The Deadline Detroit 2012 Election Returns Live Blog: Obama Wins!

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1:31 PM: Oh, you thought this was done and everyone could go to bed. What you didn't count on, what no one counts on, is the Spanish Inquisition Donald Trump. Everyone's favorite double-combover bankruptcy queen/thick-fingered vulgarian (h/t Spy Magazine) called the election a "shame and a travesty" on the Twitters and then he said revolution (his word) was necessary. We need a violent overthrow of the established order because a president was re-elected by the same Constitutional process that has existed (and served our nation well) since the time of Washington, Adams, and Jefferson? Let's call Trump what he really is: A treasonous lout who can take his tired shtick to North Korea if he hates American values that much. -- JTW

Gray Logo1:12 AM: Thanks to everyone who followed along with tonight's blog, and big thanks to Lauren Ann Davies for helping to make it happen. A little final bookkeeping: Oakland County is remarkably blue this year. Brooks Patterson was re-elected because he's Brooks and Mike Bouchard will be re-elected as Sheriff, but the GOP is taking it on the chin in the countywides. With 480 of 522 precincts counted, Jessica Cooper is beating Mike Bishop in the prosecutor's race 51.55%-45.26%, Lisa Brown is beating Bill Bullard in the Clerk's race 53.29%-46.33%, Andy Meinser is beating Marty Knollenberg in the Treasurer's race 53.29%-46.26% and Republican Water Commissioner John McCulloch is trailing Jim Nash 50.40%-49.11%. Meisner and Cooper are incumbents, but it would be surprising if Bullard and McCulloch are knocked out.

And finally, one last update of the electoral map. Only Florida remains undecided, probably those Palm Beach Buchanan voters gumming up the works again. It's kind of nice to look at this map and imagine a world in which Florida is invisible in a presidential election. Anyway, good night! -- JTW

12:26 PM: Just in case there are any other political junkies still out there clicking away, let's do a final tally on where we stand with the important stuff. L. Brooks Patterson stays as Oakland County Executive, while Bentivolio is still 6 points ahead of Taj for the House seat. 15% of those votes have not been counted yet. The ever-entertaining Janice Daniels will likely get booted from her seat as Troy's mayor -- the Free Press reports that 52% of voters (of the 66% of precincts reporting) want her out. It's not on the books yet, but the Recall Janice Daniels supporters are hopeful. Everything else is still where we left it.

All is quiet in MGM's dem-land, but be sure to check back with us tomorrow for more on the final word. -- LAD

11:47 PM: We're not done quite yet! The big one might be out of the way, but the numbers on other races are still ticking away. First up, the US Senate is looking like it will be controlled by the Dems. They've added 3 seats to their roster, giving them a grand total of 52 (for now). The Republicans have 43 seats, and 5 are still up for grabs. -- LAD

11:25 PM: It's official folks! Everything I can monitor is giving the election to Barack Obama. He has 275 electoral votes for now, surpassing the 270 needed to win. As you can imagine, it's a happy crowd here at the MGM. -- LAD

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11:18 PM: CNN has called Ohio and the election for Obama. I guess Nate Silver's data and mathamatical analysis > Peggy Noonan's lawn sign survey. -- JTW

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11:13 PM: Iowa and has been called for Obama. He's 3-for-3 in toss-up states so far According to the NYT flow chart, Obama now has 61 paths to victory while Romney has only 3. An expected win in Oregon plus Ohio or Florida or Virginia or Nevada and Colorado would give Obama a second term. This makes Dawson very sad. -- JTW

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11:08 PM: The Elections Departments in Macomb and Oakland Counties do a fantastic job posting real time election returns on web. Macomb County Clerk Carmella Sabaugh is a Democrat and Oakland County Clerk Bill Bullard is a Republican, so there’s nothing partisan about providing access to vote counts as they come in. However, this is screen shot from Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett’s election page right now.Wayne County

Terrible. Just bloody awful. 

In other news, the polls have closed everywhere except Alaska. As expected California goes to Obama. It’s now 244-193. -- JTW

10:56 PM: Lest you think we forgot about the House of Representatives, Kerry Bentivolio (cough, Santa Claus, cough) has 7 points on Sayed Taj for the 11th district seat with just about half of the tally in. -- LAD

10:28 PM: If you're paying close attention to the returns in Virginia and Florida (and you should be), Nate Cohn of The New Republic has some potentially good news for Obama fans. He says that Romney's best counties in Florida have already finished counting while traditionally Democratic-friendly counties like Miami-Dade and Broward are still tallying votes. With 89% counted in sunny F-L-A, Obama leads 49.9%-49.3%. Meanwhile, in the Old Dominion, we're waiting on votes from the northern Virginia suburbs that are expected to break for Obama. Currently, with 78% of the vote in, Romney is leading 50.7%-47.8% in the Commonwealth. A Florida win would likely seal the deal for Obama, while an Obama win in Virginia means Romney would have to sweep the remaining toss-up states to get to the White House. -- JTW

10:11 PM: Debbie Stabenow addressed the crowd at MGM, thanking her volunteers and voters. Stabenow has a solid lead for the Senate seat. -- LAD 

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10:10 PM: It looks like Michigan doesn't like statewide ballot proposals. WXYZ says proposals 2-6 will all defeated and Prop. 1 is too close to call. In Macomb County, Prop. 1 is up 51.4%-48.6% with 7.9% of precincts reporting. In Oakland County, with 221 of the 552 precincts reporting, Prop. 1 is leading with a commanding 57.6%-42.4% margin. As per their usual, Wayne County's election page shows an error message. As Clay Davis would say, shameful sh!t. -- JTW

10:00 PM: The Oakland County Clerk is showing the Janice Daniels question winning with 13,883 votes to 12,812. However, the Clerk's results don't show any Troy precincts fully reporting so this number is likely partial total from across the precincts. -- JTW

9:49 PM: Yesterday, as we’ve mentioned before, the New York Times published a fantastic flow chart showing the 512 paths to the White House for Obama (431) and Romney (76), plus five ties scenarios. The logic presupposed nine toss-up states (Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia, Wisconsin, Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, and New Hampshire). Of the other 41 states, those that have been called have gone as expected, so the logic holds.

We also have calls in a couple of the toss-up states. Wisconsin and New Hampshire both go to Obama. This changes the math. Obama now has 118 different ways to win the required 270 electoral vote and Romney has just 9. The easiest path for Romney requires him to win Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia, and Colorado.

Those races are presently too early or too close to call, but Romney is leading early returns in Virginia and North Carolina. Obama is leading early returns in Ohio, Colorado, and (by the slimmest of margins) Florida. -- JTW

9:34 PM: As Democratic officials begin addressing the crowd at the Democratic election party, Wisconsin and New Hampshire (both swing states) go to Obama, putting Obama at 158 and Romney at 154. -- LAD

9:13 PM: The state we've all been waiting for (besides Michigan, of course)! CNN predicts Ohio goes to Obama, but with only 11% of precincts reporting we've got a ways to go before it's called. -- LAD

9:02 PM: The AP officially calls Michigan a blue state. The reporting precincts give Obama at 52.7% and Romney at 46.7%.-- LAD

8:59 PM: WXYZ has called the Senate race for Stabenow and they are projecting Matty Moroun's anti-bridge Proposal 6 has failed. The EM Prop 1 is still too close to call. I'm gonna leave this comfortable perch at the Democratic election party at the MGM and see what else is happening around town. In the interim, the very capable Lauren Ann Davies will be manning the live blog. Talk to you in a few. -- JTW

8:53 PM: Let's take another look at the national map. No surprises yet in any of the state's that have been called. Currently Romney leads 82-79. However, watch Ohio and Virginia. Obama is up big in early Ohio returns and Romney is up big in early Virginia numbers. Obviously, there are some Romney counties in Ohio and Obama counties in Virginia that haven't yet reported. With 39% of the vote counted in Florida, Obama is up 50.6%-48.6% in the Sunshine State. No word on how many votes were cast in Palm Beach for Pat Buchanan. -- JTW

8:43 PM: We don't yet have results from Macomb or Wayne Counties but 41 of Oakland County's 522 precincts are in. Obama still leads Romney in the O.C. (don't call it that) while Brooks Patterson has a commanding lead (58.49%-41.20%) in the County Exec race. Elsewhere on the ballot, Stabenow is leading Hoekstra in Oakland County. Jessica Cooper and Mike Bishop are locked in a tight race (49.46%-47.01%, respectively) for County Prosecutor and Lisa Brown is leading Bill Bullard (51.69%-47.92%) in the County Clerk race. -- JTW

8:28 PM: With 16 of 522 precincts reporting, Obama is leading Romney in Oakland County by 6000 votes, 51.12%-47.59%. 

8:21 PM: Oklahoma is Romney country! Four toss-up states are reporting returns. Romney leads Virginia and Florida while Obama leads Ohio, North Carolina, and New Hampshire. I can't stress enough how preliminary this number are but...if they hold, according to the New Yorks Times' paths to the White House, then Obama has 11 ways to win 270 electoral votes and Romney has 4. Again, that's if these very early leads hold. Which they probably won't. -- JTW 

8:07 PM: No returns yet to report in Michigan but the national map is starting to get some color as polls close in more east coast states. It's currently Obama 61-Romney 49, with no surprises yet. Early returns show Obama leading toss-up states Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, and New Hampshire and Romney leading in Virginia. Although it's still very early to divine anything from those numbers.

8:00 PM: And the polls have closed in Michigan. MLive reports that Doug Roberts, director of Michigan State University’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research, says statewide turnout could reach a record high of 67.2%. -- JTW

7:50 PM: As expected, West Virginia, South Carolina, and Indiana have been called for Romney. It's 33-3 at this moment. As we wait for the polls to close, here are a couple links worth checking out.

First off, Michigan's local clerks tell the Free Press that complaints of election irregularities have been exaggerated. Quick name your local clerk! Hint: this is different from your county clerk. Why we leave something as important as elections primarily to 1500+ basically anonymous elected officials seems like a recipe for diaster. Maybe not this year, but on a long enough timeline Florida 2000 happens.

On the national front, Poynter reports that Romney, ever the businessman, is charging journalists a $250 cover charge to attend and report from his election night party. -- JTW

7:30 PM: Here we go. Nate Silver says, based on the polling data, if you flipped the electoral coin 100 times, Obama would win the election 90-91 times. Well, today we that coin was flipped for reals. The voters will decide if the laws of probability carry Obama to a second term or if Romney defies the odds. 

We'll have election return updates all night on this live blog (hit F5 for the newest stuff) as well as news, analysis, and perspectives on, not only the presidential race, but key elections in Michigan. Lauren Ann Davies and I will be out and about at election night parties in Metro Detroit and the rest of the Deadline Detroit team may check in as well as the night goes on.

We'll see if voters chose Kerry Bentivolio or Dr. Syed Taj to represent Michigan's 11th District in Congress. And we'll also learn if the Public Act 4 Emergency Manager law remains on the books, if collective bargaining becomes a constitutional right in Michigan, whether or not Matty Moroun's $31 million (and change) can buy him a constitutional amendment designed to block the New International Trade Crossing, and if Troy recalls our favorite "worst politician," Janice Daniels.

As H.L. Mencken so famously said: "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."

The polls are still open in Michigan, so if you haven't yet voted...GET TO THE EFFING POLLS! As long as you are in line to vote at 8:00 PM, you have a right to cast a ballot. In the meantime, polls in some states have already closed and, as expected, Kentucky has been called for Romney and Vermont has been called for Obama. So, it's 8-3. Other states where polls have closed, most importantly Virginia, it's too close or too early to call.

Having said all that, if you're sitting in front of your computer anxiously waiting the results. Relax. Maybe watch South Park's first-rate take on the 2008 election, "About Last Night." God bless Matt Stone and Trey Parker. Their vision of a national over-reacting to Obama's win last time was prescient and pitch-perfect. -- JTW

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