WASHINGTON -- Mitt Romney’s campaign conceded on Thursday that it lost Florida, as votes continue to be tallied more than 36 hours after the election was called for President Barack Obama.
"The numbers in Florida show this was winnable," Brett Doster, Romney's senior adviser in Florida, told the Miami Herald in a statement. "We thought based on our polling and range of organization that we had done what we needed to win. Obviously, we didn't, and for that I and every other operative in Florida has a sick feeling that we left something on the table. I can assure you this won't happen again.”
As of Thursday, the president maintained a narrow lead over Romney in the state, with 100 percent of precincts reporting. But the state had yet to count a total of 200,000 absentee and provisional ballots, which was larger than the president's lead of 55,825 votes.
Absentee ballots were still being tallied in nine counties: Broward, Duval, Escambia, Hillsborough, Miami-Dade, Okaloosa, Palm Beach, Pinellas and Putnam.
The Huffington Post reported on the chaos in Miami-Dade County, where voters faced long lines during early voting and a confusing 12-page ballot.
During a conference call on Thursday, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina told reporters he was confident the president would be named the official winner in Florida, pointing to a boost from Latino and youth voters and having won the messaging war on Medicare.
With a win in Florida, Obama finishes the election with 332 electoral votes, just 33 fewer than he won in his victory in 2008. He also won every battleground state except North Carolina.
This post has been updated to include Obama's vote tally as of Thursday.