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
ABC News calling Minnesota for Obama
Iowa, Nevada polls close
- 9 p.m.: Polls close in four states, including the last of the battlegrounds, Iowa (six) and Nevada (six).
Iowa's been leaning toward Obama, but watch how the vote breaks down geographically. Can Romney's advantage in GOP-heavy western Iowa overcome Obama's edge in eastern swing territory?
Now that Obama has won Wisconsin the Western outlook is more important for Romney. If Obama wins Ohio, Romney would have to have help from the West, in places like Nevada and Colorado. Nevada, where two-thirds of the electorate votes early, has been moving Obama's direction in recent weeks, powered by strength in huge labor and Hispanic voting blocs. A Romney incursion there would really mean something.
Medical marijuana supporters get #18
Massachusetts has become the 18th state to allow people with illnesses to use medical marijuana.
Under the Massachusetts law, patients with HIV, multiple sclerosis, hepatitis C, or other conditions can obtain a card from the state permitting them to purchase the drug and will be allowed to possess a 60-day supply. They also may appoint a caregiver to obtain the drug on their behalf, the Boston Globe reports.
Dayton: "I never make predictions until the votes are counted"
From MPR News reporter Samara Freemark
At the Minnesotans United for All Families event in downtown St. Paul, Gov. Mark Dayton thanked the audience and said:
“I never make predictions until the votes are counted, but I’m really hopeful that Minnesota will be the first state in the nation to say no to discrimination and bigotry. MN is better than that, and I hope and pray people in the state prove that tonight.”
He says that there are two messages Minnesotans can send tonight: We’re for equality. We understand the founding premise that all men are created equal. And secondly there are right ways and wrong ways to go. I’d say same thing if it was DFL legislature. It’s the wrong way to lead, wrong way to govern and Minnesota can say no to that tonight as well. “It’s not about getting my way or your way but doing it the right way.”
He cautioned against people who want to do end runs around governing: “it’s the wrong way to lead and govern, and Minnesota can say no to that.”
Dayton says he’s in awe of the numbers. “Over a million households contacted in last week by you. If the amendment goes down tonight, it’s thanks to you.”
Sen. Al Franken pumping up the crowd at the DFL party. MPR photo Jeff Thompson
Bachmann lead narrows
The race for Congress in the 6th District has continued to tighten. With 41 percent of precincts reporting, Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann leads over DFL candidate Jim Graves by a margin of 50.4 percent to 49.4 percent.
But of the 146,000 votes counted so far, about two-thirds were cast in Anoka County, which is split almost evenly. Few votes have been tallied in Wright or Sherburne counties, which have been Bachmann's strongest in previous races.
NBC: Obama re-elected
NBC News calls Ohio and the election for Obama.
AP data: Eight MN counties 100% in on marriage amendment, all passed it
Baldwin defeats Thompson in Wisc. Senate race
Tammy Baldwin (D) wins U.S. Senate race in Wisconsin - AP
Nolan updates "optimistic" status
MPR News' Mark Zdechlik reports: Nolan Campaign Manager Michael Misterek told the crowd at the Nolan election night site in Brainerd that, “We feel very optimistic about where we’re going tonight,” and “we feel very good about where things are going.”
Earlier tonight Nolan couched his optimism with "cautiously," the race is close. With roughly 40% precincts reporting Nolan leads Cravaack 51.3% to 48.7%.
DFL-er poised to take western Minnesota senate seat
Amid reports that the GOP majority in the Minnesota Senate is at risk, we see that DFL-er Lyle Koenen is comfortably ahead in Senate 17, a western Minnesota district that includes Willmar.
Here's how MPR's Tom Scheck saw the race prior to the election:
Another battle between incumbents. GOP Sen. Joe Gimse was considered a dragon slayer in 2006 after he defeated DFL Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson. The newly configured district lost GOP votes, which has Democrats bullish on DFL Sen. Lyle Koenen’s chances.
Enduring the wait at the Minnesotans United party
From MPR News reporter Sasha Aslanian
The crowd is inching toward the two jumbotrons at the front of the ballroom. Some people are now sitting on the floor, others doing a little hip-shaking. A young man is giving a young woman a little backrub in front of the press table. Most people I’ve talked with say they’re running on very little sleep. They worked flat-out on the get out the vote effort.
The tempo of the music is still upbeat. Huge applause when the results of the marriage vote in Maryland comes on the screen. With just over half the votes counted, and the margin growing tighter, the crowd is settling in for what will likely be a late night.
Dusty Springfield on the sound system now.
Voter ID opponents stop just short of declaring victory
Dan McGrath, director of TakeAction Minnesota, the group working to stop the photo ID amendment, stopped short of declaring victory but said the campaign’s momentum and eleventh hour sprint to the finish line could be credited to a strong and painstaking grassroots effort.
“We had trusted messengers and that is how we moved these polls. It was an incremental conversation over months and months and then by the time we got to August all those organizations were in same direction and we suddenly hit a critical mass and that is when you saw the dramatic numbers change, that drop from 80 percent to down into the 50s was the result of grassroots work.
He says volunteers from existing community based organizations went voter by voter to get their message across.
“We didn’t have money for media buys we made up for that by getting people’s stories into the media – trusted voices. And Dayton and Carlson’s support were critical because they modeled the kind of politics people want in the state. It was statesmanship and bipartisanship and pragmatism at its best.”
DFLer Nolan "extremely optimistic" in 8th Congressional District race
From MPR News reporter Mark Zdechlik:
The Rick Nolan campaign is extremely optimistic about the chance for victory over Rep. Chip Cravaack, with campaign manager Michael Misterek saying that Nolan’s numbers are running, on average, eight percent above Jim Oberstar’s 2010 showing -- and that’s with most of St. Louis County, a Nolan stronghold, still not yet reported.
Obama in victory speech: "We know in our hearts ... the best is yet to come."
Washington marriage vote still reporting returns
Washington is reporting a turnout of 48.62 percent of the state's nearly 4 million registered voters, with an estimated 517,300 still on hand to be processed.
At this point, the vote to affirm Washington's same-sex marriage law is coming in at 51.8 percent in favor of Referendum 74 -- and 48.2 percent against it.
The measure, which if approved would allow same-sex couples to marry in Washington, would also modify the state's domestic partnership law to require all domestic partners (except senior citizens) to either dissolve their domestic partnership or apply for a marriage license.
It also includes a provision for religious institutions, much like similar initiatives passed today in Maryland and Maine, which would "preserve the right of clergy or religious organizations to refuse to perform, recognize, or accommodate any marriage ceremony." [link]
Washington's ballot initiative this Election Day is similar to Maryland's, as both ask voters to approve or reject a law granting marriage rights to same-sex couples that had been passed by their respective state legislatures and signed by their governors.
In Washington, unless the measure is approved, marriage between two people of the same sex is prohibited explicitly by law. Washington does not recognize same-sex marriages issued by other states or the District of Columbia.
If the initiative is approved by a majority of Washington voters, the same-sex marriage law, known as Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 6239, will take effect Dec. 6, 2012, 30 days after Election Day -- and it would make Washington the only state west of Iowa to allow same-sex marriage.
Hand count Wednesday morning for three Minneapolis precincts
City of Minneapolis news release:
Minneapolis has provided the vast majority of its election results this evening as usual, and every vote cast will be included in the City’s final election tallies. However, there are three precincts (out of 117) where results will not be available tonight. These precincts are 10-1, 10-2, and 10-8. A number of ballots in these precincts have technical printing errors affecting the margins of the ballots that would not even be noticeable to the voter, but which cause them to be un-scannable by the standard ballot tabulators. These printing errors do not affect the ballot content or any races or issues on the ballot.
Following state rules and guidelines for scenarios like this, the City and Hennepin County will work together, beginning tomorrow, to include these un-scannable votes in the final vote tallies. Beginning at 10 a.m. Wednesday, ballots from these three precincts will be hand counted at the Minneapolis elections warehouse, which is at 732a Harding St. NE. The hand count will be open to media.
Again, only a very small percentage of the City's precincts have been affected. Voters should be assured that every ballot will be counted.
Washington's Referendum 74: The Seattle Times offers a glimpse of where Washington's same-sex marriage referendum stands so far. With 48.62 percent voter returns, the results remain tight at 51.8 percent in favor of the law establishing same-sex marriage in the state and 48.2 percent against it.
Bachmann to speak to her supporters shortly
From MPR News reporter Brett Neely:
Michele Bachmann will come down to the stage shortly to deliver a short speech her aides describe as an update “to the state of play.”
Bachmann, a three-term Republican Congresswoman, is locked in a close race with DFL challenger Jim Graves.
The party at the Bloomington Hilton had deflated after the networks called Ohio for President Obama. But news that Bachmann would address the crowd has brought partygoers back into the ballroom.
DFL House Minority Leader Paul Thissen: "The Speaker just called and congratulated us on taking back the House."by tomscheck via twitter 11/7/2012 7:13:34 AM
Status update on both sides in Minn. marriage debate
From MPR News reporter Curtis Gilbert:
Minnesota for Marriage supporters -- who have been working in favor of passing today's constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman -- say they're calling it a night.
The reason: Minneapolis has announced that it will be hand-counting votes tomorrow for three of its precincts.
They won't have an answer tonight, chairman John Helmberger said. "It's that close."
From reporter Sasha Aslanian:
Cristine Almeida, the board chair of Minnesotans United for All Families, which opposes the amendment, says the group is "continuing to watch" election results as they come in, precinct by precinct.
They will come back to share what they know at 1:45 a.m.
Rep. Chip Cravaack concedes defeat to DFL challenger Rick Nolan