Here’s how to watch the remainder of the 2012 presidential election: If Virginia, Florida, or Ohio – any one of them – falls to President Obama, the country will have likely chosen him for a second term.
If Republican nominee Mitt Romney can sweep them and nab either Iowa or Colorado, he will have likely scored a stunning late-night (or later) victory, and the country will have rejected the president it embraced four years ago.
The Associated Press awarded Romney North Carolina shortly before 11 p.m., which had devolved into something of a luxury for Team Obama. The race in Florida remains narrower than its panhandle. If trends hold in the remaining battlegrounds, longtime GOP strategist Alex Castellanos said on CNN at 10:20 p.m., “This is going to be a repudiation of the Republican Party.”
Virginia, Florida, and Ohio all closed more than two hours ago and remain unknown. The 9 p.m. poll closings included swing-state Colorado, where the counting continues. The 10 p.m. losings contained two that are up in the air: Iowa and Nevada. The 11 p.m. hour saw lopsided states break predictably.
Network projections have given Obama every state to watch so far: Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania. Romney has wrenched back just two from Obama’s 2008 map, Indiana and North Carolina.
According to the networks, Romney has taken Idaho, Montana, Arizona, Utah, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Mississippi, Kansas, Louisiana, Texas, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, West Virginia, South Carolina, Oklahoma, and at least three of Nebraska's five electoral votes. Obama corralled New Mexico, California, Hawaii, Washington, Minnesota, New York, New Jersey, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island, Maryland, Illinois, and Washington, D.C.