Presidential Election 2012 results, information, and live updates

Original Logo Designed for Cageside Seats via June M. Williams

This bout is for the office of the President of the United States, for the title of the Commander-in-Chief, the leader of the free world, the Heeaaadd Honnnnnn-chooooooo! The contenders battling in this title match are none other than the POTUS, the Democratic incumbent hailing from Illinois, Baaaaaa - rack O- baaaaaaaaaa- maaaaa (c)... versus the former Gov. of Massachusetts, the Republican nominee, Mmmmmitt Roooomm-neyyyyyyyy. Stay right here to find out who is the most over with the American voters.

UPDATE: The Popular Vote totals and percentages for the Presidential Election in this thread have all been updated as of 11:30 a.m., Friday, November 16, so scroll on down for the latest totals and percentages on the US Popular Vote. We will continue to keep you updated until this thing is finally finalized.

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UPDATE: [Mon., Nov. 12, 2012 - 5:00 a.m. CST]

Over the weekend the deadline for straggling Florida counties to turn in their estimated vote totals came and went. Eventually they did give projections, and the major news networks finally gave Florida to Obama by "officially" painting Florida blue on their election maps, like we did last week here at Cageside Seats.

However, as of Monday morning, almost 6 full days since the polls closed, we still do not have any final numbers for the vote totals coming out of the Sunshine state.

There are a multitude of reasons why the votes are taking so long to count, primarily the length of the ballots (12 pages), the overwhelming, record-setting voter turnout, and the Republican's slashing the early voter timelines in half this year. More on all of this can be read right here.

The United States Popular Vote totals however, continue to be updated hourly by MSNBC.com, as straggling states and their counties continue reporting votes, as their confirmation and totals are finalized.

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UPDATE: [Sat., Nov. 10, 2012 - 8:20 a.m. CST]

This disconcerting image of three maps which suggest oh so much, was posted earlier this morning over at Roger Ebert's blog, check it out you guys... wow. just. wow.

Chart-thumb-510x475-54868_large

Map images via blogs.suntimes.com

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UPDATE - MAP PHOTO GALLERY: [Thurs., Nov. 8, 2012 - 8:30 p.m. CST]

We have just published a photo gallery of all of our ongoing electoral maps for you to refer to as a timeline of the election results, right here, for if you're into that sorta thang.

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FLORIDA UPDATE (?): [Thurs., Nov., 8, 2012 - 10:15 a.m. CST]

Still no new updates coming out of Florida regarding FINAL vote tallies... pretty sad that the CSSGMT vote tally process is more high tech, accurate and efficient than those of the State of Florida. Just saying, Cagesiders, just saying.

But we do continue to see new numbers being reported every few minutes regarding the overall US Popular Vote, and the percentages that correlate with that -- so of course we will continue to update that section in this post below until every single vote has been counted, Cagesiders.

Because we love you, that's why.

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VOTE TALLY UPDATES: [Thurs., Nov. 8, 2012 - 1:45 a.m. CST]

We just updated the popular vote in this thread one more time before snuggling up in bed for the night, and checked to see if Florida had been officially put in the books yet, it has not.

In doing research on Florida and verifying our stats one last time for the night, we came across this cool story to share...

For anyone who finds all the stats involved in the election process to be fascinating, or has a general appreciation for numbers crunching and cool ways to present data in a variety of charts and graphs, a must read is the "Five Thirty Eight" blog over at The New York Times, featuring Nate Silver's "Political Calculus", the blog is cleverly named after the total number of electoral votes. Check it out right here.

Mentioned recently by The Boston Globe online, and interviewed on election eve on The Colbert Report, Silver creates numerical compilations which must give statistician's wet dreams. (When clicking into the video, Colbert's intro for Silver starts around the 12:07 mark after the break and Silver is brought on around the 16:07 mark after the next break, good stuff, well worth watching.)

Silver, a celebrity in the world of predictive modeling, correctly called the winner in 49 states, as well as in the District of Columbia. In Florida, the 50th state, where President Obama continues to maintain the lead over Mitt Romney, but has still not been declared the official winner, Silver forecast an Obama win; as did Cageside Seats and MSNBC.

In fact, so confident are we in his predictions, and ours, we already "made it so" in all of our stats and graphics, which are posted below. (since yesterday evening, Nov. 7)

Check out the evolution of our election coverage by skimming our entire live blog thread below...

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MAJOR UPDATE: [Wed., Nov. 7, 2012 - 5:30 p.m. CST]

FLORIDA's GOIN' to OBAMA!

Be sure to check out our national stats below, oh and by the way, Cagesider's, we were the first on the Interwebs to paint Florida Blue! Here's why... a depiction of the current results, by county, as they are coming in for the Sunshine State...

UPDATED MAP: Now, with around 97-99% reporting, updated as of Saturday afternoon [Nov. 10, 2012 - 3:30 p.m. CST] -- no new information on vote totals has come in since then.

(click map to enlarge)

Sat3

So far, it is still extremely close, but regardless of the fact the majority of counties are red (as shown above), the popular vote puts the win in the blue column by less than a half of a percent margin.

As of Wed., Nov. 7, Jacksonville News had Obama winning 49.8 percent to Romney's 49.2 percent. With well over 97% of Floridian votes in, Cageside Seats' June M. Williams, and MSNBC are currently giving Florida to Obama.

As of the afternoon of Fri., Nov. 9, it has progressed to Obama with 50.3 percent to Romney with 49.6 percent the end of Friday night, 11:30pm CST Nov. 9, with 99% of Floridians votes now counted, Obama now has 50.38% to Romney's 49.62% proving Florida to be even more divided down the center than the country as a whole. So, it still appears that Florida will be confirmed in the blue when she has finished tallying all her votes.

Florida has 29 electoral votes in their cache, which will put Obama's grand total at 332, to Romney's 206 when all is said and done. There are a total of 538 electoral votes to be distributed by the time the whole process is completed. Only a majority of 270 were needed to secure the win.

__________________

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION RESULTS

*** Updated Throughout the Entire Process ***

FINAL US MAP, delegating all electoral winners:

US MAP LAST UPDATED: Wed, Nov. 7, 5:30 p.m. CST -- no new information has come in since then.
[We were the first site on the Interwebs to paint Florida Blue!]

As of Sunday evening Nov. 11, 2012, MSNBC and CBS both changed their maps to represent Florida blue as well.

(click map to enlarge)

Map_wed525pcst_large

(Our maps have been formatted off of both PBS.org and MSNBC/nbcnews.com)

UNITED STATES POPULAR VOTE:

Vote Tallies Last Updated: Fri., Nov. 16, at 11:30 a.m. CST

With over 99% of the popular vote now in (121,757,410 counted), under 1% not yet confirmed... we clearly remain a country divided rather than united, despite a winner having been declared:

  • Obama: 62,615,406 and still counting = 51.426%
  • Romney: 59,142,004 and still counting = 48.574%

Regarding 'Mittens' Percentage of the Popular Vote: Please, oh please, please, please let this sink on down to 47% as the final percentage in the end... and in the event that it does: I, June M. "Cr8vly" Williams, want sole credit for being the FIRST on the Interwebs to have commented on this potential irony early last night (Tu. Nov 6), too!

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FINAL ELECTORAL VOTES

LIST of STATES WON

LIST LAST UPDATED: Wed, Nov. 7, 5:30 p.m. CST -- no new information has come in since then.

Cageside Seats and MSNBC are projecting Florida for Obama with well over 97% of the vote in, as of early Wednesday evening. So, Cageside Seats is putting Florida and its 29 electoral college votes into the blue, (as shown above) which will put Obama's total tally to 332. There are a total of 538 electoral votes to be had, only a majority of 270 were needed to secure the win.

More on all this nonsense from the Sunshine State above. (just look under the map of Florida, guys)

States WON by OBAMA -

- Electoral Votes (332) FINAL:

  1. California - 55
  2. Colorado - 9
  3. Connecticut - 7
  4. Delaware - 3
  5. DC - 3
  6. FLORIDA - 29 (Cageside's giving Obama the win -- 97% of votes in -- as of 5:30 pm CST, Wed)
  7. Hawaii - 4
  8. Illinois - 20
  9. Iowa - 6
  10. Maine - 4
  11. Maryland - 10
  12. Massachusetts - 11
  13. Michigan - 16 (This is the state where Mitt Romney was born & his father served as Governor)
  14. Minnesota - 10
  15. Nevada - 6
  16. New Hampshire - 4
  17. New Jersey - 14 - (President Obama is projected to win NJ when voting officially ends*)
  18. New Mexico - 5
  19. New York - 29
  20. Ohio - 18
  21. Oregon - 7
  22. Pennsylvania - 20
  23. Rhode Island - 4
  24. Vermont - 3
  25. Virginia - 13
  26. Washington - 12
  27. Wisconsin - 10 (WI had to print additional ballots, as they ran out in some counties)

States WON by ROMNEY -

- Electoral Votes (206) FINAL:

  1. Alabama - 9
  2. Alaska - 3
  3. Arizona - 11
  4. Arkansas - 6
  5. Georgia - 16
  6. Idaho - 4
  7. Indiana - 11
  8. Kansas - 6
  9. Kentucky - 8
  10. Louisiana - 8
  11. Nebraska - 5
  12. North Carolina - 15
  13. North Dakota- 3
  14. South Dakota - 3
  15. Oklahoma - 7
  16. Mississippi - 6
  17. Missouri - 10
  18. Montana - 3
  19. South Carolina - 9
  20. Tennessee - 11
  21. Texas - 38
  22. Utah - 6
  23. West Virginia - 5
  24. Wyoming - 3

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SENATE and HOUSE BALANCES:

Last Updated: Wed, Nov. 7, 11:59 p.m. CST - - no new information has come in since then.

  • Senate Balance: Dems 53, Repubs 45, Indies 2
  • House Balance: Dems 199, Repubs 236, Indies 0

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Voting UPDATE: *New Jersey --

As of late this afternoon (Tues., Nov. 6), the state of New Jersey has been granted an extension on voting. Due to extenuating circumstances caused by Hurricane Sandy, voting will not be finalized there until this Friday, Nov. 9; for all elections. Projections for New Jersey will surely come in regardless, but we will probably not have final confirmation as to where they stand anytime tonight.

Voting UPDATE: Virginia --

As of 7:45 p.m. CST (Tues., Nov. 6), the state of Virginia has temporarily suspended the reporting of results because hundreds, if not thousands, of people are still in line to vote -- this according to CBS news and MSNBC. Under state rules, "if a voter was in line by 7 p.m. ET, he or she is entitled to vote, no matter how long it takes."

Voting UPDATE: Ohio --

As of 10:00pm (Tues., Nov. 6) from CBS News' Dean Reynolds, he reports:

"Obama is leading in three significant north central Ohio counties with an older, whiter population, but one that retains ties to the auto industry and organized labor. Mr. Obama won those counties, Wood, Sandusky and Ottawa counties, in 2008, and he is winning them again. There are more outstanding votes from urban areas than rural, which is another good sign for Obama, since urban areas are typically Democratic. An Obama campaign source says they have met their early voting projections, and Ohio is looking good."

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Voting UPDATE: Interesting Election Factoid --

The only state the Obama Campaign set out to win, and failed to, was North Carolina...

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UPDATE: [Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, 1:00 a.m. CST:]

Here is an electoral college result predictions map, it has been compiled based solely upon the predictions of the Associated Press. We intend to leave this up all night, just so we can compare how it all plays out later on:

(click map to enlarge)

Map_large

(Our maps have been formatted off of both PBS.org and MSNBC/nbcnews.com)

We will do our best to periodically update you with current results maps live, later on tonight, as election results are confirmed via the major news outlets.

__________________

"LLLlet's
Get
RRRrrrrready
to
RRRrrrrrrumb - llllllllllllllle!"



Initial Post - - Monday, November 5, 2012, [10:55 p.m. CST]

Here we are Cagesiders, the wee hours of Tuesday morning, Election Day! We've finally arrived at our destination, an end to all the hype. It is finally time for all of us in the States to step up, make our voices heard, and elect who we want leading the political happenings of this country for the next four years.

Before you head out to vote,
here's all you need to know:
  • The Incumbent, or sitting President, the Democratic Nominee: Barack Obama. His views on the issues can be found on his official website here. You can follow his election staff, who mans his official Twitter while he runs the country: @BarackObama (all tweets actually from the President himself are signed " - bo"). Obama, is described as, "the first black president... vying to be the first Democrat to win a second term since Bill Clinton in 1996".
  • The former Governor of Massachusetts, the Republican Nominee: Mitt Romney. His views on the issues can be found on his official website here. You can follow his official Twitter: @MittRomney. Romney, is described as, "the multimillionaire former head of a private equity fund, who would be the first Mormon president and one of the wealthiest Americans to occupy the White House".
  • Polls across the nation are scheduled to open around 6 AM local time and to close by roughly 7 PM local time, however, this varies from state to state, some states leaving polls open until 10 PM, so be sure to check your local authorities.
  • Where do you vote? To find your polling place, we prefer you go here, or if you prefer, you can go here, instead.
  • What to bring? If you have already voted in a federal election in your state before - then you are typically not required to bring ID. But it never hurts to bring your photo ID, showing your current address, along with your voter's registration card. If you have not voted in a federal election in your state before - then you should be able to bring your ID and a piece of documentation with your name and address on it, such as a paycheck, lease, utility bill or bank statement along with you to the polls. To be certain, check with your local polling place before you head out to vote.
  • For election results, in-depth coverage and analysis: tune in to virtually any television network or social media outlet in existence. But, of course, this is the place to be.
  • For some excellent unbiased, non-partisan information on all the candidates and elections in your area: check out ProjectVoteSmart.org

Then, come back here, as this thread will remain up at the top of the page, as a place for all you Cagesiders to congregate throughout the full election day, and night, of coverage. I even designed you a nifty logo for this post, so you will know right where to go whenever you see those patriotic buttons up above.

Again, polls will remain open near you from roughly around 6 a.m. CT through around 7-10 p.m. CT, but local times may vary, so check your local polling places and voting authorities to be sure you don't miss out. For instance, most polling places in Florida close at 7 p.m., but the western Panhandle is on Central time, so results shouldn't be announced for another hour... in Indiana and Kentucky polls will begin to close at 6 p.m. ET, with voting ending across the nation over the following six hours, Alaska closing around 1 a.m. ET, I think.

Then the waiting game begins.

As fellow wrestling fans, we hope to do our best to provide you with a simple slant on this whole thing, rather than inundating you with stats and political mumbo-jumbo all day, like all the political gurus elsewhere. Our goal is to simply provide you with updates on all the various presidential election results as they come in, including the possibility of a nifty blue and red chart of some sort to look at! (kinda like the black and gold CSSGMT vote tally chart, but on a national scale)

That way you can chill out right here and shoot the shit with all of us about the happenings, as they happen!

Our resident political guru, Mr. Keith Harris, reigning from Glasgow, (that's "GLAhZz - G'OH!!!", for us 'Mericans) Scotland, will also be simultaneously updating us on all the happenings with the former President and CEO of WWE, Linda McMahon's US Senatorial Campaign results from Connecticut, too. His election blog is in a separate thread right here on CSS - which is currently following that election all throughout the night, as well.

CSS Crew Assemble! Speak your minds in the comments, before, or after you go vote... not during, of course.

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CSS COVERAGE of the
United States PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION 2012

-- RESULTS AND LIVE BLOG FOR NOV. 6 --

Reminder: Just keep your political debates friendly as you can, as if you were hanging out in person; and remember to debate the issues, not the person... oh, and don't insult one another, play nice.

*** ELECTION DAY LIVE BLOG UPDATES START HERE ***

The map and electoral list will update above throughout the evening.

June M. Williams here at the helm, I am no political guru, folks, so please bear with me throughout this thing:

UPDATE #1: [Tues., Nov. 6, 2:00 a.m. CST]

In response to a comment regarding voting being affected by Sandy;

Currently, there are mixed reports on how well those areas affected by Sandy are going to cope with voting issues. Some would have you believe enough extraordinary measures are being taken throughout the entire eastern seaboard, particularly in New York and New Jersey, to ensure that Election Day goes forth without so much as a hiccup.

However, it is likely unrealistic to believe Sandy has finished creating chaos and carnage in the wake of her path. The damage to the Election Day process will be clearly evidenced in the voter turnout. No doubt it will be far less than what we would have seen sans storm.

According to the New York Times:

Local elected officials were not optimistic about Tuesday. Councilwoman Gale A. Brewer, a Manhattan Democrat, said she had heard from utility workers scheduled to work 12-hour shifts on Election Day who had no idea how they were supposed to vote. And Councilman Jumaane D. Williams, a Brooklyn Democrat, questioned why thousands of voters taking refuge at evacuation shelters would not be able to cast provisional ballots at their shelters.

Mr. Williams said, "My guess is if you don't have your house, you have no place to live, you may not have food, this is probably not at the top of your list of things to do." [Mr. Williams is of no relation to this blog's author]

Time will tell and we shall see how this plays out as the day progresses, Cagesiders. Be sure to check back right here later, for ongoing updates, and for the United States Presidential Election 2012 live blog, which will kick off once the polls close here in the USA. It will be below this line here:

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UPDATE #2: [Tues., 8:00 a.m. CST]

Election Prep and Further Introduction to the Live Blog:

Gooooooooooood morning, Cagesiders! It is around 8:00 a.m. or so CT, and who has voted already? How was it at the polls? Anyone have to rearrange their work schedule to make it happen? Any of us out on the East Coast have any direct stories about how Sandy has affected voting in your area, or for you or someone you know, directly? Let us know, in the comments!

So, according to the lovely folks over at Yahoo! News, we have some additional information to throw at you about today's election:

The close presidential race raises the prospect of a disputed outcome similar to the 2000 election, which was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. Both campaigns have assembled legal teams to deal with possible voting problems, challenges or recounts.

The balance of power in the U.S. Congress will also be at stake in Senate and House of Representatives races that could impact the outcome of "fiscal cliff" negotiations on spending cuts and tax increases, which kick in at the end of the year unless a deal is reached.

Obama's Democrats are now expected to narrowly hold their Senate majority, while Romney's Republicans are favored to retain House control.

Amid uncertainty over the U.S. election outcome, world stock markets and the dollar held steady on Tuesday as investors waited for the result.

There is a wealth of information to be found online and on the television about the election today. Please feel free to add any gems you find for us in the comments throughout the day.

One thing's for certain, the bout for POTUS,

... is now likely to be determined by voter turnout - specifically, what combination of Republicans, Democrats, white, minority, young, old and independent voters shows up at polling stations.

And as mentioned earlier this morning, Sandy could continue to wreak havoc, damaging voter turnout in untold ways, and the weather in general could play it's own roll in today's affairs,

Much of the nation was dry and mild, though rain was forecast later on Tuesday in the Southeast, including Florida, an important swing state.

So, now it is in our hands, guys, what say you? Were you in the crowds when Obama and Romney, "raced through seven battleground states on Monday to hammer home their final themes, urge supporters to get to the polls and woo the last remaining undecided voters"? I know a guy who drove over five hours to Des Moines, Iowa and stood in the freezing cold just to get Obama's autograph recently, although he wound up too sick to seek Romney's so sent his wife in his place. Said wife is currently serving him soup in bed now, nursing his bronchitis, but he says it was well worth the effort.

While in Des Moines, Obama was recorded to tell the crowd of some 20,000 people:

"I've come back to Iowa one more time to ask for your vote. I came back to ask you to help us finish what we've started, because this is where our movement for change began."

Obama's voice broke and he wiped away tears from his eyes as he reflected on those who had helped his campaign.

Iowa was one of three Midwestern swing states Obama focused heavily on recently, Wisconsin and Ohio being the other two, and "barring surprises elsewhere, (these visits) would insure that he reaches the 270 electoral votes needed to win."

Meanwhile, Romney visited the "must-win states of Florida, Virginia and Ohio before finishing in New Hampshire, where he launched his presidential run in June 2011".

The key state we apparently need to keep our eyes on today is Ohio. I have a cousin, shout out to Dave DeNeve, who hails from Cleveland, and if we are lucky, Cagesiders, I may get a quote from him later on in regards to what the polls and the vibe are like today in the Buckeye State.

Yahoo! News also claims the common denominator for both candidates is Ohio, calling it the "most critical of the battlegrounds, particularly for Romney". Apparently, how it all sorts out in the end, is that Ohio's 18 electoral votes, are key in the narrow path to victory for the Republican. They also inform us this morning that,

Polls have shown Obama with a small but steady lead in the state for months, sparked in part by his support for a federal bailout of the auto industry, which accounts for one of every eight jobs in Ohio, and by a strong state economy with an unemployment rate lower than the 7.9 percent national rate.

That undercut the central argument of Romney's campaign - that his business experience made him uniquely qualified to create jobs and lead an economic recovery.

Obama fought back through the summer with ads criticizing Romney's experience at the equity fund Bain Capital and portraying him as out of touch with ordinary Americans.

Romney is reported to have voted at home in Massachusetts this morning before his final trip to Ohio and Pennsylvania, (a Democratic-leaning state that he has tried to put in play in recent weeks).

Obama, Geno's (our General Manager here at Cageside Seats), fellow Bear's supporter, actually made history by being the first President to take advantage of early voting procedures when he voted back in October, so he is reportedly spending the day at his home in Chicago.

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UPDATE #3: [Tues., 9:30 a.m. CST]

Banter about the key states, every vote and every state is key:

So, my understanding of this electoral college beast indicates that the one state everyone oughta be watching, even more so than Ohio, is Virginia, which could be one of the closest results in the nation.

Back in the 2008 election, Obama captured almost 53% in Virginia, but "Romney is given a better chance of winning the Old Dominion than John McCain". According to USA Today,

Romney probably needs (Virginia) to have a chance of winning the White House. Indiana, which Obama stole from Republicans in 2008, is safely back in GOP hands.

On the other hand, Ohio, has already been referred to as "perhaps the crown jewel of this and many a presidential race". USA Today also mentioned this morning that:

A Romney win in Ohio could be bad news for the president, who has spent more time there than any other state, emphasizing his rescue of the auto industry.

And Obama currently leads in Ohio, while Romney holds a slim lead in most polls in North Carolina, and it is worth noting that on the other hand, an Obama win in North Carolina would reportedly "doom Romney's chances".

On the other hand, Romney "badly needs to win Florida to keep his chances alive, but the race remains close". But then again, on the other hand, New Hampshire "also is close". Moreover, on the other hand, Obama has maintained a "steady, but not insurmountable, lead in Pennsylvania, a state which Republicans invested in at the last minute".

Nonetheless, on the other hand, when the late closing polls hit, like around 9 ET I think, there will be two close races and three at the margins here:

The states to watch (then will be) Colorado, like Virginia a dead heat, and Wisconsin, where Paul Ryan's candidacy gives Romney an outside shot. If Romney can peel off Michigan or Minnesota, he'll have a good night. The same goes for Obama in Arizona, a state trending Democratic.

Furthermore, on the other hand, those last two swing states to close their polls could play a "big role in determining the next president".

Apparently, President Obama has held on to small leads in both Iowa and Nevada, but Romney has fought hard for both as well, so if the race hasn't been "all but decided by now, these two states could hold the key to the White House".

Plus, lest we forget, on the other hand, today may be the day that not only changes history in regards to our President, but in how many states elect the President in the next go 'round in 2016? Huh?

Two words: "Puerto." and "Rico."

That's right, today, Puerto Rico is not only electing their Governor, but they are also voting on their ties with the United States, and very well may be declared the 51st state.

Wait, that is like five, no six, no seven, eight, ???? a lot of hands... and a lot of states.... so, unless we are the Hindu Goddess Kali, something went awry there... but you get my drift... a lot of stuff is up for grabs, and it is gonna be tricky to sort it all out, that's why we are here to muddle through it with you guys!

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UPDATE #4: [Tues., 10:00 a.m. CST]

(VIDEO) How Will Strict, Controversial Voter I.D. Laws Affect Poll Turnout and Access?

Just thought it would be good to share this video from PBS, it has a wealth of info and might be of interest to some of you:

Watch How Will Controversial Voter I.D. Laws Affect Poll Turnout? on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

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UPDATE #5: [Tues., 10:50 a.m. CST]

(VIDEO) How the Electoral College Works, in under 5 minutes, with humor and zest:

And in the vein of "keeping this shit simple", here is an excellent, informative, educational, if not somewhat disconcerting, and awesomely hilarious and accurate video for you.

The video is explaining in terms anyone can understand, kinda-sorta, all about the electoral college; complete with stick figures and a kitty cat, in under five minutes even, courtesy of CGPGrey's blog:


Yeah, that is really messed up. Every time I refresh my knowledge base on the Electoral College I get all worked up at how antiquated things are and how messed up this system really is... I speak for many fellow American's by saying, this is no longer what we have in mind for our election process.

And on that note, I am gonna leave you to the threads while I go vote before the lunch hour rush!

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UPDATE #6: [Tues., 3:45 p.m. CST]

My personal story about heading to the polls midday today:

I-voted_medium

Image via PlannedParenthood.org/facebook

Well Cagesiders, I AM WOMAN --- AND I VOTED --- HEAR ME ROAR!!!

Guess what? Going to vote here in the good old Land of Lincoln proved to be a little more difficult this time around for me than in years past. First of all, it is raining here today in Illinois, about 42 degrees Fahrenheit for the high, foggy and I have pneumonia. But I am an avid voter, have volunteered in the past, one year even assisting as an election judge, so nothing was gonna keep me away from the polls, especially since my usual polling place is like a half mile from my home, suh-weet!

Since I was only running down the way, I left the house all bundled up with my wallet in my pocket and left my cell phone on the charger... but when I got to the polling place and parked amidst some 20 other cars, I joined the herd of people in front of the doors only to see they were all on their phones and getting back in their cars. It was at this point I realized people were leaving as quickly as they were arriving, far too quickly to have voted, a little slow on the uptake, was thinking about the candidates and keeping their names in the forefront of my mind, okay?

At the front of the huddle of wet people, under the eaves of the church where I usually vote, there was a soggy little sign posted advising us that our polling place had moved and to call a local phone number...

Vote_poll_place_medium

Well, what a fine time to not have my cell phone in hand.

It really took me by surprise to have received so many political calls recently, but not so much as a single phone call to my registered number about this change, nor anything in the mail, other than political ads.

Then it occurred to me how fortunate I was to live nearby, have plenty of gas, quick access to a phone nearby, and the time to go elsewhere. There was a time in my life I walked, rode a bike, or took a bus, or relied on others for rides from time-to-time, or when I had to make crazy arrangements to get to the polls around various school and work schedules; so I would imagine this could be a huge inconvenience to some people.

As luck would have it, the line of cars leaving were all heading the same direction, to another church just about a mile or two away where we would be voting in combination with another area in our district.

Like one of the herd, I followed along and took my place in line, outside, in the cold and the rain, with my pneumonia and waited. Patiently. After all, I had a pocket full of cough drops and a course of steroids and antibiotics running through me and I was determined to make my votes, so I was all set.

The line moved, slowly, and eventually it led inside. From start to finish it took me approximately 60-90 mins in the mid-morning, from the time I left home to vote, until the time I returned home to prepare lunch and get back to work.

The polling place I usually go to is normally equipped with a combination of voting devices, this one consisted of several hard of hearing elderly folks, disorganization, confusion, paper ballots, sharpie markers, card tables and a box to feed them into once we were done, which was not always attended to.

If this is what I had to contend with in Rock Island County, Illinois, I dread to think what people in areas on the Eastern Seaboard who were affected by Sandy are actually dealing with today in their voting endeavors.

While waiting in line to vote, several voters commented to one another that in this day and age it is a shame that our voting processes for things such as American Idol and Face Off are far more advanced than our national election process. My mother remarked to me this afternoon that it is a shame she will not see the American voting process evolve in her lifetime, but she hopes one day her granddaughter will see a better process in place. I concur.

How about you Cagesiders? What were your voting experiences and polling places like this year? Share your experiences in the comments with us.

-------------------------------------

UPDATE #7: [Tues., 4:30 p.m. CST]

Local High School Students conduct a poll on whom they would elect as our nation's next President today:

According to a poll of local High School students (over 2,500 students) taken today at Moline High School, here in Obama's home state of Illinois, a whopping 88% of the students in attendance today indicated if they had the right to vote, they would vote for President Obama to retain his office, while only 22% present and accounted for voted for Mr. Romney.

Apparently, unlike our own Mr. Nolan Howell, these young Americans have a voice, know what they want to say with it and wish for it to be heard loud and clear. In four years time, it is probably safe to presume very few of them will elect to abstain from voting in the next federal election.

-------------------------------------

UPDATE #8: [Tues., 5:15 p.m. CST]

(VIDEO) Facebook buzz about a voting machine caught changing Obama votes to Romney:

For anyone who happens to hang out on facebook these days, you know things have a way of circulating to the extent they quickly become viral amongst your friends. One such viral post has been gaining momentum this afternoon entitled:"Machine Caught Changing Obama Votes To Romney - Outcry Forces It Offline (VIDEO)"

So far, at least two separate videos have reportedly been uploaded to YouTube demonstrating this issue and have since been taken down for some reason, so for awhile all you would get when you clicked into the link was a still shot which many facebook users were understandably skeptical about.

The body of text inside the link which everyone is facebook "sharing" so voraciously today states,

"I initially selected Obama but Romney was highlighted. I assumed it was being picky so I deselected Romney and tried Obama again, this time more carefully, and still got Romney. Being a software developer, I immediately went into troubleshoot mode. I first thought the calibration was off and tried selecting Jill Stein to actually highlight Obama. Nope. Jill Stein was selected just fine. Next I deselected her and started at the top of Romney's name and started tapping very closely together to find the ‘active areas'. From the top of Romney's button down to the bottom of the black checkbox beside Obama's name was all active for Romney. From the bottom of that same checkbox to the bottom of the Obama button (basically a small white sliver) is what let me choose Obama. Stein's button was fine. All other buttons worked fine.

I asked the voters on either side of me if they had any problems and they reported they did not. I then called over a volunteer to have a look at it. She him hawed for a bit then calmly said "It's nothing to worry about, everything will be OK." and went back to what she was doing. I then recorded this video.

There is a lot of speculation that the footage is edited. I'm not a video guy, but if it's possible to prove whether a video has been altered or not, I will GLADLY provide the raw footage to anyone who is willing to do so. The jumping frames are a result of the shitty camera app on my Android phone, nothing more."

Wendy Gittleson at addictinginfo.org has updated her post on the matter, now stating:

"Rachel Maddow has reported that the machine has been taken offline, but who can be assured that this was the only machine with this "glitch?" It hasn't been reported how many people had already voted before the machine was taken down."

What say you Cagesiders? Election day hoax, serious issue, widespread concern, or single isolated incident?

-------------------------------------

UPDATE #9: [Tues., 5:40 p.m. CST]

Obama announces voters will not be turned away if in line when the polls close:

This just in from Twitter about fifteen minutes ago... people are being informed, from the President's Twitter, no less, that as long as they are in line when the polls close, they can NOT turn anyone away before they complete the voting process:

-------------------------------------

UPDATE #10: [Tues., 5:50 p.m. CST]

Comments on the Election Vibes in Ohio, from an actual, genuine Ohioan:

As I mentioned earlier, I have a cousin who resides in Ohio, which is where the majority of media attention is currently focused. My cousin Dave lives in Cleveland to be exact, and he had to squeeze voting in-between his two jobs and getting his kids off to school this morning.

He just texted me on a break that at his primary job earlier today, which is a career which has him more in-touch with the "blue collar" populace, "everyone seemed to be buzzing about Obama and how hopeful they were to see him clinch this thing". On the other side of the coin, at his second job, dealing cards at a local Casino, "the clientele seemed to be leaning more towards Mitt".

The one thing he stated that they all seemed to have in common,

"All of us in Ohio are SICK of the ads! Ohio was hit with more ads than I have ever seen in any state I have lived in or visited in my lifetime. Literally four out of every five ads for months now has been regarding the elections."

Thanks for the quote, Cousin Dave! You rock!

-------------------------------------

UPDATE #11: [Tues., 6:00 p.m. CST]

Some Polls are Now Officially Closed:

Polls have now closed in Kentucky, South Carolina, Vermont, Georgia, Indiana and Virginia.

And. Here. We. Go!!!!

-------------------------------------

UPDATE #12: [Tues., 6:15 p.m. CST]

Twitter responds to the election, more Tweets than one person can keep up with, so here is a small sampling:

From Twitter, one of the leading female political Tweeps from Washington DC, who goes by the Twitter handle @DCDebbie has had some real gems popping up on her timeline today, recently:

and...

Not to be completely partisan, here is a tweet about Romney, indicating that apparently he has only written an acceptance speech:

You guys, I legitimately spent the past ten minutes searching Twitter for some clever and funny tweets that would be pro-Romney in order to represent him fairly in this update. I don't know if Twitter has tailored itself to my political interests and is filtering out anything Pro-Romney, or what, but I seriously could not find any Tweets that were in his favor or worthy of sharing.

But hey, I promise you guys I will keep looking periodically, but if you see some in the meantime, feel free to throw them in the comments section for us. Thanks, guys!

-------------------------------------

UPDATE #13: [Tues., 6:30 p.m. CST]

Voter Suppression is still a real issue, you can help fight it:

Unfortunately, ugliness is alive and well in America today. Despite all the progress and struggles we have made towards our country being more tolerable and progressive, people are still out there proving the meme: "Haters gonna Hate".

Voter-suppression_medium

Image via CredoMobile/facebook

So, if you see voter suppression happening, you can report it here: 1-866-OUR-VOTE. You can help document what you saw by reporting it on the Mother Jones vote suppression page, as well.

-------------------------------------

UPDATE #14: [Tues., 6:45 p.m. CST]

Important polls closing, updates on early results:

The polls are now officially closed in the battleground states of Ohio and North Carolina, but the races there are too close to call, this according to CBS News exit polling. The battleground state of Virginia, where polls closed at 7 p.m., remains a toss up as well.

CBSNews.com is reporting now:

Mitt Romney has won the state of West Virginia, where polls closed at 7:30 p.m., giving him five more electoral votes. That brings his tally of electoral votes to 24, while President Obama has three after winning Vermont.

Ohio, with 18 electoral votes, is one of the most competitive states on the map. Mr. Obama won the state by 4.6 percent in 2008. In 2004, President Bush won Ohio by 2.1 percent.

North Carolina, meanwhile, carries 15 electoral votes. Youth and minority voters helped Mr. Obama carry a slim, o.3 percent margin of victory there in 2008. Mr. Bush won North Carolina by 2.9 percent in 2004.

-------------------------------------

BREAKING NEWS

UPDATE #15: [as of 7:30 p.m. CST, per MSNBC.com]

Former WWE President and CEO, Linda McMahon, has been soundly defeated by Chris Murphy in the Connecticut State Senatorial Race...

1106ele016_sjpg_900_540_0_95_1_50_50_sjpg_medium

Caption: "Chris Murphy supporters watch national results on TV at the Hilton Hotel in Hartford on 11/6/2012" - Photo by Arnold Gold/New Haven Register | Image retrieved via Register Citizen

For all the details on this special Senatorial election in Connecticut, check out our other live blog, manned by our own Keith Harris, RIGHT HERE.

-------------------------------------

UPDATE #16: [Tues., 8:45 p.m. CST]

Early Projected Winner - President Obama:

Although Mr. Romney has not bothered to write anything other than an acceptance speech, latest results projected indicate an overwhelming voter turnout in this election, but not necessarily in the former Governor's favor.

Word is, from his gathering at Romney headquarters in Boston, via MSNBC, Romney's camp is currently disappointed in some of the early results, and they are putting their best possible spin on things -- hoping Ohio, as well as Colorado, and some of the other remaining swing vote states, may hopefully sway their way by the end of it all.

Word from the Obama gathering in Chicago, out here in the heartland, my home state of Illinois, indicates The President and his supporters remain entirely optimistic that he will retain his title this election year.

We will continue to update our map and electoral projections lists above for you throughout the night, stick with us, Cagesiders!

-------------------------------------

UPDATE #17: [Tues., 9:10 p.m. CST]

Election Stats from Exit Polls:

This just updated over at CBSnews.com in regards to the CBS News' early exit polls:

"...Polling shows that women favor Mr. Obama by a large number (14 points), his support among men is down seven points from 2008. Similarly, while young people aged 18-29 favor the president (56 percent to 40 percent), those 64 and older favor Mitt Romney.

In the rural and suburban areas which may decide this race, Romney is outperforming Mr. Obama. At the same time, however, independents -- which are key to electoral victory -- are breaking 53 percent to 43 percent for Mr. Obama."

Interesting statistics, also reported on MSNBC tonight is the unsurprising fact that the President has retained a vast majority of the vote amongst African-Americans, with the Republicans failing miserably in this demographic. As bad as they failed on this front, evidently the Republicans failed even more miserably with the Latino/Latina demographic, also no large surprise there.

-------------------------------------

BREAKING NEWS

UPDATE #18: [10:12 p.m. CST]

MSNBC and CBS News have both just confirmed:

PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS WON

A SECOND TERM & HAS BEEN RE-ELECTED AS OUR

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

This announcement came shortly after confirmation of a win in the great state of OHIO. (Which the Romney campaign has refused to concede to as of yet; updates will follow) Mr. Romney conceded to the President in a speech delivered at 11:55pm CST, which was televised on all National News Networks.

Additionally, on this election day we see the Democrats retaining control of the Senate, while the House will be retained within Republican control.

More results and updates can be found ongoing right here, so please keep on scrolling through the page, and refreshing periodically. Thanks!

Obamas_at_cinc_27s_ball_1-20-09_hires_090120-n-0696m-795_medium

By Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley, USN [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

-------------------------------------

UPDATE #19: [Tues., 11:00 p.m. CST]

Mr. Obama is Re-Elected, Romney Camp Refuses to Concede Ohio:

So, as we announced earlier this hour, the news has been announced that Barack Obama has been re-elected. But wait, Romney has not yet conceded the race in the state of Ohio. What? He is expected to come to his senses within the hour. Hopefully soon, we can all move forward together, embracing the outcome and keep healing this country.

We will continue to keep you apprised of any new developments as they come in, stay right here with us as we update all the stats and bring you all the final details throughout the hours to come. Thanks for hanging here with us since last night, Cagesiders! WE LOVE YOU! We love you!

-------------------------------------

UPDATE #20: [Wed., Nov. 7, 12:00 a.m. CST]

Mr. Romney's Classy Concession Speech:

For five brief minutes, Mr. Mitt Romney took the spotlight and conceded the Presidential Election to Barack Obama. After a long hour and 45 minutes delay, while Romney's advisors verified the results coming in from Ohio and Nevada, as well as other remaining states, they remained in a media silence, only issuing a statement that he was refusing to concede the election at this time.

But, in a classy and well prepared concession speech, the Former Governor of Massachusetts stood up, took responsibility for the campaign he ran, conceded that the American public decided to follow a different path than what he had in mind. He went on to follow all the "proper" political concessions speaking points...

He stood on the stage alone, rather than hiding behind his family, he did not deflect blame upon his Vice Presidential Candidate, but acknowledged him with no regrets as having been the right choice, he did not make any excuses nor disparage the victor, he acknowledged to the American people that, "the race was officially over" and it was time to move forward. In a heartfelt effort, he managed to find a way to connect with the audience in a way which this voter felt he failed to do not only in my eyes, but in the eyes of many, many voters throughout this entire ordeal.

So now we offer Congratulations to Mr. Obama as we await his speech, but we can also offer congratulations to Mr. Romney, and his campaign staff, for finding a graceful way to exit the political stage this evening, regardless of the delays.

*** For a transcript and video of Mr. Romney's concession speech, scroll to the bottom of this post, beneath the video of President Obama's Acceptance Speech.

-------------------------------------

UPDATE #21: [Wed., Nov. 7, 12:25 a.m. CST]

The President's Historic Victory Speech:

The crowds a few hours East of where I sit, over in the Windy City of Chicago, Illinois, apparently don't mind the near freezing temperatures (40° F as of the time of this update), nor a light misting of rain coating them while they anxiously await the historic words to come.

President Barack Obama, a Chicagoan and avid Bears fan, (this was key in Geno's voting rubric), having just been re-elected for another four-year term, will be making his Victory Speech at any moment now.

We will continue to update you as his remarks unfold.

With the popular vote indicating we have a divided country, pundits anticipate his speech to acknowledge the populace as a whole and attempt to unite us going forward.

The President, the First Lady and their lovely daughters are taking the stage to a massive pop from the crowd now to the sounds of the classic Motown hit from Stevie Wonder, Signed, Sealed Delivered...

"Here I am baby, signed, sealed, delivered, I'm yours!"

...at 12:36 a.m., Chicago-time. Then the crowd starts to chant, "FOUR MORE YEARS!" repeatedly, with tremendous excitement and enthusiasm.

We will update you on The President's choice of words shortly. This will be cleaned up later, but here is the gist of what is occurring at this very moment:

Excerpts from President Obama;

"We are an American family, and we rise and fall together, as one nation, you, (lengthy pause) the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard... while our journey has been long... we have picked ourselves up... we have fought our way back and we know in our hearts... that for the United States of America, the best is yet to come!"

He then goes on to comment on, "how hard everyone has worked" and addresses how hard it was for many Americans to get to the polls, and how long people had to wait to vote, then acknowledging, "We need to fix that!"

His speech gains momentum, the crowd is vibrant and hanging on every word with vim and vigor, waiting for the right moments to burst forth with approval... when Obama states,

"Whether you held an Obama sign, or a Romney sign, you made your voice heard, you made a difference!"

This gets an enormous response from the audience.

He goes on to state, "We honor and applaud the... Romney family legacy..." and then states in regards to Romney, that soon, "We will sit down together and talk about what we can do together to move this country forward."

Then comes a HUGE pop from the crowd as he announces VP Joe Biden and acknowledges him and his efforts, Biden waves and beams an ecstatic grin.

Obama goes on to thank his lovely wife and daughters, jokes to them that one dog is enough, thanks his campaign team at length.

Then in regards to his campaign workers and volunteers and directly to the audience,

"Thank you for believing in me the whole way, through every hill, through every valley, you have lifted me up, the whole way, and I will always be grateful, for all the incredible work you put in."

He goes on to discuss democracy, what is the point of an election, expounds on these concepts with a wonderful flurry of words which I cannot keep up with, as I am an emotional person right now. My apologies, more to come momentarily.

He continues his remarks by commenting on the courageousness of the troops (such as my young Cousin Eric Reamy, who is serving in the Army and headed back overseas on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan any day now) and he commends all the military families who endure the efforts and sacrifices their loved ones are making to ensure our freedoms.

He then goes on to specifically reference a variety of individuals throughout the country, different types of Americans of all ages and backgrounds, in order to eventually reveal what we all share in common is a vision of going forward.

He acknowledges in our journey to move forward we will undoubtedly argue, sometimes fiercely, that we may not be able to accomplish all of our goals, but that our common bond is how we wish to resolve these conflicts and our wish to make things better will drive us forward together. He then states,

"I want to thank every American who participated in this election... Whether you voted for me or not, I have listened to you and learned from you, about your struggles and I return to the White House a man more determined and more focused than ever on helping over the coming weeks and months to reach out to leaders of both parties to meet the challenges we can only solve together."

He then lists all of the major hot button issues, and how we will be striving to resolve them together, which receives a resounding, massive pop from the crowd.

He reminds us how as citizens we have work to do too, (paraphrasing here...) that the principle of self-government is what we were founded on, so we have to work together. Also, that our wealth, our military, our universities, our culture, is not what makes us exceptional, it is our diversity, and the belief that our destiny is shared.

As soon as possible, I will find a legit transcript of this... at this point it becomes so powerful and the words too eloquent for me to properly live blog or transcribe them without sullying the moment for myself. I find myself too moved now with pride in our President and joy for our country in the outcome of this election to be able to properly keep up with my transcription of the proceeding, my apologies. Will be back shortly...

-------------------------------------

UPDATE #22: [Wed., Nov. 7, 1:00 a.m. CST]

Reactions upon conclusion of the President's Historic Victory Speech:

Well, it is now 1:00 a.m. CST on Wednesday, November 7, 2012, and the President has just concluded his victory speech, and is now being joined by his family, his Vice-President and VP Biden's family on stage, while the confetti and streamers swirl down around them in a virtual snowstorm.

As a former member of my high school debate team years ago, and a person who has simultaneously despised and relished giving speeches, my take on his speech was that it was moving, eloquent, and deep, while being simple and powerful. Obama is one helluva public speaker.

Moments were reminiscent of JFK's, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country" moment. In no uncertain terms, this was the most powerful message he has delivered to the American people since the speech he gave back in 2004.

No doubt in time, the rhetoric in this speech may very well be recalled as pivotal, thought-provoking, forward-thinking and patriotic by future generations. Much in the same manner as which we currently reflect on historical speeches like Roosevelt's and Kennedy's Inaugural Addresses. Although, not of the caliber of the "I Have a Dream" speech, it was still impressive by any standard.

On a separate note, one which I just can't resist, how ironic would it be, if when it is all said and done, if the popular vote sorts itself out to where Romney ends up with precisely "47%"?

***For a full transcript of the speech, scroll down below the image of the Presidential Seal... an embedded video is right here for you as well, below, scroll on down, as it is well worth checking out either in writing, or video form, if you happened to miss it.

Thanks for sticking with us through this whole exciting ride, Cagesiders!

Seal_large


UPDATE #23: [Wed., Nov. 7, 7:00 a.m. CST]

President Obama's Acceptance Speech:


VIDEO via CBSNEWS.com

Also, a Partial Transcript has been provided for you below, which is actually pretty close to some of the content which I had added myself while trying to keep up live blogging the speech last night.
[For the Full Transcript, go to: The Washington Post]

The following speech was given from Chicago, Illinois, on Wednesday, November 7, 2012, at 12:35 AM CST through 12:55 AM CST:

______________________________

OBAMA: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much.

Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward. (APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: It moves forward because of you. It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and depression, the spirit that has lifted this country from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope, the belief that while each of us will pursue our own individual dreams, we are an American family and we rise or fall together as one nation and as one people. (APPLAUSE)

Tonight, in this election, you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back, and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America the best is yet to come. (APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: I want to thank every American who participated in this election... (APPLAUSE) ... whether you voted for the very first time or waited in line for a very long time. (APPLAUSE)

By the way, we have to fix that. (APPLAUSE) Whether you pounded the pavement or picked up the phone... (APPLAUSE) ... whether you held an Obama sign or a Romney sign, you made your voice heard and you made a difference.

I just spoke with Governor Romney and I congratulated him and Paul Ryan on a hard-fought campaign. (APPLAUSE)

We may have battled fiercely, but it's only because we love this country deeply and we care so strongly about its future. From George to Lenore to their son Mitt, the Romney family has chosen to give back to America through public service and that is the legacy that we honor and applaud tonight. (APPLAUSE)

In the weeks ahead, I also look forward to sitting down with Governor Romney to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward. (APPLAUSE)

I want to thank my friend and partner of the last four years, America's happy warrior, the best vice president anybody could ever hope for, Joe Biden. (APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: And I wouldn't be the man I am today without the woman who agreed to marry me 20 years ago. (APPLAUSE) Let me say this publicly: Michelle, I have never loved you more. I have never been prouder to watch the rest of America fall in love with you, too, as our nation's first lady. (APPLAUSE) Sasha and Malia, before our very eyes you're growing up to become two strong, smart beautiful young women, just like your mom. (APPLAUSE) OBAMA: And I'm so proud of you guys. But I will say that for now one dog's probably enough. (LAUGHTER)

To the best campaign team and volunteers in the history of politics... (APPLAUSE) The best. The best ever. Some of you were new this time around, and some of you have been at my side since the very beginning. (APPLAUSE) But all of you are family. No matter what you do or where you go from here, you will carry the memory of the history we made together and you will have the life-long appreciation of a grateful president.

Thank you for believing all the way, through every hill, through every valley. (APPLAUSE) You lifted me up the whole way and I will always be grateful for everything that you've done and all the incredible work that you put in. (APPLAUSE)

I know that political campaigns can sometimes seem small, even silly. And that provides plenty of fodder for the cynics that tell us that politics is nothing more than a contest of egos or the domain of special interests. But if you ever get the chance to talk to folks who turned out at our rallies and crowded along a rope line in a high school gym, or saw folks working late in a campaign office in some tiny county far away from home, you'll discover something else.

OBAMA: You'll hear the determination in the voice of a young field organizer who's working his way through college and wants to make sure every child has that same opportunity. (APPLAUSE) You'll hear the pride in the voice of a volunteer who's going door to door because her brother was finally hired when the local auto plant added another shift. (APPLAUSE) You'll hear the deep patriotism in the voice of a military spouse whose working the phones late at night to make sure that no one who fights for this country ever has to fight for a job or a roof over their head when they come home. (APPLAUSE)

That's why we do this. That's what politics can be. That's why elections matter. It's not small, it's big. It's important. Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs. And when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy.

That won't change after tonight, and it shouldn't. These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty. We can never forget that as we speak people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter, the chance to cast their ballots like we did today. (APPLAUSE)

But despite all our differences, most of us share certain hopes for America's future. We want our kids to grow up in a country where they have access to the best schools and the best teachers. (APPLAUSE) A country that lives up to its legacy as the global leader in technology and discovery and innovation, with all the good jobs and new businesses that follow.

OBAMA: We want our children to live in an America that isn't burdened by debt, that isn't weakened by inequality, that isn't threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet. (APPLAUSE) We want to pass on a country that's safe and respected and admired around the world, a nation that is defended by the strongest military on earth and the best troops this -- this world has ever known. (APPLAUSE)

But also a country that moves with confidence beyond this time of war, to shape a peace that is built on the promise of freedom and dignity for every human being. We believe in a generous America, in a compassionate America, in a tolerant America, open to the dreams of an immigrant's daughter who studies in our schools and pledges to our flag. (APPLAUSE)

To the young boy on the south side of Chicago who sees a life beyond the nearest street corner. (APPLAUSE) To the furniture worker's child in North Carolina who wants to become a doctor or a scientist, an engineer or an entrepreneur, a diplomat or even a president -- that's the future we hope for. That's the vision we share. That's where we need to go -- forward. (APPLAUSE) That's where we need to go.

*** For the second half of the President's speech, you can see the Full Transcript, by going to: The Washington Post

-----------------------------------

UPDATE #24: [Wed., Nov. 7, 8:00 a.m. CST]

Mitt Romney's Concession Speech


Video Caption: In the very early hours on Wednesday morning, Mitt Romney gave his concession speech.

The following speech was given from Boston, Massachusetts, on Wednesday, November 7, 2012, at 11:55 PM CST through 12:00 AM CST (yes, five minutes)

[For a copy of the Full Transcript, go to: The Washington Post]

______________________________

ROMNEY: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, my friends. Thank you so very much. (APPLAUSE) Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I have just called President Obama to congratulate him on his victory. His supporters and his campaign also deserve congratulations.

ROMNEY: His supporters and his campaign also deserve congratulations. I wish all of them well, but particularly the president, the first lady and their daughters.(APPLAUSE)

This is a time of great challenges for America, and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation. (APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: I want to thank Paul Ryan for all that he has done for our campaign. (APPLAUSE) And for our country. Besides my wife, Ann, Paul is the best choice I've ever made. (APPLAUSE) And I trust that his intellect and his hard work and his commitment to principle will continue to contribute to the good of our nation. (APPLAUSE)

I also want to thank Ann, the love of my life. (APPLAUSE) ROMNEY: She would have been a wonderful first lady. She's -- she has been that and more to me and to our family and to the many people that she has touched with her compassion and her care.

I thank my sons for their tireless work on behalf of the campaign, and thank their wives and children for taking up the slack as their husbands and dads have spent so many weeks away from home. (APPLAUSE)

I want to thank Matt Rhoades and the dedicated campaign team he led. (APPLAUSE) They have made an extraordinary effort not just for me, but also for the country that we love.

And to you here tonight, and to the team across the country -- the volunteers, the fundraisers, the donors, the surrogates -- I don't believe that there's ever been an effort in our party that can compare with what you have done over these past years. Thank you so very much.

Thanks for all the hours of work, for the calls, for the speeches and appearances, for the resources and for the prayers. You gave deeply from yourselves and performed magnificently. And you inspired us and you humbled us. You've been the very best we could have imagined.

ROMNEY: The nation, as you know, is at a critical point. 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 people's work. And we citizens also have to rise to the occasion. We look to our teachers and professors, we count on you not just to teach, but to inspire our children with a passion for learning and discovery.

We look to our pastors and priests and rabbis and counselors of all kinds to testify of the enduring principles upon which our society is built: honesty, charity, integrity and family. We look to our parents, for in the final analysis everything depends on the success of our homes.

ROMNEY: We look to job creators of all kinds. We're counting on you to invest, to hire, to step forward. And we look to Democrats and Republicans in government at all levels to put the people before the politics. I believe in America. I believe in the people of America. (APPLAUSE) And I ran for office because I'm concerned about America. This election is over, but our principles endure. I believe that the principles upon which this nation was founded are the only sure guide to a resurgent economy and to renewed greatness.

Like so many of you, Paul and I have left everything on the field. We have given our all to this campaign.(APPLAUSE) I so wish -- I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction, but the nation chose another leader. And so Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for him and for this great nation.

Thank you, and God bless America. You guys are the best. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thanks, guys. (APPLAUSE)

***For additional copies of this concession speech, you can see the full transcript in multiple formats, by going to: The Washington Post

---------------------------------

Thanks for hanging out and covering the election with us, Cagesiders, as soon as we hear what happens in Florida, and all the final Popular Vote tally info, we will continue to provide you with updates right here at the top of this thread, so keep checking back!

-------------------------------------

The Cageside Seats Presidential Election LiveBlog contents contain solely the subjective opinions and viewpoints of June M. Williams, the author, and therefore do not necessarily reflect the views of Cageside Seats' Manager, its other editors or staff members, nor that of SBNation, in any way whatsoever.

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