With a renewed commitment to consensus, and a commanding Electoral College victory, President Barack Obama claimed reelection last night, as the coalition of firewall states built for 2008 remained virtually untouched in 2012. Defying more than 75 years of electoral history, President Barack Obama fought back an all-out Republican assault, maintaining strong margins in swing states across the US to achieve victory despite a national unemployment rate above seven percent, and the overhang of an economy and unresolved fiscal cliff that remains the top worry among voters. Core demographic groups that launched the President to victory in 2008 again carried the day, as young voters, Latinos and women all backed President Obama by wide margins once again. In the US House of Representatives and US Senate, Democrats were also able to hold the line against further Republican gains, maintaining the status quo of split party control in the US Congress—a Democratic-led Senate and Republican-led House—even as more than 90 new faces will grace the halls of Congress.
Election Insight 2012 offers a detailed analysis of the key races, themes, and impacts of last week's elections, and profiles the new leaders, issues, and priorities that will form the contours of the 113th Congress, state houses, and the Obama Administration's second term in office.