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Virginia goes blue, decides presidential election

Kaine, Hurt win Congressional races

By 11:20p.m. on Tuesday night, the major networks declared current President Barack Obama the winner of Ohio and the 2012 Presidential election. Obama will be sworn into his second term on January 20, 2013.

Obama won Virginia in an exceptionally close race, which was not called by the major networks until well after midnight. Obama took the City of Charlottesville 76-22 percent and won Albemarle County by 10 points. Obama won comfortably in Manassas, Fairfax, Henrico and Prince William Counties, just handing the Commonwealth to Obama.

Shortly after the major networks announced Obama had won Virginia, the networks announced Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney called Obama to congratulate him on his victory. Romney said the nation was at a “critical point” in his concession speech.

“I just called President Obama to congratulate him on his victory,” Romney said during his concession speech around 1 a.m. “I pray that the President will be successful in guiding our nation.”

Romney was not able to win his home state of Michigan or the state of Massachusetts, where he served as governor.

Obama barely won Ohio, but he held Iowa, Nevada and New Hampshire by comfortable margins and took Wisconsin, the home state of former Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan, by a few points.

Despite not winning his Vice Presidential nominee’s state, he spoke glowingly of Ryan’s role in the campaign.

“I want to thank Paul Ryan for all that he has done for our campaign and our country,” Romney said. “Besides my wife Ann, [Ryan] is the best decision I ever made.”

Obama did 10 points better among women and won about 60 percent of the youth vote.
Romney made a last minute play for Pennsylvania with events in the state for the first time since September, but Obama’s overwhelming victory in the Southeastern part of the state gave him a comfortable margin of over five points in the state.

Romney won multiple states Obama had carried in 2008 this time around, though it was not enough. Obama won 365 electoral votes to Republican John McCain’s (R-AZ) 173 electoral votes in 2008.

Romney won by nearly 10 percent in Indiana, which Obama carried by one percent in 2008, and won North Carolina, which Obama carried by one percent as well in the previous election, by about 3 percent.

Albemarle County Spokesperson Lee Catlin said in an email at 4 p.m. voter turnout was about 55 percent, or 4-5 points lower than the previous year.

Virginia elections
The status quo reigned Tuesday night in Virginia and Albemarle County, with Republican Rep. Robert Hurt retaining his House seat and voters passing the retiring Democratic Sen. Jim Webb’s seat to former Gov. Tim Kaine.

Albemarle demonstrated high voter turnout, continuing the trend from 2008, when record numbers showed up to elect President Barack Obama to his first term. Nearly 50,000 voted in Albemarle Tuesday.

In the fifth district, about 190,000 people voted to return Hurt to the House, easily defeating Democratic challenger John Douglass. Statewide, Kaine, who lead ahead of Obama in many pre-election polls, handily defeated Allen by a margin of more than 100,000.

Democrats also retained control of the Senate, picking up seats from controversial Republican candidates in Missouri and Indiana. The GOP still controls the House, as expected.

Former Gov. George Allen, who conceded the race soon after it was called by news networks, praising his campaign for advocating fiscal responsibility but criticizing Kaine’s platform. “It would be nice if we had a government that was on the side of entrepreneurs and small business owners, and those ideals did not prevail,” he said.