*UPDATE - Nov. 6 - 1:30 p.m. CST*
NORTH CAROLINA GOES FOR OBAMA. NOW ONLY ONE ELECTORAL VOTE REMAINS FROM NEBRASKA'S OMAHA DISTRICT...ELECTORAL COUNT: OBAMA 364, McCAIN 173.
PDATE - Nov. 5 - 12:45 p.m. CST*
PALIN SPEAKS! MARK HALPERIN REPORTS THIS QUOTE: '93I don't think anyone should give Sarah Palin that much credit... that my presence on a ticket would trump an economic crisis...If I had cost John McCain even one vote I am sorry about that because I believe John McCain is the American hero...I think he would have been the best choice.'94
*UPDATE - Nov. 5 - 11:45 a.m. CST*
MISSOURI HAS BEEN CALLED FOR JOHN McCAIN AND IT APPEARS TO BE HIS FINAL GET OF THE ELECTION, UNLESS HE PULLS OUT THE DISPUTED NEBRASKA DISTRICT. STILL NO OFFICIAL WORD OUT OF N.C. BUT OBAMA STILL APPEARS THE LIKELY WINNER. OBAMA WINS INDIANA...ELECTORAL COUNT: OBAMA 349, MCCAIN 173.
There has been no news from Sarah Palin since the polls closed last night, although the British tabs are already pushing the "McCain blames Palin" card.
And, like the rest of you, we can't wait for Kyle and Madison to return from Chicago and share their experience with the world. Stay tuned.
*UPDATE - 12:33 p.m. CST*
LAST UPDATE UNTIL DAYBREAK...AK HAS BEEN CALLED FOR MCCAIN...INDIANA LIKELY OBAMA...PROVISIONAL BALLOTS STILL LEFT TO BE COUNTED IN N.C....MCCAIN CLOSING THE GAP IN MT...TOSSUP IN MO. ELECTORAL COUNT: OBAMA 338, MCCAIN 159.
*UPDATE - 11:30 p.m. CST*
5 STATES REMAIN UNCALLED: AK, MT, MO, IN, N.C. - THE CURRENT ELECTORAL COUNT REMAINS OBAMA 338, MCCAIN 156
*UPDATE - 11:10 p.m. CST*
BARACK OBAMA HAS ACCEPTED VICTORY IN CHICAGO'S GRANT PARK, CALLS FOR UNITY
*UPDATE - 10:19 p.m. CST*
JOHN MCCAIN HAS CONCEDED THE ELECTION
*UPDATE - 10 p.m. CST*
Barack Obama is the President-Elect tonight after defeating GOP rival and fellow Senator John McCain in a decisive electoral victory, capping off an historically long and bitter run for the White House in 2008. He will become the nation'92s 44th president on Jan. 20, 2009.
Obama'92s vice presidential running mate, Senator Joseph Biden from Delaware, will serve as the 47th vice president in the nation'92s history.
The race began to break for Obama in the middle of September, as the foundations of America'92s once robust economy began to crumble. On Sept. 15, despite news from Wall Street that several major financial companies were on the verge of collapse, John McCain told a crowd in Jacksonville, Fla.: '93the fundamentals of the economy, still I believe, are strong.'94 It was a line he had delivered countless times in the weeks leading up to Sept. 15, but this time carried a particular air of detachment from what eventually became a full-blown national crisis.
Senator Obama parlayed his opponent'92s so-called '93erratic'94 response to the situation into strong poll numbers, based on a new optimism among the American people that the 47-year-old, first-term Senator was indeed ready to lead. Obama'92s big break in the polls, however, came in the afterglow of a solid performance in the second presidential debate in Nashville, Tenn. In fact, most post-debate polls gave Obama a clear victory in all three presidential debates. Senator Biden was widely established as a clear winner in the one and only vice presidential debate against McCain running mate and current Alaska governor, Sarah Palin.
The selection of Sarah Palin as the vice presidential nominee, regarded by the GOP as a '93maverick'94 move from a self-proclaimed '93maverick'94 politician, ultimately lead to the demise of the McCain campaign. While it is true that the selection of a pro-life, evangelical, mother-of-five, governor-from-a-'93red'94-state served to rally the Republican base (as McCain had been unable to do), it did not sit well with swing voters. That group of voters has historically served as the barometer of presidential elections in the past. But what they saw early on of Palin '96 with her well-publicized sour interviews with ABC'92s Charles Gibson and CBS'92s Katie Couric '96 did not give them cause to believe that she could handle the rigors of the presidency if the McCain could not fulfill the duties of his office. To underscore the point, at 73 years old, McCain would have been the oldest first-time elected president in American history. He is a four-time skin cancer survivor.
Obama'92s victory is of extraordinary historical weight, since he will become the nation'92s first African American president. He was relatively unknown politically outside of his home state of Illinois until 2004, when he undertook a successful run for the U.S. Senate. In the summer before his eventual victory, he was tapped by the John Kerry campaign to deliver the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention. His speech won rave reviews from journalists, pundits and audience members alike and was later pinpointed as the beginning of what would eventually be his historic run for the White House.
Obama and Biden were two of the 10 original Democratic nominees for the presidency, a list that included N.Y. Senator and former First Lady Hillary Clinton, the early favorite to win the nomination. Obama and Clinton battled furiously until the final primaries in June, with Biden having dropped out several months prior, leading to fears that the deep divisions within the party regarding the two candidates would handicap the Democrats in the general election.
On the contrary, the protracted battle between the two candidates actually drove voter interest and registration in otherwise GOP stronghold states such as Indiana and North Carolina. It was increased registration and enthusiasm that propelled Obama into an early advantage over McCain'92s ticket and eventually won him the presidency.