LONDON - Financial markets dropped today on concerns that newly re-elected President Barack Obama will struggle to thrash out a budget deal with a divided Congress, and as the EU cut its economic growth forecasts. The ease with which Obama secured four more years in the White House — avoiding the uncertainty of ballot recounts, as in 2000 — had been welcomed in the markets early in the day. However, as the day wore on, investors grew concerned over the implications of a still divided Congress. U.S. stocks opened sharply lower, with the Dow Jones industrial average down 1.3 percent at 13,069 and the broader S&P 500 index off 1.4 percent at 1,408.
NEW YORK — Diane Sawyer’s Election Night performance left some viewers asking if she had begun celebrating Tuesday’s election a bit early. Co-anchoring ABC News’ coverage, the veteran journalist struck a different manner from her practiced, straight-news-delivering style. Sawyer spoke more slowly than usual while seeming to prop herself on outstretched arms at the anchor desk she shared with George Stephanopoulos. ”OK,” she said at one point around 10 p.m. EST, “I wanna — can we have our music, because this is another big one here? Minnesota, we’re ready to project Minnesota, rrright now. … Well, tonight we know that President Barack has won Minnesota,” she rambled on, stumbling over the president’s name.
In any case, the Twitterverse took quick notice and began cracking wise. Her name was soon trending with unflattering posts, while a new Twitter handle, Drunk Diane Sawyer, collected hundreds of followers. An ABC spokesman did not comment..
Some tweeters joked that a more fun-loving Sawyer was a ploy by ABC to boost viewership. Several Twitter followers said they were drawn to the network by word that Sawyer was behaving, by one description, “a bit wacky.”
"Bad night for Romney," one tweeter summed up. "Worse night for Diane Sawyer?"
The contest for former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ seat between her onetime aide and successor, Ron Barber, and GOP challenger Martha McSally is still too close to call. McSally is leading with 105,484 to Barber’s 105,099 votes with 100 percent of the precincts reporting, but the Associated Press has not declared a winner. Earlier this year, Barber replaced Giffords so she could focus on recovering from the 2011 Tucson shooting. Barber also was injured during the shooting.
Fox has learned there were just four people in the room when the President received the call from Mitt Romney conceded, POTUS along with campaign manager Jim Messina and senior advisers David Axelrod and David Plouffe. I’m told the President expressed satisfaction that it was a “very classy” gesture in terms of how Romney handled the call. The President then hung up the phone and immediately dialed former President Bill Clinton to thank him. Just four years after calling the first Obama campaign the “biggest fairy tale” he’d ever seen, Clinton and Obama in a warm embrace, the last two Democrats to win two terms.
"This election wasn’t about Romney, it was about the Republican party…The Republican party must think, ‘What are we going to do to adapt to the 21st century?’ Otherwise, they’re going to become a minority party."
Andrew Sullivan: Obama Created a New & Durable Coalition
"This president has never been a radical; he has always been a moderate; he has been immensely skilled at foreign policy, ended one war and won another, killed Osama bin Laden and saved the American auto industry, deflected a Second Great Depression and initated universal access to healthcare. He has presided over a civil rights revolution and the beginning of the end of prohibition of marijuana. He has created the new and durable coalition that was once Karl Rove’s dream.
Americans saw this. They were not fooled. And they made the right call, as they usually do.”
"Romney lost because he never gave a clear answer as to how he would govern. And this — governance itself — can explain a lot about what the Republican party needs to do if it wants to reclaim the White House in 2016.
For all of his virtues and vices, I, as a Romney supporter, ended the campaign with very little idea as to how a President Romney would actually govern.”
"This marks a new kind of politics. Before, it was about winning the blue-collar, white vote. Now, we’ve entered the era of Latinos. And the Republicans have done themselves no favors when it comes to their immigration policies."
Charles Krauthammer: Romney was a Transitional Figure
“I’m not in despair. Romney was a transitional figure. He ran as good a campaign as he could. But he’s a northeasterner. That’s now where the country is going. There’s a strong Republican bench that still hasn’t entered the game. He ran in a weak field,”
—Charles Krauthammer, political commenter, via Fox News
"Another big winner tonight: Obamacare…Another winner: The Obama ground game…The GOP beg big on the Supreme court and then Mitt Romney ending Obamacre. They lost both badly…Republicans no longer have a leader. It will be interesting to see how they react.”
Democrat Tammy Baldwin will beat Republican Tommy Thompson in the Wisconsin Senate race, Fox News projects
Baldwin, a seven-term openly gay congresswoman, takes the seat left by Democrat Herb Kohl. She held a huge fundraising advantage over Thompson throughout the race, and she used the cash to paint Thompson as a cunning health care company consultant.
It’s election night here but much of the world is just waking up and tuning in.
It’s about lunchtime in Australia and several of the major broadcast news channels have switched to live streams from CNN and Fox News. There’s even election watching parties at bars and pubs across Sydney.
Every major news website has switched to live coverage.
“We’re going to have a great party here tonight. We’re counting the votes and we’re very optimistic.”—Romney senior strategist Ed Gillespie takes the stage in Boston. Romney lost Massachusetts, his home state, to Obama.
Assuming Obama carries Nevada as is widely expected, Romney now has one and only one path remaining to victory:
He needs to sweep the mega-swing-states of Florida, Ohio and Virginia, but he also needs to win North Carolina, Colorado and Iowa. New Hampshire’s four electoral college votes won’t save him without Iowa.
Assuming that Nevada win for Obama and the other easy Democratic states, he already has 263 electoral votes in the bag. He only needs 7 more.
Florida is proving to be the night’s closest race in the presidential election so far.
With President Obama staking an early lead, Mitt Romney bounced back and took the lead shortly after 9 p.m. Without winning Florida’s 29 electoral votes, he has virtually no chance path to victory, and the razor thin margin has evoked memories of the 2000 election between George W. Bush and Al Gore.
How close is the race?
"At 9:09pm, the margin in Florida is 0.00363%!!" The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson tweeted.
As of 9:30, 81 ercent of the state’s votes had been counted, and Romney was clinging to a lead of approximately 600 votes.