It was a much earlier night than many had expected, thanks in large part to a sweeping Obama victory. At this hour the Electoral College tally stands at 303 for Obama and 206 for Romney. If President Obama wins Florida, which remains undecided this morning, it would mark a sweep of all but one of the 2012 battleground states.
Governor Romney called the president to concede just before 1:00 am ET. It was then that President Obama called President Clinton - the first call he made after receiving Governor Romney's concession. From there, it was a victory address at McCormick Place in Chicago, during which the president pronounced, "A long campaign is now over. And whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you, I have learned from you, and you have made me a better president."
Exit polling data suggests the president won re-election despite the fact a majority of voters think the country is on the wrong track. Still, 54% approve of the president's job performance. The question of which candidate would be better at handling the economy was evenly split. Yet while only 4 in 10 voters think the economy is getting better, nearly 9 in 10 voted for President Obama.
The other big takeaway: Likability. A slight majority of voters said they viewed Governor Romney unfavorably, and a slight majority had a favorable view of President Obama. But on the question of whether the president or the governor was "a candidate who cares about people like me," the president won big.
That's just a preview of all the analysis we'll give you NOW today at noon ET. It's a big day - we'll see you soon.
John Heilemann, National Affairs Editor, New York Magazine/msnbc Political Analyst (@jheil)
Michael Steele, Fmr. RNC Chairman/msnbc Political Analyst (@steele_michael)
Jodi Kantor, The New York Times (@jodikantor)
Mark Halperin, TIME/msnbc Sr. Political Analyst (@markhalperin)
Mark Leibovich, The New York Times (@markleibovich)
Michael Beschloss, NBC News Presidential Historian (@beschlossdc)
Rev. Al Sharpton, msnbc Host, “PoliticsNation” (@thereval)