Congratulations President Obama. So Now What?

Bookmark and Share  As of 11:45 pm, with Ohio called for the Obama-Biden ticket, while the states of Virginia, and Florida remain too close to call, President Obama has received 290 electoral votes and secured himself a second term in the White House.  For myself, as Editor-in-Chief of White House 2012, I am quite humbled and even embarrassed by the wide disparity in the projections which I presented, and the actual results.  And as an American I am disappointed.  I am disappointed by the fact that our nation will be hindered by a spender-in-chief who has done his best to change the American way instead of doing his best to preserve the American way.

Yet despite the disappointment and even the fear over another four years of Barack Obama, I remain cautiously optimistic that not even Barack Obama can destroy what it means to be an American.  This nation is greater than any one person and it is not defined by any one man.  So while I have lost some faith in the political process, I have not lost any faith in our nation.

Now it is up to President Obama to deal with the divisions in our nation… divisions which I firmly believe he has largely been responsible for.  His divide and conquer strategy of class warfare and his attempts to pit Americans against each other in order to win reelection, now puts him in the unenviable position of having to bridge the existing divide.  His inability to do so will make his victory a hollow one and the mission of his next four years as President impossible.

Not only does Barack Obama become the first President reelected with a smaller Electoral College vote than he was elected with, he also faces an an American electorate and Congress that is probably more divided than it has ever been since the Civil War.  After orchestrating one of the most divisive and empty campaigns in recent history, how he will pivot and try to create goodwill will be interesting.  And even more interesting will be how quickly he can do it because he  must work fast.  With a fiscal cliff only weeks away, true leadership is required.  His lack of leadership has brought us to this cliff and so far there is no indication that it will be able to avoid it.   But hope springs eternal.

So tonight I congratulate our President.  His campaign put together a brilliant ground game.  His Party increased its margins in the U.S. Senate.  And except for a loss of seats in the House of Representatives and possibly even the popular vote, he won and there is no denying it.  But did America win?  And what does his victory mean?  Will it mean more of the same that has gotten us into an economic crisis so severe that it is considered a national security threat?

I don’t know the answers to these questions but I do know that President Obama’s win tonight leaves us with more questions than answers and more uncertainty than certainty.

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Romney Holding a Slim Lead in North Carolina: See Live Results

Bookmark and Share  North Carolina should not be this close for Romney but so far with 46 of 100 counties reporting, Romney is holding a 3.4% lead.  With losses in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, it will be tough for Romney to reach 270 electoral votes without North Carolina.  it looks like Romney will win North Carolina but it is way too close for comfort and an sign that Romney is underperforming.

Obama/Biden (DEM) 1,744,768 47.68%
Romney/Ryan (REP) 1,869,393 51.08%
Johnson/Gray (LIB) 35,617 0.97%
Write-in 9,816 0.27%

For updated results of the race in North Carolina click here
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Current Electoral College Totals

1:06 am EST

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Poll Closing Times and Guide To Watching Election Night

Bookmark and Share The following is a schedule of the times that polls close in each of the states and the District of Columbia. Keep in mind that many states are in between time zones. This means that polls in certain parts of these states close an hour earlier than in other portions of each state. However; the networks and their cable affiliates can not by law, officially call a state for any candidate until all the polls in that state have closed. The times indicated here reflect the time when all polling sites in each state have officially closed.

In addition to these closing times, White House 2012 offers a timeline which includes when each state will probably be projected for Governor Romney or President Obama and it also provides an estimated running total of the Electoral College vote that each candidate probably will have at the top and bottom of each hour.

Throughout the day, the networks will be conducting exit polls. By law they cannot reveal what the results of these polls are. However; once voting has stopped, the networks can start using these exit polls to make their projections. If there exit polls did not show a clear a winner in a state, that state may not be called right away. In this election, expect that to be the case in several states. The following timeline offers a prediction of approximately when each state will be called.

Of course there is a very good possibility that in several states, a combination of irregularities and extremely close vote totals could prohibit them from being projected for hours, days or even weeks. If the race is actually as close as we are being led to believe by the mainstream media in places like Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Virginia, Wisconsin, Florida, and Ohio, it could be a long night. However, Wh12 believes that most states will be called promptly and that the longest delay we may see in the official projection of a state will be an hour or an hour and a half. And the two most likely states for such a delay are Ohio and Wisconsin, where the election could actually be as tight as predicted.

7:00 pm Eastern Standard Time:

At 7:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, the first 6 states and 60 electoral votes in the presidential election could be called. Unless there is a surprise result in the works, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, and South Carolina should quickly be called for Governor Romney, while Vermont is quickly called for President Obama. Media outlets probably will not be quick to call Virginia. That may not happen till some time around 8:00 pm. But if the official returns show Romney with a lead in certain key districts within Virginia and their exit polls showed similar trends throughout the state, Virginia could be called relatively quickly. If it is, expect it to be a very good sign of who will win the election. An early projection for one candidate or the other here would be a good sign that whoever won is running much stronger than expected, not just in Virginia but nationally as well.

Obama 3 / Romney 44+ (not including Virginia)

Possible Surprises:

If Virginia is called for Romney within a half an hour of 7:00, it would be a clear indication that the race in Virginia was not quite as close as some expected and a sign of just how inaccurate polling has been due to their use of 2008 turnout models, a decision which significantly underestimates Romney’s strength. It would also be a sure sign that Romney is probably doing far better nationally than most analysts thought possible.

7:30 pm Eastern Standard Time:

On the half hour, polls close in North Carolina, West Virginia and Ohio. Expect West Virginia to be called for Romney about one second after the polls close there. North Carolina may take a little longer. If it is called before 8:00 pm, that will be another sign of a strong night for Romney.

Obama 3 / Romney 49+ (not including Virginia, North Carolina, and Ohio)

The Ohio Factor:

Based upon White House 2012’s analysis and projection, if Romney wins Ohio he is certain to win the election. If he does not win Ohio, Romney still has a good chance pulling a victory off. That said, unless exit polling from throughout the day indicates a much stronger than expected show of support for one candidate or the other, the networks are not likely to call Ohio for at least an hour.

If Ohio is called early for Obama, it could be a sign that Romney is underperforming. It would also indicate that Obama may be benefiting from a last minute surge that could possibly play out in other battleground states in the region, such as Iowa and Wisconsin.

If Ohio is called early for Romney, start playing Hail to the Chief for him. Not only would a quick call of Ohio for Romney mean that he is running much stronger than he was expected in Ohio but nationally as well. Furthermore, according to the White House 2012 analysis, President Obama can not win the Electoral College vote without Ohio in his column.

8:00 pm Eastern Standard Time:

At 8:00 pm Eastern Standard Time, the results of 17 states and 172 electoral votes are to be determined. The only surprises that could possibly occur within this set of poll closings exists in Florida, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania.

Obama 99 / Romney 92+ (not including Virginia, North Carolina, and Ohio)

Pennsylvania:

In Pennsylvania the surprise could be that it is not called for President Obama within a half hour of 8:00 pm. If it is not called for the President by 8:30 pm, it will be another sign that the election is much tighter than anticipated in a state that should be solidly behind the President, and that he is in trouble. While Pennsylvania should ultimately go for President Obama, in the small outside chance that it goes to Romney, the election will over and so is the presidency of Barack Obama. Given the certainty in how the bulk of other states are going, it is impossible for Barack Obama to reach the 270 electoral votes he needs to win reelection without Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes in his column.

New Hampshire:

New Hampshire is suppose to be close and while most polls give President Obama a slim lead there, White House 2012 is confident that these polls are over-estimating Democrat turnout by incorporating the 2008 turnout models into their 2012 polls. This is a main reason why WH12 believes Governor Romney will ultimately win New Hampshire. The only surprise here will be whether or not New Hampshire is called quickly for Romney. If Romney is having a better night than expected, New Hampshire will be called for him within 15 or 20 minutes. If President Obama happens to win New Hampshire, all this will actually mean is that Romney may not win with the electoral landslide that WH12 anticipates.

Florida:

Here again, an early call for either Romney or Obama will be quite telling. In addition to proving the race is not as close as we have been led to believe, if it goes to Barack Obama, Mitt Romney is in trouble. If it goes to Romney, the night is not over, but the fat lady will be warming her vocal chords up to offer a a final musical tribute the Obama years. The only real surprise in Florida will be whether or not it is called for Romney early. If Florida is called for Romney within a half hour of polls closing, consider that to be further indication of Romney outperforming expectations nationally and a good sign that he will be President-Elect before the night is over.

Late Call in North Carolina and Virginia:

During the 8 o’clock hour, if North Carolina and Virginia had not yet be called for Romney, they will be. If Florida, Ohio and New Hampshire still have not been projected for either candidate, late projections for Romney in Virginia and North Carolina would bring his total electoral vote count to 120. At this same point, President Obama will have 99 electoral votes.

Obama 99 / Romney 120+ (not counting Florida, New Hampshire and Ohio)

8:30 pm Eastern Standard Time:

No race here. Arkansas should be called for the Romney-Ryan ticket before the clock hits 8:31 pm.

Obama 99 / Romney 126+ (not counting Florida, New Hampshire and Ohio)

Late Calls from Ohio, New Hampshire

Somewhere between 8:30 and 9:00 pm, unless exit polls indicated that Romney was running much stronger than expected and the networks already called them, Ohio and New Hampshire should be projected for Romney.

That would leave us with;

Obama 99 / Romney 148+ (not counting Florida)

9:00 pm Eastern Standard Time:

**Romney declared the winner sometime during this hour**

13 states and 153 electoral votes will be determined during the 9 o’clock hour. 60 of them are likely to go to president Obama and at least 83 will be won by Mitt Romney.

Obama 159 / Romney 231 (not including Florida and Wisconsin)

Watch Out For Wisconsin and Michigan:

Both of these states have long been considered solid blue states for the Obama-Biden ticket but in the closing days of the campaign they have become much closer than Democrats had anticipated. White House 2012 believes Wisconsin will be won by Romney. The big surprise here is may be whether or not it is called for Romney quickly. A quick decision in Wisconsin for Romney’s will most likely mean that if he has not yet been declared the President-Elect, he will be within the hour. If Barack Obama wins Wisconsin this may only mean that Romney is not winning a landslide victory in the Electoral College, but he will still be on track to winning.

Michigan should not be much of a contest. While Romney may poll far better than most polls indicate, President Obama should still pull this state out in his favor. Again a late call of Michigan for him means the election is too close for comfort for President Obama and that a sign that he is underperforming nationally. A quick call of Michigan for President Obama simply means that Romney is still on target to reach the 270 votes he need to win the presidency. If Michigan happens to be called for Mitt Romney, he will officially become the President-Elect.

Late Call in Florida and Wisconsin Puts Romney Over the Top

Florida may not be called until some point during the 9 o’clock hour, probably towards the top of the hour. Exit polls may convince networks that his lead is strong enough to allow the networks to project Florida before 9:00 pm but if they haven’t they will now, and that will give Romney the 260 electors votes to the President’s 159.

At some point during this hour, Wisconsin will also be called. If it goes to Romney as WH12 projects, that will give Romney 270 electoral votes and make him the President-Elect.

Obama 159 / Romney 270

10:00 pm Eastern Standard Time:

Montana and Utah will be called quickly for Mitt Romney. Nevada and Iowa may take a little longer to but at some point during the 10 o’clock hour, expect all 4 states to go to Mitt and for Romney.

Obama 159 /Romney 291

11:00 pm Eastern Standard Time:

No surprises here and each state will be called quickly.

Obama 237 / Romney 298

12:00 am Eastern Standard Time

Alaska which Barack Obama has never been competitive in, goes for Romney and is called as soon as the polls close.

Obama 233 / Romney 305

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First Exit Polls in Ohio Show It May Be Tough Going for Romney

Some of the first exit polls being released by Fox are showing that Romney is winning working class whites by 55% to President Obama’s 43%.

While  exit polls usually underestimate trends, if Romney was on a clear path to winning the Buckeye State’s 18 electoral votes, these numbers should be better for him.  These early figures are by no means conclusive but if anything they confirm that the race is close.  A clear sign that Romney was headed to a victory in Ohio would be that he was winning this demographic by at least 15%.  He is not far off that mark and as indicated previously, these numbers are probably understating Governor Romney’s lead with this demographic.  But so far, depending upon which side of the aisle you’re in. all signs are that the election may be too close for comfort for Republicans or Democrats.
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Key Early Counties To Watch Tonight For Signs of How the Election Will Go

  Bookmark and Share   If the election turns out to be as close as predicted in the battleground states, many states will not be called for one candidate or the other for hours.  In the case of one of the most critical swing states… Virginia, although polls close there at 7 pm EST, if exit polls from throughout the day and actual returns are very close, we may not know who won till maybe 10:30 pm … some 3 and a half hours after polls have closed.

But signs of who may ultimately win the presidential election can still be found by looking at the returns of several key counties in a handful of early states.  Here are some of the counties in the earliest state closings of the evening which typically act as electoral bellwethers, and what to look for to get an idea as to how things are shaping up for Romney and the President.

7 p.m. Eastern – VIRGINIA:

  • Prince William County

2004: Bush 53–47     2008: Obama 58-42

Obama 93,386 to McCain 67,589

If Prince William County shows Mitt Romney trailing Barack Obama, Romney is in trouble.  If he trails the President by more than 2% here, he probably will have no chance of winning Virginia and he will probably be underperforming in many other battleground states.

  • Loudoun County

Obama 54-46

Obama 74,607 to McCain 63,328

Romney needs to reverse these numbers if he is going to win Virginia.  If he can not trounce President Obama in Loudoun County, he can not win the presidential election.

7:30 p.m. Eastern – OHIO

These counties will help tell us if President Obama is underperforming. In order for President Obama to be on track to win Ohio, he must produce pluralities that are large enough to discount the pluralities that Mitt Romney will receive on other counties.  If the President is not beating Romney in these counties by  30% or more in Cuyahoga, 25% or more in Franklin and Lucas counties, and 5% or more in Hamilton County, than he is in trouble.

  • Cuyahoga (Cleveland):

2004: Kerry 448,503 vs. Bush 221,600 (+226,903);

2008: Obama 458,422 vs. McCain 199,880 (+258,542) (69-30)

  • Franklin (Columbus):

2004: Kerry 285,801 vs. Bush 237,253 (+48,548);

2008: Obama 334,709 vs. McCain 218,486 (+116,223) (59-40)

  • Hamilton (Cincinnati):

2004: Bush 222,616 vs. Kerry 199,679 (+22,937); Bush 52.5 – 47

2008: Obama 225,213 vs. McCain 195,530 (+29,683) Obama 52-47

  • Lucas (Toledo):

2004 Kerry 132,715 vs. Bush 87,160 (+45,555);

2008: Obama 142,852 vs. McCain 73,706 (+69,146) (65-34)

8 p.m. Eastern : FLORIDA, NEW HAMPSHIRE, PENNSYLVANIA

FLORIDA:

  • Pinellas County

2004: Bush 49.6 – 49.5           2008: Obama 54 – 45

If Obama is to have any chance in Florida, he must come within at least 5 percentage points of Mitt Romney.  The President will not need to be ahead of Romney here, but if he can limit Romney’s lead in Pinellas County, the President will be underperforming and is not likely to see him defeat Romney in the final numbers.

  • Hillsborough County

2004: Bush 53 – 46     2008: Obama 53 – 46

If he is to be competitive in The Sunshine State, Romney needs to produce at least a 5% plurality over the President in Hillsborough and that is cutting is close.  To really feel confident about which way Florida will go, Romney should optimally lead Obama by as much as 8%.

NEW HAMPSHIRE:

  • Hillsborough County

2004: Bush 51 – 48     2008: Obama 51 – 48

If we get news that Romney or Obama are leading the other by 3% or more here, it may not be an accurate measure of national trends and the final popular vote but it will certainly be a sign of which way New Hampshire will go.

PENNSYLVANIA:

  • Chester County

2004: Bush 52 – 47.5  2008: Obama 54 – 45

Romney needs to take Chester County by 7% or more if he is to win Pennsylvania.  Anything less than that will make the race too close to call and likely a win for President Obama.

  • Bucks County (Philly Suburbs, north)

Obama 54-45

178,345 to 149,860

If Romney has any chance to win Pennsylvania, he needs to win Bucks County or hold President Obama to a 4% lead or less.

  • Delaware County (immediately southwest of Philly city)

Obama 60-38

170,949 to 109,766

President Obama will be in trouble if he does not win Delaware County by at least 55%.

  • Montgomery County (northwest of Philly)

Obama 60-39

249,493 to 163,030

If President Obama does not see at least a 10% lead over Mitt Romney here, than the race in Pa will be too close for comfort for him.

  • Westmoreland County (Pittsburgh suburbs)

McCain 58-42

96,786 to 69,004

Romney needs to win this County by 15% or more to be in the running for Pennsylvania’s electoral votes.

Stars01.gif picture by kempite

For a detailed look at signs to look for on election night and poll closing times, visit White House 2012’s Election Night Guide

Below the poll closing times you will find a White House 2012 timeline which includes when each state will probably be projected for Governor Romney or President Obama and it also provides an estimated running total of the Electoral College that each candidate probably will have at the top and bottom of each hour.

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The Moment: Mitt Romney’s Closing Message… See the video

  Bookmark and Share  This election is about something bigger than ourselves. This is our time to choose our nation’s future. With Mitt Romney’s leadership, America will come roaring back.  (See the video below)

That is one of the closing messages Mitt Romney is offering on this final day of campaigning in the 2012 presidential election.  It is a message of optimism and hope that offers a stark contrast to President Obama’s closing message of blame and “revenge

In 2008, Barack Obama sold most American’s on his promise of hope and change but four years later, most voters have seen that President Obama does not have a positive, optimistic vision for America.  His vision is a nation divided by class, envy, and blame.  And despite the evidence of the fact that Barack Obama’s blank checks and handouts have been doing more harm than good, his entire presidential campaign promised four more years of the same failed policies.

That is not the American way.  Americans do not stay down and they do not sustain failure.  They learn from their mistakes, and correct the wrongs of our past in order to create a better future.

That better future is not possible with four more years of a President who seeks to change the American way and to enact policies that create more problems than they solve.

Voting for Barack Obama is like praying for Hurricane Sandy to swing around and hit the East Coast again.  So the choice is clear, do you want a nation that remains under water, or do we want to take the high road and support a presidential ticket that seeks to preserve the American way, not destroy it.

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