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With the election finally over, it's time for Washington to focus again on how to govern the nation. Have new lessons been learned from yesterday's voting? How much will politics — and policy — stay the same? On Reporters Notebook, how close was another meltdown in Florida?

Banner image: President Barack Obama celebrates on stage as confetti falls after his victory speech during his election rally in Chicago, November 6, 2012. Photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Reporter's Notebook How Close Was Another Meltdown at the Florida Polls?

Yesterday's presidential election was decided early this morning, but Florida came close to another debacle. Although this time, it just didn't matter, it was another brush with electoral trouble. Susan MacManus, Professor of Political Science at the University of South Florida, is co-author of Florida Politics: Ten Media Markets, One Powerful State. University of California-Irvine Law Professor Rick Hasen , who writes Election Law Blog, and is author of The Voting Wars: From Florida 2000 to the Next Election Meltdown.

Susan MacManus, University of South Florida (@DrMacManus)
Rick Hasen, University of California, Irvine (@rickhasen)

The Voting Wars

Richard Hasen

Making News President Obama Wins a Second Term 7 MIN, 22 SEC

Despite predictions that it might take weeks to decide the election, Mitt Romney conceded at 1am this morning in Boston. "The nation, as you know, is at a critical point. At a time like this we can't risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle…and we citizens also have to rise to occasion." President Obama responded a half hour later. "I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We're not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America." Matthew Cooper is Editor of the National Journal Daily.



Matthew Cooper, National Journal Daily (@mattizcoop)

Main Topic Will There Be Compromise or Continued Gridlock? 34 MIN, 45 SEC

The popular vote was almost even, but President Obama won big in the Electoral College. Control of the House and the Senate did not change at all. Despite the evidence of a polarized nation, exit polling reveals an electorate that's evolving along demographic lines. There's talk of the Reagan Revolution fading at last as both parties form new coalitions. We hear about white men, women, Hispanics, and youth. In the meantime, can a re-elected president and a lame-duck Congress keep the nation away from the "fiscal cliff" and set the stage for bipartisanship?

Michael D. Shear, New York Times (@shearm)
Gary Langer, Langer Research Associates and ABC News (@garylanger)
Ruben Navarrette, Jr., Political Columnist (@RubenNavarrette)
Chris Kromm, Institute for Southern Studies (@chriskromm)

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