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National News / Politics

Wednesday, 7 November, 2012 11:29 PM

Obama wins all eight battleground states; gets re-elected to second term


President Obama addressed graduates at the University of Michigan on May 1, 2010.


by Jason Rzucidlo



DETROIT -- While Mitt Romney took the early lead in both electoral votes and the popular vote, the tide quickly turned into President Obama's favor. The president won all of the New England states, as well as most of the midwest and the three states along the Pacific Ocean to win his re-election. Obama finished with just under 60 million popular votes and 303 electoral votes while Romney ended the night with a little over 57 million popular votes and 206 electoral votes. The president swept all eight of the battleground states in this general election.

This year's presidential election really came down to the states of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin, otherwise known as the "battleground states." Obama surpassed Romney by about 90,000 votes in Colo., 55,000 votes in Fla., 90,000 votes in Iowa, 55,000 votes in Nev., 30,000 votes in N.H., 100,000 votes in Ohio and Va., and by 200,000 votes in Wis. The other 42 states really didn't matter because they were assumed to fall in the Obama category or in the Romney's favor.

Some analysts said that the Midwestern states of Michigan, Ohio and Illinois went to the president because he helped to save the automotive industry. During his first term, Obama signed legislation to give federal funds to both General Motors and Chrysler, which were on the verge of bankruptcy. Since millions of automotive jobs were preserved, most of those workers ended up voting for Obama. Romney's op-ed piece in The New York Times titled "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt" severely hurt his chances of winning in those states.

Romney lost several important states including Massachusetts (where he is the governor), Michigan (where his father was governor) and Wisconsin (where his running mate, Paul Ryan, is a Congressman). He was defeated by almost 700,000 votes in Mass., 350,000 votes in Mich. and by 200,000 votes in Wis. However, Romney did win the state of Utah, where his religion, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is headquartered.

Two states, Indiana and North Carolina, changed parties from the 2008 election to this one. Four years ago, both states were in Obama's favor. However, this year, they turned red for Romney. The governor beat the president by 275,000 votes in Ind. and by 100,000 votes in N.C.

Democrats keep control of the Senate while Republicans maintain control of the House

The Democratic party now holds 51 seats in the Senate while the Republic party has 45 seats. Fifty seats are required for a majority in the Senate. Meanwhile, Republicans have 232 seats in the House of Representatives and the Democrats have 191 seats. A total of 218 seats are required for a majority in the House.

In Michigan, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) defeated former Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R) for one of the state's Senate seats. The incumbent received just over 2.6 million votes while her challenger got a little more than 1.7 million votes. This will be Stabenow's third term in the Senate, a seat she has filled since 2001. Sen. Carl Levin's seat was not up for re-election this year.

Rep. Sander Levin (D-Royal Oak) beat his challenger, businessman Don Volaric (R), for the 9th district Congressional seat. The incumbent received 208,834 votes while the owner of Freedom Health Insurance got 114,746 votes. Levin has served in that seat since 1983 and is the highest ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee.

Teacher Kerry Bentivolio (R-Milford) defeated Physician Syed Taj (D-Canton) for the 11th district Congressional seat. It includes the cities of Canton Twp., Farmington, Garden City, Livonia, Milford, Novi, Northville/Northville Twp., Plymouth/Plymouth Twp., Redford Twp., South Lyon, Westland, White Lake Twp. and Wayne. The seat was formerly held by Thad McCotter, who resigned on July 6. Bentivolio received 173,581 votes while Taj got 152,063 votes.

Longtime Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-Detroit) beat his challenger, Harry T. Sawicki (R-Dearborn Heights) for the 13th district Congressional seat. The incumbent received 206,097 votes while Sawicki got 32,278 votes. This will be Conyers' 25th term in the House, a seat he has filled since 1965.

Over in California, it appears that Dr. Raul Ruiz (D-Coachella) will defeat Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Palm Springs) for the 36th district Congressional seat. The emergency room doctor received 83,402 votes while the seven-term incumbent got 78,845 votes. This race is too close to call as a few thousand more absentee ballots still need to be counted. Mack has served in that position since 1998 when she took over for her husband, Sonny Bono, who was born in Detroit.

Many local races went to incumbents across metro Detroit

Democrat Kym L. Worthy beat her Libertarian challenger, David S. Afton, for the Wayne County Prosecutor position. The incumbent received 645,232 votes while the insurance claims attorney got 74,564 votes. Worthy received lots of praise for prosecuting former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. There was no Republican candidate in this race.

Fellow Democrat Benny N. Napoleon defeated Wayne County Sheriff Deputy Shelly L. Milton for the Wayne County Sheriff seat. The incumbent received 578,881 votes while his Republican challenger got 167,036 votes. Bob Czak, a candidate from the U.S. Taxpayers party, received 24,791 votes. Napoleon was the former Detroit Police Chief from 1998 to 2001.

Over in Macomb County, Democrat Eric J. Smith beat his Republican challenger, Michael R. Wrathell, for the Macomb County Prosecutor position. The incumbent received 245,363 votes while the attorney and artist got 128,504 votes. Wrathell is also a legal writer for

Fellow Democrat Anthony Wickersham defeated Security Consultant Steve Thomas for the Macomb County Sheriff seat. The incumbent received 229,791 votes while his Republican opponent got 134,099 votes. Scott W. Allen, a Libertarian candidate, received 12,708 votes.

Meanwhile in Oakland County, Republican L. Brooks Patterson beat his Democratic challenger, Kevin Howley, for the Oakland County Prosecutor position. The incumbent received 352,318 votes while the businessman got 267,108 votes. Patterson has been recovering from a severe car accident in August.

Fellow Republican Michael J. Bouchard defeated Former Police Officer Jane Felice Boudreau for the Oakland County Sheriff seat. The incumbent received 364,385 votes while his Democratic challenger got 252,066 votes.

Michigan voters turned down two of the six proposals on the ballot. The first proposal, would have given approval for the governor to appoint an emergency manager in a state of financial emergency, was denied by nearly 2.3 million votes to 2 million votes. The sixth and final proposal, would have required approval by a majority of voters to construct a new international bridge or tunnel, was turned down by 2.6 million votes to almost 1.8 million votes.

For more information about the November 6, 2012 General Election, visit the Election Center.

Related Story: Macomb County: Laughingstock of the Nation (Editorial)



Photo credit:

Former Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney addressed a crowd of supporters in Michigan on Feb. 29, 2012.



Ann Romney spoke to an audience inside the Suburban Collection Showplace on Feb. 16, 2012.



Rep. Mary Bono Mack with young Romney supporters in Banning, Calif. on Aug. 8, 2012.




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Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved.
Unauthorized duplication or use of Text, Photos, Videos, Site Template, Graphics and or Site Design is Prohibited by Federal and International laws. See our Notice/Disclaimer.