The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

November 7, 2012

Election watch: Interesting election tidbits

By Donna Cassata
Associated Press

WASHINGTON —

Around the country on Election Day 2012 with AP reporters bringing the latest developments to you:

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'MITT! MITT! MITT!'

Chants of "Mitt! Mitt! Mitt!" rose from the crowd as Republican Mitt Romney closed his concession speech.

He kissed his wife, Ann, who joined him on stage in Boston, and gave running mate Paul Ryan a big hug.

"I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction," Romney said during his remarks, "but the nation chose another leader."

Added Romney, who lost his bid to unseat President Barack Obama: "At a time like this, we can't risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the nation's work."

"We look to Democrats and Republicans in government at all levels to put people before the politics," Romney said.

"I believe in America. I believe in the people of America. ... I ran for office because I'm concerned about America. This election is over, but our principles endure."

— Steve Peoples — Twitter http://twitter.com/sppeoples

— Kasie Hunt — Twitter http://twitter.com/kasie

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O'REILLY'S 'STUFF'

According to Bill O'Reilly, President Barack Obama's re-election was about the half of the nation that wants "stuff."

"It's a changing country. ... It's not a traditional America anymore," the Fox News Channel host said Tuesday night. "And there are 50 percent of the voting public who want stuff. They want things. And who is going to give them things? President Obama. He knows it. And he ran on it."

"Whereby 20 years ago President Obama would have been roundly defeated by an establishment candidate like Mitt Romney, the white establishment is now the minority," O'Reilly said, adding that many voters feel the economic system is "stacked against them."

That means "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?"

O'Reilly's remarks echoed GOP candidate Mitt Romney's secretly videotaped campaign assertion that "47 percent" of Americans expect government support.

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ROMNEY'S SPEECH

Shortly before 1 a.m. EST on Wednesday, Mitt Romney appeared at the Boston Convention Center to deliver a concession speech.

He was greeted by cheers and whistles in anticipation of what he'd say. Senior aides filed into the ballroom as Romney prepared to take the stage; visibly emotional, they shared hugs with each other as they watched.

Upon Romney's announcement that he had called President Barack Obama "to congratulate him on his victory," the raucous crowd redoubled its noise.

"This is a time of great challenges for America, and I pray the president will be successful in guiding our nation," Romney said.

He thanked his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, earning big applause.

Referring to his wife, Romney said: "I also want to thank Ann, the love of my life. She would have been a wonderful first lady."

— Steve Peoples — Twitter http://twitter.com/sppeoples

— Kasie Hunt — Twitter http://twitter.com/kasie

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WHITE HOUSE CELEBRATION

The sounds of celebration around the White House were so loud that they could be heard a couple blocks away after the presidential race was called for Barack Obama.

Mobs of people were on each side of the White House and cheering was boisterous. Cars honked. Strangers high-fived. People held cut-out pictures of Obama and signs reading "four more years." One man walked around shirtless with an Obama "O'' on his chest.

— Donald Borenstein

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QUICKQUOTE: ROMNEY CONCEDES

"I have just called President Obama to congratulate him on his victory." — Republican Mitt Romney.

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OBAMA AIDE: ROMNEY CONCEDES

Republican Mitt Romney has called President Barack Obama to concede the presidential race.

That's according to an Obama aide who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the call was private.

Romney is expected to speak shortly in Boston before supporters.

— Ken Thomas — Twitter http://twitter.com/AP_Ken_Thomas

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SAME-SEX MARRIAGE; MARIJUANA

Maine is the first state to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote. Washington state is the first to legalize recreational use of marijuana.

Voters a continent apart, making history on two divisive social issues.

The outcome in Maine broke a 32-state streak, dating to 1998, with gay marriage rebuffed by every state that voted on it.

Gay marriage is legal in six states and the District of Columbia — in each case the result of legislation or court orders, not by a vote of the people.

The marijuana measure in Washington sets up a showdown with the federal government.

— David Crary — Twitter http://twitter.com/CraryAP

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MEET THE NEW BOSS

Michael Oreskes, a veteran political journalist since the 1970s and now The Associated Press' senior managing editor for U.S. news, will be checking in briefly with Election Watch throughout the day. Here is his latest report:

Two years and $2 billion. Voters were as unhappy as those who follow the American mood have ever seen. Disillusioned with congress and disappointed with their president.

Yet, after it all, this long political road has produced a new government that looks a whole lot like the old government. The president will remain Barack Obama. Democrats control the Senate and Republicans, most likely, the House.

Obama ran a campaign of tactical brilliance, piecing together the support of the young, the poor, the nonwhite, the urban. A coalition more about identity than policy. He painted Romney into a corner with his own wealth (and Romney's help), and portrayed himself as the defender of the middle class (which seemed to include almost everyone).

Republicans had hard times on their side but couldn't ultimately convince voters they would do better than a second-term Obama.

— Michael Oreskes

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DEMS KEEP SENATE

Democrats won a narrow majority in the Senate, keeping the control they've held since 2007, by snatching Republican-held seats in Massachusetts and Indiana and turning back challenges in Virginia, Ohio and Connecticut.

Republicans were undone by stumbles in Missouri and Indiana, with candidates' clumsy statements about rape and abortion doing severe damage to their individual chances — and their party's hopes of taking over.

In Massachusetts, Democrat Elizabeth Warren knocked out Republican Sen. Scott Brown, who had stunned the political world in 2010 when he won the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy's seat. The strong Democratic tilt in the state and President Barack Obama's easy win over former Gov. Mitt Romney in Massachusetts helped the consumer advocate in her bid.

Heading into this election, with 33 seats up for grabs, Democrats held a 53-47 edge in the Senate, including the two independents who caucus with them. So Republicans needed a net gain of four seats to grab the majority. Shortly after 11 p.m., Democrats gained a lock on 50 seats, enough to keep control once Obama won re-election.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., spoke of conciliation.

"Now that the election is over, it's time to put politics aside and work together to find solutions," Reid said in a statement. "The strategy of obstruction, gridlock and delay was soundly rejected by the American people. Now they are looking to us for solutions."

— Donna Cassata — Twitter http://twitter.com/donnacassataAP

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SNAP INSIGHT

AP National Political Editor Liz Sidoti offers up this analysis in miniature:

"Talk about a good night for the president. Barack Obama didn't just win in his Midwestern firewall states of Ohio, Wisconsin and Iowa. He prevailed in places that even fellow Democrats expected to tilt Mitt Romney's way: Colorado for starters. And he was locked in close races in Virginia and Florida, two states that Republicans long had argued were fertile GOP territory. The Electoral College victory his, Obama now is awaiting the results of the popular vote. He and Romney are locked in a tight race for it as Tuesday turns to Wednesday."

— Liz Sidoti

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1,118 WORDS

This tidbit comes from a story by AP reporters Steve Peoples and Kasie Hunt, awaiting Mitt Romney's appearance in Boston:

"The Republican nominee had already written a 1,118-word victory speech that he thought would conclude his yearslong quest for the presidency. Earlier Tuesday, Romney said he had no regrets no matter the outcome."

— Kasie Hunt — Twitter http://twitter.com/kasie

— Steve Peoples — Twitter http://twitter.com/sppeoples

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WAITING FOR ROMNEY

Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney's running mate, has arrived at the loading dock of the Boston Convention Center.

He'll hold in a private area until Romney arrives, staff says.

Romney is five minutes behind him in separate motorcade.

— Steve Peoples — Twitter http://twitter.com/sppeoples

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BEHIND IT ALL

This bit from AP's main story on the election offers a bit of context:

"The election emerged as a choice between two very different visions of government — whether it occupies a major, front-row place in American lives or is in the background as a less-obtrusive facilitator for private enterprise and entrepreneurship."

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OBAMA STAFFERS CELEBRATE

In Chicago, dozens of young staffers for President Barack Obama were streaming out of the president's campaign headquarters and heading to his victory party at the convention center. Senior advisers said the race was called much sooner than they had expected.

— Julie Pace — Twitter http://twitter.com/jpaceDC

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SENATE STILL DEMOCRATIC

Democrats have retained control of the Senate. That's a big help to newly re-elected President Barack Obama.

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OBAMA WINS RE-ELECTION

Barack Obama wins — he'll serve a second term as president after a hard-fought election.

AP is calling the presidential election for Obama after Romney lost Ohio and several other key states.

The Chicago convention center where Obama supporters have gathered to watch the results is exploding in joy and enthusiasm. Not so the Romney camp in Boston, which has been muted as results increasingly showed the tally of electoral votes rising in Obama's column.

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GRIM MOOD

The mood at Romney's headquarters event was grim. Staffers were beginning to trickle in, almost all expressing shock or surprise that so many states had voted for Obama.

Meanwhile, Fox News commentators were shown on two giant screens, questioning Ohio results. Asked if he believed Ohio was "settled," guest Karl Rove responded, "No," prompting cheers from the crowds.

"I think this is premature," Rove said.

— Kasie Hunt — Twitter http://twitter.com/kasie

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AT OBAMA HQ

In an explosion of movement and sound, people in the packed convention center that's Obama's party site cheered and stood waving small American flags.

— Jim Kuhnhenn —

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MCCASKILL WINS AFTER AKIN RAPE COMMENT

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat once thought to be one of the Senate's most vulnerable incumbents, held on to her seat in Tuesday's election as GOP challenger Todd Akin continued to face criticism for saying in August that women had ways of preventing pregnancies in the case of "legitimate rape."

GOP leaders, including Republican nominee Mitt Romney, called on him to abandon the race. Akin stayed in and hoped support from evangelicals would lift his prospects.

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'AN IMPATIENT AGE'

AP Television Writer David Bauder has this to say about how election night is unfolding for the media:

"In an impatient age of social media and instant communication, a close presidential election on Tuesday forced patience upon an army of journalists anxious for answers. ... 2012 is notable for the vast array of outlets that an interested consumer could command to create their own media experience on different screens, with websites offering deep drill-downs in data and social media hosting raucous conversations."

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WARREN OVER BROWN IN MA

Democrat Elizabeth Warren has defeated Republican Sen. Scott Brown in Massachusetts.

Brown came to the Senate in January 2010 after a surprise win in a special election to fill the seat of the late Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy. This year's senate campaign was one of the election season's most expensive, with the candidates spending $68 million. Brown vowed to be an independent voice in the Senate but couldn't hold on in a presidential election year in the Democratic-leaning state.

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PASTA AND SALAD

A low-key meal on a high-stakes night.

Campaign aides brought in pasta and Caesar salad as Paul Ryan — and what aides characterized as "tons of family" — monitored election results on television at a hotel near the Romney election party.

Many of Ryan's family members, including brother Tobin and father-in-law Dan Little, flew to Boston with him from Janesville, Wis. While Ryan made unannounced campaign stops in Ohio and Virginia, the family caught up with wife Janna Ryan and their three children, all under age 10. During their stop in Ohio, Mrs. Ryan threw a football with her children and nieces and nephews.

— Philip Elliott — Twitter http://twitter.com/Philip_Elliott

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MOURDOCK LOSES IN INDIANA

Republican Richard Mourdock — who slipped in the polls after saying during a debate that when a woman who is raped becomes pregnant, it's "something that God intended" — lost his U.S. Senate race in Indiana to Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly.

Mourdock is a tea party-backed state treasurer who surprised the GOP when he beat six-term Sen. Richard Lugar in the primary.

His debate comment last month re-shaped the tight Indiana race for the Senate.

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NH BATTLEGROUND IS OBAMA'S

The AP has called New Hampshire, one of a handful of battleground states, for President Barack Obama.

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AXELROD ON GOP PROJECTIONS

Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod says Republican projections of a Mitt Romney victory on Tuesday are based on fiction, not facts.

"Our confidence is based in data, it's based in early vote numbers, it's based in the things that we can see, and we can prove to ourselves," Axelrod says on ABC News. "Their confidence appears to be in some hidden mystical force that is going to materialize at the last minute and push him over the finish line. And I think as time wears on this evening that fiction is going to be exposed."

— Richard Lardner

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UTAH IS ROMNEY COUNTRY

In one of the most predictable calls of the night, Republican Mitt Romney has won Utah. Romney, a Mormon and graduate of Brigham Young University who oversaw the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, is a popular figure in Utah, where more than 60 percent of residents are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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PENNSYLVANIA TO OBAMA:

President Obama has won the battleground of Pennsylvania and the state's 20 electoral votes. Both candidates made frequent visits to the state, including a Romney stop in Pittsburgh this afternoon. Democratic Sen. Bob Casey has also won re-election there.