President Barack Obama clinched the nationwide vote in a nail-biting saga Tuesday night, marking the beginning of a new term that will be defined by lingering unemployment rates, a looming deficit, rising global superpowers and proxy wars in the Middle East.
“Tonight, in this election, you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, 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,” said Obama during his victory speech in Chicago Tuesday night, moments after Mitt Romney conceded his race for the White House.
Just as in 2008, the Mission District voted overwhelmingly in favor of Obama, who won 83 percent of the neighborhood vote. Romney trailed with 14 percent.
While support for Obama is widespread in the Mission and the city, many voters said they did not feel the thrill of the election this time around.
“I think that I’ll probably vote for Obama again,” said Brett Lutz. “But at the same time, I’m very discouraged by [him].”
Tobi Hacker echoed the sentiment: “I’m still hopeful, but a little more reserved than I was last time.”
The apathetic mood was also reflected in the surprising calm throughout the Mission District last night. Contrast the scene with election night four years ago, when droves of Mission residents flooded the streets to celebrate the election of the nation’s first African American president.
The numbers tell a similar story.
Nearly 52 percent of registered voters citywide, or 260,535 individuals, cast a ballot by or on Nov. 6, according to unofficial election results released Tuesday night by the San Francisco Department of Elections.
While citywide registration for the general election — 502,841 total — reached an all-time historic high, the turnout rate, 52 percent, is at a historic low. Since 1960, at least 61 percent of registered voters have cast a ballot in any given general election, according to elections department statistics.
Provisional ballots from the city’s 596 precincts are not included in the department’s unofficial figures.
However, election day was still an exciting one for many Mission residents, who say they felt proud to see democracy in action.
“You can’t gripe if you’re not gonna vote,” said Mission voter Rachal Llorence. “Do your part.”
“[Voting] is our civic duty,” said district resident Eileen Yang. “As part of an immigrant family, I know that a lot of families in other countries don’t have the opportunity to do that, so it’s incredibly important that … as Americans, we actually do it.”
At City Hall, city resident Veronica Garcia and friends patiently waited for the election to conclude, pledging to stay “as long as needed” to hear live results.
By 8:30 p.m., major networks had called the election in favor of Obama. Interestingly, at City Hall, a few voters were still in line to cast their ballot.
This was the case for city voter Danielle Dunchok, 29, who waited in line for 30 minutes at City Hall.
“When I was standing in line … I was looking at my phone and it said that Romney was ahead,” she said. “I just got out of the poll booth and was told that Barack Obama won.”
Results: Local Races and Ballot Measures
San Francisco stayed true to its left-leaning orientation and voted overwhelmingly to reelect President Obama, who received 83 percent of the vote citywide compared to Mitt Romney’s 14 percent, according to the unofficial summary.
Seven citywide propositions were on Tuesday’s ballot, and all passed by at least 64 percent, except for Measure F, which failed by 77 percent.
At least 44,520 residents in District 9 were registered to vote. Supervisor David Campos sailed to reelection with 16,971 votes, while write-in opponent Bud Ryerson received three votes.
According to the unofficial summary, results in the five other races for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors were:
- District 1: Incumbent Supervisor Eric Mar won reelection with 54 percent of votes
- District 3: Incumbent Supervisor David Chiu won with nearly 76 percent of votes
- District 5: London Breed received nearly 28 percent of votes and unseated incumbent Supervisor Christina Olague, who received 20 percent.
- District 7: Norman Yee — who faced no incumbent opposition — won with about 28 percent
- District 11: Incumbent Supervisor John Avalos, who faced no opposition, eased into reelection with nearly 100 percent of votes
Four of 11 candidates secured a spot on the city’s Board of Education:
- Sandra Lee Fewer with nearly 17 percent
- Jill Wynns with over 14 percent
- Rachel Norton with nearly 14 percent
- Matt Haney with 13 percent
Four of 10 candidates won a spot on the Community College Board:
- Steve Ngo with over 14 percent
- Rafael Mandelman with nearly 14 percent
- Natalie Berg with nearly 14 percent
- Chris Jackson with 13 percent
San Francisco elected two BART directors: Lynette Sweet, District 7, with over 55 percent, and Tom Radulovich, District 9, with 74 percent.
In the U.S. House of Representatives, minority leader Nancy Pelosi and Congresswoman Jackie Speier both won reelection with 85 and 82 percent of the city’s votes, respectively.
State Senator Mark Leno (D-11) won reelection with 85 percent to GOP candidate Harmeet Dhillon’s 15 percent.
In California legislative races, incumbent State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-17) won with 86 percent to GOP candidate Jason Clark’s 14.
Democrat Phil Ting won the seat for State Assembly District 19 with 57 percent of the vote. Democratic challenger Michael Breyer lost his bid with 43 percent.
Results: State Races and Ballots
Unofficial results from at least 94 percent of statewide precincts have so far been counted by California’s secretary of state.
More than 18 million Californians registered to vote this election cycle, according to the secretary of state, but only about 9.2 million voters, or just over half, cast ballots in a turnout called uncharacteristically low by election officials.
In contrast to San Francisco but more in line with national trends, President Obama won 59 percent of the statewide vote while Romney raked in 38 percent.
Eleven statewide propositions, many contentious, were up for a vote Tuesday. The results:
- Proposition 30 (temporary taxes to fund education) passed with 54 percent of the vote.
- Proposition 31 (state budget measure) failed with 39 percent.
- Proposition 32 (political contributions by payroll deduction) failed with 44 percent.
- Proposition 33 (auto insurance prices) failed with 45 percent.
- Proposition 34 (repeal of death penalty) failed with 47 percent.
- Proposition 35 (increased fine for human trafficking) passed with 81 percent.
- Proposition 36 (amending state’s three-strikes law) passed with 69 percent.
- Proposition 37 (Labeling genetically engineered foods) failed with 47 percent.
- Proposition 38 (tax to fund education, early childhood programs) failed with 28 percent.
- Proposition 39 (tax treatment for multistate businesses) passed with 60 percent.
- Proposition 40 (redistricting referendum) passed with 71 percent.
Incumbent U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, was reelected with 62 percent, or 5.5 million votes. GOP challenger Elizabeth Emken received 38 percent of the state’s vote.
Results: Federal Races and Ballots
President Obama clinched reelection Tuesday night with 303 electoral votes and 50 percent of the popular vote, while GOP nominee Mitt Romney received 206 electoral votes and 48 percent of the popular vote.
Obama and Romney remain in a dead heat race in Florida as of this publication, with each candidate earning at least 49 percent of the popular vote in the state. At least 29 electoral votes are still undecided as the count continues Wednesday morning.
Presidential candidates need 270 electoral votes to win a general election.
The 2012 presidential electoral map largely resembles that of 2008, with key battleground states like Ohio, Virginia and Colorado going for Obama. Two states, Indiana and North Carolina, voted Republican rather than Democratic this time around.
Nationwide, Republicans retained a majority in the House of Representatives, 232 to 191. Democrats maintained control of the Senate, 52 to 45, as of publication.
Mission Local will continue to update election results throughout the day. Please stay tuned.
Chelsi Moy and Sean Havey contributed to this story.