A big win for Obama, and a complicated one for some New York Democrats

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Briefing: A woman in Harlem celebrates last night. (Azi Paybarah)
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In the end, it wasn't all that close.

Barack Obama all but swept the battleground states, which collectively brushed off Mitt Romney's argument that the president was responsible for the country's weak economy.

The explanations for the result from Romney-sympathizing pundits were all over the map. And that's to say nothing of the ones who offered no explanation at all. 

("I'll always be proud of my country, but Obama's victory defies political logic and economic reality," Michael Goodwin, a veteran of the news business, actually wrote.)

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In New York, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand easily won election to her first full term against a Republican named Wendy Long, who is not related to Conservative Party chairman Michael Long. 

The state's other senator, Chuck Schumer, was something of a winner despite not being on the ballot, as the first class of U.S. senators he helped elect came through election night in strong shape.

Democrats picked up a handful of State Senate seats, which seems certain to complicate Governor Andrew Cuomo's control of Albany, to say nothing of the Republicans' control of the Senate itself. The Democrats seem to have picked up enough seats to get into the majority, but their ability to take over will depend on what happens with four "independent" Democrats who previously broke away from the conference and with projected winner Simcha Felder, a Democrat who appears to have beaten incumbent David Storobin but who has said he'll caucus with whichever party is in the majority.

Both Cuomo and Mayor Michael Bloomberg endorsed Obama for re-election, though neither was a particularly active surrogate for him.

Bloomberg's endorsement of Obama came just days ago, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, after he'd spent nearly the entire election expressing his self-styled centrism by criticizing both presidential candidates in equal measure.

He formed a super PAC in the closing stage of the election, which he put in the hands of top aide Howard Wolfson with instructions to back moderate candidates. Results were mixed.

Cuomo, who kept a careful distance from Obama for most of the campaign, faces re-election in 2014, but he and everyone else will no doubt be looking past that.

Cuomo's actions are increasingly going to be viewed in the context of the presidential election in 2016, even as his fortunes, and his party's, are now tied to Obama for four more years. Whether the governor likes it or not.

Quote

"Hard to believe folks are gullible enough to believe they really didn't write 2 speeches." — Jerry Skurnik

From Capital

What kind of leverage will Obama's margin get him? [Blake Zeff]

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand can pursue her own ambitions now, whatever they are. [Reid Pillifant]

Chuck Schumer won big, by protecting his class of '06 and seeing his party pick up some seats in the Senate. [Reid Pillifant]

Bloomberg's super PAC won some and lost some. [Reid Pillifant]

Harlem voters was just as enthusiastic yesterday as they were four years ago, said Assemblyman Keith Wright. [Azi Paybarah]

Why Paul Ryan was a big bust. [Blake Zeff]

"Total chaos" at various New York City polling sites. [Azi Paybarah]

The Bishop-Althschuler contest was like the Obama-Romney contest in miniature. [Matt Taylor]

News Corp. officials were not talkative with reporters yesterday. [Joe Pompeo]

Events

"Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is in New York City."

Noon. City Comptroller John Lliu visits a senior center at 96 Fulton Street, in Brooklyn.

12:30 p.m. Liu visits a senior center at 463A 7th Street, in Park Slope Brookyn.

8 p.m. Liu attends the Queensboro Hill Neighborhood Association meeting, at New York Hospital Queens, 56-45 Main Street, in Queens.

1:30 p.m. Rep. Greg Meeks has a conference call with reporters about Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.

3 p.m. Mayor Michael Bloomberg updates the public on Hurricane Sandy relief efforts and the coming nor'easter, at the Office of Emergency Management, 165 Cadman Plaza East, in Brooklyn. The event will stream live here.

2012

Obama won with narrow victories in at least six of the seven big battlegrounds. [David Fahrenthold]

"More broadly, Midwestern voters seemed to endorse the president’s argument that the government has a significant role in creating private-sector jobs and boosting the economy." [New York Times]

Obama didn't win a mandate, said one anti-Obama tabloid editorial page. [New York Post]

The New York Times is slightly less excited this time around. [Ruby Cramer]

Along with the rest of the world. [Michael Birnbaum and Keith Richburg]

Republican soul-searching begins: "too old, too white, too male." [Jonathan Martin]

Washington has seen this before. [Jonathan Allen]

Voters in Maryland approved a referendum for same-sex marriage. [Annie Linskey]

Social media didn't shape the the national dialogue, it mirrored it. [Micah Sifry]

Congress

In NY-01, Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop beat Republican challenger Randy Altschuler. [Raymond Hernandez]

In NY-06, Democratic assemblywoman Grace Meng defeated Republican city councilman Dan Halloran 68-31 percent. [NY1]

In NY-11, Republican Rep. Michael Grimm defeated Democratic challenger Mark Murphy, 52.78% - 46.22%. [NY1]

Grimm tempered his celebration, noting many residents on Staten Island and Brooklyn are still recovering from Hurricane Sandy. [Matthew Katz]

Grimm said Murphy was "despicable" and "wouldn't take his concession call, even if he call." [Staten Island Advance]

In NY-18, Republican Rep. Nan Hayworth lost to Democratic challenger Sean Patrick Maloney. [Raymond Hernandez]

In NY-24, Republican Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle lost to Democratic challenger Dan Maffei. [Raymond Hernandez]

In NY-25, Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter defeated Republican challenger Maggie Brooks. [Raymond Hernandez]

In NY-27, Democratic Rep. Kathy Hochul lost to Republican challenger Chris Collins. [Raymond Hernandez]

Albany

Democratic state senator Michael Gianaris said he is confident his party won enough seats to take the majority, surprising many who thought Republicans would retain control, after Cuomo approved a Republican gerrymandering of the district lines. [Thomas Kaplan]

"Democrats poised for big gains in State Senate" [Glenn Blain]

Republican could still regain control of the chamber, thanks to the four-member Independent Democratic Caucus, and Democrat Simcha Felder, who signaled he may caucus with Republicans. [Eric Kriss]

In SD-15, Democratic state senator Joseph Addabbo beat Eric Ulrich 57.27% - 42.73%. [NY1]

Ulrich isn't conceding the race. [Sally Goldenberg]

Ulrich said there were "literally thousands of paper ballots still out there." [Tuan Nguyen, Andrea Swalec and Julie Shapiro]

In SD-17, Simcha Felder beat Republican state senator David Storobin, 66.31% - 32.77%. [NY1]

In SD-21, Democratic state senator Kevin Parker beat Mindy Meyer, 97.14% - 2.86%. [NY1]

In SD-22, Republican state senator Marty Golden beat Andrew Gounardes, 58.1%-41.9%. [NY1]

2013 / City Hall

There was no time to train poll workers on the new voting rules Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the night before the election, said a spokeswoman for the New York City Board of Elections. [Kate Taylor]

"NY voters endure cold, long lines and no power to cast ballot for next president" [Kevin Fasick, Tara Palmeri and David Seiman]

As the cleanup from the hurricane continues, New York City is bracing for the northeaster. [David Seifman, Reuven Fenton and Bruce Golding]

Bloomberg's earlier changes to the city's 911 emergency system reduced the time it takes to get responders on the scene, but may make it harder to weed out duplicate calls, wasting valuable resources. [New York Post]

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