The 2012 Presidential Election comes to a close and, as the world watches, millions of Americans will visit the polls on Tuesday, November 6. With many undecided and independent voters, the race is far too close to call, and could be for some time. In such a tight election, the outcome will come down not only to swing states but also swing counties, districts, and towns.
On Election Day, PolicyMic will cover each region with a focus on swing states and counties. Follow this LIVE blog as we cover the election as a whole with a particular lens on Virginia. The campaigns have visited Virginia 88 times, making it the third most visited state behind Ohio and Florida. In recent days, both the Obama and Romney campaigns have stumped across Virginia in a show of force, maintaining its status as a crucial swing state.
Though many have voiced distress on the intensity, longevity, and negativity of this particular election, it is nonetheless difficult to ignore the culmination of such an important election cycle. As you watch online or on TV, stay tuned to this blog and contribute your THOUGHTS AND ANALYSIS as the results come in.
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. UPDATE 7:40pm
Virginia finally goes to Obama. Despite early polls indicating that Romney had a slim lead over the weeks prior to the election, President Obama again carried the Virginia. Most of his support came from counties surrounding Washington D.C., winning Fairfax with 59% of the vote. Romney carried Virginia Beach and Chesapeake County along the Virginia coast, which does indicate a slight change from 2008, when Obama won Chesapeake by a margin of 1,369 votes.
With the votes in Virginia still being tabulated for the Presidential election, all major news networks are projecting that Obama will win re-election. Obama has a slight lead in Virginia but with a projected win in Ohio, the President should win a second term.
With Tim Kaine winning and Obama's re-election, Virginia remains an important part of the Democratic campaign. However, the President still trails Romney in the popular vote, a possible sign of Obama's waning support from four years ago.
Former Governor Tim Kaine wins the higly contested Virginia Senate seat. George Allen called Kaine to concede and pledged his support to his rival in the difficult work ahead.
With such a close race in Florida, and many Democratic leaning counties still reporting, Virginia might not be the crucial swing state that many predicted. If Obama does in fact win Florida, the election could well be decided. Pundits across news networks have already begun to talk about Obama's second term and how he plans to work with a Republican controlled House of Representatives.
However, if Romney does win the 29 Electoral votes in Florida, Virginia again will be crucial to his march to win 270 votes. The election is far from over but Romney is not showing the strength that pre-election polls indicated.
Tim Kaine takes a slight lead in Virginia with just under 70% of the vote counted. Data provided by the Virginia Board of Elections.
Romney maintains a 13% lead in Virginia Beach with 21% of the vote counted. The Romney campaign needs to win this region by a large margin to ensure he wins the state.
Obama is now leading in both Loudon and Fairfax counties. There is still a long way to go in tallying the votes but these early numbers showing Obama leading could signify the President's sizeable support in this region. As the demographics reported confirmed that the voter breakdown mirrored those of 2008, the fear that Obama supporters would not turn out in support of the President could be assuaged.
Latest poll numbers from CNN on the Presidential and Senate race in Virginia:
Almost half of the votes has been counted in Virginia with Romney continuing to lead 51% to Obama's 47%. At this point it comes down to an 80,000 vote advantage for Romney.
Both the Presidential and Senate races are too close to call. Again, the polls are still experiencing long lines for voters who arrived prior to 7pm. The votes will continue to be tallied throughout the night.
Loudon and Fairfax Counties are reporting 11% and 10% respectively. Romney leads slightly in Loudon and Obama has just as small of a lead in Fairfax.
Virginia Beach is another crucial region for the entire election. With a large military population, the clash between Romney and Obama on military expentidures will be an important decision point for voters. Only 7% of Virginia Beach is being reported.
Voting information provided by the Virginia Board of Elections
Fairfax County, an important county for both candidates, is reporting only 1% of the vote thus far. This was one of Romney's final campaign stops as he delivered a stump speech on Monday afternoon.
With the high voter turnout in key counties in Virginia, one county could be reporting until as late at midnight. Prince William County, which Obama won in 2008, has said that it might be late night.
14% of vote is counted in Virginia for the senate race. Tim Kaine has gain some ground.
Many of the south western counties are reporting steadily for Romney. These counties were regions where Obama did not contest in the first place. In addition, the county populations are much smaller than the counties surrounding the southern border of Washington D.C. It will take longer to tally these larger precincts.
10% of Virginia is reporting Kaine trailing by 4%. A total of 408,000 have been tallied for the senate race.
Even though the polls closed in Virginia at 7pm, those that were in line by the closing are still able to vote. With the reported high turn out in voters in Virginia, it could be until later tonight before the final call can be made.
CNN is tallying 4% of the vote for Senate in Virginia with George Allen ahead 57% to Tim Kaine's 43%. Allen is ahead by 35,000 votes but it is certainly far too soon to make any conclusion.
Polls closed in Virginia at 7pm EST.
There are currently 21 Democratic and 10 Republican seats in the U.S. Senate up for vote today. The Senate is currently made up of 51 Democrats and 47 Republicans. Tonight's results have the potential to change the Democrat majority.
Take a look at the latest tweets from Obama and Romney. Obama quotes a Virginia voter on why he is supporting the President. The Obama campaign is still fighting for each vote in Virginia with 45 minutes until the polls close. Romney sent out a general tweet on bringing this country back to prosperity though he just hosted a campaign rally in Fairfax yesterday afternoon.
Polls close at 7pm in Virginia.
Courtesy of The Huffington Post.
With such a close presidential and senate race, it is entirely possible that opposite parties could take the state. That is to say, Governor Romney could win the 13 electoral votes but former Virgninia Governor Tim Kaine could win the Senate seat. Or vice versa.
The wait times to vote in Virginia are reported to be up to 2 and a half hours long in some polling stations in the battleground state. Voters are aware of the crucial importance of each ballot cast and are braving the long lines.
The election here will depend on if Obama can win the support of the northern counties as he did in 2008. Anecdotally, voter turn out seems to be high, which could be beneficial for either presidential candidate.
The Virginia senate race has received national intention over the past few months and outside groups, NGOs and Super Pacs, have spent a cumulative $50 million to support their candidates.
Likewise, FiveThirtyEight Blog, measured a 87.7% chance of former Governor Tim Kaine winning the U.S. senate seat in Virginia against former Virginia Senator George Allen. The seat became open after Democrat Jim Webb announced his retirement.
At 4am this morning, Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight Blog measured President Obama's chance to win the election at 91.6% to former Massachusettes Governor Mitt Romney's 8.4%. This calculation seems fairly generous considering that the margin of error in many swing state polls disallowed a clear leader to emerge throughout the election. The popular vote is seen as much more balanced with 50.9% to the President and 48.3% to Romney.
Tuesday, November 6: UPDATE 9:10am
Citizens from across the nation begin to vote today. The polls along the east coast are open and results will start to be tallied. When do the results typically come in? Exit polling will continue throughout the day but it could take longer for official results and calls to be made this evening. With such a close contest, the difference in votes could be too slim to make a confident call.
Monday, November 5: UPDATE 11:40pm
Latest and most likely last polling data on the Virginia Senate race between incumbent Tim Kaine and challenger George Allen. The aggregate polling statistics are provided by Real Clear Politics. Kaine enters the race tomorrow with a slight advantage but the ranking maintains the election as a toss up.