FL-18: Allen West concedes defeat

Allen West

One of the few surprises on election night was Rep. Allen West (R-FL) trailing his opponent, Patrick Murphy. Going by what polls were available, it looked like West would probably win re-election. But after two weeks of failed court challenges and a recount of early votes adding to his opponent’s vote total, West finally conceded defeat yesterday:

Florida Republican Rep. Allen West conceded to Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy Tuesday morning, wrapping up one of the highest-profile and most expensive House races in the country.

“While there are certainly still inaccuracies in the results, and the actions of the St. Lucie County and Palm Beach County Supervisors of Elections rightly raise questions in my mind and for many voters, after much analysis and this past weekend’s recount in St. Lucie County, our legal team does not believe there are enough over-counted, undercounted or fraudulent votes to change the outcome of the election,” West said in a statement.

Some quick thoughts about the election results

Not much has changed over night. Florida has yet to be called, but Romney trails Obama by some 46,000 votes. Whether or not Romney wins the state doesn’t matter, he’ll still lose the Electoral College. Assuming Obama still maintains a lead in Florida, here is how the map looks after last night:

Final Electoral College Map

There is a lot to say about the election, much of which has already been said by analysts, but I’ve thrown together a few thoughts on some different points. You don’t have to agree with me, but these are things worth nothing.

House Republicans Will Lose Seats: There was talk of House Republicans adding to their majority in the days leading up to the election. CNN noted during their coverage last night that this was a possibility. That will not happen. Some of the gains from 2010 were wiped out last night, especially in Illinois and New York. In Florida, Rep. Allen West lost his bid for re-election by less than 3,000 votes. Democrats managed to keep some of the seats Republicans hoped to pickup — such as GA-12, where Rep. John Barrow defeated Lee Anderson, and UT-4, a race that looked good for the GOP, but Mia Love was unable to defeat Rep. Jim Matheson. In the end, Republicans will keep their majority, but it will be slightly smaller.

BREAKING: Obama projected to win re-election, Romney not ready to concede

Whatever else comes in doesn’t matter at this point because CNN just projected that President Barack Obama will win Ohio, putting him at 274 electoral votes. Romney was still trailing in Colorado and Florida when CNN made the projection.

20 PM

[UPDATE — 11:33 PM] Romney’s campaign is not conceding Ohio right now. They’re apparently not happy that media outlets have made the call on the Buckeye State. As of right now, President Obama leads Romney less than 30,000 votes in the state.

[11:36 PM] On Fox News, Megyn Kelly literally walked off the set and into the room where analysts are going over the numbers to ask them why they called Ohio for Obama. Apparently, Karl Rove took issue with the call in Ohio, suggesting that Romney could still close the gap. The Fox News analysts explained that while Romney may close the gap, there just aren’t enough votes in the state for him to win the race, noting that most of the remaining uncounted ballots would go to Obama.

ELECTION 2012: It’s looking bleak for Romney

As expected, this race will come down to four states — Colorado, Florida, Ohio, and Virginia — of which Romney trails in all but one. Some states that Republicans thought were in play, such as New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, haven’t panned out.

Florida looks bad, in particular. Some of Obama’s strongest counties are still reporting, where Romney’s strongest areas are just about done. If Romney loses any of the big four, this race is over.

Here’s the Electoral College as of 10 PM:

Electoral Vote for November 6th @ 10 PM

ELECTION 2012: How are things looking?

If you’re pulling for Mitt Romney, you can’t be excited with what exit polls reported. Sure, exit polls aren’t definitive, but they do provide an indicator of what to expect. Based on what we’re seeing, the 2012 electorate is roughly the same as 2008, especially in swing states. This is an ominous sign for Romney’s campaign.

Currently, Romney is trailing President Barack Obama in Ohio, which is a must win. He’s ahead in Virginia, but the northern part of the state hadn’t reported at last look. Exit polls show each of these states to be very close, but Ohio may be too far gone for Romney, which means that the night could end early.

Here’s the Electoral College as of 9 PM. Polls have close in Florida, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, but no projections have been made.

Electoral Vote for November 6th @ 9 PM

Looking at some of the Senate races, Richard Mourdock is trailing Rep. Joe Donnelly in the Indiana race. Josh Mandel is down to Sen. Sherrod Brown in Ohio by a hefty margin. Sen. Scott Brown is losing in Massachusetts, though it’s still early. George Allen is currently leading Tim Kaine in Virginia. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) was projected to win re-election.

Joe Biden is apparently running for president in 2016

The 2012 presidential campaign isn’t even over yet, but that hasn’t stopped Vice President Joe Biden from putting together a campaign message for 2016. During a campaign stop yesterday in Florida, Biden talked Republican sibling of a supporter over the phone and made his pitch:

While he has previously hinted at a potential run, Biden smiled as he mentioned–perhaps jokingly–a White House run on the phone with a voter during a campaign stop at a Sarasota, Florida restaurant.
As he mingled with fans and supporters, one woman handed the vice president a cell phone at the event, urging Biden to speak with her brother, a Republican.

Biden took the phone, immediately saying: “I’ll tell ya what, you may be a Republican but I love ya.”

Wearing his trademark aviator sunglasses inside the restaurant, the former 36-year senator quickly got into a serious discussion with the relative about the health care law. A man standing nearby said, “I think he met his match,” referring to the detailed conversation.

After nearly two minutes on the call, Biden moved to end the conversation. “Look, I’m not trying to talk you into voting for me, I just wanted to say hi to you.”

“And after it’s all over, when your insurance rates go down,” he continued, “then you’ll vote for me in 2016. I’ll talk to you later.”

Republicans cry foul at swing state polls

Yesterday wasn’t a good day for Mitt Romney’s campaign. Polls conducted CBS, The New York Times, and Quinnipiac showing his campaign trailing in three must-win, swing states, meaning that an Electoral College victory remains out of reach. Others have noted that the polls don’t make much sense because — in Virginia, for example — Romney leads among independents by such a wide margin.

Ed Morrissey also points out that enthusiasm is on the side of Republicans in the CBS/NYT/Qunnipiac poll, which he says spells bad news for Obama. With enthusiasm on their side and signs pointing to voter turnout being down this year, Republicans could squeek out an expected victory. But with the campaigns concentrating on their ground games in states like Ohio and Virginia, it’s hard to see how voter turnout won’t be up at least in those states.

Romney maintaining big lead among independent voters


Independent voters are the key to this presidential election. There is little doubt about that. Mitt Romney is already doing well in swing states with these crucial voting bloc, and, as Chris Cillizza recently explained at the Washington Post, may ride them to victory over President Barack Obama:

In the last three releases of the tracking poll conducted by The Washington Post and ABC News, Obama has trailed former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney among independent voters by between 16 and 20 percentage points.

That’s a striking reversal from 2008, when Obama won independent voters, who made up 29 percent of the electorate, by eight points over Sen. John McCain of Arizona.
So, what gives? Why is Obama — at least according to the Post-ABC data — having so much trouble with independents?

The answer lies in the fact that most independents are not, well, independent. Of all the likely voters who called themselves independents in nine days of the Post-ABC tracking poll, fully three-quarters (75 percent) — said they tend to lean toward one party or the other. (The remainder are known as “pure” independents.)

And it’s among those shadow partisans that Obama is struggling. Ninety-two percent of Republican-leaning independents said they plan to support Romney, while 84 percent of Democratic-leaning independents are backing Obama.

Republicans set to maintain status quo in Congress

United States Capitol

It’s generally thought that Republicans will not take the Senate this year, despite going up against many vulnerable and unpopular Democrats. The reasons are a mix of gaffe prone candidates and having to run against incumbent Democrats in swing states where President Barack Obama’s campaign is actively competing. But Aaron Blake noted on Friday that there is still a path for the GOP to take control of the Senate:

With six seats listed as “toss-ups” in the latest Fix rankings, a split of those seats would lead to the exact same 53-to-47 Democratic majority that we have today. And for a Republican Party that had designs on regaining the majority, that would certainly be a disappointment.

But with 11 days to go, Republicans also continue to have a very real shot at winning that majority. And that’s because they have something that Democrats don’t: Lots of opportunity.

While the map hasn’t exactly trended in the GOP’s favor in recent months when it comes to the top races (Indiana, Massachusetts and Missouri, in particular), Republicans continue to have plausible opportunities to win in a huge amount of seats that we currently rate as “lean Democratic.”

Recent polls have shown GOP candidates within striking distance — though still trailing — in a bunch of “lean Democratic” states: Connecticut, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Independents in swing states key to a potential Romney win

This morning we ran through the current electoral vote count and what states were currently in play for both candidates. Some may be wondering what factors are driving the race right as Mitt Romney looks to be making substantial gains in swing states. Perhaps the most important voting bloc helping Romney in these important states is independents, as Christian Heinze notes over at The Hill:

Below, I’ve listed polls showing where the race is with indies, currently (based on polls where pollsters have made partisan breakdowns available).

a. Colorado = Obama won by 10% with indies in 2008.

Most recent polls: Romney +4%, Obama +1%, Romney +4%

b. Florida = Obama won by 9% with indies in 2008.

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