Results: Swing states carry Obama to victory
Impressive results in the hotly-contested swing states propelled Obama into a second term in the White House.
Obama pulled ahead in smaller swing states like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin relatively early in the evening, which was a sign of things to come.
The clinchers were the swing state of Ohio, which was closely contested all evening, and Colorado, a win in which would allow Obama to lose Ohio and still take home the victory.
Obama was later projected to take the swing state of Virginia as well, solidifying his lead.
For full coverage of Obama’s win, click here.
Democrats also retained control of the Senate, even picking up a few seats. Republicans maintained their control over the House of Representatives.
And in good news for Canada, voters in Michigan supported the idea of a new bridge between Detroit and Windsor, by rejecting a ballot measure that would have made building that bridge a lot harder.
The presidential race:
Obama was projected to win the following states: Virginia, Colorado, Ohio, New Mexico, Oregon, Wisconsin, Iowa, California, Hawaii, Washington, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Michigan, New York, Vermont, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maine (three of the four seats), Rhode Island and Delaware.
Mitt Romney was projected to win the following states: Montana, North Carolina, Idaho, Arizona, Utah, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Wyoming, Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, West Virginia, Indiana and Kentucky.
The magic number here is 270. For the presidential election, each state is given a certain number of electoral college votes based on population. All of a state’s votes are given to one candidate. To win, a candidate needs to get at least 270 votes.
By 1:30 a.m. ET on Election Night, Obama was projected to take 303 electoral college votes to Romney’s 203.
The Senate race:
The Republicans have suffered a bloody nose in the Senate as Democrats maintained control.
Independent Angus King captured a Republican-held Senate seat in Maine.
King prevailed over Republican Charlie Summers and Democrat Cynthia Dill in the race to replace Republican Olympia Snowe.
King’s victory created a wildcard in the Democrat-controlled Senate.
He’s refused to say which party he’d side with if elected.
King has indicated the outcome of the presidential election and the final Senate lineup could influence his decision.
Indiana Senator Richard Mourdock has lost his seat. Mourdock was a controversial figure this campaign, after having suggested that pregnancy resulting from rape is “something that God intended.”
These comments might have been what cost him the race in Republican-leaning Indiana. He lost to Democratic candidate Joe Donnelly, though by a small margin.
Interestingly, Donnelly also opposes abortion, though he does make an exception for cases of rape and incest or to save the life of the mother.
In Missouri, Democrat Claire McCaskill is projected to defeat Republican Todd Akin. Akin made headlines during the summer, when he suggested that in cases of “legitimate rape,” a woman will not get pregnant. This may have led to his defeat.
Democrat Tim Kaine is projected to win in Virginia, defeating Republican challenger George Allen.
And the Democrats are expected to pick up a seat in Massachusetts, as Elizabeth Warren defeated the incumbent Scott Brown.
Michigan’s Proposition 6, which would have made it harder to build a new bridge linking Detroit and Windsor, will go down in defeat, local media is reporting. This means that the new bridge will likely go ahead, which is good news for Canadian trade.
Massachusetts voters approved a measure to allow marijuana use for medical reasons, joining 17 other states. Colorado and Washington State residents went a step further, and are projected to legalize marijuana. Pro-marijuana ballot measures were defeated in Arkansas and Oregon.
Maine and Maryland residents have approved same-sex marriage, giving the gay rights movement a breakthrough victory.
Gay marriage is legal in six states and Washington, D.C., but those laws were either enacted by lawmakers or through court rulings. In popular votes, more than 30 states had previously held elections on same-sex marriage, with all losing.
Washington state was also holding an up-or-down vote Tuesday on legalizing gay marriage. Minnesota was voting on a proposal to ban gay marriage in the state constitution.
(With files from the Associated Press)