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Tue November 6, 2012
The Battleground Blog: What's Happening In Florida And The Swing States
Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 12:13 am
**Refresh this page often for the latest updates.**
A quick head's up on what this is. The Battleground is an aggregation of NPR member stations' content produced during election night. It's curated by the staff at NPR Digital Services, including Eric Athas, Teresa Gorman, Will Snyder, Kim Perry and Erin Teare Martin. The list of participating stations and states is posted at the bottom.
The big story tonight is that Obama has been projected to win a second term as President. Working down from there, the Democrats will retain control of the Senate while the Republicans still have a majority in the House. There will be more women in the Senate than ever before, led, in part, by Elizabeth Warren's win over Scott Brown in Massachusetts.
Plenty of ballot initiatives drew national attention, as well, including same-sex marriage questions in Maine and Maryland and marijuana issues in Massachusetts, Colorado, Arkansas, Oregon and Washington. You can scroll through this feed to find out how those stories unfolded throughout the evening.
Last week NPR's election coverage made a child cry. Good news, Abigael, the election is over...we think.
12:02 -- A big win in Maine for gay rights. WBUR with the update:
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Maine voters approve same-sex marriage, marking milestone for gay rights movement.— WBUR (@WBUR) November 7, 2012
Midnight EST -- Washington (KPLU)
11:56 p.m. EST -- Colorado (KUNC)
11:54 p.m. EST -- Florida (WLRN)
11:41 p.m. EST
A wild (and surprisingly short) night that results in a projected Obama reelection. Over a dozen stations contributed to the Battleground and gave us a comprehensive picture of local elections, state elections and, of course, the presidential election.
But it's not over. We're still following a couple of ballot initiatives including one to legalize marijuana in Washington.
11:40 p.m. EST -- Oregon (KPLU)
Obama will get a second term as president after reaching the needed 270 electoral votes to win the presidential race, NPR projects.
11:31 p.m. EST -- Massachusetts (WBUR)
11:27 p.m. EST -- New Hampshire (NHPR)
Ann McLane Kuster: "Before the night is out we will have the first all-female congressional delegation in the country."— NH Public Radio (@nhpr) November 7, 2012
11:19 p.m. EST -- Ohio (WOSU)
11: 16 p.m. EST -- Colorado (KUNC)
11:11 p.m. EST -- Virginia (WAMU)
11:07 p.m. EST -- Missouri (St. Louis Public Radio)
11:06 p.m. EST -- Ohio (WOSU)
11:02 p.m. EST -- Massachusetts (WBUR)
10:59 p.m. EST -- Wisconsin (WUWM)
10:54 p.m. EST -- Virginia (WAMU)
10:48 p.m. EST -- Missouri (St. Louis Public Radio)
10:48 p.m. EST -- Florida
So, general election nights are a little different in a swing state.— John O'Connor (@johnroconnor) November 7, 2012
10:46 p.m. EST -- Ohio (WOSU)
10:44 p.m. EST -- Missouri (St. Louis Public Radio)
10:43 p.m. EST -- Colorado (KUNC)
10:40 p.m. EST -- Massachusetts (WBUR)
10:38 p.m. EST -- Virginia (WAMU)
10:36 p.m. EST -- New Hampshire (NHPR)
Ovide Lamontagne: "I spoke with Maggie Hassan moments ago and wished her well."— NH Public Radio (@nhpr) November 7, 2012
10:35 p.m. EST -- Massachusetts (WBUR)
10:33 p.m. EST -- Maine (MPBN)
10:30 p.m. EST -- Massachusetts (WBUR)
10:15 p.m.: We'll obviously have much more on this big story. For now, the topline news is that Warren, a first-time politician, has topped Brown, who swept into the Senate in a stunning 2010 special election upset to replace the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.
As the AP notes, Warren "becomes the first woman elected to the Senate from Massachusetts."
10:25 p.m.: WBUR's Meghna Chakrabarti is at victorious Warren headquarters, where Gov. Deval Patrick is now speaking. He said:
It's a good night. You did it.
When we talk about grassroots, we're not just talking about a strategy. We're talking about a philosophy.
10:24 p.m. EST -- Virginia (WAMU)
Voters have approved the amendment to the Va. constitution limiting the use of eminent domain, AP reports #wamuvote
Amendment 1: Eminent DomainShall Section 11 of Article I (Bill of Rights) of the Constitution of Virginia be amended (i) to require that eminent domain only be exercised where the property taken or damaged is for public use and, except for utilities or the elimination of a public nuisance, not where the primary use is for private gain, private benefit, private enterprise, increasing jobs, increasing tax revenue, or economic development; (ii) to define what is included in just compensation for such taking or damaging of property; and (iii) to prohibit the taking or damaging of more private property than is necessary for the public use?
10:21 p.m. EST -- Missouri (St. Louis Public Radio)
10:21 p.m. EST -- Ohio (WOSU)
10:15 p.m. EST -- Colorado (KUNC)
10:10 p.m. EST -- Florida (WLRN)
10:12 p.m. EST -- Missouri (St. Louis Public Radio)
10:12 p.m. EST -- Massachusetts (WBUR)
It's official from WBUR:
10:10 p.m. EST -- Virginia (WAMU)
10:09 p.m. EST -- Missouri (St. Louis Public Radio)
10:00 p.m. EST -- Florida (WLRN)
10:06 p.m. EST -- Colorado (KUNC)
10:03 p.m. EST -- Michigan (Michigan Radio)
10:00 p.m. EST -- Massachusetts (WBUR)
9:57 p.m. EST -- Colorado (KUNC)
9:56 p.m. EST -- Indiana
9:55 p.m. EST -- New Hampshire (NHPR)
NPR calls NH for Obama— Sarah Ashworth (@SarahJAshworth) November 7, 2012
9:53 p.m. EST -- Ohio (WOSU)
9:48 p.m. EST -- Massachusetts (WBUR)
9:46 p.m. EST -- Massachusetts (WBUR)
BREAKING: Question 3 - Yes Medical Marijuana, approved, Massachusetts.— WBUR (@WBUR) November 7, 2012
9:46 p.m. EST -- Pennsylvania (WESA)
9:41 p.m. EST -- Ohio (WOSU)
9:39 p.m. EST -- Massachusetts (WBUR)
Kennedy III Tops Bielat, Wins 4th DistrictAccording to The Associated Press, Democrat Joseph Kennedy III has won the 4th Congressional District race, topping Republican Sean Bielat.Kennedy III will return the famous political family to Congress, and replace retiring U.S. Rep. Barney Frank.
9:37 p.m. EST -- Colorado (KUNC)
9:38 p.m. EST -- Virginia (WAMU)
Election officials in Virginia say those in line when polls closed may have to wait until as late as 11pm to vote. That's according to Nikki Sheridan with the Virginia State Board of Elections.
9:35 p.m. EST -- Ohio (WOSU)
9:30 p.m. EST -- Colorado (KUNC)
9:29 p.m. EST -- Massachusetts (WBUR)
9:24 p.m. EST -- Massachusetts (WBUR)
9:16 p.m. EST -- Ohio (WOSU)
9:15 p.m. EST -- Colorado (KUNC)
9:12 p.m. EST -- Michigan (Michigan Radio)
9:10 p.m. EST -- Massachusetts (WBUR)
9:07 p.m. EST -- New Hampshire (NHPR)
9:06 p.m. EST -- Florida (WLRN)
9:03 p.m. EST -- Ohio (WOSU)
9:00 p.m. EST
9:00 p.m. EST -- Missouri (St. Louis Public Radio)
8:58 p.m. EST -- Massachusetts (WBUR)
8:56 p.m. EST -- Virginia (WAMU)
8:53 p.m. EST -- Colorado (KUNC)
8:50 p.m. EST -- Washington (KPLU)
8:49 p.m. EST -- New Hampshire (NHPR)
At the Lamontagne victory camp, Jack “The Clipper” and Linda “The Snipper,” (last name Acorace) -- who own and operate a barber shop in Belmont -- say they spent the day holding Lamontagne and Romney signs at their local polling place. The Acoraces are Independents who call themselves “committed” supporters of both Lamontagne and Romney, despite the fact that they both voted for President Obama four years ago. “We’ve been very disappointed in President Obama. He’s put us deep into debt, and everything that he plans costs more money,” Linda says. “We’ve been hoping and praying he doesn’t get in again.” Linda’s husband Jack agrees, saying the next president will be making important appointments, and “I don’t want two more liberals in the Supreme Court.”
8:47 p.m. EST -- Virginia (WAMU)
With 1152/2258 precincts reporting, Mitt Romney is leading Barack Obama 53-44 percent in Virginia, according to the State Board of Elections.
8:44 p.m. EST -- Massachusetts (WBUR)
8:38 p.m. EST -- Connecticut
8:33 p.m. EST -- Ohio (WOSU)
Dana Walch, deputy director of the Franklin County Board of Elections, says that there could be between 20,000 and 25,000 provisional ballots cast in Franklin County. The chairman of the Hamilton County board of elections believes that County could have as many as 20,000 provisional ballots, according to a report by WVXU. Those ballots won’t be counted until 10 days after the election.
8:31 p.m. EST -- Virginia (WAMU)
8:27 p.m. EST -- Massachusetts (WBUR)
Every time the red door opens the elephant raises its arms. Every time the blue door opens the donkey kicks.
8:24 p.m. EST -- Michigan (Michigan Radio)
8:22 p.m. EST -- New Hampshire (NHPR)
More updates on the count in New Hampshire:
8:17 p.m. EST -- Maine (MPBN)
8:11 p.m. EST -- Florida
U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, a Democrat, has been re-elected in Florida, NPR projects. He was challenged by Republican Rep. Connie Mack.
8:11 p.m. EST -- New Hampshire (NHPR)
8:10 p.m. EST -- Colorado (KUNC)
Coloradans are still voting. Their polls close at 9 p.m. EST.
8:10 p.m. EST
8:07 p.m. EST -- Ohio (WOSU)
8:06 p.m. EST -- Michigan (Michigan Radio)
8:05 p.m. EST -- New Hampshire (NHPR)
8:05 p.m. EST -- Missouri (St. Louis Public Radio)
7:59 p.m. EST -- Ohio (WOSU)
7:57 p.m. EST -- Virginia (WAMU)
7:52 p.m. EST -- Massachusetts (WBUR)
7:45 p.m. EST -- Colorado (KUNC)
Not a surprise here:
7:40 p.m. EST
Just so everyone understands what we mean when NPR projects a winner, it's based on exit poll data and statistical crunching. If the hard count of numbers changes, we'll be sure to update the results. - Will
7:33 p.m. EST -- West Virginia
7:38 p.m. EST -- Ohio (WOSU)
7:33 p.m. EST --West Virginia
7:25 p.m. EST -- Florida (WFSU)
7:20 p.m. EST -- Virginia (WAMU)
7:09 p.m. EST -- Georgia, South Carolina, Indiana and Kentucky
7:07 p.m. EST -- Vermont (VPR)
That was quick. Right as the polls closed, Vermont Public Radio and NPR projected Obama as the winner in Vermont based on exit poll data.
7:05 p.m. EST -- Colorado (KUNC)
Polls close in Colorado at 9 p.m. EST. Reporter Kirk Siegler tweets a photo of people urging last minute voting.
7:00 p.m. EST -- Virginia (WAMU)
Jonathan Wilson talked with Tim Kaine's campaign in Virginia. A spokesperson said they expect the Senate race there to be called before the Presidential. (And he expects Tim Kaine to win.)
6:58 p.m. EST -- Massachusetts (WBUR)
- The economy was the top issue on Massachusetts voters' minds Tuesday, and nothing else was close. About six out of 10 voters chose that as their top issue, with health care a distant second with about one in 10 considering that issue as most important. About that same ratio picked the budget deficit as their biggest concern, while only one in 20 chose foreign policy.
- Just over half of Massachusetts voters said the government should do more to solve problems while a significant portion of Bay Staters, nearly five out of 10, believe government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals.
6:57 p.m. EST -- Florida (WLRN)
6:48 p.m. EST
Looking for updates from the Chicago Board of Election's website -- good luck. The site’s down due to “unprecedented” traffic. -Kim
6:45 p.m. EST -- Colorado (KUNC)
6:40 p.m. EST Massachusetts (WBUR)
Romney Campaign Charging $1,000 For Media Credential To Boston EventIn addition to voting in Belmont, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will have his Election Night gathering in Boston, at the city's convention center.
6:35 p.m. EST -- New Hampshire (NHPR)
6:32 p.m. EST -- Virginia (WAMU)
6:23 p.m. EST -- Ohio (WOSU)
While most reports are of higher turnout, we're hearing that there's one part of Ohio that's telling a different story.
Polling places located at City Hall and at Ohio University’s Baker Center only a handful of people waiting in line to vote.
Voters like Ohio University freshman Casey Harchaoui said they were surprised at the low turnout.“I was expecting a long line,” she said. “I’m assuming most people might be in class this morning. I also think that most students aren’t from Athens County and felt more comfortable filling out an absentee ballot in their home county.
Other voters like OU senior James Bohland think the low turnout is because of early voting.“Every time I walked past the Board of Elections office there seemed to be a lot of people there,” said Bohland.
6:16 p.m. EST -- Virginia (WAMU)
DC had big issues with absentee poll workers. Check out this report from WAMU's Patrick Madden (it involves Marion Barry).
D.C. Council member Marion Barry is calling for an investigation into D.C.'s Board of Elections, citing long lines at various polling precincts as unacceptable, reports WAMU 88.5’s Patrick Madden. In a tweet, the former mayor said, “waiting in 2- 3- 4-hour lines to vote is unacceptable. The D.C. Board of Elections was not prepared.”
A D.C. Board of Elections spokesperson says that many poll workers did not show up today, forcing the board to contact 70 or so people that were on-call, and many of these people were then deployed to precincts that they weren't familiar with.
6:15 p.m. EST -- Michigan (Michigan Radio)
Checking in on mix ups at polling places, Michigan Public Radio reports that at least one polling place in the state had a U.S. citizenship checkbox on ballot applications. A federal judge ordered the checkbox off the ballot in October.
6:08 p.m. EST -- Florida (WFSU)
The U.S. Justice Department is monitoring more polling places in Florida than any other state today, WFSU is reporting. Read the story here.
6:05 p.m. EST -- Virginia (WAMU)
An update on voter turnout in Virginia from Chris Chester:
Virginia officials were surprised by how many people came out to the polls in 2008. They're saying today's numbers look even larger.
The area of downtown Richmond, right outside where Senate candidate George Allen is holding his rally tonight, leans Republican. People have been surprised by the long lines. Even so, the wait in Virginia's capital haven't been longer than lines in northern Virginia. People didn't expect to wait more than an hour to cast their ballot.
Republican officials say that bodes well for them in both the Senate and Presidential contest.In a bit of a last-minute hailmary, the campaign sent Paul Ryan down to Richmond. He landed in the area, greeted supporters at a Romney office for about ten minutes, then returned to his plane.
5:55 p.m. EST -- Michigan (Michigan Public Radio)
Speaking of voter lines, Michigan Public Radio shares a sign that may be a bit optimistic.
5:54 p.m. EST -- Missouri (St. Louis Public Radio)
We're seeing reports across the country of really high turnout. We'll gather as many of those numbers as we can and post them here. Right now Brockton, Mass., for example, expects more than 75 percent turnout today, according to WBUR. -Will
5:43 p.m. EST -- Florida (WUSF)
WUSF's Scott Finn is reporting that 12,500 voters in Florida's Pinellas County received a robocall saying they could vote tomorrow (they can't). Read the story here.
Listen to the robocall:
5:31 p.m. EST -- Ohio (WOSU)
In case there was any doubt that Ohio will be the center of attention tonight, check out this update from WOSU:
Ohio Public Radio's Bill Cohen says reporters and TV crews from across the country and the world have descended on downtown Columbus in the place where the votes will be tabulated in this crucial battleground state. Gregg Dodd is a spokesman for the Ohio Statehouse, where elections officials have set up a special election information center. He tells Bill Cohen there are more than 200 credentialed reporters and 18 satellite trucks surrounding Capitol Square.
5:06 p.m. EST -- Florida (WLRN)
5:07 p.m. EST -- Colorado (KUNC)
4:59 p.m. EST -- Ohio (WOSU)
4:55 p.m. EST -- Florida (WFSU)
4:51 p.m. EST -- Colorado (KUNC)
Early voting has been a huge theme in this election cycle. Here's a baseline of how many people have voted in three of the states we're following. We'll start with Colorado.
By the numbers: Early voting 11/6/12
Democratic 642,834 -- > 34%
Republican 675,797 -- > 38%
Unaffiliated 534,012 -- > 28.5%
Libertarian 10,952 -- > .006%
Read the full story at KUNC.
4:50 p.m. EST
In Colorado, many voters have already cast their ballot with early voting after campaigns spent millions on political ads and the candidates and their surrogates visited dozens of times. Colorado's results will also be closely watched for some of the ballot measures- including a proposal to legalize small amounts of marijuana.
4:48 p.m. EST
Missouri (St. Louis Public Radio)
The big story this election season out of Missouri is the contest between Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill and her GOP challenger Rep. Todd Akin. Their race entered the national spotlight after Akin said a woman’s body biologically “has ways” to prevent pregnancy during a “legitimate rape,” in an interview in August. Akin resisted calls from Republicans to drop out of the race, and the race continues to be close. St Louis Public Radio, Nine Network and the St Louis Beacon will report on that and other local races at beyondnovember.org.
4:46 p.m. EST
Michigan (Michigan Radio)
Although Mitt Romney has deep ties to Michigan, the state is leaning Democratic. Despite not being a swing state, Michigan’s auto bailout has been in the front lines of the campaign, particularly one 2008 op-ed by Mitt Romney with the title “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.” There has been renewed Republican interest in the state’s 16 electoral votes in the last stretch, but voters’ decisions on six state-wide ballot proposals could have more impact than their votes on the presidential election. Michigan Public Radio will be following those proposals, including one adding collective bargaining rights to the state constitution and one unique proposal that, if it passes, could mean residents will have to vote every time Michigan wants to build a bridge to Canada.
4:08 p.m. EST
The conventional wisdom for this election cycle is that it will all come down to Ohio. The state is coveted by Democrats and Republicans alike. Visits by candidates and ad dollars spent per voter are near records. And early voting has emerged as a possible deciding factor for Ohio. This is the state that could decide the election and we'll have field reports from WOSU all night.
4:05 p.m. EST
The state of Washington has a few potentially historic measures at play. It will vote on the legalization of marijuana, which would be the first time a state has ever legalized the recreational use of marijuana. Colorado and Oregon have similar marijuana legalization measures on the ballot. A same-sex marriage law, which was passed earlier this year, is on the ballot. There's also a gubernatorial race in Washington and recent polls show it's a dead heat. Finally, the state will decide if it wants to create a charter school system.
4:01 p.m. EST:
As usual, Florida is a critical battleground state in what could be a tight presidential election. One of the expected story lines out of Florida is the potential for long lines and confusion at the polls. State election officials will monitor Palm Beach County, which already reported printing problems with its ballots. There are reports of "shenanigans," such as fraudulent voting letters, throughout the state. When Floridans do begin the process of casting their votes, they'll have a lot to decide from. The state has 11 ballot measures that cover issues such as taxes, abortion, the state university system and the state budget. There are also close congressional races worth watching.
3:59 p.m. EST:
Massachusetts is almost a lock for Obama but it's also home to a very competitive and very visible Senate race between the incumbent Scott Brown and the challenger Elizabeth Warren. This is one of the Senate races that could decide the balance of power. Massachusetts also has two ballot initiatives of note: the legalization of medical marijuana and a proposal to allow assisted suicide.
3:54 p.m. EST: New Hampshire (NHPR)
New Hampshire (NHPR)
In New Hampshire we'll be following both how the precinct near Mitt Romney's vacation home votes as well as the outcome for the whole state. While Obama carried New Hampshire in 2008, both candidates are spending heavily to pick up its four Electoral College votes.
3:52 p.m. EST:
While we wait for the polls to start closing we'll give you background on some of the stories we're following from battleground states tonight. First up, Virginia.
Virginia's Senate race is one of national interest. George Allen is trying to reclaim the seat he lost six years ago, while Tim Kaine hopes to keep both of the Commonwealth's Senate seats in the hands of the Democrats. And, of course, Virginia is one of the swing states crucial for both presidential candidates. Polling averages have shown Obama and Romney to be within just a point or so of each other.
3:44 p.m. EST:
A quick list of poll closing times for some of the states we're following on the Battleground. All times are EST.
7:30 p.m. Ohio
The states and stations participating include:
New Hampshire (NHPR)
Michigan (Michigan Public Radio)
Missouri (St. Louis Public Radio)
We'll also rely on reporting from KERA, KCUR, Vermont Public Radio, WFPL News, Boise State Public Radio and other stations across the country.
Updating will begin shortly with frequent coverage starting at 6:00pm EST. Here's more information on the Battleground project.