President Barack Obama
As the polls closed in Virginia the tallying began even as voters were still waiting in lines to vote. The polls closed at 7:00 p.m. but the Virginia State Board of Elections issued a directive to not release any more precinct results until 8:00 p.m. Virginia was too close to call most of Tuesday evening. At about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday CBS and the Associated Press called Virginia for President Obama.
At about 1:00 a.m. the Republican presidential candidate and former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney conceded to President Obama. Obama is set to take all the states he won in 2008 except North Carolina. With Virginia’s 13 Electoral College votes it brought his total to 303 and was more than the 270 number he needed to win.
Florida was left as a toss-up Tuesday night as Florida’s officials left more tallying for the Miami-Dade County until Wednesday. Florida has the possibility of not being called for days.
An unofficial popular vote total of one million separated the two candidates 54-53 million in favor of President Obama and 50.5% of the vote. In addition to Virginia Obama won the battleground states of Ohio, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Iowa, Nevada and Colorado.
In his victory speech Obama said to a cheering Chicago crowd, “Tonight you voted for action not politics. The role of a citizen in our democracy does not end with your vote but begins with self-governance. I’ve never been so hopeful for America. Hope is that stubborn thing inside of us that something better awaits us. We can build on the progress we made. We are not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are the United States of American – not red states and blue states”
At times you could barely hear him over the roaring crowd while he said. “You, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back, and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America, the best is yet to come.”
Romney in his concession speech said, “At a time like this we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing.” He said he wished he had “fulfilled your wishes to lead this great country in a different direction.”
Virginia’s unofficial tally had Obama winning by 100,000 votes 50.56% to Romney’s 47.86%. In the U.S. Senate race former Governor Tim Kaine beat George Allen with 52.25% of the vote with a margin of 170,000 votes. The U.S. Senate stays in Democrats hands while the House of Representatives stays in Republican hands. Majority Leader Eric Cantor retained his seat handily.
Allen conceded to Kaine at about 11:00 p.m. Allen said, “we’re reminded how closely divided we are.” He had called Tim Kaine and congratulated him. “As long as they don’t kill you – you can keep on fighting,” said Allen.
In his victory speech Kaine thanked his family, staff and his 50,000 grassroots supporters. As he began his speech he learned that Virginia had been called for Obama. Kaine early on as Virginia’s Governor to endorsed Obama during his primary challenge against Hillary Clinton. His wife Anne Holton jumped for joy and Senator Mark Warner joined in on the stage cheering and chanting “four more years.”
“Even though we faced more negative ads from secretly funded outside groups than any other campaign in the country except the President we were able to overcome the influence of the negative ads and prove the strength of people power. It proves it’s the number of people that stand with you and not the number of zeros behind a check,” said Kaine.