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CNN projected victory for Barack Obama in the US presidential election 2012 following projection that Obama would win the state of Ohio and now certain to win over 270 Electoral College votes.

Currently Mitt Romney is winning the total popular vote however, with 41,652,611 votes to 40,734,972 for Obama.

CNN election report projects, 07:12 Nairobi time

Swing state Iowa – Obama to win, currently 55% Obama, 44% Romney (53% votes counted).

CNN Election report projects, 07:05 Nairobi time

Swing state Wisconsin – Obama to win.

Swing state North Carolina – Romney to win.

CNN report based on real votes counted, 06:47 Nairobi time

Swing state Ohio – 50% Obama, 48% Romney (64% votes counted).

CNN Election reports based on real votes counted, 06:31 Nairobi time

Swing state Wisconsin, 51% Romney, 48% Obama (25% votes counted).

Swing state Colorado, 51% Obama, 47% Romney (58% votes counted).

Swing state Virginia, 51% Romney, 48% Obama (68% votes counted)

Swing state North Carolina, 50% Romney, 48% Obama (94% votes counted).

Swing state Florida, 50% Obama, 49% Romney (87% votes counted).

ANALYSIS – Political scientist and Forum correspondent ‘APJB’, Colorado, 06:16 Nairobi time

As ten pm Eastern time approaches the Presidential race seems to be clarifying, even trending toward an inevitable conclusion.

President Obama is holding all of the states he was generally thought to hold, and likely now to win in Wisconsin and New Hampshire.

Florida is still stunningly close.  But Obama does not need to win Florida (if he does he cannot lose his re-election bid).  The mathematics of the Electoral College is now working in his favor.  Mr Romney will need to win not only Florida, but also Ohio to have any chance, and even then it is increasingly a slim one.  If, as appears likely, Obama wins in Virginia (not at all certain), Romney’s chances decline to nearly zero.

My calculations at this moment have the President on the edge of victory.  We should know within an hour or so.  If it is an Obama victory it is also a victory for the pollsters, especially those who were working in the individual states.

While it is now likely that there is an Electoral College victory in store for the President, it may still be that Romney, with his very large wins in Southern state could eke out a popular vote majority.  All in all quite an interesting night.

One other note: Democrats are doing well in the Senate races, and that may be part of the reason for Obama’s apparent victory.

CNN ELECTION REPORT 6.08am Nairobi time

Swing state New Hampshire, Obama to win, currently 54% Obama, 43% Romney (22% votes counted).

CNN Exit Poll

Swing state Iowa – 52% Obama, 46% Romney.

Swing state Nevada – 51% Obama, 45% Romney

Swing Florida, Obama now leading Romney by over 40,000 votes.

CNN Election prediction, 05:42 Nairobi time

Pennsylvania (20 Electoral College votes), seen by the Republicans as a possible win state for them, Obama to win says CNN.

CNN Election report based on real votes counted, 05:36 Nairobi time

Swing state Florida, WOW it’s close, with over 7 million votes counted (81%) Romney leads Obama by just 636 votes, 3,518,679 to 3,519,315!

CNN Election report based on real votes counted, 05:23 Nairobi time

Swing state Virginia, Romney 51%, Obama 47% (95% votes in)

Swing state Colorado, Obama 53%, Romney 45%

Electoral College prediction, Obama 123, Romney 152

CNN Election report based on real votes counted, 05:12 Nairobi time

Swing state Florida, 50% Obama, 50% Romney! (76% votes counted)

Swing state Colorado, 62% Romney, 36% Obama (9% votes counted)

Analysis from political scientist and Forum correspondent ‘APJB’ in Colorado, 05:08 Nairobi time

At this time (about 8:45 Eastern Standard Time) the real numbers in so far show Mitt Romney up in the popular vote but a 52% to 47% margin, and in electoral votes “called” by the television networks 88 to 78.  These early returns show exactly the results one would expect at this time: states likely to vote Republican are voting Republican and states expected to vote Democratic are voting Democratic.  This pattern will, of course, continue as the night unfolds.  What to watch for are selected states that may announce soon.  These include, especially, Florida and Pennsylvania.

It is also useful to watch some key elections at other levels, like the Senate race in Indiana, which may be won by the Democrat, against the odds.  In general the trick to guessing the eventual outcome is to look for the deviations from the standard pundit expectations.

Another thing to remember that is that it is very likely that the results as they are announced will show Romney ahead.  This is because the West coast states are solidly Democratic and if one includes Nevada that is 80 electoral votes that won’t be recorded until very late.  That means Romney needs to get to 270 before these numbers are added into the total.

So it is still close, but one suspects that things are going reasonable well for the President.

CNN Exit polls, 05:05 Nairobi time

Swing state Colorado, 48% Obama, 48% Romney

Swing state Wisconsin, 52% Obama, 46% Romney

CNN predicts

Michigan, seen by some as a swing state – Obama to win

CNN Election report based on real votes counted, 04:53 Nairobi time

Swing state Florida – 50% Obama, 49% Romney (62% votes counted)

Poll close in swing states of Colorado and Wisconsin in six minutes.

CNN Election report based on real votes counted 04:33 Nairobi time

Swing state Florida, 51% Obama, 48% Romney (56% votes counted)

Swing state Virginia, 56% Romney, 42% Obama (25% votes counted)

Swing state North Carolina, 51% Romney, 48% Obama (45% votes counted)

Swing state Ohio, 58% Obama, 40% Romney (2% votes counted)

swing state New Hampshire, 63% Obama, 35% Romney (5% votes counted)

CNN Election report based on real votes counted 04:21 Nairobi time

Swing state Virginia – 57% Romney, 42% Obama (18% votes counted)

CNN Election report based on real votes already counted 04:06 Nairobi time

Swing state Virginia – 59% Romney, 40% Obama (12% votes counted)

Swing state Ohio – 62% Obama, 37% Romney (7% votes counted)

Swing state Florida – 51% Obama, 49% Romney (42% votes counted)

CNN ELECTION exit polls 04:06 nairobi time

Swing state Florida – 50% Obama, 49% Romney

Swing state New Hampshire – 52% Obama, 47% Romney

Swing state Pennsylvania – 52% Obama, 47% Romney

CNN ELECTION prediction 03:36 Nairobi time

Romney to win in West Virginia

North Carolina running 49% to Obama, 49% to Romney

Indiana – Romney to win

Vermont – Obama to win

03:14 Nairobi time: APJB writes from Colorado, USA


Four years ago voters in the United States, in a truly historic election, selected Barack Obama to be their President.  The excitement of that day electrified the entire world, and no where was that more true than in Kenya, the nation that was the home of the new President’s father.  Today President Obama is in a fierce and very close contest to retain his position.  His opponent, Mitt Romney, has been running for nearly two decades.  Romney’s father George was a strong candidate in the 1964 Republican primaries, so he has a pedigree.


On this day a nation riven by a deep partisan animosity will choose one of these men in an election at which much is at stake.  US Presidential elections are always high stakes affairs for the US and the rest of the world.  This one seems even moreso.  As usual the key issue in this election is the economy.  President Obama frequently points out that his administration inherited the worst economy sonce the Great Depression, a great recession that has gripped most of the nations of the world.  The Romney camp argues that Obama has made things worse, claiming that he has adopted socialist policies at odds with basic US values. Obama’s record also includes the vast health care policy changed usually called Obamacare (a policy ironically modeled on Romney’s plan for his home state of Massachusetts called Romneycare, which Romney now disavows).  The struggle over this policy is particularly bitter.  Other issues, like support for or opposition to rights for gays, for abortion choice, and on foreign policy towards especially the Middle East have been hot button issues.  Voters vary immensely on these issues.  In fact the American electorate is a stunningly diverse one with a bewildering variety of perspectives on this and other issues.  But when each voter comes to the booth today he or she can choose only one candidate.


Who wins is determined by a variety of factors: who the voters like most, whether they think the Obama administration has done a good job, whether they think Romney offers a better alternative for the future, what their economic status is, what race they belong to, what gender they are, and more.  All of these considerations matter, and in the end they are combined in a basket of individual votes that are tallied state by state and then translated into Electoral Votes.  There history plays its part, as the system designed by the Founding Fathers in 1787 and only slightly modified gives each state a specific number of votes determined by the number of Senators and Congressmen who represent the state.  This means that very populous states get more votes, it also means the the least populous states actually get more votes than they would deserve on the basis of population alone.  Today it is possible that one nominee will win the Electoral College vote and be elected, and the other could win the popular vote, as happened in 2000.  That is how close this election will be, and how odd the system is.


In the end this contest comes down to how well the parties mobilize their likely voters.  For the last two years the Republican party in nearly half of the states has been using its position of strength in State legislatures to pass laws making voting more difficult for people who are unlikely to vote Republican.  One of the key factors tonight will be how effective these efforts have been.  The polls show Obama leading in enough states to win, but whether the polls have captured the effects of voter suppression efforts is very unclear.  All elections have an element of raw politics to them, and this one is not only no exception, but will likely be used for decades as an archetype.

Now, we sit and wait for the returns to come in in sequence from East to West.  We may wait quite a long time, or it may be clear by the time the Midwestern returns come in in Ohio, Wisconsin, and Iowa.  More on that later.


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