Barack Obama elected president of the United States
Barack Obama has made history. On November 4 at exactly 8:00 p.m., major U.S. news networks reported that the Illinois senator won the presidency of the United States of America.
On the eve of the election, Obama was projected to take six of the eight. CNN.com first reported that Obama had won Pennsylvania, then North Dakota, and then Ohio. At 8:00 p.m., Obama was reported to have won several large states on the West Coast and with that, the young senator clinched it.
Once an Obama presidency was all but a sure thing, attention turned to the race for the Senate.
If the Democrats had added nine Senate seats to their pre-election 51 (49 plus two independents), they would have held enough votes (a three-fifth majority) in the Senate to end Republican filibusters (floor speeches that can go on indefinitely to prevent legislation from passing).
Known as a cloture, the ability to overcome Republican opposition in the Senate would significantly increase the power of a Democratic administration.
As of 9:30 a.m. on November 5, CNN.com was reporting that the Democrats had picked up seats in the senate previously held by Republics in North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Colorado, and New Mexico, bringing the Democratic total to 56.
Votes are still being counted in Georgia, Minnesota, Oregon, and Alaska. But with early results showing all four states going to the Republics, it looks like the Democrats will have to be content with 56 seats in the senate.
Obama’s victory over McCain came in an election that saw record voter turnouts across the country meet a variety of technical difficulties at voting stations.
CNN.com’s electoral coverage included a map of America detailing where voters were encountering problems.
Among voters’ complaints were extremely long waits, broken voting machines, and confusion over ID requirements. By mid-day, the New York Times was predicting a series of contested races and lawsuits to follow the election.