After a tense election night, with some swing states not being called until several hours after the polls closed, the word “president” will remain in front of Barack Obama’s name for four more years.
From the time the polls closed on the east coast until NBC called the election for Obama, the Taylor Lounge was flooded with over 150 students enjoying pizza and political discussion as part of the campus-wide Election Night Party.
“A lot of students had to be here [at the party] for class, but we’re two hours in, and people are still here hanging out … learning from each other,” Assistant Professor of Political Science and Election Night Party organizer Andrew Civettini said two hours in. “I am intensely proud of the Knox discourse, debate and civility.” Read TKS’s full interview with Civettini here.
For most Knox students, this was the first presidential election in which they could vote. See what students thought about the election in two videos: one from the beginning of the night and one from after the race was called.
With only Florida still not called, Obama gained 303 electoral votes, according to The New York Times. GOP candidate Mitt Romney had 206; 270 votes are needed to clench the election.
Florida, which has typically been one of the most contentious battleground states in American general elections, will not have an impact on this election, regardless of which candidate wins the state.
Florida’s 29 electoral votes are still up in the air due to about 29,000 absentee ballots that still need to be counted, according to The Los Angeles Times. Currently, Obama leads with 49.9 percent of the vote to Romney’s 49.3. Officials expect the state to be called sometime Wednesday afternoon.
Although the number of electoral votes across states differs based on population, only two states — Maine and Nebraska — allow for those votes to split. In all other instances, the candidate who receives the majority of the popular vote in a state receives all of that state’s electoral votes.
Large numbers of electoral votes are concentrated in California, which has 55, and the densely populated Northeast — both historically Democratic areas. Thus, the election came down to a conglomerate of swing states, most of which went to Obama. Of the top 10 battleground states — Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia — only North Carolina went to Romney.
The popular vote was much closer than the electoral college. According to The New York Times, Obama received 51.2 percent of the popular vote, with Romney receiving 48.8 percent.
In Illinois’ 17th district, Republican incumbent Bobby Schilling (R-Colona) was unseated by Democratic challenger Cheri Bustos, who received 53.3 percent of the vote. See results from a joint exit poll with Civettini here.