Welcome to our live blog for the 2012 election. We’ll keep this updated through the evening with results and reactions.
The polls have already closed in some states and are about to close in others, but we’ll make the bold move of calling the election…for the Federal Reserve. Thanks for joining us! (Just kidding.)
As I’m in Colorado, I have a special interest in some local races, particularly the vote on Amendment 64, which would legalize the cultivation, sale, and use of marijuana for adults 21 and older. Similar measures exist on the ballots in Washington state and Oregon. Any one of them passing would be a significant repudiation by voters of the horrific, wasteful, tyrannical war on drugs.
Currently CNN is calling Indiana, West Virginia, and Kentucky for Mitt Romney, while President Barack Obama appears to have Vermont locked up. Ohio, Virginia, and North Carolina are too close to call. Aren’t you excited? I’m excited, and I haven’t even started drinking yet! Stay tuned. (All times MST.)
10:36 pm: At this point it’s pretty much all over but the Republican shouting. Even if the result in Ohio is reversed, Obama still has enough electoral votes to affirm re-election. So now we can puzzle at the cognitive dissonance of Colorado voters who approved legalized marijuana but also voted for a president with an abysmal record of harassing medical marijuana providers (including those in Colorado).
Then there’s the drone-bombing, the indefinite detention powers, the secret kill list, Obamacare, the truly terrifying deficit spending…the next four years might look a lot like the last four years. Which is to say, a lot like the previous eight.
Welcome to George W. Bush’s 4th term. Good night, and good luck!
10:25 pm: Gary Johnson is now the most successful Libertarian Party candidate ever, with over 920,000 votes.
10:18 pm: I have to give Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper credit: he campaigned against Amendment 64, but is at least keeping his sense of humor about its passage: “The voters have spoken and we have to respect their will. This will be a complicated process, but we intend to follow through. That said, federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug so don’t break out the Cheetos or gold fish too quickly.”
10:03 pm: Same-sex marriage proposal has won by a wide margin in Maryland, and a similar measure is ahead in Washington state.
9:55 pm: Apparently the talking heads on Fox News have lost their collective shit over calling Ohio for Obama. To be honest, it’s still close enough to think a recount might happen AND Politico is now reporting that Romney is actually leading the popular vote in Ohio.
9:48 pm: I guess I should be grateful that Obama voters in Colorado also seem to think legal marijuana is a good thing.
9:40 pm: Not all good news on the pot front: Oregon’s underfunded initiative is losing. Montana’s initiative to restrict sales of medical marijuana is passing by a wide margin, and Arkansas’ MMJ proposal is losing.
@LucyStag: It’s too regulated, the DEA is no doubt readying the jackboots, but holy shit Colorado seems to have just legalized marijuana.
9:31 pm: What kind of role did Gary Johnson play in these races? In Ohio, he’s received nearly 39,000 votes, more than the current margin between Obama and Romney. Similarly, 38,000 votes separate Obama and Romney in Florida, less than the votes Johnson has received. (He’s been less of a factor in Wisconsin and Iowa.)
9:28 pm: Time for the sputtering in near-impotent rage to begin: Romney campaign is disputing the Ohio call.
9:24 pm: Marijuana update: Colorado’s Amendment 64 leading 53%-47%, with 39% reporting.
9:22 pm: This is playing out exactly as I predicted: Romney is likely to win the popular vote but lose the election.
9:20 pm: Game over, it appears. Obama wins Ohio and is re-elected to a second term. Republicans weep.
9:16 pm: Depending on which site you’re following, Obama is either 14 or 36 electoral votes away from re-election. CNN has called Wisconsin and Iowa for Obama. Essentially it all hinges on Ohio or Florida at this point: if Obama gets either state it’s over.
9:12 pm: More proof God doesn’t exist: Joe Arpaio re-elected by a landslide in Maricopa County, Arizona.
@KerryHowley: It’s a bad time to be a dog owned by two election bloggers
9:07 pm: North Carolina is given to Romney. With all of the other nail-biters in progress, one other swing state has been ignored: Iowa, which is currently 55%-44% in favor of Obama.
9:03 pm: Polls close in Washington and California, and they’re promptly called for Obama. Only really interesting races there are on ballot issues: pot legalization and gay marriage in WA; tax hikes, death penalty abolition, and “three strikes” sentencing reform in CA.
9:00 pm: #NotTheOnion: Boston’s Logan Airport is “overwhelmed” by private jets arriving for Mitt Romney’s party.
8:54 pm: Obama is ahead by 8,000 votes in Wisconsin. Who the hell called this state already? This is like Ricky Bobby and Jean Girard sprinting for the finish line.
8:48 pm: Louisiana voters have overwhelmingly approved an amendment to strengthen the state’s gun rights laws. Perhaps they have long memories of residents being forcibly disarmed in the aftermath of Katrina.
8:45 pm: Will this election set the record for most automatic recounts triggered? In North Carolina, Romney is leading by 80,000 votes; in Florida, Obama leads by 16,000 votes; in Ohio it’s Obama by 90,000 votes.
8:38 pm: Gary Johnson update: he’s polling at 2.4% in Wyoming, 1.1% in Colorado and Arizona, 2.2% in Montana. He may well end up over 1% by the end of the vote counts, which would be the best showing ever for the Libertarian Party.
8:33 pm: Wisconsin’s Tammy Baldwin wins the Senate race? Still seems too close to call, but if so, she becomes the first openly gay Senator. And a crucial blow to Republicans hoping to gain ground in the Senate.
8:28 pm: Other pot proposals: medical marijuana winning by a big margin in Massachusetts, but losing in Arkansas. Apparently, the rest of the state doesn’t like to inhale, either.
8:24 pm: I’m currently relying on Web sites and Twitter for election coverage. My wife is showing her appreciation for this auspicious event by watching replays of The Voice.
8:21 pm: Cale Crout
@BlGBlRD: Romney has now lost 4 of his 6 home states. Still hope in Switzerland and Cayman Islands.
8:18 pm: Twenty minutes after the polls close in Utah, Romney carries the Mormon national homeland #ResultsWhichSurpriseAbsolutelyNoOne
8:13 pm: Man, Twitter is nigh unbearable already following Warren’s Senate race victory. I can’t imagine what it will be like should Obama pull this thing off.
8:09 pm: Romney comfortably ahead in Missouri, but in the Senate race, Todd Akin is no longer seen as a legitimate contender. Ahem.
8:04 pm: Obama projected to win New Hampshire. Interestingly, the Constitution Party candidate, Virgil Goode, is outpolling Gary Johnson there. Did they split the Free Staters vote?
7:56 pm: Enthusiastic redistributionist Elizabeth Warren wins her Senate race in Massachusetts.
7:51 pm: NBC has called New Mexico for Obama. Johnson received 3% in his home state.
7:42 pm: Colorado update: Obama ahead 50.7% to 47.6%. Amendment 64 now leading 53.5% to 46.5%. Thank you, stoners!
7:35 pm: Fellow TLSer Steve Ciciotti, on the close race in Florida: “You know *whoever* loses in such a situation, will believe it was because of a Johnson being shoved up their ass.”
7:30 pm: Pennsylvania appears to be a win for Obama. He is still trailing overall in electoral votes, but all of the swing states are still undecided.
7:25 pm: Bill O’Reilly stops just short of claiming that the country has gone to hell because white people are no longer in charge.
7:23 pm: Michigan is a win for Obama. He’s also now leading in Colorado.
7:17 pm: Very early returns in Colorado has Romney ahead, with Johnson at 1.1%. Amendment 64 trailing.
7:12 pm: Another state where Johnson is having an impact is North Carolina. Romney with a slight lead, 50.2% to 49%, with Johnson polling at 0.8%.
7:10 pm: Great swaths of red throughout the South and Midwest, but that is (mostly) expected. The battleground states still very tight.
7:02 pm: Obama barely leading in Florida: 49.7% to 49.5%. Gary Johnson holding steady at .5%.
7:00 pm: Polls have closed here in Colorado. Now comes the wait for the results on Amendment 64.
@michaelpetrou I think Mitt Romney would win my “Who would you rather have a beer with?” test because I’d get to drink his.
6:55 pm: Ah, Internet. Some Web sites (like CNN’s) seem to be struggling to display election results due to heavy traffic.
6:51 pm: Another Ron Paul Republican, Thomas Massie, has won a House seat in Kentucky (h/t Jesse Walker).
6:48 pm: Did Oklahomans even make it to the bars after the polls closed before their state was called for Romney?
6:39 pm: One example of Gary Johnson possibly affecting the outcome: he’s got 0.5% of the vote in Florida. Obama ahead 51%-48%.
6:31 pm: None of the swing states can be called yet: Florida, Ohio, and Virginia all still very tight. In Connecticut, the Democrats appear to have regained Joe Lieberman’s Senate seat.
6:29 pm: Romney’s home state, Massachusetts, has been called for Obama.
6:25 pm: The Florida count is officially interesting. Near dead heat between Romney and Obama with half the vote counted. Any sign of pregnant chads?
6:13 pm: Unsurprisingly, none of the major news outlets seems interested in following all of the Presidential vote counts. Only the “legitimate” heirs to the throne need apply! Looking for other sources that provide third party counts. Politico appears to be a good one.
6:05 pm: Another independent appears to have won a Senate seat (Angus King in Maine). Electoral vote count: Obama 64, Romney 40 (CNN). But NBC has Romney ahead 82-64.
6:00 pm: NBC has renamed 30 Rockefeller Center “Democracy Plaza” for the election. Does that mean we can vote on Brian Williams’ performance?
5:54 pm: Early returns in Virginia have Romney well ahead, 59% to 40%.
5:48 pm: I voted for Gary Johnson, and although I am very skeptical that the Libertarian Party candidate will make much of an impact tonight (no LP candidate has polled above 1% nationally since Ed Clark in 1980), I am hoping he makes enough of a difference in swing states to make both major party supporters nervous. So far he’s pulling 2% in Indiana, although that state has already been called for Romney.
5:40 pm: Follow #electioncocktails on Twitter if you need beverage ideas to get you through the night. Suggestion courtesy of Radley Balko: “The Ann Coulter: white wine, nicotine, hydrochloric acid.”
5:35 pm: Polls are closed in South Carolina, and it’s already been called for Romney.