Nov 07, 2012 11:06 AM EST
Now that all is said and done and President Barack Obama has secured another four years in the White House, political commentators are turning their attention to this year's voter turnout statistics.
The 2012 race for the presidency was long, rigorous and expensive, but the tally of total votes showed fewer voters went to the polls in 2012 than in the 2008 election that gave Obama his first term as president.
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The Associated Press reported that with 97 percent of precincts reporting nationwide, a total of approximately 118 million Americans cast a vote on Election Day. That number is significantly lower than the 131 million voters who cast a ballot in 2008.
Turnout was down across the entire nation, with every single state reporting lower turnout than they saw in 2008, according to Curtis Gans, director of American University's Center for the Study of the American Electorate.
"This is one of those rare elections in which turnout in every state in the nation went down," Gans said.
Of course, those numbers can still turn around as the final wave of votes are officially reported from various states across the country.
As it stands now, President Obama received 50 percent of the popular vote compared to Romney's 48 percent, according to CNN. Obama netted approximately 59.9 million votes, while his Republican challenger got about 57.2 million.
Gans said the 2012 presidential election was unique in that it included a combination of passionate, fervent voters who campaigned hard for their candidate, as well as Americans who were uninterested in the race and the changes it might bring to the country.
"Beyond the people with passion, we have a disengaged electorate," Gans said. "This was a very tight race, there were serious things to be decided."
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