Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 2:27 am
Voters in North Carolina put a Republican in their governor's office for the first time in two decades, and New Hampshire elected a new female Democratic governor.
But the closely watched tossup races in Montana and Washington, where Democrats currently serve as governors, remained too close to call late Tuesday.
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 Gov. Lincoln Chafee is an independent.
Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 2:31 am
In a highly polarized electorate, there's not a lot of room for third-party candidates to make a strong showing. Still, minor parties did see some bright spots on Tuesday.
Maine elected an independent to the Senate, former Gov. Angus King, while Vermont re-elected its independent senator, Bernard Sanders.
Both those victories may have been "idiosyncratic," says Cary Covington, a University of Iowa political scientist, having more to do with the personal popularity of the candidates than pointing to any wider desire for independent candidates.
Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 6:21 pm
The election of a president brings high hopes for political supporters who could be appointed as potential Cabinet members. Already, there are a number of possibilities floating as picks of either President Obama or his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Lynn Neary. Exit polls are just beginning to come out, and we're going to look at them with Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center. He's here in the studio with me. Welcome, Andy.
ANDREW KOHUT: Happy to be here, Lynn.
NEARY: I know this is very early on in the game, but is there any trend that you can see now in these preliminary numbers?
Early on in the election cycle, some voters were fired up about a candidate we haven't heard a lot from since the Republican primary. That's Ron Paul. The Texas congressman ran for the GOP nomination with a strong libertarian platform. He has not endorsed Mitt Romney. And in some places, including Iowa, his supporters are still involved but not on behalf of Romney. As we hear from Sarah McCammon of Iowa Public Radio, they're keeping their focus close to home.
There's a principle in marketing that if you have too many similar products to choose from, you can become paralyzed; so, too, in news, as the number of outlets and media platforms explode. On a day when millions of people will be following election results, we asked NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik to give us a sense of the many ways you can find information.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Lynn Neary.
We're going to spend a few minutes now discussing possibilities. Regardless of who wins today's presidential contest, there are reasonable expectations that there will be new faces on the horizon. We've asked NPR reporters who cover some of the key Cabinet-level positions in the U.S. government to tell us about some of the names on that horizon. Let's start with NPR's State Department correspondent Michele Kelemen. Good to have you with us, Michele.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Lynn Neary.
We heard earlier this hour about some of the complications of voting in New Jersey after last week's storm. Residents were allowed to vote by fax or email, or they could cast their ballot today the old-fashioned way, by heading to the polls.
NPR's Jim Zarroli has been watching the process in the coastal town of Belmar, New Jersey, which suffered a lot of damage. Good to have you with us, Jim.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Lynn Neary. We're going to check in now with a couple of our reporters at polling stations around the country. We'll hear in a moment from Colorado. First, to Florida. NPR's Greg Allen joins us from College Park Baptist Church in Orlando. Hi, Greg.
GREG ALLEN, BYLINE: Hi, Lynn.
NEARY: What are you hearing from voters there today, Greg?
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.