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It was close, but not as close as Bush’s 2000 win

Saturday, November 10, 2012 - 11:30 am

Well, it's over — an election that threatened to be of the kind that kept us up all night in 2000 when George W. Bush narrowly won with 271 electoral votes to Al Gore's 266 (with one elector abstaining in the official tally).

This time it didn't require a Florida recount or a Supreme Court decision.

This time after an agonizingly close race through the evening, the final results gave it decisively to the incumbent president.

More than 119 million votes were cast, mostly without controversy. President Obama narrowly won the popular vote and won the electoral vote comfortably, 303-206. As of noon Friday, with nearly all votes in, Obama assuredly will win the popular vote, leading Romney by a count of 61,173,739 or 50.5 percent to 58,167,260 or 48.0 percent.

The battleground states went to Obama in a landslide. The president carried seven of the nine states where he, Romney and their allies spent nearly $1 billion on television commercials, winning Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Colorado and Virginia. The Republican challenger won North Carolina, and Florida remained too close to call.

But this time Indiana, which had turned blue in picking Obama in 2008, went back to red, supporting Romney and giving him the state's 11 electoral votes.

The state election had two stunning turns: Democrat Joe Donnelly's defeat of Richard Mourdock, who upended Richard Lugar in the Republican primary in the Senate race, and Glenda Ritz's upset of Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett. Locally, the big surprise was Martin Carbaugh's upset of former mayor and longtime state representative Win Moses.