Election 2012 Will Be One for the Record Books

The polls were close, the predictions were rampant and the attack ads were constant, but no matter which candidates win today, plenty of election precedents are likely to be set.

Mitt Romney's religious background would be a historical first. Wisconsin's Tammy Baldwin is vying to become the first openly gay U.S. senator, and Mia Love, who is competing for one of Utah's congressional seats, would be the first black female Republican congresswoman.

And, if you haven't heard of him yet, you might just learn all about Kerry Bentivolio after the election, if he wins a Michigan House seat and becomes the first Santa impersonator-reindeer farmer in Congress.

Read on to learn more about Bentivolio and other possible Election Day firsts.

Find election-night results for presidential, Senate and House races HERE.

First Mormon President

There have been Catholic, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Methodist and Baptist presidents, but Romney would the first Mormon to win the White House.

There is a Mormon serving as Senate majority leader (Harry Reid, D-Nev.) and Sen. Orrin Hatch, who is also Mormon, will be the most senior Republican senator if he wins re-election. Other famous Mormons include conservative talk-radio host Glenn Beck, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid, singer Jewel and actress Amy Adams.

First Black Republican Congresswoman

Another Mormon hoping to blaze a trail this election is Mia Love. The 36-year-old native of New York is already playing an unlikely role. The daughter of Haitian immigrants is mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, a city of about 20,000 people, 93 percent of whom are white.

Love would continue to break barriers by becoming the first black female GOP representative in Congress. She became her party's nominee for Utah's 4th district and was whisked to the RNC convention in Tampa, Fla., where she gave a prime time speech. Polls showed her race against Democratic incumbent Jim Matheson tightening considerably in the final few days of the campaign.

First Time So Many Women Have Run for Congress

This election could break records for the number of women serving in the House, as well as the Senate.

There are 17 women serving in the U.S. Senate, a record. In all, 18 women are gunning for spots during this election, which breaks 2010's record of 14. So, even as Maine's Sen. Olympia Snowe and Texas Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison retire, there's still the possibility of a record-breaking election for women in the Senate.

A new record was also set this year as 166 women won their House race primaries. Seventy-three women serve in the House, so the potential for a record year exists there, as well.

PHOTO: Ann McLane Kuster, left, and Carol Shea-Porter.
Kuster for Congress/Getty Images
First All-Female Delegation

As women run for Congress in greater numbers, what might happen in New Hampshire this election could be more and more common.

Carol Shea-Porter and Ann McLane Kuster each hope to become representatives of one of New Hampshire's congressional districts. If they win, they will join U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D) and Kelly A. Ayotte (R) in the Granite State's congressional delegation. What do these politicians have in common? They are all women and would become the first all-female delegation from a U.S. state.

First 70-Plus Vice President Sworn Into a Second Term

At age 70, Joe Biden would be the oldest vice president ever sworn in for a second term. Vice President George Clinton, who served under Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, holds the record. Clinton was 69 when he began his second term in 1809.

When he first took office in 2008, Biden was the sixth-oldest vice president in history at 66 years, 61 days old.

Two of his older counterparts -- William King, vice president under Franklin Pierce, and Elbridge Gerry, who served under James Madison -- died during their first terms. The other three did not seek re-election.

First Openly Gay Senator

Tammy Baldwin was elected to Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district in 1998. At the time of her election, Baldwin was out as a lesbian and became the first out lesbian to win a seat in Congress. Now, Baldwin is fighting for a Senate seat in her home state and to become America's first openly gay U.S. senator.

Baldwin is up against Republican incumbent and former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson. Polls showed Baldwin and Thompson in a dead heat as the election surged to a close.

First Vice President Born After Americans Landed on the Moon.

Born in 1970, Romney's running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, is the first member of Generation X to run for the White House. Ryan is 27 years younger than Vice President Biden, 23 years younger than Romney and nine years younger that President Obama.

Ryan would be the first vice president who was not yet born when President Kennedy was assassinated. The Wisconsin representative was 3 when the last U.S. troops left Vietnam, 10 when John Lennon was killed and 16 when the space shuttle Challenger exploded. He was not born until six months after Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon.

First Santa Impersonator-Reindeer Farmer in Congress

A Santa Claus impersonator, maybe. A reindeer farmer, possibly. But a reindeer farming-Santa impersonator just sounds like fiction.

If Kerry Bentivolio is elected to the U.S. House in Michigan, however, it will be fact. Bentivolio also keeps bees and a small flock of chickens on his Milford, Mich., farm, according to his campaign website.

Bentivolio's hobbies aren't the strangest thing about his campaign, either. Politico reported Nov. 1 that Bentivolio's brother denounced Bentivolio's bid for Congress and called him "mentally unbalanced."

Either way, Bentivolio led his Democratic opponent, Syed Taj, by a healthy margin.

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