Obama wins Florida by 74,000 votes

Published On: Nov 10 2012 02:20:00 PM EST
Updated On: Nov 10 2012 05:15:00 PM EST
Obama, family celebrate re-election

Pool

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

President Barack Obama was declared the winner of Florida's 29 electoral votes Saturday, ending a four-day count with a razor-thin margin that narrowly avoided an automatic recount that would have brought back memories of 2000.

No matter the outcome, Obama had already clinched re-election and now has 332 electoral votes to Romney's 206.

The Florida Secretary of State's Office said that with almost 100 percent of the vote counted, Obama led Republican challenger Mitt Romney 50 percent to 49.1 percent, a difference of about 74,000 votes out of 8.5 million ballots cast. That was just outside the half-percent margin where a computer recount would have been automatically ordered unless Romney had waived it.

There is a Nov. 16 deadline for overseas and military ballots, but under Florida law, recounts are based on Saturday's results. Only a handful of overseas and military ballots are believed to remain outstanding.2012 Electoral Map

Election results interactive
Full coverage of Election 2012

It's normal for election supervisors in Florida and other states to spend days after any election counting absentee, provisional, military and overseas ballots. Usually, though, the election has already been called on election night or soon after because the winner's margin is beyond reach.

"Florida has spoken loudly in support of moving our nation forward," Ashley Walker, the Obama campaign's director for Florida, said in a news release. She added that the win was a testament to the campaign's volunteers and staff.

When reached by phone Saturday, Mitt Romney's communications director Gail Gitcho said the campaign had no comment.

Obama's win came in part from heavy support from black, Hispanic and younger voters. Exit polls conducted for The Associated Press showed Obama was favored by more than 9 of 10 black voters and 3 of 5 Hispanic voters in Florida. The president also was the choice of two-thirds of voters under age 30.

Republican challenger Mitt Romney led among both white and older voters.

In the end, the facts of who voted for which candidate in Florida faded into memory as voting issues emerged election night.

On election night this year, it was difficult for officials - and the media - to call the presidential race here, in part because the margin was so close and the voting stretched into the evening.

In Miami-Dade, for instance, so many people were in line at 7 p.m. in certain precincts that some people didn't vote until after midnight.

The hours-long wait at the polls in some areas, a lengthy ballot and the fact that Gov. Rick Scott refused to extend early voting hours has led some to criticize Florida's voting process. Some officials have vowed to investigate why there were problems at the polls and how that led to a lengthy vote count.

If there had been a recount, it would not be as difficult as the lengthy one in 2000. The state no longer uses punch-card ballots, which became known for their hanging chads. All 67 counties now use optical scan ballots where voters mark their selections manually.

Republican George W. Bush won the 2000 contest after the Supreme Court declared him the winner over Democrat Al Gore by a scant 537 votes.

The win gave Obama victories in eight of the nine swing states, losing only North Carolina. In addition to Florida, he won Ohio, Iowa, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Virginia, Colorado and Nevada.

Comments

The views expressed below are not those of News4Jax or its affiliated companies. By clicking on "Post," you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and your comment is in compliance with such terms. Readers, please help keep this discussion respectful and on topic by flagging comments that are offensive or inappropriate (hover over the commenter's name and you'll see the flag option appear on right side of that line). And remember, respect goes both ways: Tolerance of others' opinions is important in a free discourse. If you're easily offended by strong opinions, you might skip reading comments entirely.

blog comments powered by Disqus