The Edmond Sun

November 7, 2012

America chooses Obama

James Coburn and Mark Schlachtenhaufen
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — President Barack Obama won a decisive victory of 285 electoral votes to re-elect him for another term as president while Republican contender Mitt Romney ended the night with 203 electoral votes. Democrats retained control of the Senate and Republicans kept control of the House.

While the electoral college gave Obama four more years, the popular vote across the nation was extremely close between the two rivals, with Obama reaching 50 percent of the popular vote.

Oklahoma proved itself as the reddest state in the union giving former Massachusetts Gov. Romney the lion’s share of its votes. With 1,913 of 1,960 precincts reporting, Romney had 856,694 votes, or 66.8 percent, to Obama’s share of 425,341 votes, or 33.2 percent, according the Oklahoma State Election Board.

“We’re in trouble as a nation with $16 trillion of record debt and 23 million Americans unemployed,” Gov. Mary Fallin said Tuesday night at the Republican watch party at the Oklahoma City Marriott Hotel.

“We’re not going to give up hope tonight. We’re going to keep fighting until the very last vote,” Fallin said.

As returns trickled in and states went in Obama’s electoral college total, Democrats gathered at the Oklahoma Democratic Party watch party in Midwest City. One of the biggest cheers of the night erupted when California went into the president’s column.

Wallace Collins, chairman of the Oklahoma Democratic Party, said the crowd at the Reed Conference Center was excited and he was excited. At the moment, many guests were watching the returns on TVs in the room.

“Obviously the presidential race is our primary focus at the moment,” Wallace said. “However, we will be focusing on some of the state races and some of the state questions.”

Wallace said Obama ran a strong campaign with a notable exception during the first presidential debate.

“Obviously he slipped a little bit during that first debate and let Mitt Romney back in the race,” he said. “I think he had him on the ropes until that point. I think he’s going to pull it out.”

Among the speakers during the event was state Rep. Anastasia Pittman, D-Oklahoma City, who assembled family members and a diverse group of supporters.

Earlier, Pittman said the Obama campaign had a strong ground game in Oklahoma where many voters were energized and excited.

“It’s amazing to see people still having hope, still having a desire to just have a better life,” she said. “I think the support for the Obama campaign in Oklahoma has been undermined. It doesn’t get the visibility that it should. President Barack Obama has strong support in Oklahoma.”

Pittman said she was proud to be a part of the United We Stand Coalition and walk to the polls and march and make sure that folks voted early because of fear of disenfranchisement. She praised the Oklahoma County Election Board for handling the large voter turnout.

“Every early voting day the lines were still long and people were participating,” she said.

Paul Stephens, who served in the U.S. Air Force as chief of air traffic control form 1972-92, said he has been a longtime Obama supporter. He was concerned about implications of a Romney presidency regarding issues related to women.

“Mr. Romney is a knucklehead. I feel for him,” Stephens said. “He doesn’t have a plan, he doesn’t have a program.”

Stephens praised the president’s health care reforms.