The polls in Guam have closed and the results are in.
President Obama managed a big victory, garnering 72 percent of the votes. That's about 23,067 votes compared to 8,443 votes for Gov. Mitt Romney.
Now for the disclaimers: Guam, 6,000 miles and 18 times zones away from California, is a territory of the United States, so their votes don't count. The presidential part of the vote is considered a "non-binding straw poll." But if you believe in bellweathers, listen up.
Here's what R. Todd Thompson of NPR member station KPRG in Guam told us:
Passionate preparations, raucous rallies, debatable decisions, last-second scandals and the awful, awful suspense, Hollywood celebrates Election Day dramatics, even when the vote's in high school.
(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "ELECTION")
REESE WITHERSPOON: (as Tracy Flick) Dear Lord Jesus, I do not often speak with you and ask for things. But now, I really must insist that you help me win the election tomorrow, because I deserve it and Paul Metzler doesn't, as you well know.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The candidates repeatedly tell us that now it's finally up to the voters, which is true as far as that goes. But it's also up to the campaign volunteers who ferry supporters to the polls, to squadrons of poll-watchers who keep an eye out for shenanigans and to the legions of lawyers who will draft appeals and protests and orders to show cause.
While voters head to the polls, the candidates repair to hotel rooms and a select group of campaign staff prepares one final set of remarks. Well, two sets, actually. One for victory, one for defeat. You probably remember the remarkable scene four years ago when then President-elect Barack Obama addressed a rapturous crowd of more than 200,000 in Chicago's Grant Park.
Candidates vying for public office on every level subject themselves to intense public scrutiny, constant fundraising and attacks from opponents. Some run because they want power or hope to champion particular issues. Others want to see agendas through or feel they have legacies to fulfill.
Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 2:18 pm
As the voting day has progressed, we've seen some reports of irregularities.. Throughout the day, we'll be surveying our reporters and other news organizations and keep track of significant irregularities in this post.
So far, the big problem has been long lines. Some voters have had to wait hours in line to cast their ballot in battleground states like Florida and Virginia and those affected by Superstorm Sandy like New York.
Host Michel Martin continues the conversation about the big issues missing on the campaign trail. Issues like crime, caregiving, poverty and climate change might affect millions of people, but they may not win a lot of votes. Martin speaks with a panel of journalists about whether these issues will enter the conversation over the next four years.
Voters have been bombarded by political ads, but some topics have gotten very little attention this election season. Host Michel Martin speaks with a panel of journalists about some of this election's hidden issues. She speaks with NPR's Marilyn Geewax, Jennifer Ludden, and David Schaper, as well as The Washington Post's Melinda Henneberger.
Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 8:17 am
For most of us, Election Day marks a welcome end to months of relentless political ads and partisan bickering. You show up at your polling place, run the gantlet of sign-wielding campaign volunteers, and join your fellow Americans in long lines that inch toward the voting booth.
The finish line is in sight as voters make their final decisions on Election Day. Here's a guide to key times of the day across the nation. Stay with NPR throughout the day as we follow the presidential race and key battles that will determine control of the House and Senate.
Join NPR to hear live coverage, which begins at 8 p.m. EST on NPR.org and many member stations.
Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., shakes hands with Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren at their Oct. 1 debate in Lowell, Mass. The race is one of a handful of contests that could determine party control of the Senate.
Credit Charles Krupa / AP
Republican candidate George Allen, right, argues with Democratic candidate Tim Kaine during a Senatorial debate for the Virginia U.S. Senate seat on Thursday, Sept. 20 in McLean, Va.
Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 5:02 pm
For Republicans itching to regain control of the Senate, Tuesday's election presents a rare opportunity. Only 10 GOP incumbents are on the ballot, compared with nearly two dozen Democrats and independents who caucus with them.
That means the magic number for Republicans is low. They need only a net gain of three or four seats to take over the Senate — and, assuming they keep the U.S. House of Representatives, consolidate their influence on Capitol Hill. Democrats need to pick up 25 seats to seize the House, a goal that political analysts consider all but out of reach.
Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 7:03 pm
Voters in 11 states will pick their governors tonight, and Republicans appear on track to increase their numbers by at least one, with the potential to extend their hold to more than two-thirds of the nation's top state offices.
Eight of the gubernatorial seats up for grabs are now held by Democrats; three are in Republican hands. Republicans currently hold 29 governorships, Democrats have 20, and Rhode Island's Gov. Lincoln Chafee is an Independent.
Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 6:08 am
As Americans go to the polls, one of the closest presidential races in years may be determined by a state in the Midwest and a hurricane named Sandy.
After a campaign that has cost some $6 billion, the two candidates are in the same place they started: with President Obama a smidgen ahead of challenger Mitt Romney, so close that differences are in most cases statistically insignificant.
Now, let's talk next about Colorado, where Republicans edged ahead in early voting, the same early voting that was key to Democratic success back in 2008. Kirk Siegler of member station KUNC has our story.
KIRK SIEGLER, BYLINE: Early voting at polling stations like this one in downtown Denver ended this past Friday, but yesterday there was a steady stream of voters dropping off their mail-in ballots.
PAMELA MALONE: Well, I was just turning in my vote before the final last hours...
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.
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And I'm Steve Inskeep.
Eleven years ago, September 11, 2001, was a voting day in New York City, a primary election for mayor. After that day's attacks the vote was postponed. But in the end, New Yorkers held the November general election on time, voting in Michael Bloomberg, who remains in office today.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
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And I'm Steve Inskeep.
So many people are so cynical about politicians who give us so many reasons to be cynical, that it's easy to overlook the many Americans who believe. They believe in a candidate, believe in an issue, believe in democracy or at least believe they need to fend off the other guy.
Many Americans will spend extra time at the polls today, not just choosing candidates but also making law. They will vote on a variety of state ballot initiatives, which Josh Goodman of the Pew Center on the States is tracking.
I've printed out here a list of ballot initiatives in various states. And it's more than a page long. It's a ridiculous number. The Oregon Gillnet Fishing Initiative, the Utah Military Property Tax Exemption Amendment, Constitutional Amendment B 2012. We could go on for quite some time. This is quite a list.
SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: And I'm Scott Horsley, traveling with the Obama campaign. Actually, the president's campaign travel is finished. Mr. Obama spent the night at his own home in Chicago. Today's plans call for some TV and radio interviews and maybe a game of basketball with some friends. Mr. Obama's last reelection rally came last night in Iowa, where 20,000 people gathered just outside the caucus headquarters where he launched his first presidential campaign more than five years ago.
Over the past few weeks, we've been checking in regularly with pollster Andrew Kohut, president of Pew Research Center. On the eve of Election Day, he talks to Robert Siegel about the difficulties of polling during this campaign and the center's final poll, in which President Obama regained the lead.
The two presidential candidates made their final campaign stops ahead of Tuesday's election. Melissa Block talks with Ari Shapiro, who traveled with Mitt Romney, and Scott Horsley, who traveled with President Obama, about their final pitch to voters.