There was plenty of GOP griping toward the end of the 2012 election that pollsters were skewing their samples too Democratic.

How could the electorate be nearly as friendly for Obama as it was in 2008 when 2008 was such a good year for Democrats, people argued.

Well guess what. The electorate wasn't just almost as friendly for Obama; it was probably more friendly.

Exit polls from last night show Democrats, who had a seven-point turnout edge in 2008, rivaled that on Tuesday, winning the turnout battle by 6 percentage points, 38 percent Democratic to 32 percent Republican.

But when it comes to key demographics, the electorate actually likely skewed more Democratic/liberal than in 2008.

The electorate was less white (from 74 percent in 2008 to 72 percent this year), more Latino (9 percent to 10 percent), just as African-American (13 percent to 13 percent), more female (53 percent to 54 percent), more low-income (38 percent making less than $50,000 in 2008 to 41 percent Tuesday) and -- perhaps most remarkably, younger (18 percent to 19 percent).

It all suggests that Obama's laser-like focus on turning out each of his key constituencies -- minorities, women and young people -- paid dividends.

And in many cases, these groups backed him as much or more as in 2008.

Women gave Obama 55 percent of the vote and low-income voters gave him 60 percent, about the same as four years ago.

Latinos gave Obama 67 percent of their vote four years ago, and 71 percent on Tuesday.

And Democrats supported Obama even more than they did four years ago, with his share of the Democratic vote rising from 89 percent to 92 percent.

(To see all these shifts, make sure to check out the Post polling team's great interactive exit poll graphic.)

Republicans gave Nate Silver a hard time for projecting that Obama would win 313 electoral votes. If Obama carries Florida (as it appears he will), he will have won 332 electoral votes.

Yep, the polls (and pollsters) were right.

Senate Democrats may expand majority: Senate Democrats may have pulled an improbable feat on Tuesday, potentially gaining seats in an election in which their majority was supposed to be in danger.

Democratic victories in tossup states Virginia and Wisconsin gave them 52 seats, and 53 seats if independent Maine Sen.-elect Angus King caucuses with them, as many expect. That's as many as they currently have.

Three Western states had yet to be called early Wednesday morning, but Democrat Heidi Heitkamp led by 1.6 points in North Dakota with 96 percent of precincts reporting, and Democrats also had good chances in Montana and Nevada. (To stay up to date on these races, check out our live results page.)

By the end of the night, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (R-Texas) admitted defeat.

"It’s clear that with our losses in the presidential race, and a number of key Senate races, we have a period of reflection and recalibration ahead for the Republican Party," Cornyn said. "While some will want to blame one wing of the party over the other, the reality is candidates from all corners of our GOP lost tonight. Clearly we have work to do in the weeks and months ahead."

GOP House majority largely intact: Similar to Senate Democrats, House Republicans claimed a big win on Tuesday, with their majority likely only slightly reduced -- if at all.

Democrats had talked for much of the cycle about regaining the House, which would have required a gain of 25 seats. By early Wednesday morning, both sides were about even, with Democrats likely to pick up a few seats in California.

Stay tuned to The Fix today for updates on all these late races and bookmark the live results page.

Big wins for gay rights and marijuana: Ballot referenda in several states provided big wins for advocates of gay marriage and the legalization of marijuana, and Wisconsin even elected the first gay U.S. senator in Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D).

Washington state and Colorado passed the marijuana measures, while Maine and Maryland passed gay marriage legislation. In each case, the votes were unprecedented.


Independent Sen.-elect Angus King (Maine) still won't say who he'll caucus with.

Republicans won a 30th governor's seat Tuesday in North Carolina, with potential takeovers in Montana and Washington state still too close to call.

Reps. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), John Tierney (D-Mass.) and Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.) all survived their "embattled" status on Tuesday, owing to their partisan-drawn districts.

GOP firebrand Reps. Allen West (R-Fla.) and Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) were in very close races early Wednesday morning, with West trailing by less than 1 percent and Bachmann leading by less than 1 percent. Another conservative favorite, Rep. Joe Walsh (D-Ill.), lost.

Rep. John Barrow's (D-Ga.) win assures white Southern Democrats will remain in the House, but they took some more hits Tuesday.