Buoyed by a slowly but surely recovering economy and a display of
cool leadership during superstorm Sandy, President Barack Obama
scored a decisive victory over Republican challenger Mitt Romney
after a long, contentious and expensive election battle.
The glad tidings for Obama, who was engaged in one of the closest
White House races ever, came around 11.15 p.m. Tuesday when major
networks gave him 274 electoral votes to take him over the
threshold of 270 required to win.
He is the third consecutive president of the US to retain
office after his predecessors George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
Even pro-Republican Fox News conceded Obama's win as he bagged the
first big contested prize of the night in Pennsylvania followed by
New Hampshire, where Romney has a home and began his campaign, and
By midnight, Obama, who four years ago made history by becoming
the first African-American to occupy the world's most powerful
office with a promise of hope and change to a country in the
throes of a deep recession, had increased his lead to 290 and
Joyful supporters danced and cheered at Obama's victory party in
Chicago as Obama tweeted: "Four more years."
"We're all in this together. That's how we campaigned, and that's
who we are. Thank you," said another tweet from Obama, the
51-year-old son of a Kenyan father and a white American mother.
The mood at Romney's election-night gathering in Boston was sombre
as the challenger called the president and came out to make a
concession speech shortly before 1 a.m.
Addressing a gathering of cheering supporters in Boston, Romney
said he wished Obama and his family well.
It was a "time of great challenges for America", Romney said,
adding that he prayed that the "president would be successful in
guiding our nation".
He also thanked his running mate Paul Ryan. "Besides my wife Ann,
Paul is the best choice I ever made," Romney, 65, said.
"She would have made a wonderful first lady," he added.
Romney, who fought a tough fight that went down to the wire, said
this was a "critical time" for the nation. We can't afford
partisan bickering, the Republican challenger to the White House
told the crowds, many of whom appeared to be listening with tears
in their eyes.
"I believe in America. I believe in the people of America," he
In early results, Obama won his home state of Illinois as well as
Romney's home state of Massachusetts, where Romney was governor
from 2003 to 2007, besides Wisconsin, the home of challenger's
running mate Paul Ryan.
Apart from the battleground states of Ohio and Iowa, he also
easily won traditional Democratic strongholds of California, New
York and other populous states such as Michigan and Pennsylvania,
where Romney mounted a late but unsuccessful push, the channel
Exit polls showed Obama received strong support, as expected, from
women voters as well as overwhelming support from African
Americans and strong backing from Hispanic voters, similar to the
coalition that carried him to victory four years earlier.
Meanwhile, CNN projected that Democrats will retain their majority
in the Senate, ensuring another divided Congress after Republicans
earlier were projected to hold their majority in the US House of