romney is not yet planning to make a concession speech. If Ohio is contested by lawyers, he will likely wait for other results to come in, or Ohio to be finalised.

There does seem to be consensus amongst the major news networks that Obama is projected to win Ohio. NBC, CBS, Fox News and ABC called it.

Currently on Fox News, Republican strategist Karl Rove is contesting the networks' decision to give Ohio to Obama.

23:34 EST (06:34 SA time) - It is important to note that the results we have in are projections, and there remains a small chance this result will not be made official. If Ohio is won by 0.25% or less there is an automatic recount - admittedly an unlikely scenario. These results will only be declared official when all the votes have actually been counted.

Obama, of course, could counter this by winning solidly in Florida, and/or Colorado, Nevada, Virginia.

23:19 EST (06:19 SA time) - Fox News has echoed NBC in projecting Ohio for Barack Obama and its 18 electoral college votes.

Obama is on 275 electoral college votes while Romney is on 203, with Nevada, Colorado, Virginia and Florida to come on - the results of which are now inconsequential.

23:16 EST (06:16 SA time) - NBC has projected Ohio will be won by Barack Obama which puts him over the threshold of 270 electoral votes.

Based on this... OBAMA WINS THE 2012 US ELECTION.

23:14 EST (06:14 SA time) - NBC projects Iowa will be won by Obama. Although the state is only six votes, it is one of the all-important swing states. More money was spent in Iowa per electoral vote than in any other state - approximately $12m per electoral vote. Team Obama will be very happy with this.

Obama is also projected to win Oregon and take its 7 electoral votes - he is within striking distance of winning the presidency, requiring only 13 more votes.

23:09 EST (06:09 SA time) - NBC has projected Romney will win North Carolina, which means he snatched a state Obama narrowly won in 2008. While Romney has been marginally ahead in polls in this state for virtually the whole campaign, it was never enough that he could have felt comfortable. Both sides spent massive resources in this state.

North Carolina's 15 electoral votes boost Romney to 203. Obama is on 244.

23:05 EST (06:05 SA time) - Some more predictable projections have just come in, and are large, if expected, gains for Obama. NBC projects Obama will take California, Washington State and Hawaii which is a bounce of 71 electoral votes, while Romney has been projected to win Idaho's 4 votes.

This puts Obama at 243 electoral votes, requiring only 27 to win the presidency (that's Florida). Romney has 188.

22:55 EST (05:55 SA time) - Missouri will go to Romney, according to NBC's projections. At one point it seemed a swing state, in spite of voting for John McCain in 2008 while the country poured adoration on Obama, but levelled out once Romney won the Republican primary.

As things stand, Obama has 172 electoral votes, while Romney has 184. It is worth pointing out, however, that Obama will close out tonight with the west coast and Hawaii, which is worth a combined 79 votes, while Romney will close with Idaho and Alaska.

Team Obama can close this out with a few swing states, although only New Hampshire's result has been projected thus far.

22:47 EST (05:47 SA time) - Fox News has projected that Mitt Romney will win Arizona, and with it, 11 electoral votes. Although Democrats earlier this year explored the prospect of winning the state, it was little more than a pipe dream. This state remains strongly Republican in spite of a large immigrant population (which commonly helps things lean toward Democrats).

NBC has projected Obama will win Minnesota and its 10 electoral votes, in another expected result.

This has the electoral college virtually level with Obama sitting on 172 votes, and Romney on 174. This situation, however, is an advantage to Obama as he has strong states left to come in, and only needs to win a few swing states.

22:30 EST (05:30 SA time) - Democrats are actually having a great night regarding the Senate. Other than one slip in Nebraska, which saw Democrat candidate Bob Kerry lose to Republican Deb Fischer, Democrats have picked up in Indiana and Massachusetts which were both held by Republicans.

In Massachusetts, Democrat Elizabeth Warren beat Republican Scott Brown. Brown surprisingly won a special election to fill the seat after its holder, the legendary Ted Kennedy, died in 2009.

In Indiana, the highly controversial Republican Richard Mourdock is projected to lose to Democrat Joe Donnelly. This is a solid Republican state so the result is great for Democrats, although they were assisted by the selection of the uber-conservative Mourdock as the Republican candidate.

22:23 EST (05:23 SA time) - We're still waiting on virtually every swing state to come in except New Hampshire which picked President Obama, according to NBC projections. Virginia and Florida saw polls close ages ago, and the longer they take, the more one would expect the result to favour Obama, due to a higher turnout being more favourable to him.  
 While Romney looked set to have a slight edge in Florida as recently as this morning, specific swing counties are performing strongly for Obama. However, as anyone who followed the 200 election will know, it is always difficult to be sure there. There is one bright spot for Democrats however, Bill Nelson retained his seat in the US Senate.
 Another significant Senate result is Democrat Sherrod Brown who held his seat against a strong challenge from Republican Josh Mandel.

22:10 EST (05:10 SA time) - NBC has projected that Mitt Romney will win Montana, which is no huge surprise. Keep your eyes on the state though as there is a tightly contested Senate race going on there between incumbent Democrat Jon Tester and his Republican opponent Denny Rehberg.

22:00 Eastern Standard Time (04:59 SA time)
- Not only will Americans pick their president tonight, between incumbent Democrat Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney, they will also decide control of the other arms of government: the House of Representatives and the Senate.
To claim the presidency, a candidate must win 270 Electoral College votes. The Electoral College allocates a number of votes to states by population - large states such as California have 55, and small states such as Vermont have three.
Whoever receives the most votes in a state wins all of the Electoral College votes in that state (with the exceptions of Maine and Nebraska).
There is also a plethora of referenda on the ballots on many states. California will decide whether to undo its three-strike prison law, and ban the death penalty. Minnesota, Maine, Maryland and Washington will all vote on gay marriage. Washington, Colorado, Arkansas, and Oregon will vote on legalisation of marijuana. Massachusetts will vote on the right of terminally ill patients to die.
Early projections have showed Romney winning the states of Kentucky, West Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Indiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Nebraska.
Democrats have won Vermont, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, New Mexico, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Rhode Island.
The first swing state to fall Obama’s way is New Hampshire, and he picks up its valuable four electoral votes.
So currently, the Electoral College sits at 162 votes for Obama and 153 for Romney.
Read more on:    barack obama  |  mitt romney  |  us  |  us elections 2012

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