Until all the votes are counted and the winner is called in the race between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, we're keeping you up-to-date on presidential-election-related developments, from polls to commentary to events that could affect the outcome and decide who runs the country for the next four years.
Thursday, Nov. 8, 5:08 p.m. EST: Romney campaign concedes Florida: Mitt Romney's campaign conceded today that it had lost the state of Florida as votes continue to be tallied more than 36 hours after the election was called for President Barack Obama, the Huffington Post reports. With a win in Florida, Barack Obama finishes the election with 332 electoral votes, just 33 fewer than he won in his victory in 2008. He also won every battleground state except North Carolina.
Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2:08 a.m. EST: Thanks for noticing, Mr. President: President Barack Obama took to the stage at McCormick Place in Chicago to deliver his acceptance speech — and acknowledge a major issue in the election process. "I want to thank every American who participated in this election, whether you voted for the very first time — or waited in line for a very long time (by the way, we have to fix that)." The voters who waited in line for 10 hours certainly wouldn't argue with that.
Wednesday, Nov. 7, 1:45 a.m. EST: Short, simple and to the point: Pollster Cornell Belcher emailed us this when we asked him for his thoughts on the election: "The voters Repubs said wouldn't come back out did. They made a bad bet." Indeed.
Wednesday, Nov. 7, 1:33 a.m. EST: Rep. Allen West to lose Florida House seat: With 97 percent of Florida precincts reporting, MSNBC is projecting that Allen West has lost his House seat to Democrat Patrick Murphy. The margin of defeat looks to be fewer than 1,000 votes. The loss by the Tea Party favorite comes on a night when Democrats retained control of the Senate.
Wednesday, Nov. 7, 12:53 a.m. EST: Romney concedes election: In his speech, Romney announced that he called President Obama to congratulate him on his victory. "Paul [Ryan] and I have left everything on the field," he said. "We have given our all to this campaign."
Wednesday, Nov. 7, 12:20 a.m. EST: Same-sex-marriage measures passing in Maryland and Maine: Maryland and Maine appeared poised to become the first states in the nation to back same-sex marriage at the ballot box Tuesday night, the Los Angeles Times reports. Other gay-marriage measures are on the ballot in Minnesota and Washington.
Wednesday, Nov. 7, 12:26 a.m. EST: Colorado and Washington legalize recreational marijuana: Both Colorado and Washington State voters have passed ballot measures on Tuesday that make them the first states to legalize possession and sale of marijuana for recreational use, putting them at odds with federal law. In addition, Massachusetts voters approved the use of medical marijuana.
Wednesday, Nov. 7, 12:42 a.m. EST: Vote counting grinds to a halt in Ohio: Afi-Odelia E. Scruggs, The Root's correspondent in Cleveland, reports:
National media outlets have given Ohio to President Barack Obama, but hold the cheers: Not all the results are in, and as has been reported, Romney hasn't conceded. About 80 percent of precincts have reported, and roughly 20,000 votes separate Obama and Romney, according to Alexis Zoldan, deputy press secretary for the Ohio secretary of state. But the office can't offer more up-to-date numbers because their elections return website has crashed. The Associated Press called Ohio for Obama based on trends in the more urban counties. Although the counties haven't reported completely, they are bright-blue spots that have handily supported Democrats in the past.
Wednesday, Nov. 7, 12:28 a.m. EST: Most retweeted of all time: After the major networks declared Obama the winner of the presidential election, this photo from Obama, along with the victory message "Four more years," became the most retweeted tweet of all time. According to the Atlantic, it was retweeted 298,318 times in 30 minutes.
Tuesday, Nov. 6, 11:39 p.m. EST: Obama declared winner, but Romney won't concede Ohio: At 11:30 p.m. EST, after predicting that President Obama had won Ohio, NBC news declared him the winner of the race against Mitt Romney. Several major networks have now made the same projection, announcing that he will serve a second term after a string of battleground state victories. However, MSNBC reports that the Romney campaign is not conceding the state of Ohio, and therefore not conceding the race for the presidency.
Tuesday, Nov. 6, 11:28 p.m. EST: Angela Bassett and Kamala D. Harris attend Obama rally: The Root's Lynette Holloway reports from Chicago:
Actress Angela Bassett and California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris were among supporters who arrived at Chicago's McCormick Place to attend President Barack Obama's Election Day rally on Tuesday evening.
"I'm very excited," Bassett said as she made her way into the rally. "It's been a long road."
In a separate interview, Harris told reporters that she was confident that President Obama would be re-elected. While polls in her state close later than those in the Midwest and on the East Coast, voters are reliably democratic, analysts say.
"What is crucial right now, especially in California, is that there are still very many hours to vote and we still need to get everyone out to vote," Harris said. "In the last election cycle in Ohio, for example, we won by five votes per precinct. So every vote matters. To vote is to express one's voice, and if we want our issues to be heard we must express our voice."
Indeed, excitement was palpable throughout the immense convention center as supporters, including volunteers, voters and surrogates, showed up for the impending rally.
Veritable roars, like cheers at a championship ball game, pierced the air each time CNN announced Obama wins against Republican challenger Mitt Romney in his home state of Illinois and battleground states of Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
When asked about moving forward after the election and what the president should do, Harris said Americans are nonpartisan on important issues, such as education and the economy. "And they want to know that their elected leaders are going to work together. I'd like to think that that's going to happen after the election."
Tuesday, Nov. 6, 10:54 p.m. EST: Minnesota called for Obama; Arizona and Missouri go for Romney: NBC News projects that Obama will win Minnesota, and Romney will win Arizona and Missouri. See the entire electoral map here.
Tuesday, Nov. 6, 9:53 p.m. EST: New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania called for Obama: NBC News has projected that President Barack Obama has won New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, the first battleground states to fall in the race for the White House. Polls have closed in Florida, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina and Colorado, but all are considered too close to call at this time.
Tuesday, Nov. 6, 8:30 p.m. EST: Excessive waits for Virginia voters: Virginia's WAVY.com reports that numerous voters attempting to cast ballots in Virginia Beach are complaining that the wait time is excessive. Stacey Noah told the outlet she got in line to vote at Green Run High School at 8:45 a.m. and was still waiting nearly four hours later. At 8:00 p.m., one The Root reader shared on Facebook a photo of voters at the College Park Elementary polling station in Virginia Beach, some of whom he said had been waiting since 10 a.m. The polls closed at 7 p.m., but Virginia law allows anyone in line at their polling place at that time to cast a ballot. The Twitter hashtag #stayinline is being used to spread that information and to encourage those still waiting not to abandon their efforts to vote.
Tuesday, Nov. 6, 8:15 p.m. EST: Preparations under way at Obama rally site: Live from the site of the election rally planned for President Barack Obama at Chicago's McCormick Place, The Root's Lynette Holloway reports that workers spent the day scrubbing and preparing the cavernous venue, and an American flag hangs over VIP seating.
Tuesday, Nov. 6, 7:14 p.m. EST: Obama wins Election Day basketball game: The Root's Lynette Holloway reports from Chicago:
McCormick Place, where President Barack Obama will hold his rally tonight in Chicago, was a beehive of activity as journalists and media outlets from around the world prepared for his speech after the polls close at 7 p.m. CST.
But while pollsters, journalists and analysts made predictions and prepared for his speech, the president adhered to an Election Day routine: He played basketball on his home turf with friends.
He developed the routine in 2008 after winning the Iowa caucuses. It became a tradition after he lost the next contest, the New Hampshire primary, a time when he didn't shoot hoops.
The president's motorcade arrived about 1 p.m. at the Hope Athletic Center on the West Side, where he played basketball with staff and friends, a White House spokesman said. The team consisted of Education Secretary Arne Duncan; White House Assistant Chef Sam Kass; Reggie Love; Mike Ramos; Marty Nesbitt; Obama's brother-in-law, Craig Robinson; and others, the spokesman confirmed.
Former Democratic Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias apparently also played in the game, along with former Chicago Bull Scottie Pippen. Giannoulias tweeted: "What a day! 'Coach Obama' coached us to victory! Great win, way to play, Pip!"
Tuesday, Nov. 6, 7 p.m. EST: Election worker fired for allegedly changing ballot for GOP: An election worker in Oregon is facing a criminal investigation for allegedly altering multiple ballots to benefit Republican candidates, Raw Story reports. In a press release on Monday, Clackamas County spokesperson Tim Heider said that 55-year-old Deanna Swenson had been "relieved of duty immediately after the alleged ballot tampering was discovered."
Tuesday, Nov. 6, 6:42 p.m. EST: Fear of ballot shortage in Pennsylvania: The Washington Post reports that hundreds of voters who registered for the first time this election were turned away when their names did not show up on the voting division's records. Election law calls for those voters, some of whom showed a reporter the screen grab from the computerized city database verifying their registration, to be offered a paper provisional ballot. But in several precincts throughout the city, provisional ballots were making up 10 percent of the total, and election officials said they were worried they would run out.
Tuesday, Nov. 6, 6:35 p.m. EST: Obama signs vandalized with racial epithets and swastikas: Campaign yard signs supporting President Obama were vandalized in Loudoun County, Va., today, the Washington Post reports. There was also similar spray painting on the nearby street, according to Sheriff's Office spokesperson Liz Mills.
Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2:30 p.m EST: Ohio hearing in vote-tally software suit: The Root's Afi-Odelia E. Scruggs reports:
The Ohio secretary of state's office fielded election-related lawsuits on Nov. 6, and one of them concerned software used to tally the votes.
This morning, Federal District Court Judge Gregory Frost in Columbus, Ohio, denied a request for a temporary restraining order to keep 39 counties from formatting votes and sending them to the Ohio secretary of state's office. Robert Fitrakis, a Green Party candidate running for Congress, claimed the software hadn't been properly tested and was insecure. The software is made by Election Systems and Software, Inc.
The secretary of state's office is facing an additional lawsuit over the handling of provisional ballots, which are issued when a voter's eligibility is questioned. The office issued a new directive that would discard the ballots if the voter doesn't fill out a special identification form or misstates the identification used. In the past, the poll worker completed the form. The directive has been challenged, and a ruling on the challenge is expected later in the week.
Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2 p.m. EST: National jobs program critical for black vote: Creating a national jobs program is essential to winning the African-American vote, according to results of an election-eve poll of African-American voters released today by the NAACP. Jobs and the economy top the list by a wide margin, with 60 percent of African-American voters identifying these issues as most important to them. In addition, 95 percent of all respondents believe that the federal government should be engaging in job-creation opportunities for all Americans.
According to the NAACP, while respondents overwhelmingly believe that success is determined by self-reliance, they see a very strong and important role for the federal government.
Tuesday, Nov. 6, 11:40 a.m. EST: Republican linked to Obama on misleading T-shirts: Talking Points Memo reports on a questionable and misleading Get Out the Vote effort aimed at Connecticut's urban and minority voters, which pairs a Republican candidate's name with Barack Obama's on T-shirts that look suspiciously like those worn by Service Employees International Union members.
Tuesday, Nov. 6, 12:10 p.m. EST: Report: Pennsylvania voters illegally turned away: Civil rights group the Advancement Project tells The Root that it's investigating and addressing what seems to be a pattern in Pennsylvania of poll workers turning away voters if they don't have voter ID, which violates a recent court order stipulating that voters do not need ID for this election. "It's not surprising, because despite the judge's ruling, the state continued to run ads telling voters to get ID," an Advancement Project representative says.
Tuesday, Nov. 6, 10:04 a.m. EST: In Florida, Tea Party-linked True the Vote challenges voters at the polls: In this video from Democracy Now, Brentin Mock, the lead reporter for Voting Rights Watch 2012, describes voter-suppression efforts in Florida, where Tea Party-linked True the Vote has also targeted alleged felon voters who will be asked to submit a provisional ballot if they attempt to vote today.
Tuesday, Nov., 9:30 a.m. EST: The Root's Afi-Odelia E. Scruggs reports live from Ohio:
James Davis missed the line at his polling place in University Heights, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, simply because he arrived around 7:45 a.m., after the morning rush, which peaked around 7 a.m. The only thing hindering his entrance into the University Heights library was a stream of early birds who were on their way to start the day.
Davis, a Democrat, said he made it to the polls because Ohio voters carry so much in their hands. "I'm not even a morning person, but I'm up at 7 or 8 in the morning, make sure I get my vote in, make sure my voice is heard," he said.
The state's 18 electoral votes are crucial for both President Obama and his challenger, Republican Mitt Romney. No Republican has been elected without carrying the state …
Read Scruggs' full dispatch here.
Tuesday, Nov. 6,10:03 a.m EST: Pundits predict electoral-vote counts: The Washington Post has pulled together a list of predictions from various modelers, political scientists and pundits from around the Internet. The Root 100 honoree Jamelle Bouie of the American Prospect calls 303 for Obama and 235 for Romney. "[I]f Obama wins on Tuesday, the political science on debates will have won out; they can shift the short-term situation, but they don't fundamentally change the direction of an election," he says. Check out the rest of the predictions (including one that predicts "the bottom slipping from under Obama's feet") at the Post.
Monday, Nov. 5, 10:58 a.m. EST: Obama's last day of campaigning: President Obama will be making stops today, the last day of campaigning before the election, in Madison, Wis.; Columbus, Ohio; and Des Moines, Iowa. Finally, he and the first lady will head to Chicago and stay there for the night. Bruce Springsteen will perform at rallies in Columbus and Des Moines and will join the president aboard Air Force One, Politico reports.
Friday, Nov. 2, 12:58 p.m. EDT: Jay-Z to boost Obama on final day: Hip-hop mogul and Brooklyn Nets part-owner Jay-Z has arguably already done his part to re-elect President Obama. He and wife Beyoncé raised more than $4 million for the campaign at a recent fundraiser at New York's 40/40 club. But it seems as if he's of the belief that with great star power comes great responsibility. While many everyday supporters will spend the weekend knocking on doors and making phone calls, he has agreed to perform at an event in Columbus, Ohio, on Monday, the last day of the campaign, the Huffington Post reports.
Friday, Nov. 2, 12:30 p.m. EDT: Final pre-election jobs report released: In the final monthly jobs report before Election Day, it was announced today that the U.S. unemployment rate for October ticked up to 7.9 percent (that's up from 7.8 percent in September), and the U.S. economy added a better-than-predicted 171,000 jobs. The Washington Post's Brad Plumer calls the news "fairly positive."