The battle for the Senate was a proving ground for the new Citizens United politics. Outside groups unleashed heavily funded barrages of attack ads meant to help elect candidates while letting them keep their distance from the nastiness. In Ohio and Virginia, the tactic failed in rather dramatic ways.
Election Day brought the usual reports of malfunctioning voting machines, and voting-rights lawyers said they received reports from Pennsylvania that some residents were erroneously being told they needed photo ID. But even in battleground states, there were few reports of major problems by late evening.
By holding the "Midwest firewall" — including Ohio, Wisconsin, and Michigan — the president handily defeated challenger Mitt Romney. Obama won seven of the eight battleground states and is ahead in Florida, the final battleground.
Norfolk, Va., has spent decades — and millions of dollars — raising houses and building barriers to successfully hold back the sea. Expanding such efforts to other vulnerable coastal areas, such as New York and New Jersey, could work, but costs could reach the billions.
Lynn Neary speaks with four NPR correspondents who cover presidential cabinet offices whose chiefs may be replaced, regardless of who wins the presidential election. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton intends to leave the administration even if President Obama continues in office. State Department correspondent Michele Kelemen assesses who the president might choose to replace her or who Mitt Romney might choose to be his Secretary of State. Defense correspondent Tom Bowman looks at the possibilities of who might replace Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. Justice correspondent Carrie Johnson goes over the names in play among Democrats and Republicans for the Attorney General's office. And John Ydstie takes a look at who might be the next Secretary of the Treasury.
Voters encountered long lines at the polls and scattered problems on Tuesday. Many of the difficulties were in the New York and New Jersey areas where some voters had to cast ballots in the dark or were confused about where to vote. There was also confusion about ID requirements in Pennsylvania, and some confrontations involving poll watchers.
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