CL’s 2012 Presidential Election Bonanza

Prepare for the end!

Follow CL’s coverage about election results, controversies, victory party gossip, and other nonsense.

So a brief round-up: Based on unofficial results from Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, the so-called charter schools amendment passed. So did the mindblowingly boring ballot measure asking whether the state should be allowed to sign multiyear leases. Georgia Public Service Commissioner Chuck Eaton and Stan Wise both appear to have won re-election. So did Georgia’s incumbent congressman. As of this writing, it appears GOP challenger Hunter Hill narrowly defeated state Sen. Doug Stoner, D-Smyrna, in a crucial race for the upper chamber.

Look for more recaps and number-crunching in the morning. Until then, have a great night.

12:21 a.m. CL photographer and treasure Joeff Davis sends photos of the Manuel’s Tavern crowd hearing that Obama won another term:



11:37 p.m. More photos of the celebration:


  • Max Blau
  • Democratic Party of Georgia Chairman Mike Berlon addresses the crowd


  • Max Blau
  • Obama supporters at the Democratic Party of Georgia’s Election Night shindig erupt after CNN says the president won a second and final four-year term


11:24 p.m. And CNN and other networks have called the race for President Barack Obama. The Freight Depot went nuts.


11:17 p.m. Last stop for the evening (aside from Manuel’s Tavern, perhaps): The Democratic Party of Georgia and Obama for America’s Georgia campaign headquarters at the Freight Depot near Underground Atlanta. This place is jam packed.

One person who’s apparently missing: Mayor Kasim Reed, one of the evening’s sponsors. We’re told he was invited to Chicago to join President Barack Obama.


10:15 p.m. Fulton County election workers count absentee ballots at the Fulton County Elections Preparation Center, a large warehouse in northwest Atlanta. As of Nov. 5, 2012 there were over 31,000 requests for absentee ballots in Fulton County. There are 659,011 registered voters in Fulton County.


10:10 p.m. After a solid hour at the GOP parties, we’re headed out to see the Democrats. We’ll leave you, though, with this lovely Romney supporter.

10:01 p.m. FItness With Jeff, the personal trainer who will advertise on every bench, sedan, and wall in Atlanta, amazes us again:


9:52 p.m. Republican Public Service Commissioner Chuck Eaton says it’s too early to declare victory in his race against Democrat Steve Oppenheimer and Libertarian Brad Ploeger. “There’s too many precincts out in Fulton, DeKalb, and Clayton,” which are Democratic strongholds, he told CL. He does like the fact, however, that his results are tracking those of Mitt Romney. He thinks that in another 30 minutes we’ll have a better idea of where things stand.


  • Max Blau
  • Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle rallies the GOP troops at the Grant Hyatt in Buckhead.

9:41 p.m. The charter school amendment appears well on its way to passing, boasting a 13 point lead with about a third of counties reporting. In Fulton and Dekalb counties, it’s winning by nearly a 2 to 1 margin.

9:14 p.m. And the Wi-Fi works. Max and I are now hunkered down at the Grand Hyatt, where the GOP’s bigwigs are gathered in ballroom with 10-point star chandeliers, sipping on $11 premium cocktails, and giving rah-rah speeches. (Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, the evening’s host: “Tonight is going to be victorious.”)

The crowd’s been glad-handing with Congressmen Tom Price, R-Roswell, and Phil Gingrey, R-Marietta, state Sen. David Shafer, R-Duluth, Public Service Commissioner Chuck Eaton (who appears to be on his way to winning another six-year term), and others. In addition to state lawmakers, we’ve spotted lobbyists and campaign consultants.

A group of political junkies is huddled around the Jumbotron that’s tuned to, what else, Fox News.

Oh, and about Fulton County’s Board of Elections woes:

Ga Sec of State just called voting snafus in Fulton County “a debacle.” Provisional ballots will take days to count. #gapol
— Charles Gay (@ajclocaleditor) November 7, 2012

8:30 p.m. On to the Grand Hyatt! Pray to God we get Wi-Fi!

8:22 p.m. In Cobb County, where I spent my formative years, I’m watching the race between state Rep. John Carson, R-Marietta, and 34-year-old challenger Kevin “Big Kev” Westphal. Not just because I’m happy to see a young person involved in politics, especially in such a conservative area like East Cobb. But because holy sweet Jesus look at that moustache. And he manages a hobby shop.


  • Kevin Westphal

Unfortunately, Carson leads Westphal 75-25.

8:20 p.m. If you want updates directly from the Secretary of State’s website, you can check them out here. Only a few counties have reported this early in the evening, most of which are outside metro Atlanta. So take those numbers with a grain of salt for the time being.

8:09 p.m. CL music genius Chad Radford, who’s watching returns at Manuel’s, sends word via text:

Beer took about 5 min... People here seem happy... They keep cheering but they boo’ed Oklahoma...Kind of an awesome vibe here... Giant screen TV on the back of a truck... I’m hanging out with Bean... No other notable faces so far.

Only the best for you, dear readers.

8:02 p.m. Thomas here. Max and I are still slamming our hobbit hands against our keyboards at the Buckhead Whole Foods, considered by many no one to be the Republican Manuel’s Tavern, before we venture to the Grand Hyatt to kick it with Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle. Here’s what we’re watching now:

  • The charter school amendment is one of the tightest races on the ballot right now. As of this writing, 52 percent of voters support the amendment. However, only one precinct has reported. And we’re only seeing some of the more rural counties reporting. Watch for how metro Atlanta votes on the measure.

  • The “other amendment,” which would allow the state agencies to enter into multiyear leases for office space, has strong support. So far, 60 percent of voters are in favor of the measure, which the state thinks would save as much as $66 million over ten years (and which we said lacked enough safeguards to protect from corruption).


Sec of State Kemp says his investigators are in Fulton Co. Could be a long night on English St where they tabulate results #yourvoteon2
— Lori Geary (@lorigeary) November 6, 2012

Get comfy.

7:59 p.m. FOX News has already predicted that Gov. Romney will take Georgia. While it’s early in the night, that’s hardly a surprise to anyone.

BREAKING: FOX News projects Mitt Romney wins Georgia #youdecide #fox5atl
— FOX5Atlanta (@FOX5Atlanta) November 7, 2012


  • Joeff Davis
  • Voters cast ballots on Nov. 6 at Druid Hills Baptist Church at the corner of Ponce de Leon and North Highland avenues

6:53 p.m. Seven minutes until the polls close. If you’re reading this while standing in line, congrats. If you’re walking to your polling precinct, walk faster. Wherever you’re watching the election, keep us open in a tab and refresh for occasional updates. Max Blau and I have commandeered the controls of CL’s Twitter account, so follow us there as well.