Obama wins Florida
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — President Barack Obama was declared the winner of Florida’s 29 electoral votes today, 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 per cent to 49.1 per cent, a difference of about 74 000 votes. That was over the half-percent margin where a computer recount would have been automatically ordered unless Romney had waived it.
There is a November 16 deadline for overseas and military ballots, but under Florida law, recounts are based on today’s results. Only a handful of overseas and military ballots are believed to remain outstanding.
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.
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 nine of ten black voters and 3 of 5 Hispanic voters in Florida. The president also was the choice of two-thirds of voters under age 30.