From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And Robert Siegel. The confetti has fallen in Chicago, where President Obama celebrated a decisive reelection win early this morning. Now comes the hard work of preparing for a second term. Before flying back to Washington this evening, Mr. Obama acknowledged some of the big issues ahead.
With most of the elections settled, the winners must now determine how they will deal with the impending "fiscal cliff" of spending cuts and tax increases that happen in two months. David Welna reports.
Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 3:33 pm
A very good general election for Democrats got even better on Wednesday when they retained U.S. Senate seats in Montana and North Dakota, both of which had looked ripe for Republicans throughout much of the campaign.
Victories by Sen. Jon Tester of Montana and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, in contests so close that concessions from the losing Republican candidates didn't occur until Wednesday, helped Senate Democrats reach 54 seats in the next Congress. That was a net increase of one seat from their current majority.
Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 8:43 am
Poor Chris Stewart. The former Air Force pilot had just won a landslide victory in his first bid for Congress in Utah, but the crowd of Republicans listening to his acceptance speech at a Salt Lake City hotel kept pointing to the massive television screen behind him.
"Do you want me to stop?" Stewart asked. "You would rather listen to Gov. Romney than to me, wouldn't you?"
Some in the crowd shouted "Yes!" and the sound of Romney's concession speech filled the room.
OUT: California Democratic Rep. Pete Stark arrives at an Alameda County Democratic Lawyers Club endorsement meeting in Oakland, Calif., on Sept. 7. He lost his race Tuesday to a fellow Democrat.
Credit Alex Wong / Getty Images
OUT: Illinois Republican Rep. Joe Walsh (foreground), with Virginia Rep. Scott Rigell, speaks during a May news conference on Capitol Hill. Walsh, a Tea Party freshman, lost to Democrat Tammy Duckworth.
Credit Lynne Sladky / AP
OUT: Florida Republican Rep. Allen West, another Tea Party freshman, waves before a campaign rally for Mitt Romney last month in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Credit Charlie Riedel / AP
OUT: Missouri Republican Rep. Todd Akin and his wife, Lulli, acknowledge supporters before Akin makes his concession speech to incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill on Tuesday in Chesterfield, Mo.
Credit Glen Stubbe / MCT/Landov
IN: Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann watches election results at a hotel in Bloomington, Minn., on Tuesday.
Credit Alex Wong / Getty Images
IN: New York Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel speaks during a news conference in Washington in June.
Credit Phelan M. Ebenhack / AP
IN: Florida Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson pumps up the crowd at a state Democratic Party rally in Orlando in 2010.
Credit J. Scott Applewhite / AP
IN: California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters smiles at her husband, Sidney Williams, during a House Ethics Committee hearing in September. Waters was cleared of charges that she steered a $12 million federal bailout to a bank where her husband owns stock.
Credit Charlie Riedel / AP
Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin and his wife, Lulli, acknowledge supporters before Akin makes his concession speech to Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill on Tuesday in Chesterfield, Mo.
Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 3:02 pm
Is civility about to stage a comeback in Washington? Some of the most controversial members of Congress have lost their seats.
Still, there appears to be little danger that vitriol is about to go out of style. A number of outspoken members are coming back, including at least one who had previously lost his seat.
Also, while there may be a net loss in the number of members who have attracted a great deal of media attention by making testy statements or ending up in ethics investigations, some who have been more moderate in temperament won't be coming back, either.
Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 2:16 pm
The much-hyped battle for the battleground states turned into more of a rout on Election Day, as President Obama swept through eight key states and looked on course to capture Florida.
Swing states — Ohio, Virginia, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nevada, Colorado, New Hampshire — viewed as tossups a day before the voting fell without much fight into the blue column. Only North Carolina went for Romney.
Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 2:44 pm
Shall we dance?
That's the key question for Congress now that another budget crisis is near. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev, today said he's ready to do a little two-stepping with Republicans to twirl away from the edge of the so-called fiscal cliff.
"It's better to dance than to fight," the former amateur boxer told reporters at a press conference. "Everything doesn't have to be a fight."
Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 12:16 pm
The balloons have fallen, the bunting's down, and President Obama has been re-elected.
That means Mitt Romney has been defeated — and with him, many election aspects that we presumed to be true. (You know what they say about presume — it makes a pres out of u and me.)
Maybe it's because we're sailing into a new and uncharted century. Maybe it's because of climate change or polar shift or Mayan calendrical mayhem. But the presidential election of 2012 provided a highly unusual, if not unique, set of circumstances.
President Obama was the headliner Tuesday night, but most members of Congress also faced elections. Democrats retained control of the Senate while Republicans held on to control of the House. Now both sides of the divided Congress face significant challenges addressing the nation's fiscal problems.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The president scores four more years; a divided Congress remains, well, divided; and guess what? Florida is still counting. It's Wednesday and time for a post-election edition of the Political Junkie.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.
VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?
SENATOR BARRY GOLDWATER: Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.
This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We're sure you know this by now, but just in case, President Obama won reelection and will serve a second term in office.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I believe we can seize this future together, because we are not as divided as our politics suggest. We are not cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are, and forever will be, the United States of America.
Host Michel Martin has been checking in with two former speechwriters throughout the election season to sort through the rhetoric, and find out what messages struck a chord with voters. She reviews campaign messaging, and Tuesday night's victory and concession speeches with former presidential speechwriters Mary Kate Cary and Paul Orzulak.
Credit Sarah L. Voisin / The Washington Post/Getty Images
At the Casa de Maryland main building in Hyattsville, Maryland immigration advocates gathered on election night to watch the results come for question 4, The Maryland Dream Act and the race for the President.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renée Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Throughout this morning we've been reaching out for a variety of viewpoints on the election results and one person we've called is Michael Gerson, columnist for the Washington Post and former speechwriter for President George W. Bush. Mr. Gerson, welcome back to the program.
Although exit polls showed a majority think the country is on the wrong track, voters still gave President Obama a second chance and four more years to govern. For a look at what to expect in a second term, Renee Montagne talks to Neera Tanden, who runs the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank in Washington, D.C.
Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 5:37 am
Once the news of President Obama's reelection spread, the congratulations started raining in.
NPR's Philip Reeves reports that one of the first messages came from British Prime Minister David Cameron.
"Above all congratulations to Barack Obama," Cameron said during a trip to Jordan. "I enjoy working with him, I think he is a very successful American president and I look forward to working with him in the future."
Correspondent Terri Schultz reports from Brussels that some leaders congratulated Obama through Twitter.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
In Wisconsin, Democrats won big just five months after a stinging defeat in their effort to recall Republican Governor Scott Walker. President Obama won the state, even though Mitt Romney chose Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate. Plus Wisconsin voters elected Democrat Tammy Baldwin to be the first openly gay member of the U.S. Senate.
Now, four years ago, the most surprising state on the electoral map was Indiana. That Republican-leaning state went for President Obama. Last night, Indiana returned to the Republican column for Mitt Romney, also elected a new Republican Governor, Mike Pence. But Indiana did not vote Republican for U.S. Senate. Richard Lugar, the longtime incumbent, lost a primary earlier this year, and his replacement on the Republican ticket lost last night.
Another storm hits the same region today. This one is a nor'Easter, less dramatic than a hurricane, but severe nonetheless, and authorities are warning of possible flooding. They've ordered evacuations in some low lying neighborhoods. As NPR's Martin Kaste reports, this storm means more demand for one of the region's scarcest resources - hotel rooms.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Go on up. We got somebody coming through, bub.
Tuesday was not an easy day for voting in the Northeast. Communities hit hard by last week's storm saw long lines and confusion. NPR's Robert Smith spent yesterday in New York City neighborhoods without power and has this report.
ROBERT SMITH, BYLINE: Before you can vote for a government you have to trust your government, and trust is in short supply on the Rockaway Peninsula these days.
Five hundred thirty-eight electoral votes were up for grabs on Election Day. President Obama has won, so far, 303 of them, a comfortable majority. Mitt Romney has 206. Twenty-nine are still unaccounted for - the electoral votes of Florida. Too close to call there. Less than a percentage point divides the candidates. But down the ballot, Democrats did well. The party retained a Senate seat and picked up a few key congressional races as well. NPR's Debbie Elliott reports.
For weeks, months - make that years - the conventional wisdom has been that the presidential election would all come down to Ohio, and Ohio would be very close. Well, that was partially right. Ohio was very close, but as NPR's Tamara Keith reports, not as pivotal as predicted.
TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Jack Shumate(ph) flew into Ohio last Thursday from Dallas, Texas. He came here because this was the place where he felt he could really make a difference for his candidate, Mitt Romney.