President Obama won four more years from Virginians in what
was a long, dead-heat, exhausting race not just for the two candidates, but for
Virginian voters as well. Barack Obama also received all 10 electoral votes
from Maryland and three from Washington DC.
All eyes were on the swing states, including Virginia, one
of the key battlegrounds in the presidential race. Virginia carried Obama with
its 13 electoral votes in 2008 in a state that has been voting Republican for
the last 10 elections. The margin was narrower for Obama this time around, just
like in other key states, but it was enough for the President to claim victory.
Virginia also delivered one of the 33 Senate seats up for
grabs for the Democrats by electing former Governor Tim Kaine with 51.63
percent of the votes over former Senator George Allen who got 48.18 percent.
This was the most expensive senatorial race in country, with an estimated at
$84 million spent by the combined campaigns.
Ten minutes after 11 p.m., Allen conceded the elections to
Kaine, urging his supporters not to give up fighting for the principles behind
his campaign. “It’s not our cause. It’s America’s cause. Stand strong for
Maryland re-elected incumbent Senator Ben Cardin with 53.54
percent of the vote, and confirmed a strong Democratic delegation to the U.S.
House of Representatives: John Sarbanes, Steny Hoyer, Elijah Cummings, and
Chris Van Hollen, among others. Newcomer John Delaney won Maryland District 6
with 58 percent of the ballots cast.
Turnout vote in 2012 looked a lot like 2008 in Virginia,
Maryland, and Washington D.C. There were long lines at the polls throughout the
day, in very cold, below average temperatures, but people did not give up. Some
precincts in DC were slowed by machine problems and equipment malfunctions, but
voters in the Capital said they never saw such long lines of people waiting to
cast their ballot.
Virginia electorate was bombarded with Get-Out-The-Vote
calls from both the Romney and Obama campaigns. Voter frustration and fatigue
took over, as appeals poured in from both sides. Maryland volunteers were
summoned to call Virginian supporters of the two candidates and remind them to
“I think the victory today all across the country is going
to be determined by already decided voters and who gets the most of them out”,
Maryland State Senator Ron Young told this Kids Reporter earlier in the day.
Letty Carpenter, one of the Maryland Obama volunteers
calling Virginia said, “I developed a real connection with voters when I was
familiar with the road they lived on, and it turned out that some of the people
I called knew my husband. And that was real rewarding. This is very important
because every vote counts.”
Virginia polls closed at 7 p.m., but hundreds of people who
got to their voting place before the expiration deadline were still in line
waiting to vote close to 10 o’clock in Prince William, Fairfax, Chesapeake and
Virginia Beach. Their vote was extremely important to both parties, and the
Obama campaign urged people via Twitter to stay in line until they were able to
cast their ballot.
Virginia was the second to last state to be called in favor
of the President, just before Florida, at 45 minutes past midnight. Governor
Romney conceded the elections to President Obama 10 minutes later.
—Kid Reporter Hannah Prensky