This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renée Montagne.
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And I'm Steve Inskeep. Throughout this morning we've been reaching out for a variety of viewpoints on the election results and one person we've called is Michael Gerson, columnist for the Washington Post and former speechwriter for President George W. Bush. Mr. Gerson, welcome back to the program.
Israel is the United State's closest ally in the Middle East, and home to a large number of overseas American voters. Israelis have been debating which candidate, Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, would do more to ensure their country's security.
In China, President Obama's re-election has been greeted with muted relief, as NPR's Louisa Lim reports from Beijing.
LOUISA LIM, BYLINE: As the vote closed in the U.S., ballots were still being cast in Beijing at a mock voting booth at the U.S. embassy's election party. For Chinese students like Lily Zhang and Zhang Weiwen, the novelty of voting was a heady experience.
LILY ZHANG: It was great. The first time I vote for the American president. That's very amazing and I'm very honored.
Five hundred thirty-eight electoral votes were up for grabs on Election Day. President Obama has won, so far, 303 of them, a comfortable majority. Mitt Romney has 206. Twenty-nine are still unaccounted for - the electoral votes of Florida. Too close to call there. Less than a percentage point divides the candidates. But down the ballot, Democrats did well. The party retained a Senate seat and picked up a few key congressional races as well. NPR's Debbie Elliott reports.
It wasn't a great night for the Republican Party, losing bids for the White House and control of the Senate. Republicans did retain the majority in the House, and House Speaker John Boehner found consolation in that. Speaking to supporters last night, he remained steadfast in his pursuit of a conservative agenda.
For weeks, months - make that years - the conventional wisdom has been that the presidential election would all come down to Ohio, and Ohio would be very close. Well, that was partially right. Ohio was very close, but as NPR's Tamara Keith reports, not as pivotal as predicted.
TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Jack Shumate(ph) flew into Ohio last Thursday from Dallas, Texas. He came here because this was the place where he felt he could really make a difference for his candidate, Mitt Romney.
NPR's business news starts with a dive on Wall Street. Just this minute, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down about 317 points. It's considered the worst drop of the year, so far. We're a little bit before noon in New York City. What's going on? We're going to try to find out. We're joined now by DavidWessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal. And David, as best you can determine, what's driving the drop?
Americans elected Barack Obama to a second term Tuesday, with the president capturing or on the verge of winning all of the key states that had been at the center of his hard-fought campaign against Republican Mitt Romney.
"Whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you," Obama said early Wednesday at a speech before thousands of supporters in Chicago. "I have learned from you. And you've made me a better president.
And now on to the biggest state that is really a contested battleground. I mean, we assume New York and California are barely contested by Republicans and Texas is assumed to go to Republican.
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SIEGEL: But with 29 electoral votes, Florida is always a state we look at. And our own Debbie Elliott is in Tampa at the Republican Party event there. And, Debbie, who are the key constituencies in Florida who are thought to be the ones who will decide who wins this day today?