I am still musing on what a wonderful night it was on Tuesday into Wednesday. I stayed up all night until I finally threw in the towel at 6.45am. It was a bit tedious at first, but it got really exciting at around 3am.
Over the last few weeks, I have been a very regular visitor to FiveThirtyEight, the home of Nate Silver. So, perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised that the man’s forecasts have turned out to be right.
But I still can’t get over the scale of Obama’s and the Democrats’ victory. Politico have a nice round-up.
The popular vote
During Tuesday night, even carefully unbiased TV channels such as CNN kept on saying that Obama was behind in the popular vote, even though he was ahead in the Electoral Vote. This repeated statement even led some Foxed-up people like Donald Trump to threaten to protest against this outrage by running naked down Wall Street with their hair on fire (or something like that).
It is strange that the TV networks use projections all the time for state results but not for the popular vote. So they kept on showing the declared popular vote without projecting the couple of million votes that California would add to Obama’s margin.
No doubt, Foxed-up folks who can’t do math (Amercian style there) were beginning to sense a cause to rally around. An outrage to get them all foamed up for the next four years.
But in the event, the fact, less publicised perhaps than Obama being behind in the popular vote in the middle of the night, is that Obama, before the final declaration of Florida which is unlikely to change the margin much, is three million votes ahead. Yes, three million.
Obama stands with 61,170,405 votes while Romney has 58,163,977.
With the concession of Florida, Obama has won 332 electoral college votes. – A full 62 votes more than he needed to win.
Indiana was counted out of the swing states months ago. So, Romney basically gained only North Carolina of the swing states. He did not win several states which he made a massive play for: Ohio. Virginia. Florida (now conceded by the Romney team). Colorado. New Hampshire. Iowa. Wisconsin. Pennsylvania.
All those states had been dangled in our faces by the Romney campaign as ones that they would win.
They didn’t win any of them. Nada.
And the margins Romney lost those states by were very clear and convincing.
Ohio 1.9 points. Virginia 3. Colorado 4.7. New Hampshire 5.8. Iowa 5.6. Wisconsin 6.7. Pennsylvania 5.2.
Those are not wafer thin majorities. Only in Florida is there currently a slim majority for Obama, but, then again, even the polls put that in the Romney camp for many weeks before the election.
Harry Reid becomes a much stronger figure in American politics now that he leads 53 members in the Senate. There were some significant victories behind that figure. The Democrats won North Dakota! And Indiana! And Missouri!
Linda McMahon and her millions were defeated in Connecticut. Bill Nelson won Florida. And the first openly gay woman in the Senate is now Tammy Baldwin after her victory in Wisconsin over Tommy Thompson.
Colorado and Washington voted to legalise the sale and possession of marijuana for recreational use while it was approved for medical use in Massachusetts. Maine, Maryland and Washington voted for same sex marriage.
In many ways also, Tuesday was a referendum on Obamacare and the answer came through loud and clear from the American people: Affirmative. John Boener, the Republican leader of the House, has already said that it is now “the law of the land” and his party will not seek to reverse it.
As a CNN pundit said, to vote in Obama in 2008 was historic, but to vote him in again in 2012 was miraculous. To now be in with a chance to be a historically great president, rather than just a one-termer, is a very significant achivement for Obama, perhaps a greater one than his initial election.
This was a truly historic night where the tectonic plate shifts of social and demographic change in the USA finally showed through in the ballot box.
…And to think, Mitt Romney actually had fireworks ready to fire all over Boston harbour to celebrate his victory on Tuesday night.
* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist in Newbury and West Berkshire. He is part of the Liberal Democrat Voice team and blogs at Liberal Burblings.