Mormons line up outside the historic Salt Lake Temple for an annual conference in April 2010.
Credit George Frey / Getty Images
Poor Chris Stewart. The former Air Force pilot had just won a landslide victory in his first bid for Congress in Utah, but the crowd of Republicans listening to his acceptance speech at a Salt Lake City hotel kept pointing to the massive television screen behind him.
"Do you want me to stop?" Stewart asked. "You would rather listen to Gov. Romney than to me, wouldn't you?"
Some in the crowd shouted "Yes!" and the sound of Romney's concession speech filled the room.
The balloons have fallen, the bunting's down, and President Obama has been re-elected.
That means Mitt Romney has been defeated — and with him, many election aspects that we presumed to be true. (You know what they say about presume — it makes a pres out of u and me.)
Maybe it's because we're sailing into a new and uncharted century. Maybe it's because of climate change or polar shift or Mayan calendrical mayhem. But the presidential election of 2012 provided a highly unusual, if not unique, set of circumstances.
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.
Mitt Romney concedes the presidency early Wednesday in Boston.
Credit Joe Raedle / Getty Images
With President Obama's defeat of Mitt Romney, the Republican Party finds itself in the same place it was four years ago — once again coming up short in its attempt to win the most powerful office in American democracy.
It faces the inevitable soul-searching the losing party undergoes, to greater or lesser degrees, after every contest for the one office whose occupant represents the entire nation.
And how the GOP reacts could help determine its fortunes in 2016.