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Dead candidates win elections in Alabama, Florida

Florida Democrat Earl K. Wood and Alabama Republican Charles Beasley won their respective elections but they will not take office. Both men died weeks before the November 6 election yet managed to beat their very much alive opponents by comfortable margins. Wood died on October 15 from natural causes at age 96, during his campaign for a 12th term as Orange County Tax Collector in Orlando, Florida. Criticized for rarely coming into the office while collecting a $150,000 salary and $90,000 pension, Wood initially announced he would step down, only to change his mind when a longtime political foe made
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Amid tough times, Voters renew Obama’s four-year lease on White House

His lease renewed in trying economic times, President Barack Obama claimed a second term from an incredibly divided electorate and immediately braced for daunting challenges and progress that comes only in fits and starts. “We have fought our way back and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America, the best is yet to come,” Obama said. The same voters who gave Obama another four years also elected a divided Congress, re-upping the dynamic that has made it so hard for the president to advance his agenda. Democrats retained control of the Senate; Republicans renewed their
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Democrats post Senate gains but GOP holds control of House

Democrats strengthened their hold on the Senate but failed Tuesday to recapture the majority in the House of Representatives they lost two years ago. President Barack Obama, in his freshly authorized second term, will face the same divided Congress in 2013 that has bedeviled efforts to enact his major legislation. “Now that the election is over, it’s time to put politics aside and work together to find solutions,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who may have a slightly bigger working majority — but not as big as the filibuster-proof one Obama enjoyed his first two years in the
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Overall voter turnout lower than 2008

A drop in voter turnout in Tuesday’s election didn’t keep President Barack Obama from winning a second term in the White House. Preliminary figures suggest fewer people voted this year than four years ago, when voters shattered turnout records as they elected Obama to his first term. In most states, the numbers are shaping up to be even lower than in 2004, said Curtis Gans, the director of American University’s Center for the Study of the American Electorate. Still, the full picture may not be known for weeks, because much of the counting takes place after Election Day. “By and
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Voters give historic votes to legalize gay marriage, marijuana

Altering the course of U.S social policy, Maine and Maryland became the first states to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote, while Washington state and Colorado set up a showdown with federal authorities by legalizing recreational use of marijuana. The outcomes for those ballot measures Tuesday were a milestone for persistent but often thwarted advocacy groups and activists who for decades have pressed the causes of gay rights and drug decriminalization. “Today the state of Washington looked at 70 years of marijuana prohibition and said it’s time for a new approach,” said Alison Holcomb, manager of the campaign that won
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With hype and hyperbole over, the voters speak

Two fierce competitors who’ve given their all, President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney now yield center stage to voters Tuesday for an Election Day choice that will frame the contours of government and the nation for years to come. After a grinding presidential campaign that packed suspense to the finish, Americans head into polling places in sleepy hollows, bustling cities and superstorm-ravaged beach towns deeply divided. All sides are awaiting, in particular, a verdict from the nine battleground states whose votes will determine which man can piece together the 270 electoral votes needed for victory. Obama has more options
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Congress will be a problem for Obama or Romney

No matter who is elected president, he’s likely to find that the next Congress will remain what the current one has been for President Barack Obama — a headache. Months of speeches, saturation TV advertising, uncountable events and more than $2 billion in campaign spending are coming together to produce a new Congress strikingly similar to the one that exists now: a House that Republicans will run with about a 50-seat margin, and a Senate narrowly controlled by Democrats. Republicans started this year thinking they would grab control of the Senate because they were only defending 10 of the 33
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Election: Another headache for storm-ravaged Northeast

Already faced with a massive cleanup and nightmarish commutes to work, thousands of voters in storm-struck New York and New Jersey may have a tough time voting on Tuesday in a cliffhanger presidential election. Elections officials face unprecedented challenges across the U.S. Northeast, where polling stations were among the thousands of buildings damaged by superstorm Sandy eight days ago. New York and New Jersey took measures to ease the way for residents already coping with devastating flood damage, power outages and widespread fuel shortages. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said New Yorkers would be able to vote at any polling
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Into the final stretch: Large crowds, high hopes and a tight finish

Two days from judgment by the voters, President Barack Obama raced through four far-flung battleground states on Sunday while Mitt Romney ventured into traditionally Democratic Pennsylvania, seeking a breakthrough in a close race he mused aloud he might lose. Appearing before some of the largest crowds of the campaign, the two rivals stressed their differences on the economy, health care and more while professing an eagerness to work across party lines and end gridlock in Washington. “You have the power,” Obama, the most powerful political leader in the world, told thousands of cheering supporters in New Hampshire, his first appearance
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