Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 4:33 pm
A very good general election for Democrats got even better on Wednesday when they retained U.S. Senate seats in Montana and North Dakota, both of which had looked ripe for Republicans throughout much of the campaign.
Victories by Sen. Jon Tester of Montana and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, in contests so close that concessions from the losing Republican candidates didn't occur until Wednesday, helped Senate Democrats reach 54 seats in the next Congress. That was a net increase of one seat from their current majority.
The number of states where gay marriage is legal will grow by at least two. On Tuesday, Maine and Maryland became the first states to approve same sex marriage by popular referendum. It brings the number of states where such unions are allowed to eight. In the state of Washington, the vote on a similar measure is still too close to call. In Minnesota, voters turned down an amendment to the state constitution that would have banned gay marriage.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.President Obama wins a second term; Democrats flip a handful of seats. in both the House and the Senate; and Republicans begin a new round of soul-searching.
SIEGEL: It's only Wednesday, but we have more than enough to talk about with our Friday regulars - E.J. Dionne, of the Washington Post and Brookings Institution; and David Brooks, of the New York Times. Welcome to both of you.
Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 9:43 am
Poor Chris Stewart. The former Air Force pilot had just won a landslide victory in his first bid for Congress in Utah, but the crowd of Republicans listening to his acceptance speech at a Salt Lake City hotel kept pointing to the massive television screen behind him.
"Do you want me to stop?" Stewart asked. "You would rather listen to Gov. Romney than to me, wouldn't you?"
Some in the crowd shouted "Yes!" and the sound of Romney's concession speech filled the room.
OUT: California Democratic Rep. Pete Stark arrives at an Alameda County Democratic Lawyers Club endorsement meeting in Oakland, Calif., on Sept. 7. He lost his race Tuesday to a fellow Democrat.
Credit Alex Wong / Getty Images
OUT: Illinois Republican Rep. Joe Walsh (foreground), with Virginia Rep. Scott Rigell, speaks during a May news conference on Capitol Hill. Walsh, a Tea Party freshman, lost to Democrat Tammy Duckworth.
Credit Lynne Sladky / AP
OUT: Florida Republican Rep. Allen West, another Tea Party freshman, waves before a campaign rally for Mitt Romney last month in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Credit Charlie Riedel / AP
OUT: Missouri Republican Rep. Todd Akin and his wife, Lulli, acknowledge supporters before Akin makes his concession speech to incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill on Tuesday in Chesterfield, Mo.
Credit Glen Stubbe / MCT/Landov
IN: Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann watches election results at a hotel in Bloomington, Minn., on Tuesday.
Credit Alex Wong / Getty Images
IN: New York Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel speaks during a news conference in Washington in June.
Credit Phelan M. Ebenhack / AP
IN: Florida Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson pumps up the crowd at a state Democratic Party rally in Orlando in 2010.
Credit J. Scott Applewhite / AP
IN: California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters smiles at her husband, Sidney Williams, during a House Ethics Committee hearing in September. Waters was cleared of charges that she steered a $12 million federal bailout to a bank where her husband owns stock.
Credit Charlie Riedel / AP
Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin and his wife, Lulli, acknowledge supporters before Akin makes his concession speech to Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill on Tuesday in Chesterfield, Mo.
Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 4:02 pm
Is civility about to stage a comeback in Washington? Some of the most controversial members of Congress have lost their seats.
Still, there appears to be little danger that vitriol is about to go out of style. A number of outspoken members are coming back, including at least one who had previously lost his seat.
Also, while there may be a net loss in the number of members who have attracted a great deal of media attention by making testy statements or ending up in ethics investigations, some who have been more moderate in temperament won't be coming back, either.
Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 3:16 pm
The much-hyped battle for the battleground states turned into more of a rout on Election Day, as President Obama swept through eight key states and looked on course to capture Florida.
Swing states — Ohio, Virginia, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nevada, Colorado, New Hampshire — viewed as tossups a day before the voting fell without much fight into the blue column. Only North Carolina went for Romney.
Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 3:44 pm
Shall we dance?
That's the key question for Congress now that another budget crisis is near. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev, today said he's ready to do a little two-stepping with Republicans to twirl away from the edge of the so-called fiscal cliff.
"It's better to dance than to fight," the former amateur boxer told reporters at a press conference. "Everything doesn't have to be a fight."
The balloons have fallen, the bunting's down, and President Obama has been re-elected.
That means Mitt Romney has been defeated — and with him, many election aspects that we presumed to be true. (You know what they say about presume — it makes a pres out of u and me.)
Maybe it's because we're sailing into a new and uncharted century. Maybe it's because of climate change or polar shift or Mayan calendrical mayhem. But the presidential election of 2012 provided a highly unusual, if not unique, set of circumstances.