Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @markskogan for even more live coverage.
LIVE ELECTION RESULTS:
Barack Obama has won the 2012 presidential election.
12:35PM - As the popular vote gets close to final, it looks like President Obama will be the first President since FDR to win 50% of the popular vote.
12:00PM - My Election Takeaways are live - click on over to get more in depth insight into my big 9 lessons from election 2012:
1. IT'S STILL THE ECONOMY, STUPID
2. DEMOGRAPHICS AREN'T LOOKING GOOD FOR THE GOP
3. COMPLAINING ABOUT THE "BIAS" OF NUMBERS IS NOT A WINNING STRATEGY
4. BIG MONEY ISN'T QUITE THE TRUMP CARD IT WAS MADE OUT TO BE
5. THE POLITICS OF OBSTRUCTION IS NOT A WINNING FORMULA
6. WOMEN ARE MAKING THEIR VOICES HEARD
7. THE TIDE HAS OFFICIALLY TURNED ON THE FIGHT TO LEGALIZE GAY MARRIAGE
8. VOTING ISSUES NEED TO BE FIXED
9. THE YOUTH VOTE MATTERS
10:00AM - Some lovely tongue-in-cheek humor from the Australians.
9:40AM - In case you missed it last night, the conservative Twitter respones was pretty fantastic. The two all-stars of the night were Donald Trump and Victoria Jackson. While Trump has deleted many of his tweets, Jackson wasn't so smart.
9:27AM - Big news from last night:
1. Record number of women in Congress
2. First openly gay Senator (Tammy Baldwin - Wisconsin)
3. First all-female federal/executive delegation in history (New Hampshire - Female Governor, Two Female Senators, Two Female Representatives).
4. Senate stays blue. The Tea Party screwed it up again for the GOP. How else do you lose Dick Lugar's seat to a Democrat?
5. Big night for marriage equality w/ gay marriage winning in Maine, Maryland, and Washington, breaking a 32 state losing streak.
9:25AM - Good morning PolicyMicers! What a night for Democrats. I'll be updating this live blog as the day gets under way. Currently working on a big takeaways article from last night's election. I will be sure to cross-post here.
----Nov 7, 2012----
1:59AM - Obama's acceptance speech is over and we're calling it a wrap here in PolicyMic live blog land. Thanks for following along and be sure to check back tomorrow (today?) for post-election coverage and analysis!
1:58AM - "We are more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are the UNited States."
1:56AM - Finishing on a huge message of hope, engagement, unity, and positivity moving forward. "I've never been more hopeful about our future, about America. I ask you to sustain that hope."
1:53AM - "America's never been about what can be done for us. It's about what can be done by us." -Obama
1:52AM - Very big campaign speech from Obama. Talking policy, engagement, and politics. It's a bit late for me to focus on this one but it sounds more like a campaign speech than anything.
1:48AM - Climate change plug from Obama. Hitting all the big issues with the left here and taking advantage of Sandy.
1:46AM - Mentioning Vets as critical to his campaign. Good strategy.
1:45AM - Reports from MO have McCaskill winning 54-40. Guess she's "shutting that whole thing down."
1:41AM - Obama says he will sit down with Romney to talk. Good olive branch. Hope it's true and that Mitt accepts.
1:40AM - Somewhere, Nate Silver is brushing his shoulders off.
1:39AM - Obama talks voting rights right off the bat, good strategy.
1:38AM - Three minutes of clapping later, Obama begins his speech.
1:35AM - Obama has taken the stage for his acceptance speech.
1:31AM - Someone should explain to Matt Drudge how the electoral college works, not that it would make much difference.
1:28PM - Marriage equality expected to pass in three states today (Maine, Maryland, and Washington). Three states breaking an 0-32 streak prior to tonight on marriage equality votes.
1:23PM - Paul Ryan has won re-election in Wisconsin, so we'll be seeing plenty more of him when Congress reconvenes.
1:18PM - Obama expected to take the stage momentarily.
1:09PM - Slate's Dave Weigel and NBC prediciting Allen West (R-FL) will lose.
1:08PM - On a personal note, I am super proud of my home state of Washington for legalizing gay marriage and marijuana on the same night! Immensly thankful for progress.
1:02PM - Party at the White House is in full swing as we wait for Obama's acceptance speech.
1:00PM - Five minute concession speech. That's it. Good on Romney to call for bipartisanship post election and for cooperation in the next four years. "The election is over."
12:56PM - They weren't kidding when they said there was no concession speech drafted. This is totally phoned in.
12:55PM - Romney is taking the stage. Romney confirms that he called Obama to congratulate him on victory.
12:51PM - MSNBC reports that Romney has called Obama. Will be conceding at 12:55.
12:48PM - Romney announces he will speak at 12:55. Let's see if its a concession.
12:40PM - MSNBC is reporting both Michelle Bachmann and Allen West as tied 50/50.
12:30PM - Still talk of Mitt refusing to admit Ohio is lost. In the meantime:
12:20PM - Here come the tears.
12:10PM - While we wait for Romney to catch up with reality, I will turn my attention to cries of woe from social conservatives. Get your popcorn ready.
12:00AM - The Washington Post has called the Maryland gay marriage initiative and the Maryland version of the D.R.E.A.M. act as passing.
11:56PM - Care of BuzzFeed
11:53PM - Karl Rove is live on Fox trying to walk back his claim that Romney was going to win Ohio even AFTER all the other networks had called it. Super awkward.
11:51PM - Oh God, my sides.
11:45PM - Fox just showed a huge party at the White House. Debating heading down.
11:38PM - Looks like Fox isn't quite ready to throw in the towel either.
11:35PM - Romney playing the "stubborn" card.
11:26PM - Stanford Professor Gary Segura reports that Latinos broke 75% for Obama. Those are some very stark demographics for the GOP.
11:22PM - Party is getting underway in Chicago. CNN strangely also showing the celebration in Kenya.
11:18PM - CNN calls it for Obama.
11:15PM - NBC and AP have called it for Obama.
11:14PM - NBC/MSNBC/FOX have called Ohio for Obama. That's all she wrote folks.
11:09PM - Iowa called for Obama. Looks like I'll be getting some sleep tonight.
11:07PM - Big winner tonight? Nate Silver.
11:05PM - CNN officially calling the Senate for Democrats. Once again, called it.
11:02PM - Twitter rumors not looking good for Romney in Florida.
11:00PM - West coast polls are closed. The big ones are called for Obama as expected. Idaho and Montano for Romney. No clear call for Oregon from CNN but it will go blue shortly (exit poll is 52-45 Obama).
10:58PM - BREAKING - Denver Post is calling Colorado for Obama.
10:55PM - Romney taking North Carolina per AP. Took much longer than expected - way tighter race than the GOP wanted.
10:53PM - Bill O'Reilly is officially crying about the end of white America. Taking it a bit hard Bill, no?
10:51PM - George Allen is officially giving his concession speech. Tim Kaine (D), whose father-in-law was a former Republican Governor, is your newest Senator from Virginia.
10:49PM - CNN gives Arizona to Romney.
10:44PM - Sarah Palin's hair is completely out of control. Courtesy of BuzzFeed.
10:42PM - Obama media pool reporters are tweeting that Obama is leaving his residence. Destination: unknown. Are we close to a call?
10:39PM - Politico reporting that they are playing Scott Brown's concession speech at Romney HQ. That must be some really uncomfortable foreshadowing.
10:35PM - In other news, early returns in Colorado have marijuana legalization up 53% to 46%. About damn time.
10:33PM - The networks are playing careful now since they know the next call will decide the race if it goes to Obama. Expect them to drag this one out for a while.
10:31PM - CBS calls Minnesota for Obama.
10:29PM - Ohio has Obama up 3 with 60% in. North Carolina has Romney up 1 with 94% in. First reports from Iowa have Obama up 29 with just a handful reporting.
10:26PM - Ouch Megyn, ouch.
10:21PM - CBS is first to call Virginia Senate, calling it for Tim Kaine.
10:16PM - CBS has Iowa and Nevada leaning Obama. Either state going for Obama would seal the deal.
10:14PM - Palin is already on Fox complaining about four more years of Obama. Calling it is just a formality now.
10:11PM - CNN update on Colorado has Obama up 3-4.
10:08PM - Attn: Republicans. How not to lose elections: start appealing to youth.
10:08PM - MSNBC and CBS calling McCaskill (D) winning Missouri Senate over Todd "Legitimate Rape" Akin (R).
10:06PM - The millenial vote matters! Total percentage of the electorate under 30 is 19%. Up from 18% in 2008 and 17% in 2004.
10:05PM - Conservative counties in Florida are 100% reporting. Miami-Dade is 54%. Obama's numbers will jump when that hits 100%.
10:02PM - Romney not looking good in Nevada exits poll. Down 6.
9:57PM - Virginia isn't getting called tonight. State Board of Elections says polls will be open past 11PM to accomdate for lines.
9:55PM - Iowa and Nevada closing in 5 minutes.
9:49PM - John Boehner is already talking about "no mandates for tax raises." Rhetoric is confirming a Romney loss. Somewhere, Clint Eastwood is not happy.
9:45PM - Romney's campaign HQ has turned off the news. Ruh roh GOP.
9:42PM - Important Axelrod mustache update: still safe.
9:42PM - I've been calling it for weeks, but I'm telling you, this one is over. There is just no way Romney takes Colorado, Ohio, Iowa, Virginia, North Carolina, AND Florida.
9:41PM - Florida is FAR from over. 70% of Miami-Dade precincts are STILL OPEN FOR VOTING due to lines. My bet is the election is over well before Florida's votes are counted.
9:38PM - AP calls Wisconsin Senate for Baldwin - the United States' FIRST Gay Senator!
9:36PM - BIG UPDATES: CBS calls New Hampshire for Obama - meaning Mitt Romney can no longer afford to lose ANY states.
Donnelly has been given the nod by Fox. Mourdock has unseated Dick Lugar for a Democrat to take his place in the Senate.
9:30PM - Joe Scarborough better start picking charities.
9:28PM - Fox gives Wisconsin to Obama. Romney has to run the table of swing states now to win.
Romney up 3 in VA with half the vote in.
9:26PM - Reports floating around that NBC did NOT call Warren in MA. No networks have a call for Warren currently.
9:24PM - Sherrod Brown called for Senate in Ohio, lending support to the Obama numbers being reported in Ohio.
9:22PM - Tea Party favorite Ted Cruz wins the Senate seat from Texas, giving TP their first win of the night.
9:20PM - Union household turnout in Wisconsin up 6 over 2008. No way Romney pulls it out.
9:17PM - Fox and MSNBC just called Pennsylvania for Obama. Looks like Romney's hail mary was flew out of the end zone. One more swing, any swing, and it's pretty much over.
Romney HQ right now:
9:10PM - Florida is 50/50, North Carolina is 50/49 Romney. Going to be a tight one. Ohio, on the other hand, has Obama up 11 with 27% in.
9:06PM - NBC and CNN calling that the Republicans will hold the House of Representatives. No surprises there. All eyes on the Senate now.
9:02PM - BREAKING - CBS calls MA Senate for Elizabeth Warren.
9:01PM - CNN calling Michigan for Obama. Take that silly polling.
9:00PM - Reports coming in. Big votes in the South coming in for Romney. These will be Romney's biggest calls of the night.
8:54PM - This Tweet makes my heart sing with joy.
8:50PM - 10 minutes until the next set of closings. Colorado and Wisconsin are the big ones closing at 9PM. 156 votes up for grabs total.
8:49PM - Maryland same sex marriage proposal is up 58-42 in early reporting.
8:47PM - For those keeping track at home, watch the ups and downs via this awesome tracker from the New York Times - showing which network is calling what.
8:43PM - 59% reporting in Florida, Obama still up 2.
31% reporting in Virginia, with Romney ahead 12 points.
8:42PM - Romney takes Alabama, putting him to 82 electoral votes.
8:40PM - Warren and Brown a hugely motivating race? You don't say! New York Times reporting that record turnout is expected in MA.
8:37PM - Obama gaining in Virginia from 2008. Romney will need big conservative turnout to carry the state. Increased turnout all over the place does not bode well for the GOP.
8:34PM - CT getting called for Murphy (D). Notch another for Dems in the Senate.
8:32PM - Remember that Indiana bellweather county? It just went for Obama.
8:30PM - More Virginia rural counties coming in, growing Romney's lead.
8:26PM - CNN's David Gergen says that second round of exit polls are STRENGTHENING for Obama in Florida and Pennsylvania, calling it "a striking change."
8:20PM - Big update for the youth vote. Under 30 vote is being put at 19% of the electorate, which is UP from 2008. More bad news for Romney.
8:19PM - Big wins for Dems in the Senate. Nelson (FL) and Brown (OH) called as winners. King (I) takes Olympia Snowe's seat and is expected to caucus with Democrats. Donnelly leading Mourdock by 6 in Indiana.
8:17PM - First results coming in from MA Senate Race. With 1% in, Warren is up 4.
8:15PM - Fox News is rapidly turning into a funeral dirge. Top expected excuses:
1 - Romney wasn't a real conservative
2 - Pollsters convinced conservatives not to vote
3 - Sandy was Obama's October Surprise
4 - Obama has no mandate to govern.
8:13PM - CNN giving Geogia's 16 votes to Romney. No surprise there. Elecotral county is Obama-64, Romney-56.
8:12PM - With 50% in in Florida, Romney jumps to a 2 point lead, 51-49. Expect live results to be like this all night.
8:10PM - Kentucky starting to shade purple?
8:03PM - Obama up early in New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Obama up 2 in Florida with 42% in.
8:00PM - Biggest poll closing of the night, here's the call:
Connecticut - Obama
Delaware - Obama
Illinois - Obama
Massachusetts - Obama
Maine - Obama
Oklahoma - Romney
Rhode Island - Obama
The rest are still up in the air, though expect the South to go comfortably to Romney.
7:59PM - Reports out of Ohio saying it may be the lowest white voter turnout on record. Romney has to have a fantastic turn out to have any chance. How's that Jeep ad feeling now?
7:55PM - Five minutes until we see whether Romney's hail mary into Pennsylvania was a head fake or not.
7:52PM - Ohio exit polls are mirroring the controversial poll results from earlier this week, showing +8 Dem turnout. The funny thing about math is that its true whether you believe it or not.
7:50PM - Florida update, with 35% in, Obama is up 4. 18.5 state polls closing in 10 minutes.
7:45PM - Update on Virginia - many results will be delayed until 8PM due to lines to vote still going out the door.
7:43PM - HUGE NEWS - Romney's internals show him DOWN 5% in Ohio. If that's true, it is over.
7:41PM - South Carolina called for Romney, putting him to 33 electoral votes.
7:36PM - Remember when Republicans complained that the polls were skewed in favor of Democrat turn out? So far, the turn out is mirroring the polling. Whodathunkit?
7:33PM - Tons of polls closing at 8PM.
7:31PM - CNN exit polls say North Carolina is tied 49/49. Way closer than the pollsters had it for Obama. Big turnout for Obama or exit poll nonsense? I'm betting the on the latter.
7:30PM - North Carolina, Ohio, and West Virginia have closed. CNN calling West Virginia for Romney. No surprise there.
7:27PM - The Hill reporting that Obama has a concession speech ready, whereas Romney does not. Cocky or stupid?
7:24PM - Here's the latest report from the Virginia Lawyers Committee. Long lines are still a big factor.
7:23PM - CNN calling Indiana for Romney.
7:20PM - Polls are closing in 10 minutes in West Virginia, North Carolina, and Ohio.
7:16PM - Just got this text from Virginia Obama campaign. This is going to get interesting...
7:11PM - Early signs showing Donnelly up BIG in Indiana. Way to go Tea Party!
7:08PM - Economy is the big one today. Let's see whose message sold best.
CALLED - Vermont for Obama, Kentucky for Romney.
7:01PM - First Virginia exit poll is 49 - 49. Let's tuck in and get cozy, we may be here a while.
6:59PM - Virginia polls are closing. Reports that results may be delayed due to long lines still there at the voting places. Game time.
6:49PM - Another exit poll indicated that 15% said Obama's Hurricane Sandy response. Bad news for Romney, great news for Christie 2016.
6:43PM - Here is PolicyMic's Chris Miles on the latest exit polls showing that the economy is the most important issue by far. 60% of voters point to the economy as the lead factor in how they decided their vote.
It's still the economy, stupid.
6:37PM - CNN reporting that, according to exit polls, Millenial voters (18-24) only turning out at 18%.
If true, this is my face:
Stop playing Halo 4 and GO VOTE.
6:13PM - According to exit polling data, about half of voters blame George W. Bush for the state of the economy. Will this translate into an Obama victory? Yes.
6:01PM - Polls closed in Indiana, and the state's 11 electoral votes will go to Romney. The senate race between Joe Donnelly and Richard Mourdock will be too close to call for some time.
6:00PM - The polls in Kentucky have closed, and I'm calling the state's 8 electoral votes for Romney. No surprise here, as the polls have Romney ahead by double digits.
5:54PM - PolicyMic editor Chris Miles has your guide to the nation's gubernatorial races.
5:36PM - Exit poll numbers are starting to come in. Remember, these are far from official (they had Kerry winning in 2004). That said, if these numbers are true, its a rough start for Romney.
5:24PM - I expect this to be what the TV personalities look like once exit polls start coming in:
Don't get fooled, check out this Washington Post checklist on what to watch for once the exit polls start coming in.
1. The first rule of exit polls is this: Before 5 p.m., there are no exit polls.
2. Take early exit polling results with a “giant grain of salt.”
3. Early exit polls may favor Obama more than the overall vote.
4. Keep an eye on the demographics.
5:20PM - Both Republicans and Democrats reacting positively to increased voter turnout. Republican enthusiasm may be a show though, because increased turnout is far more likely to come from cities than rural precincts, and cities aren't going to be going red.
5:15PM - Virginia State Board of Elections reports that turnout is set to be higher than 2008. Big time bad news for Romney if true. If Obama wins Virginia, it is over and it is over early.
5:10PM - Fact. If the GOP wins tonight, it will be because of this sweater. Photo courtesy of AP.
5:00PM - Two hours left.
4:50PM - Hey Mitt, you know why it's bad to write articles taking a dump on the American worker? Because unions still exist.
According to this Politico report, the AFL-CIO is confirming increased turnout for Obama from 2008.
By a 41-point margin, Ohio union members are voting for President Obama (70%) over Mitt Romney (29%) in the presidential race. The early vote among Ohio union members tilts even more heavily in President Obama’s favor (79% to 21%).
Obama’s support among Ohio union members has increased by five percentage points since 2008
If Obama wins Ohio, the AFL-CIO's GOTV efforts will be a big reason.
4:45PM - Arguably more important than the results of the presidential race, the Senate race will be the truly impactful results coming out tonight. With Democrats facing steep odds to retain a majority, recent blunders by Tea Party candidates has flipped sure-fire GOP wins into likely D seats. Current polls predict that the Democrats will retain a slim majority regardless of swing state outcomes. If they do, the GOP will have to take a good hard look at the Tea Party, as this will be the second Senate majority they will have cost the Republicans in as many elections.
I'll be keeping a close eye on Senate races as polls start closing. Be sure to check back here for live updates.
4:30PM - T-Minus 2.5 hours until the first Virginia polls close.
4:20PM - Despite numerous court orders and clear direction from government, reports of voters being turned away for lack of voter ID are still flowing in. From Huffington Post's Dan Froomkin:
4:01PM - Found this gem. How Romney will react if he loses:
3:55PM - An earlier story from today - Chrysler gave its workers the day off to go vote. Considering the Chrysler CEO slammed Romney for his misleading Jeep ad, this probably isn't good news for Mitt, particularly in the auto-industry heavy states of Michigan and Ohio.
Whoever wrote that "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt" headline is probably wishing they had hit delete.
3:45PM - Somebody should tell this guy that Romney is still trying to keep his unreleased taxes on the down low.
3:06PM - Here's a quick update on the True the Vote story out of Pennsylvania. Huffington Post has a story on the ban we reported earlier - check it out here.
The reports about conservative efforts to disrupt and dissuade voters are widespread. They are almost certain to get hit with criminal investigations starting tomorrow - here's to hoping they didn't supress too many votes in the mean time.
3:00PM - No confirmation that this photo is real, but I sure hope it is.
2:30PM - Is it bad that I'm already ready to do this to my TV? And I'm not even watching Fox!
2:15PM - Who knew that climate science was a Chinese conspiracy? God, I love this guy. Donald Trump is truly that gift that keeps on giving.
1:58PM - Superstorm Sandy may be over, but the storm surrounding NJ Gov Chris Christie is still going strong. Christie now (in)famously lauded Obama's support and help post-Sandy. He was attacked by conservatives for daring to say good things about the President, to which he responded that he was just giving credit where credit was due.
Last night, reports came out that Christie had refused to be seen with Romney in the closing days of the campaign. Christie has responded, by calling the Romney campaign a bunch of "know-nothing, disgruntled" staffers.
The question now is whether the report of Christie telling the Romney campaign "no thanks" was leaked by Christie to help position himself for 2016 or by the Romney campaign to distance Mitt from Christie's praise for Obama.
1:35PM - It looks like Ds got the message on supression tactics and are responding with turnout campaigns.
Little AP reports like this one are coming in from all over indicating high voter turnout. Democrat supporting non-profits groups and unions like the AFL-CIO report that their membership voting drives are working with big numbers lining up to cast their ballot.
1:14PM - Diebold 2.0? Here's a video of a voting machine in Pennsylvania that selects Romney whenever anyone tries to select Obama. The video is going viral and has been picked up by CNN and other networks. Is this just a problem of calibration or something worse? Here's a link to the original filmer of the video, posting on reddit.
1:00PM - Reports of voter suppression issues are coming in thick, especially in Pennsylvania. A state judge in Alleghany County (Pittsburgh) issued a prohibition on partisans doing voter ID checks of their own volition.
True The Vote, a conservative campaign, is reported as checking minority voters in line and asking for their ID. The activists are not affiliated with the state and are an entirely independent, private organization. The judge issuing the ruling said that such arbitrary ID checks could "chill" voter turnout, hence the ban. Republican tactics are looking awfully shady, especially for this early in the day.
12:53PM - Reports like this are becoming more and more common as the day goes by. Are we in a for a repeat of Florida?
12:50PM - Need an easy to follow guide on what states matter tonight? Here you go, courtesy of BuzzFeed.
12:45PM - The update party has begun. I will be checking in from time to time as we get closer to poll closures with updates from voting precincts from around the country. I'll be paying special attention to voter supression complaints, particularly in PA, OH, and FL - three must-win states for Romney.
Comic relief for the day will be provided by hyperbolic Tweets, Facebook posts, and blog comments from conservatives and liberals alike as the democratic process turns in to the Apocalypse, or something. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @markskogan for more commentary on the side.
So, without further ado, bookmark me, settle in, and let's get this party started.
At long last, the 2012 presidential election has arrived, and I don't think I am alone in saying good riddance to this exhausting campaign. On Tuesday night, or hopefully early Wednesday morning at the latest, we will know whether Barack Obama will serve another four years in the Oval Office, or whether Mitt Romney will become the 45th president of the United States. Fueling the media circus surrounding this once-in-every-four-years event is the fact that the latest presidential polls indicate that this may be one of the closest presidential races in U.S. history. Just about every poll shows the two candidates in a statistical dead heat. On Sunday, the Real Clear Politics aggregate of polls has Obama leading Romney by 0.4%.
But each man has to win the Electoral College.
The Electoral College is the institution that officially elects the president and vice president every four years. The electors are chosen by each state of the United States and by the District of Columbia, but not by other territorial possessions of the United States (such as Puerto Rico). The number of electors is 538, based on the total voting membership of the United States Congress (435 Representatives and 100 Senators) and three electors from the District of Columbia. Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the Constitution specifies the number of electors to which each state is entitled and state legislatures decide how they are chosen.
To win the Electoral College, a candidate has to pass the 270 mark ... the magic number.
PolicyMic will be providing LIVE updates over the course of election day. Bookmark and refresh this page for the latest updates.
See our full election live coverage here.