The Washington Post

Romney’s final share of the vote? You guessed it: 47 percent.

Call it irony or call it coincidence: Mitt Romney's share of the popular vote in the 2012 presidential race is very likely to be 47 percent.

Mitt Romney addresses the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) annual convention in Houston on July 11, 2012. (NICHOLAS KAMM - AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Romney's campaign, of course, was doomed in large part by comments made on a hidden camera in which he suggested that 47 percent of the country was so reliant on government services that those people would never vote for him.

The words '47 percent' came to define what was already evident: that Romney struggled to connect with lower- and middle-income voters and with groups such as Latinos. And in the end, it looks like 47 percent also just happens to be the share of the vote that Romney will get.

The Washington Post's Greg Sargent noted a few days ago that Romney was flirting with 47 percent, and now it appears to be happening.

According to the latest numbers tallied by David Wasserman of the Cook Political Report, President Obama has expanded his share of the popular vote to 50.8 percent, while Romney has fallen to 47.49 percent.

By virtue of rounding, Romney's share of the popular vote will be recorded here and elsewhere as 47 percent, so long as it doesn't rise above 47.5 percent again.

That seems unlikely. Wasserman projects that Romney's vote share will actually head more toward 47 percent flat -- 47.1 percent or 47.2 percent -- because many of the outstanding ballots in the presidential race come from California and New York, which both voted for Obama by a large margin.

And Obama's popular vote margin, in the end, is likely to be 51 percent to 47 percent.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.

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