US election 2012 - as it happened - Live coverage - The Independent

US election 2012 - as it happened

Barack Obama defeats Mitt Romney in the battle for the presidency of the United States of America

  • Romney, meanwhile, is making his last campaign stop of the campaign, in Pittsburgh
    11/6/2012 8:39:16 PM
  • The world's press will be reporting devs at Romney HQ from beneath 30 ft screens broadcasting CNN and Fox News
  • “They’re throwing spaghetti at the wall to see if it will stick,”
    Obama strategist David Plouffe on Romney and Ryan's last minute campaigning in the race today.
    11/6/2012 9:10:42 PM
  • The president has run a strong campaign, I believe he is a good man and wish him well, and his family well. He is a good father and has been a good example of a good father, but it is time for a new direction. It is a time for a better tomorrow.
    Mitt Romney on Barack Obama earlier today
    11/6/2012 9:15:24 PM
  • As Guy Adams reported earlier, many of the polls are currently giving Barack Obama a lead or 1-2% (and within the margin of error):

    Behind the scenes, the picture is less rosy. With almost every major poll giving Obama a lead in the states he needs to reach 270 votes in the electoral college, forecasting analysts put his chances of victory at less than ten percent yesterday afternoon. On betting exchanges, he could be backed at odds of around 4/1.

    Like many recent surveys, today’s most detailed poll, for the website Politico, put the national race at a tie, with each candidate securing 47 percent of the vote. But in the ten States considered most in-play, the firm’s data showed Romney behind by a clear margin of 43 to 49 per cent.
    11/6/2012 9:16:51 PM
  • David Gardner in LA has a great explainer on some of the key concepts that will be in play tonight as well as what will happen if it's a tie:
    What is the Electoral College?

    It is the US institution that officially elects the president. The electors are chosen by each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The number — 538 — is based on the number of representatives in Congress, and it is made up of 435 members of the House of Representatives and 100 members of the Senate. The extra three electors represent the nation’s capital. Bigger states with more representatives get more electoral votes, thus California gets 55 while tiny Delaware gets three.

    What happens if the two men tie at 269 votes each?

    The 12th amendment of the Constitution states that if no single candidate gets a majority of the electoral vote, the House of Representatives chooses the winner from the three candidates with the top vote counts. The Senate decides on the vice president. The Republican-led House of Representatives would almost certainly choose Mr Romney as the next president. The Democrat-controlled Senate would most likely plump for Joe Biden. The result? Chaos in Washington.

    How long would it take to know who is the next president in the event of deadlock?

    Days or possibly weeks because such a close result will result in challenges and recounts in states where the vote was close. After the lawyers became involved in the contest over missing votes in Florida in 2000, it was December 12 before George Bush was declared the winner over Al Gore.

    Has there ever been a tie before in a presidential election?

    Not since DC was granted three electoral votes to make a 538 total in 1964.

    Has the House of Representatives ever chosen the president?

    Yes, three times. The first time the House picked the president was in 1800. Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr tied with 73 electoral votes each. The representatives flirted with choosing Burr over the man who wrote the Declaration of Independence, but Jefferson finally won after 34 ballots.

    Has there ever been a president who lost the popular vote?

    Yes, four times, including in 2000 when George Bush squeaked past Al Gore in electoral votes. The others were in 1824, 1876 and 1888.
    11/6/2012 9:35:20 PM
  • RT @ukpapers: #US Elections : Mitt Romney says he is expecting a 'very solid win' - @guyadams
  • Barack Obama took part earlier in an election day game of pick up basketball with, amongst others, ex-Chicago Bulls star Scottie Pippen. ABC 7 tweeted this picture
    11/6/2012 10:06:58 PM
  • Wonderful spread, but they've pulled a bit of a "small plate trick"

  • CNN: voting officials in Covington VA had to switch back to paper ballots after voting machines described Obama as Republican #Vote2012
  • Here's that tweet:

    According to GOP sources on the ground, Romney camp's "ORCA" turnout app has crashed, so they can't monitor their turnout operation.

    — Erin McPike (@ErinMcPike) November 6, 2012
    11/6/2012 10:25:07 PM
  • Interesting, in light of Noonan, Daley et al arguing you can see Romney win in late enthusiasm, that @guyadams reports rally far from full
  • Standing around with a load of hacks, wondering why no exit polls have yet been leaked. Come on, leakers!
  • I think I can do that move
    Barack Obama on whether, if he wins, he'll perform the now infamous Gangnam Style dance for Michelle in celebration. We're yet to get word on whether, if he loses, he'll moonwalk out of the White House. Via Gawker
    11/6/2012 10:43:40 PM
  • The Independent's Anne Penketh in Washington on reported glitches with the voting systems in some American swing states...

    In addition to the voting machine in Pennsylvania which cast a vote for Republican Mitt Romney when the voter touched the screen for Obama, the town of Covington, Virginia, has been covered in shame after its voting machines described Obama as a Republican. (The state-of-the-art machines in Virginia also said that Romney is Republican, which happens to be right). Voting officials had to scrap the machines and issued voters with old-fashioned paper ballots which correctly described the president as a Democrat, according to CNN.
    In Ohio, some electronic machines have crashed. And in Florida, phone calls from the election supervisor going out to voters in Pinellas County wrongly informed them that they have until 7 pm today to vote.  When the phone glitch was discovered, it was stopped and corrected, the Tampa  Bay Times reported.
    11/6/2012 11:49:27 PM
  • Journos suffering awful internet probs at @BarackObama hq. cumulative blood pressure 200/180
  • First major batch of states to close their polls in the next 10 minutes. The one to watch is Virginia and it's 13 electoral votes.
    11/6/2012 11:52:35 PM
  • While the presidential candidates are having to urge some people to the polls - there's no stopping others. Fox Chicago News report that a pregnant women was so determined to participate she cast her vote even though she was in labour.

    This is my first baby, a girl, and I wanted to make a good impression, I want to have a story to tell her.

    Read more by clicking here
    11/6/2012 11:58:02 PM
  • Exits look v good for Obama - Latino vote up important. However, small note of caution - Kerry in 2004.
  • The first state (and only at this stage) called for Obama was Vermont...

    STATE FACTS - VERMONT: In ratio of cows to people, Vermont has the greatest number of dairy cows in the country.
    11/7/2012 12:16:27 AM
  • Huge controversy in the Romney press centre: they have closed down the buffet. At 7pm. Hacks who paid $1k for tickets and arrived late LIVID
  • The Independent's Nikhil Kumar...

    ABC analysis of early voting gives Obama the edge in ballots cast in advance of election day - but he is projected to be far behind in that metric than what he notched up in 2008. So up, but not by as much as he was four years ago. 
    11/7/2012 12:18:03 AM
  • Some have called this the one state election. That one state is Ohio, and the polls will be closing there in less than 10 minutes. Romney will be paying close attention, no Republican has ever taken the White House without taking this particular state and it's 18 electoral votes.
    11/7/2012 12:23:01 AM
  • Ohio closes in five minutes...hold on to your knickers. #election2012 @Independent
  • RT @RyanLizza: Interesting text from Obama's VA campaign just now.

  • With the latest batch of states called, some more state facts for you...

    STATE FACTS - OKLAHOMA: The National Cowboy Hall of Fame is located in Oklahoma City.
    11/7/2012 1:07:45 AM
  • And among those just called for Obama...

    STATE FACTS - DELAWARE: The Lady Bug is Delaware's official state bug.
    11/7/2012 1:09:13 AM
  • A key stat in Ohio: Obama is getting 42% of the white vote, just slightly below his 2008 share. And 96% of the black vote, per exits.
  • RT @Aiannucci: Wouldn't it be lovely if Romney got 47%?
  • Megyn Kelly looking seriously worried on the 30 foot Fox News screen at Romney HQ as O'Reilly says: "People feel they're entitled to things"
  • Early and absentee votes in Ohio: 1.8 million, according to latest figures from CNN.
    11/7/2012 1:12:38 AM
  • Obama is getting 96 percent of black vote in Ohio. I went to Mitt's rally there on Friday. 18,000-strong crowd. Saw four black people.
  • With 13 per cent of precincts in, Obama leads in Florida.
    11/7/2012 1:13:42 AM
  • ... Two of those four were backing singers for Kid Rock. This is a serious problem for the Republicans and they need to fix it.
  • As it stands Obama has 56 electoral votes, Romney had 40. As if you didn't know already, 270 will win the keys to 16000 Pennsylvania Avenue.
    11/7/2012 1:15:27 AM
  • I think it's safe to go to bed now. As long as you keep one eye open ;)
  • The Independent's Rhodri Marsden explains everything....

    Romney has to keep winning big in the stupid areas, while Obama is counting very much on loyal support from the clever districts.
    11/7/2012 1:21:53 AM
  • Polls are being held open late in Virginia - one of the key swing states in this election. Those who joined the queues before the official closing time are told they will be allowed to cast their vote. We could be in for a long night. *puts kettle on*
    11/7/2012 1:23:43 AM
  • Thus spake @freanie, watching David Gergen on CNN: "It looks like they've got Bobby Charlton on"
    11/7/2012 1:25:54 AM
  • It may be all down to Ohio, the auto bailout and @MittRomney foolish Jeep ad. #decision2012 @Independent
  • Not a major surprise but if Romney was having a good night, he could have nicked this one from the Democrats. Was among the states Romney visited in his last ditch campaigning earlier today.

    STATE FACTS - PENNSYLVANIA: Philadelphia is the site of the first presidential mansion.
    11/7/2012 2:26:18 AM
  • Romney 12/1 Betfair. Obama 90% InTrade. Could we see a concession speech before midnight?
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