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U.S. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden laugh together during a meeting of the National Governors Association at the White House in Washington February 23, 2009.    REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque  
"Mitt Romney is really going to hit 47 percent!"
When we last checked yesterday, Mitt Romney was at 47.56 percent of the popular vote. The last drama of the 2012 presidential cycle is whether Romney hits 47.49 percent of the total, thus gets rounded down to 47 percent.

Why does 47 percent matter? It doesn't, except we'd get one more laugh at the utter irony of it all. And really, who could fault us for wanting one more laugh in a cycle full of them?

So the latest count, per Dave Wasserman's county-level tabulations?

47.53 percent

The 0.03-point drop since the last update was fueled by returns from Denver, St. Louis, and Thurston County, WA (Olympia).

It's hard to say how many votes remain to be counted, but just California and New York have about 2-3 million more votes outstanding. Thus, we're well on track to get Romney that rounded 47 percent number.

Other interesting tidbits, courtesy of Wasserman:

@BarackObama's final Arkansas percentage - 36.88% - is lowest showing for any Dem nominee since McGovern in 1972:
@Redistrict via web
@BarackObama's raw vote lead over @MittRomney just surpassed 4.1 million (64,216,223 to 60,114,898) in our tracker:
@Redistrict via web

Remember when George W. Bush declared a sweeping mandate in 2004? He won i2004 by just over three million votes and 286-251 in the Electoral College. So if that was a mandate, what does it say about Obama's victory?

And with that, 2012 is now 1st year in history BOTH major party nominees have won more than 60 million votes:
@Redistrict via web

That's right! Romney now has about 200,000 more votes than John McCain did in 2008. He can be a little less embarrassed now!

El Paso County, Colorado, home of wingnut central Colorado Springs, went for Romney 59.4-38.1 in the election night count. However, a new batch of votes just came from the area, and they were 10,353 for Obama, 9,192 for Romney. That lends credence to the theory that most of the outstanding vote, at this point, are Democratic-leaning provisionals.

With several million more votes left to be counted, 2008 currently sports about 4.8 million more votes than 2012, or 3.69 percent. Interestingly, turnout is down just 0.55 percent (or 250K votes) in the battleground states, compared to being down 5.31 percent in non-battlegrounds. Those numbers will shift a bit, particularly when non-battlegrounds California and New York finish reporting. But still, it's clear that people will turnout in greater numbers if their vote matters.

Washington is currently up two percent cycle-over-cycle, but that's because the marriage initiative gave voters a reason to turn out. If we really want a nation where people feel a stake in the elections, we need to give them a system in which they legitimately have a stake in the election. In other words, a national popular vote.

Click the link above for more info, because it's definitely something I'll be talking a lot about in the coming months. And no, it won't require amending the Constitution or getting rid of the Electoral College -- it's a simple solution that has already been passed in states accounting for 132 of the 270 electoral votes needed to make the national popular vote a reality.

Had the election taken place in mid-October, Mitt Romney would've likely won the popular vote and lost the Electoral College. Maybe that possibility will properly motivate Republican-controlled states to jump aboard the effort.

Originally posted to kos on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 04:20 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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