UPDATE at 11:25 p.m.: And that’s it. Ohio has been called for Obama, and it looks likely that Florida will follow suit. A couple of near-billion-dollar campaigns, and it looks like two states (Indiana and North Carolina) will have flipped, maybe three if Romney ekes out a win in Virginia.
We’ll have plenty of time in the weeks to come to talk about what comes next for the GOP nationally. Tonight is for Obama and his supporters.
The silver lining here in Georgia, for me: The charter schools amendment passed, giving students and parents more choices in the near future.
UPDATE at 9:56 p.m.: With Michigan and Pennsylvania being called for Obama, Romney is right where most people thought he would be: needing to sweep Florida, North Carolina, Virginia and Ohio, plus one more smaller state, to win. None of those four has been called yet, and all are within reach. But the hour is getting late, and his margin for error is gone.
Incidentally, and just for the record: Some news outlets have called Wisconsin for Obama even though the votes that have been counted there show Romney leading. Admittedly, the exit poll there doesn’t look good for Romney. But it reminds me of Florida in 2000, when I was looking at the AP feed of votes counted and seeing George W. Bush leading even as the state was called for Al Gore. I’m not saying that’s going to happen this year in the Badger State, but I will wait a bit longer before handing that state to Obama.
UPDATE at 8:42 p.m.: Most media outlets are projecting that Georgia’s 16 electoral votes will go to Mitt Romney. This is not surprising, of course, and I wish we were getting exit polls to give us an idea of how the state might have changed since the 2008 election, but there it is for the record.
In other Georgia news, the charter-schools amendment is doing better than expected outside metro Atlanta, which wasn’t necessarily expected to be the case since the issue isn’t as well-known in other parts of the state. With about 800,000 votes counted, the “yes” vote is ahead by more than 50,000 votes, or about 6.5 percentage points.
Nationally, it’s becoming clear — again, not surprising at this point — that Democrats will retain control of the U.S. Senate. Florida’s Bill Nelson is projected to retain his seat, which is one Republicans probably had to flip if they were going to take the Senate.
In the presidential race, I’m seeing some disagreement among Virginia-minded pundits about what’s happening in that state. The exit polls didn’t really bode well for Romney, but you can ask President John Kerry about how much that matters. Obama seems to be holding his edge in certain parts of that state, but not all of them. It will probably be a while longer before we see how that state shakes out. If Romney can’t take it, he will be hard-pressed to string together enough other states to get to 270 electoral votes.
UPDATE at 7:08 p.m.: The polls in Georgia closed a few minutes ago. I am going ahead and calling a majority in the state House and Senate for the Georgia GOP. Shocker, I know.
After all, Republicans entered today with 29 guaranteed seats in the Senate to the Democrats’ 15, and 90 in the House to the Dems’ 48. That’s 182 of 236 state legislative seats (77 percent) decided before the polls opened, much less closed, because they weren’t contested in the general election. That lack of competitiveness shouldn’t surprise me at this point, but somehow the magnitude of it always does.
The real Gold Dome drama tonight, of course, centers on whether the GOP can achieve super-majorities of two-thirds in each chamber. That, and what happens with the charter schools amendment.
Also, the AP has called Kentucky for Romney and Vermont for Obama. So, Romney leads 8 electoral votes to 3. LET’S JUST END IT NOW AND GO HOME!!
Kidding. Of course. Sort of. No, really.
The first polls closed at 6 p.m. in Indiana and Kentucky. Georgia’s polls close at 7 p.m., as do a number of other states. The flood of election results will begin in earnest sometime thereafter.
Follow it all here and on Twitter, as I’ll be posting updates on the charter-schools amendment, the race in Georgia’s 12th Congressional District, the balance of power in the statehouse and the U.S. Senate — oh, and that other election between Mitt Whatshisname and Somebody Obama.
And if Twitter, blogging, and the Google+ Hangout from earlier today — along with the next Hangout we’ll do either tonight or tomorrow morning — aren’t enough, tune into WABE, 90.1 FM, around 9:45 p.m. and 10:45 p.m. to hear me discuss the results during the station’s election coverage.
OK, I think that’s it … join us one way or another.
– By Kyle Wingfield