COMING into election night Barack Obama had many more paths to victory than Mitt Romney. In the end he seems to have taken most of them. The news was never good for the Republican nominee, as the poll-crunchers were proven correct in state after state. In the end, Mr Obama will return to the White House with a convincing electoral victory (though the popular vote is still quite close).

Of the swing states, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire went early for the president. They were soon followed by Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado and Ohio, bringing the race to an early end. Mr Obama may even pull out Florida, which would create something close to the landslide that forecasters like Nate SilverSam Wang and Drew Linzer predicted.

Mr Obama certainly had the easier go of it. Coming into the night he did not have to win any states that the polls didn’t show him leading, whereas Mr Romney had to pull off a number of upsets. But so far only Indiana and North Carolina have turned from Blue to Red from four years ago.

Along with the White House, these elections have kept the Senate in Democratic hands. In Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren defeated Scott Brown, giving progressives a strong new voice in the chamber. In Indiana, Joe Donnelly beat Richard Mourdock, whose gaffe about pregnancies resulting from rape proved costly. A similar flub was committed by Todd Akin, who lost to Claire McCaskill, the Democratic incumbent, in Missouri. Republicans may now wonder whether they are picking the wrong candidates.

But there is some good news for the GOP. They are likely to maintain control of the House and may even pick up seats. They are also likely to pick up at least two governorships, with Pat McCrory defeating Walter Dalton in North Carolina, and Steve Bullock defeating Rick Hill in Montana.

Elsewhere in the states, it has so far been a good night for supporters of gay marriageand marijuana legalisation. Which is to say that, overall, it has been a good night for America’s liberals.

 

Source: The Economist

 

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