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Mr. 47 Percent

Associated Press

Election Day was three weeks ago, but every day, the overall popular-vote totals change just a little as additional results are published. And as of yesterday, we appear to have reached an interesting, albeit largely symbolic, threshold.

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.

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.

According to a detailed tally from the Cook Political Report's David Wasserman, President Obama leads Romney 64,811,843 votes to 60,444,303, or 50.86% to 47.43%. Rounded to the nearest whole number, Obama won 51% to 47%.

And that 47% figure is the one number the Republican probably hoped to avoid. (It's true that there are still more votes being tallied, and so the final figures are likely to change, but given where the unreported votes were cast, the most likely result is Romney ending up around 47.2%.)

One other related tidbit: as things currently stand, Obama's popular vote margin of victory is 3.43%. That's close, to be sure, but for all the talk about the razor-thin race and the speculation that this could be the tightest national election any of us have ever seen, Obama's 2012 victory isn't even in the top 10 of the closest presidential elections in American history.