The 2012 Election
President Barack Obama received 332 electoral votes compared to 206 for Mitt Romney. Obama got 65,594,456 popular votes (51%) compared to Romney's 60,859,486 (47.3%). Obama won all of the key battleground states except North Carolina where he lost by a narrow margin of 2%. After a one week delay, Obama won Florida with a margin of 74,309 votes.
Obama's margin of victory nationwide was wider than almost every pundit expected. While almost all pollsters predicted an Obama win during the closing days, Republican Party officials and Rasmussen Reports, a pollster aligned with the GOP, predicted a narrow win for Romney. Rasmussen's last national poll had Romney with a one point lead (49% to 48%).
The president captured 67% of the vote from single women. Hispanics, who make up 17% of the U.S. population, voted for Obama by a 71 to 17% margin. Blacks, 12% of the population, supported Obama 93 to 6%. Obama won a slight majority of Catholic voters.
Romney did better with white voters, garnering 59% of the vote. He received 62% of the vote from white men. Romney also got 53% of the vote of married women.
Compared with the 2008 election, 9.1 million fewer voters went to the polls in 2012. Obama received about 7.7 million fewer votes than he did in 2008. Romney received about 1.4 million less votes than Republican presidential candidate U.S. Sen. John McCain.
Obama won more popular votes than any Democratic candidate for president in history - except Obama in 2008. Obama is the first Democratic president to win more than 50 percent of the popular vote in a re-election run since President Franklin Roosevelt in 1944.
Democrats picked up two Senate seats even though they were in the worst position in decades to make gains in their Senate majority. In the 2012 election, there were 21 Democratic Party seats in play, plus two independents who caucus with the Democrats. In comparison, Republicans had only 10 seats up for election. Democrats now hold a 55-45 majority including two Independents who will caucus with them. Democrats gained two Republican seats (Massachusetts and Indiana).
In the House of Representatives, the Democrats are expected to win 201 House seats and Republicans 234. That's a gain of eight seats for House Democrats in the 2012 election. The resignation of Democrat Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) left one vacancy that will be filled April 9 in a special election. In the February 26 special election, Robin Kelly won the Democratic primary and Paul McKinley won the Republican primary. Given the Democratic tilt of the district, the seat is expected to remain in Democratic hands. The 2012 elections were the first using new redistricting maps based on 2010 Census data.
Florida election officials declared Democratic businessman Patrick Murphy the winner in the 18th Congressional District yet it took controversial Republican incumbent Rep. Allen West until Nov. 19 to concede.
U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, another Tea Party favorite, eked out a victory against challenger Jim Graves. She won 50.47% of the vote compared to 49.26% for Graves, a margin of 1.21%. Bachmann outspent Graves nearly 12 to 1 to get the victory.
On the Democratic side of the House, women and minorities - a coalition that, along with young voters, largely helped re-elect President Barack Obama - collectively will for the first time in the nation's history outnumber white male Democrats with 54% of the seats. On the Republican side, the majority of the House seats will be held by white men.
Democrats won seven of the 11 gubernatorial races that were on the ballot. A switch of just 41,000 votes in Indiana would have given them an eighth victory.