David Wasserman of the Cook Political Report, who has been obsessively following late returns, provisional ballot rulings, and other adjustments, has issued his final tally of the 2012 presidential election popular vote: Obama 65,899,557 (51.06%), Romney 60,931,959 (47.21%).
Obama’s 3.85% margin is a bit above half of his 2008 margin (7.2%), and well above George W. Bush’s 2.4% margin in 2004. And get this: Obama has now twice posted a higher percentage of the popular vote than any Democratic presidential nominee since Lyndon Johnson.
Since Republican operatives and pundits spent a goodly part of the election cycle suggesting this would be a replay of 1980, it should be noted that Obama squeaked past Carter’s percentage of the vote that year by more than 10 points. His numbers were pretty close to Ronald Reagan’s in 1980 (actually exceeding St. Ronald’s 50.7%), but I don’t think that’s what GOPers had in mind in raising the analogy.