An Election Like No Other—and Facing the Fiscal Cliff

Laura Shin
Posted

On Tuesday, American voters finally had their say in the most expensive election in American history, re-electing President Barack Obama to make him the 45th president of the United States.

In a race whose central theme was the economy, social issues ended up being the decisive factors in his victory, drawing women, Hispanics, blacks, Asian-Americans and younger voters to his side. Controversial comments by Republican candidates about the definition of rape may have contributed to the solid defeats of Republican senatorial candidates, even in states that went for Mitt Romney.

Meanwhile, voters put a record 20 women into next year’s Senate, and a record 78 women are on track to serve in the House of Representatives.

Even voters in Eastern cities and states, where 1.8 million customers were still out of power as of Sunday with temperatures dipping below freezing, went to the polls. “I’m going to vote in here all day long — it’s nice and warm,” one voter in New Jersey told The New York Times.

With the election over, all eyes turned to the fiscal cliff, the looming $7 trillion expiration of tax breaks and the trigger of budget cuts. And Wall Street, having hoped for a Romney victory that would loosen proposed financial regulations, readied themselves instead for their final implementation.

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