ELECTORAL VOTE UPDATE: President Obama has 199 electoral votes. Romney has 173 electoral votes.
The polls have now closed in every state except Alaska.
ABC calling California and Washington for Obama
UPDATE: AP, ABC and CNN call California and its 55 electoral votes for Obama.
UPDATE: AP has called Hawaii and Washington state for President Obama and Idaho for MItt Romney.
RALEIGH, N.C. -- "When women run, women win," says UNC-TV political analyst and North Carolina State University professor Steven Greene. Although not all races have been officially called, the North Carolina Council of State Women congratulates multiple Democratic female candidates for statewide offices who are leading in their races, including State Treasurer Janet Cowell, Auditor Beth Wood and Superintendent June Atkinson.
UPDATE: Democrats win Senate seats in Hawaii, Washington and California.
Hawaii was the only Senate race with two women running.
BOISE, Idaho -- Loud, but obviously unsurprised, groans as Romney is announced the winner of Idaho, here at the election-night party for folks who worked against Republican-crafted education reform laws.
ABC: Romney wins Idaho and Missouri
Obama now with 244 electoral votes. Only 270 needed. Romney has 188
UPDATE: Democrat Tim Kaine wins the Senate seat in Virginia, according to AP.
A win in California has given Obama an additional 55 electoral votes toward the 270 he needs to win a second term in office.
UPDATE: Obama has been declared winner of Iowa, according to CNN and MSNBC. That win gives the president six more electoral votes.
David Brooks points out that many of the Virginia precincts that have yet to report are in traditionally Democratic places such as Norfolk and the Washington suburbs of Arlington and Fairfax counties. “That makes it not good” for Romney.
Republicans were “fighting really hard to take Iowa away from the president,” Judy Woodruff says.
ELECTORAL COUNT UPDATE: So far, Obama has 250 electoral votes; Romney has 203. 270 is needed to win.
UPDATE: Fox and MSNBC call Ohio for Obama.
DENVER -- It looks like Colorado voters have legalized the possession of marijuana for recreational use. Current returns show the measure leading 55 to 47 percent. In a statement, opponents complained they were outspent by a "well-funded national movement" and warn "We can only hope that our concerns and fears about amending the Constitution to make Colorado the first state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana do not come true.” Putting marijuana legalization into the state constitution may raise thorny legal issues if the federal government challenges the policy, as expected.
ELECTORAL COUNT UPDATE: Our latest electoral college numbers have Obama at 275 and Romney at 203. “If those numbers hold, President Obama is the next president of the United States,” Gwen Ifill said.
Chicago Mayor and former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel: “Given the candidates could not have been clearer about their differences for the country … the American people are ready for his leadership, his policy direction. He wants the Republicans to work with him, but they cannot continue to obstruct. … If the Republicans stay on the course of obstruction, they will be the minority party in the country.”
“It’s a tenacious victory. He really grounded out. He fought really hard, really tough,” said David Brooks of President Obama's re-election.
Mark Shields: “If anyone doubts the Obama ground game, look at North Carolina.”
“The Republicans nominated someone who was quintessential Wall Street.” - Mark Shields
David Brooks: “It’s not the inspiring victory it was (in 2008), but it’s a tenacious victory – he really ground it out.”
Mark Shields: “It was grinding it out, an inch at a time.”
In McCormick Place, Chicago, the crowd is cheering, dancing, jumping up and down and waving American flags.
Brooks: “I would say that the Democratic Party is better positioned to win majorities …. The Republican Party has become a party of shrinking roots. … This is not a country that thinks 20 percent tax cuts across the board are a plausible solution.”
Mark Shields gave credit to the Obama organization and its get-out-the-vote efforts: “If anybody doubts the Obama ground game, look at North Carolina … he should not have been that competitive.”
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Senate President Phil Berger tells GOP faithful, "We have grown our majorities in the House and Senate and have taken the Governor's mansion. It is time to deliver what we promised. The work starts now."
David Brooks: “It’s very rare for a president to win reelection with a smaller majority than he won election.”
Mark Shields: “There were two addresses that the American people were furious with: Pennsylvania Avenue, both ends of it, and Wall Street. And the Republicans nominated something who was the quintessential Wall Street candidate.”
Richard Norton Smith: “The community organizer organized the country. … This was a Democratic victory tonight.”
Michael Beschloss: “Think how improbable this would have been 18 months ago” given the state of the economy. “This is a guy who has resisted the normal laws of political gravity his whole career.”