Election 2012: At this moment
◢ TOP STORIES NOW ◣
- Voter ID amendment defeated
- DFL regains control of Minnesota Legislature
- Rep. Chip Cravaack concedes defeat to challenger Rick Nolan, a DFLer, in 8th District
- Maryland approves same-sex marriage measure, clearing way for same-sex couples to wed
- Maine voters approve a citizen-led ballot initiative to recognize same-sex marriage
- Bachmann holds off Graves
- Walz, Peterson, McCollum, Ellison, Kline, and Paulsen re-elected to Congress in Minnesota
- GOP holds onto U.S. House; Dems hold onto U.S. Senate
by MPRnews via twitter edited by Jon Gordon, MPR News 11/6/2012 8:07:51 PM
by MPRnews via twitter edited by Jon Gordon, MPR News 11/6/2012 8:09:11 PM
Burglar hits Seattle Democratic headquarters - Seattle Times
Seattle police are investigating an apparent overnight burglary at the Democratic party campaign headquarters in Seattle.
Benton Strong, spokesman for the state Democratic party, said it’s not clear if anything was taken and said he would not speculate while police are investigating.
Police spokeswoman Renee Witt said a staffer called police about 5:30 after finding a broken window and open door at the office. She said anyone with information about the case is asked to call 911.
There's got to be a better way of doing this
I think I write this particular blog post every year. But let's think about this. In 2012, do we really have to all return to our villages (precincts) to cast our votes for the new chief?
It's an antiquated system and as former Marketplace -- now Guardian -- reporter Heidi Moore notes in a column today, it doesn't work -- not when people see long lines and turn around and have to go to work (yes, I know, some states allow paid time off for voting). And not when someone forgets to stop on the way to work on the night shift 20 miles away and decides not to bother to go back.
The thing is, she notes, we're not even trying to consider a more technologically advanced way of doing this because of the "tinfoil hat" people who see conspiracy around every corner when it comes to voting.
She writes: "This particular fear of electronic voting doesn't make much sense. Electronic voting, if the software were improved, is not any riskier than paper voting. Elections were stolen with paper ballots as they could be with virtual ones. You don't have to think of the allegations that flew in the Bush-Gore fight of 2000; even Rutherford B Hayes and Samuel Tilden had to fight allegations of a stolen presidential election in 1876. Stolen elections, as Jack Shafer once wrote, 'are as American as apple pie.'"
Minneapolis election judge reports hour-long line since polls opened
Some Minnesota polling places are still reporting long lines and high numbers of same-day registrations.
At St. Peder's Church in Minneapolis, election judge Linda Back McKay says the line has been an hour long ever since the polls opened.
"If people could just be really patient, we're trying to move the crowd through as fast as we can, and most people really understand that. But we're trying to do some crowd control because sometimes they think if they're standing in line they could be moving faster if they're in the polling place, but that's not true, it just gets too wild."
McKay says the polling place is busier than the last presidential election in 2008.
Amendment signs removed from Wash County polling places
from MPR News reporter Elizabeth Dunbar
Washington County election officials removed signs instructing voters that leaving amendment questions blank would be counted as “no” votes have been removed from polling places after the Secretary of State's office advised them such instructions are not allowed.
Pat Turgeon, a spokeswoman for the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office, said election judges are advised not to verbally explain or otherwise point out that a non-vote equals a no-vote. The instructions are already on the ballot, so judges were advised to direct voters to their ballots if questions came up, she said.
Even so, there was still confusion among election judges. Voters in MPR’s Public Insight Network from Morris, St. Louis Park, Woodbury and several other cities said election judges were giving voters the same instructions verbally, despite guidelines discouraging judges from giving such instructions.
Washington County election officials removed the signs after conferring with the Secretary of State’s office, said Jennifer Wagenius, who directs the county’s elections. She said the signs were a larger version of the instructions that are included on the ballot.
“Or goal initially was so that folks could look at the question before they got to their booth if they wanted to avoid our election judges giving any instruction,” she said.
Long line, broken machine
A personal account from MPR News producer Jim Bickal:
I just waited 45 minutes to vote at the Lake Lyndale VFW in Mpls. The vote counting machine is broken. They are collecting the ballots in a giant stack inside a metal box.
MN marriage amendment attracts big dollars in the final hours
MPR News reporter Catharine Richert has a look at the last minute dollars flowing into both amendments on the MN ballot:
The marriage amendment, a proposal that would ban same-sex marriage in the state constitution, attracted the most last-minute dollars.
Donors gave Minnesota for Marriage, the group in support of the amendment, nearly $1.3 million in the final days of the campaign. Roughly 42 percent of that came from the National Organization for Marriage, which has supported similar constitutional amendments around the country.
That brings Minnesota for Marriage's pre-election fundraising total to more than $5 million since the start of 2012.
Meanwhile, amendment foes Minnesotans United for All Families brought in an extra $811,000 in recent days. High profile donors include New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who gave $125,000 to the group and liberal donor Alida Messinger, who gave $200,000.
That brings Minnesotans United for All Families' fundraising total for the year to about $10.6 million.
Exit polls: Voters split on Obamacare - Politico
Voters are deeply divided on whether some or all of the Obama health care law should be repealed, according to early exit polls.
Forty-five percent of voters said they think the 2010 law should be either fully or partially repealed, compared with 47 percent who want to see the law remain as-is or see it expanded further.
Roots of the MN marriage amendment: The man-woman language is added to the MN marriage statute in 1977
by Google Politics via twitter 11/6/2012 11:54:53 PM
MPR News live blog team, hard at work.
6 p.m.: Polls close in six states but all eyes will be on Virginia, the first of the battleground states to begin reporting results. If either candidate is comfortably ahead in Virginia, with 13 electoral votes, that could be a leading indicator of which way the night is going.
Virginia typically has been fairly fast at counting ballots. But there's a new voter ID law in the state that could complicate things this year. Voters who don't bring identification to the polls still can have their ballots counted if they produce ID by Friday. If the race in Virginia is super tight, it could come down to those provisional ballots. It is too soon to say how many there are.
Virginia is especially important for Romney. In 2008, Obama became the first Democratic presidential candidate to carry Virginia since 1964. Keep an eye on turnout in northern Virginia's Democratic strongholds for an early idea of which way the state will go.
Polls are also closed now in Georgia (16 Electoral Votes), Georgia (16), Indiana (11), Kentucky (8), South Carolina (9), Vermont (3) and Virginia (13).
Virginia exit poll - CNN
by Michael Olson via twitter edited by Michael Olson, MPR News 11/7/2012 12:22:45 AM
Maine's same-sex marriage vote could have national implications
NOTE: Maine is one of the four states, including Minnesota, this Election Day where voters are being asked to support or reject same-sex marriage initiatives on its ballot. [more]
The vote in Maine will have national implications, both for state-level battles moving forward and for the Supreme Court, which is likely to take up at least one gay-marriage case next year.
Voters in Maine were asked today if the state should issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Because the ballot question was a citizen-led initiative, it has the potential to become the first voter-driven passage of a law allowing same-sex marriage. In the six states (plus the District of Columbia) where same-sex marriage is legal, it was the courts or the legislature that extended the right to same-sex couples.
Marriage brings with it more than 100 state-level rights and responsibilities. If the federal Defense of Marriage Act is struck down by the Supreme Court next year, it would open the door to more than 1,000 federal benefits and regulations, including the ability for gay men and lesbians to collect Social Security upon the death of a spouse.
More: Portland (Maine) Press Herald
Minnesotans United still knocking on doors
From MPR News reporter Sasha Aslanian
Minnesotans United for All Families, the campaign working to defeat the marriage amendment, is still out knocking on doors. Campaign spokesperson Kate Brickman reports the campaign mobilized 10 thousand volunteers to get out the vote, knocked on 150,000 doors, and called 200,000 people this election day.
Over the last week, the campaign has filled 25,000 volunteer shifts to make contact with a million voters.
Brickman says to give you an idea of how big that is, the Obama campaign in 2008 had 8,000 volunteers getting out the vote in Minnesota, so this effort has dwarfed that.
The double-ballroom at River Centre in downtown St. Paul is empty. TV cameras are trained on the stage, and a MN United staffer is hanging orange VOTE NO signs on the walls. The party starts at 8:15.
Romney picks up Indiana - CNN
WASHINGTON (AP) — Obama wins IL, CT, ME, DC, DE, RI, MD, MA; Romney wins OK.by bfouhy via twitter 11/7/2012 1:08:52 AM
by Michael Olson via twitter edited by Michael Olson, MPR News 11/7/2012 1:09:32 AM
Of the states that are in so far, one state* has flipped from the 2008 presidential results. The states Obama has won so far tonight, he won in 2008. The Romney states tonight were all McCain states in '08. *The exception is Indiana, which CNN has called for Romney.
Slovak parliament rejects gay partnership law
From Reuters U.K.:
BRATISLAVA - Slovakia's parliament rejected on Tuesday an opposition proposal to recognise homosexual partnerships in the strongly Catholic country, where coming out as gay remains relatively rare.
During two days of heated debate, conservatives accused the opposition of blasphemy, and said granting same-sex relationships equivalent legal status as heterosexual marriage was against traditional family values and a risk for society.
Earlier today, Spain's highest court upheld the legality of the country's same-sex marriage law.
Less than an hour until the polls close in MN. You can still vote as long as you're in line by 8pm.by tomscheck via twitter 11/7/2012 1:13:28 AM
Cravaack camp reveals "cautious optimism"
MPR News reporter Dan Kraker reports: Congressman Chip Cravaack’s campaign advisor Ben Golnik says he feels “cautiously optimistic” Cravaack will be reelected for a second term.
Golnik said many Democrats in the district are culturally conservative voters who support Cravaack's pro-life stance and second amendment rights.
Golnik also believes Cravaack will be able to peel away Democrats because of his strong support for mining issues on the Iron Range. Cravaack has introduced legislation to streamline the environmental permitting process for controversial copper-nickel mining projects in northeast Minnesota.
The Cravaack campaign believes there will be a large number of “ticket splitters” in the sprawling 8th district, which spans from the conservative northern ex-urbs of the Twin Cities, to Democratic leaning Duluth and the Iron Range. Golnik anticipates many voters who back President Obama and Senator Amy Klobuchar will also vote for Cravaack.
It could be a late night waiting for results in the 8th District. Historically, St. Louis County has been the last to report results, and vote counting could be even slower this year because of write in campaigns in the race to replace Duluth State Representative Kerry Gauthier.
Ben Golnik says if Cravaack builds a lead of 20,000 or 25,000 votes in the northern exurbs and Brainerd lakes areas, that would be too large a margin for Rick Nolan to make up in Duluth and the Iron Range.
Congressman Cravaack is holding his campaign party at Tobies in Hinckley tonight, a popular pit stop for Twin Cities tourists traveling to the North Shore. So far only media are present. Cravaack is expected to arrive shortly after the polls close at 8 p.m. to mingle with supporters, but isn’t expected to speak until later in the evening.
CNN now projects that Mitt Romney will win Georgia and its 16 electoral votes. #CNNelectionby CNN Politics via twitter 11/7/2012 1:20:55 AM
Roughly 6 in 10 Ohio voters approve of the auto bailout. That group went 75-24 for Obama. Wowza.by Chris.Cillizza via twitter 11/7/2012 1:21:40 AM
AP RACE CALL: Romney wins Tennessee. #Election2012by The Associated Press via twitter 11/7/2012 1:23:49 AM
The Home State
NewsCut regulars may know of my idea for a constitutional amendment that if a candidate can't convince people in his home state that he should be president, he probably shouldn't be president. While Florida gets all the credit for torching Al Gore's presidency, it was actually his home state of Tennessee that did him in. In brilliant strategy, the Bush team forced Gore to spend the last week of his campaign trying to win in his own state.
Romney never really gave Massachusetts much of a go. When he left office as governor, his approval rating was only 39%. Nevertheless, tonight he lost his home state.
Which has us trying to determine who the last person ELECTED president was who lost his home state?
Exit polls: Electorate slightly more Republican than 2008 -Washington Post
The first wave of exit polling paints a picture of an electorate that is slightly more Republican than the one that helped elect President Obama in 2008.
And, unlike in 2008, more voters oppose an active federal government than support it. But the mood of the country has improved from four years ago — with much of those gains coming among Democrats.
From Hennepin County: The Lowry Bridge is lit red, white, and blue tonight in honor of Election Day
Bangor (Maine) Daily News: Both sides of gay marriage question optimistic as polls close
NOTE: Maine is one of the four states, including Minnesota, where voters have been asked to support or reject same-sex marriage initiatives on their ballots today. Polls there closed at 8 p.m. Eastern.
From the Bangor (Maine) Daily News:
PORTLAND, Maine — With the polls about to close and the vote counting about to begin, supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage both said Tuesday night that they were optimistic that their side would win.
Spokesmen for Mainers United for Marriage, which supports Question 1, and Protect Marriage Maine, which opposes the referendum, said they expected the final tally to be close.
"There's been a strong turnout and we believe that is good for us," David Farmer, spokesman for Mainers United for Marriage, said as supporters arrived at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland for an election night party. "We have gotten reports of long lines in cities, college towns and coastal areas."
Farmer said he expected more than 1,000 people, including campaign staff, volunteers and coalition partners, to attend the event.
Protect Marriage Maine was expecting a much smaller gathering at the Ramada Inn in Lewiston, Carroll Conley, co-chairman of Protect Marriage Maine, said Tuesday night in a telephone interview. He said the campaign had planned for about 60 people to attend.
"The most recent polls have shown this is very close," he said. "We believe we've conducted this campaign in an honorable way, in a respectful way. Now we just have to wait."
With 25 precincts reporting, Yes on Maine same-sex marriage has moved into lead. But that's only 4 % of vote. bit.ly
Angie Muhs is executive editor for interactive at the Portland (Maine) Press Herald. Maine is one of the four states, including Minnesota, where voters have been asked to support or reject same-sex marriage initiatives on their ballots today. Polls there closed at 8 p.m. Eastern.by Angie Muhs via twitter edited by Meg Martin, MPR News 11/7/2012 2:29:14 AM
Graves tones down optimism
"We're an underdog, if you look at the money spent on this campaign," -- Jim Graves (MPR News).
Earlier in the night Jim Graves' son said the campaign was "optimistic" they could pull out a win against Michele Bachmann.
He'll always have Janesville
If his bid for VP falls short, Paul Ryan looks to be in fine shape for a paying job. Early returns in his district -- very early returns-- have him up 62-to-37 percent. It's a pretty safe seat.
Fox News projecting Wisconsin for Obama
Warren wins Massachusetts - NBC
NBC projecting Democrat Elizabeth Warren wins the U.S. Senate race, unseating moderate Republican Scott Brown in a closely watched race.
Elizabeth Warren's inadvertent best friends: Wall Street and Republicans - Bloomberg
Congressional Republicans, Wall Street bankers, and business lobbyists will be confronted with the possibility that by driving Warren out of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which she helped establish, and which they agitated to keep her from heading, they created a far bigger and more threatening animal: a hugely ambitious senator with national star power, command of financial affairs, and the stature to influence President Obama (should he prevail) or play the role of maddening foil to President Romney.
Congressman Chip Cravaack speaks to the media and supporters Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at his election party at Tobies in Hinckley, Minn. Photo by Derek Montgomery.
Cravaack speaks to supporters prior to results
MPR News' Dan Kraker reports: 8th District GOP Congressman Chip Cravaack made a brief visit to Tobies in Hinckley. tonight to greet supporters and briefly address the media. He echoed his campaign advisor Ben Golnik by saying he’s “cautiously optimistic” voters will re-elect him to a second term.
“We’re very pro mining, pro logging,” Cravaack said. “It’s up to the voters now.”
Cravaack described the high-profile election battle with former Congressman Rick Nolan as a “dogfight.” He said the message he’s been trying to get out to voters is about jobs and the economy. “It’s about getting people back to work,” he said. “The vision I have of the 8th District is people moving in. I want to be the Bakken Fields of precious metals,” he said, making reference to the booming oil fields of western North Dakota.
Cravaack also touted his “constituent services,” saying he’s held 29 town halls, four mayors’ roundtables, and two job fairs across the district.
He also said he’s gotten a ton of text and emails from people saying they’ve voted for him. He also said he’s heard from several “split-ticketers” who said they voted for President Obama and also voted for him.
“My goal is to get Polymet rolling, and really get Twin Metals up in Ely off the mark as well,” he said, referring to controversial copper-metal mining projects on the Iron Range currently in the planning and permitting stages.
Cravaack said he believes the Iron Range is the key to the election. ‘In a lot of ways they’ll be deciding this vote,” he said.
Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak at Minnesotans United event: "You dug down and fought for love with love. You understood compassion. This has wound up being one of the most inspirational things that has ever happened in Minnesota."