US President Barack Obama won a second four-year term on Tuesday night, conquering the key states of Ohio and Wisconsin to edge out Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
Barack Obama won a second term as the president of the United States on Tuesday night, defeating Republican challenger Mitt Romney in an extraordinarily tight race. Major US television networks and newspapers called Obama the winner at around 11:15pm Eastern Standard Time, based on projections for key battleground states.
Ohio once more proved to be America’s “bellweather state” in a tight contest that saw the two rivals separated by a few electoral college votes when the race was called. Obama’s advantage in that state appeared to seal his victory, after wins in the swing states of Winsonsin and Iowa.
“Four more years”, Obama wrote on his Twitter account, publishing a photo of himself embracing First Lady Michelle Obama. Within minutes it became the most re-tweeted message in the short history of the micro-blogging site.
The incumbent also thanked his supporters: “We’re all in this together. That’s how we campaigned, and that’s who we are.”
Obama became the second Democrat to win two consecutive terms as president since the end of World War Two. Former president Bill Clinton, who campaigned heavily on Obama’s behalf, won his own re-election bid in 1996.
While forecasts predicted the incumbent would finish election night with a wide margin of electoral votes, early counting showed that a razor-thin margin separated Obama and Romney in the popular vote.
The US president is chosen in a state-by-state tally of electors, not according to the nationwide popular vote.
Obama powers back in swing states
The first vote projections by TV networks showed the state of Kentucky and its 8 electoral votes side with Romney, while the small northeastern state of Vermont (3 votes) went to Obama. Romney enjoyed an early lead as the first poll results trickled in, but tallies for key battleground states reversed that trend. Pennsylvania –despite Republicans’ claims that they would steal away the state– was comfortably won by Obama. New Hampshire, another key swing state in past elections, was also taken by the president.
Wins for Obama in the swing states of Wisconsin and Iowa revved up Democratic supporters gathered at the president’s campaign headquarters in the city of Chicago, before the announcement of victory in Ohio sparked wild cheering.
With the Wisconsin, Iowa and Ohio hat trick, the suspense surrounding the elector-rich state of Florida was erased. Even if Romney went on to win the battleground states of Florida and Virginia, his presidential bid was doomed.
There were few surprises elsewhere. Both Obama and Romney took the states that analysts predicted they would safely capture. Obama won the West Coast state of California, while Romney took Texas.
Projections by cable news network CNN and other media showed Republicans would keep control of the House of Representatives, while the Senate remains in the hands of Democrats.