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And now the AP has also called the Ohio race for Obama. The president's firewall held -- likely due to his bailout of the auto industry.

Time magazine's Mike Scherer says the Obama team in Chicago played "How You Like Me Now?" as the networks called the election for him.

President Obama has already gone to Twitter to thank his supporters for his reelection.

NBC and Fox News project that Obama are declaring that President Obama will win reelection. They project he will take Ohio, and with it surpass the 270-electoral-vote threshold needed to win.

I was just reminded about how far David Axelrod, not just the president, has come when running into Pat Quinn, governor of Illinois.

"I was his first client in 1984," Quinn said, alluding to his days as a political gadfly and Axelrod's departure from journalism to enter political consulting.

Quinn ran the Coalition for Political Honesty and said his group gave Axelrod a $100 donation for his services. That was it.

Florida, Florida, Florida.

Obama will carry New Mexico and Iowa. He's closing in on reelection quickly.

Senator Claire McCaskill, declaring victory in Missouri, surely has this right: "This was an extraordinary campaign for so many reasons. The results are astounding."

With George Allen's loss in Virginia, it's worth remembering that he was once touted as a rising star who could plausibly win the presidency -- take this National Review cover, for example:

George Allen.png

With likely or already-assured wins tonight for Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Tammy Baldwin (Wisc.), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii), and Deb Fischer (Nebraska), the Senate is on a path to have 19 female senators for the first time in history. They join Senators Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Debbie Stabenow (Michigan), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Barbara Boxer (California), Mary Landrieu (Louisiana), Susan Collins (Maine), Barbara Mikulski (Maryland), Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Kay Hagan (N.C.), Patty Murray (Washington), Dianne Feinstein (California), Claire McCaskill (Missouri), and Maria Cantwell (Washington). Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas and Olympia Snowe of Maine are retiring.

In the year of the "War on Women," this is a welcome turn of events.

Though some are keeping their chins up, the mood inside the Romney ballroom is being described as "funereal" by some inside. The group watched on the television monitors as Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown's concession speech played -- he lost to Democrat Elizabeth Warren. Republicans have yet to win a single competitive Senate contest and Romney would have to run the table of the remaining swing states to survive. Meanwhile, in Chicago, the president is on the move. Obama, joined by his wife and daughters, has motorcaded over to a hotel where his senior staff is housed.

For those still hewing to Dick Morris's prediction of a massive Romney landslide ... @DickMorrisTweet: "#election2012 don't give up!"

The Republicans have lost vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan's home state of Wisconsin, according to CNN projections. That puts the GOP ticket at zero for three on winning home states.

CNN has a new round of projections out: California, Minnesota, Hawaii, and Washington go to Obama; Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, and Montana go to Romney.

The state to watch in the west remains Colorado.

The Denver Post projects Colorado for Obama:

George Allen, the former senator from Virginia, has failed in his attempt to win back his seat. The Republican is currently delivering his concession speech in his race against Democrat Tim Kaine. Both men were hoping to replace Jim Webb, the Democrat who served just one term after beating Allen in 2006.

George Allen just conceded in Virginia to Time Kaine, with a warm set of thank yous to his family and his volunteers: "The people of Virginia until my dying breath will have my eternal gratitude." Why did he run in the first place? "You have got to get into this fight."

Al Gore chimes in with a prediction of his own:

Democrats score an emotional, if not surprising, win in Illinois' 8th district, where Tammy Duckworth has beaten Rep. Joe Walsh. Duckworth, a veteran who lost two legs in Iraq, is a Democratic hero; Walsh, a freshman swept into Congress in the 2010 Tea Party wave, is one of the House's most outspoken, inflammatory members. Walsh even accused Duckworth of not being a hero since she talked about her war experience.

Walsh's mantle as most obnoxious member of Congress seems likely be taken up by Alan Grayson, the Florida Democrat who once said that the Republican health-care plan was to not get sick and die quickly if you do. After being bounced in 2010, Grayson won back a seat Tuesday night.

According to Twitter's Mark Luckie (via Liz Heron), this is @BarackObama's most retweeted tweet ever:

It's already been retweeted more than 130,000 times--and that number is rising by the second. If Obama wins tonight, expect the tweet that announces his reelection to set an even higher record.

If you haven't checked it out yet, head over to The Atlantic Wire for a gallery of sad faces on Fox tonight.

And now, the wait:

The big states we're still waiting on are Virginia, Florida, and Ohio. They could be decisive. That means the pace of calls is likely to slow down for a while, so get comfortable.

Missouri may turn out to be one place where outside spending was decisive.  Outside groups pounded Todd Akin, the Republican, with some $6.7 million of spending. Only $1.1 million was spent against Claire McCaskill, after Akin alienated the national Republican party, along with just about everyone else, by referring to victims of "legitimate rape."

Here's a quick roundup of the latest marriage-equality numbers. The issue of same-sex marriage is on the ballot in four states: Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington. Polls in the last state don't close until 11 p.m. Eastern, but results are beginning to come in for the others.

In Maine, marriage-equality proponents have the upper hand, 55-45.

In Maryland, the contest is very close: 51 percent to 49 percent, with same-sex marriage supporters with a slight edge.

In Minnesota, the question is worded slightly differently as a matter of banning same-sex marriage. Opponents of the ban are leading, 57-42.

Overall, it appears as though marriage-equality advocates are poised to win a few victories tonight.

Hundreds of invited guests gathering inside the Soviet-style, 1960s McCormick Place, the largest and probably most dismal-looking exposition center in the United States.

Grouses one environmental lawyer and big Obama fan who got a freebie ticket: "And these morons are playing music instead of CNN!"

This is what MSNBC host Joe Scarborough would look like with a mustache. (Original image: Evan Agostini/AP) 


This is shaping up to be a very, very good night for Nate Silver. And as the stats wizard has his good night, his prose should be both sparkling and typo-free. The New York Times, citing the high traffic Silver's FiveThirtyEight blog will get as the returns come in, has given him -- for one night only -- a dedicated copy editor.

Claire McCaskill had no business surviving today. Headed into the election, she was widely disliked and closely tied to a president who Missourians didn't like. And yet, improbably, CNN projects she'll win reelection to the Senate from the Show-Me State.

A combination of lucky breaks and smart strategy carried her over. First, she used sly ad buys to encourage Republicans to nominate Rep. Todd Akin, the most conservative and least electable of the contenders for the nomination -- over the objections of the GOP and even Sarah Palin. Then, Akin helped her out by claiming that women could not conceive in the case of "legitimate rape." In retrospect, that's the day that McCaskill won. Akin refused to bow out despite huge pressure from his party, but he never recovered from his gaffe.


An Obama supporter cheers during a campaign stop on September 12, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Isaac Brekken/Getty) From Alan Taylor's gallery, "Campaign 2012: The Story in Photos."

The Republican media strategist Alex Castellanos, with a wry smile, on CNN: "Right now, my silent majority that I hoped would be there -- it's not only silent, it's invisible." 

If GOP looking for a big, white-male dominated "silent majority" vote to surface, it may still be looking tomorrow. On CNN, commentator Alex Castellanos looking funereal and doing early post-mortems on where it went wrong for Romney.

When I ask a top Illinois Republican for his take on things, he says he's optimistic but then makes clear he's talking about local congressional races! So much for the big bucks he paid to be at recent $4.2 million Romney fundraiser at a private home in posh Lake Forest.

Dick Morris quadruples down. Or something: 

In September 2011, E.J. Graff took a look at how Wisconsin Rep. Tammy Baldwin's sexual orientation was going to be a total non-issue in her race to become a U.S. Senator from the state and also the first out gay member of the august national body. It's worth a read again tonight, on the night Baldwin is projected to have won her race.

In 1896 Democrats won 83 percent of the vote in Utah, where most people were big fans of William Jennings Bryan. This year, Mitt Romney is projected to win the state, despite the fact that he hasn't pledged to permit the unlimited coinage of silver. The times, they are a-changing!

It's shaping up as a rough night for super PACs and other forms of outside spending. Take Indiana, where the race has now been called for the Democrat, Joe Donnelly. Outside groups poured more than $17 million into helping the Republican, Richard Mourdock (versus about $13.8 million of outside spending on behalf of Donnelly). That total for Mourdock included about $4.7 million from Karl Rove's groups, American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. It wasn't enough to compensate for a stumbling campaign.

Taking a step back, here's what we know right now. First, Democrats' control of the Senate looks secure, meaning that no matter who wins the presidential election. Second, Mitt Romney is still alive, but his paths to victory are narrower and narrower, and at this point are ever more dependent on Ohio; the Buckeye State remains too close to call. Regardless, his attempts at expanding the map or picking off blue-leaning swing states are dead. And the mood among Republicans on Twitter is getting more and more somber with every call.

Kennedy. Kennedy. Kennedy. The next Congress will have a Kennedy. Joseph P. Kennedy, III, Robert F. Kennedy's son, won an open seat to replace Barney Frank, the Boston Globe reports. Another boost-- though not an unexpected one-- for Democrats in the Bay State, where Mitt Romney is tonight awaiting election results.

According to Reuters social-media editor Anthony De Rosa, Election Day is now officially the most tweeted-about political event in U.S. history. De Rosa reports that more than 20 million tweets related to the presidential election have been published -- and the night is far from over. 

Another call: Utah goes for Mitt Romney.

We're getting compliments all the way from South Sudan:

From one continent to another, thanks for reading!


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