President Barack Obama defeats Romney to win re-election


Barack Obama: "I have never been more hopeful"

President Barack Obama has been re-elected to a second term, defeating Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

America's first black president secured more than the 270 votes in the electoral college needed to win.

In his victory speech before supporters in Chicago, Mr Obama said he would talk to Mr Romney about "where we can work together to move this country forward".

Mr Obama prevailed despite lingering dissatisfaction with the economy and a hard-fought challenge by Mr Romney.

His Democrats also retained their majority in the Senate, which they have held since 2007.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

The Republicans kept control of the House of Representatives, which analysts say will likely result in more of the gridlock that characterised Mr Obama's first term, with the House and the president at loggerheads on most legislation.

In his address, the president challenged his opponents, asking them to work with him.

With only Florida's 29 electoral votes still undecided, Mr Obama won 303 electoral votes to Mr Romney's 206.

The popular vote, which is symbolically and politically important but not decisive in the race, remains very close.

Start Quote

Both candidates said this was a choice of two visions - America has chosen ”

End Quote
'One nation' speech

Mr Obama congratulated Mr Romney and Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan on their hard-fought campaign.

"We have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America the best is yet to come," he said.

Mr Obama said he was returning to the White House "more determined, and more inspired than ever about the work there is to do, and the future that lies ahead".

He pledged to work with Republican leaders in Congress to reduce the government's budget deficit, fix the tax code and reform the immigration system.

"We are an American family and we rise and fall together as one nation," he said.

In Boston, where his campaign was based, Mr Romney congratulated the president and said he and Mr Ryan had "left everything on the field" and had given their all in the campaign.

US media reaction

Thomas L Friedman of the New York Times writes: "No one can know for sure what complex emotional chemistry tipped this election Obama's way… it came down to a majority of Americans believing that whatever his faults, Obama was trying his hardest to fix what ails the country."

Dan Balz of the Washington Post says: "Tuesday's election produced an uncertain mandate, although Obama will attempt to claim one. Obama offered a plan, but not one that deals directly with some of the problems he will have to confront immediately."

A Wall Street Journal opinion piece read: "[Obama] said little during the campaign about his first term and even less about his plans for a second. Instead his strategy was to portray Mitt Romney as a plutocrat… it worked with brutal efficiency - the definition of winning ugly."

Doyle McManus of the Los Angeles Times writes: "If we're lucky, we will find that we elected a different Obama from the one who won four years ago - not just a grayer Obama but a wiser one too."

Referring to the struggling economy, Mr Romney said now was not the time for "partisan bickering and political posturing", and that Republicans and Democrats must "put people before politics".

"I so wish that I had been able to fulfil your hopes to lead the country in a different direction but the nation chose another leader and so I join with you to earnestly pray for [Mr Obama] and for this great nation," he said.

Under the US constitution, each state is given a number of electoral votes in rough proportion to its population. The candidate who wins 270 electoral votes - by prevailing in the mostly winner-takes-all state contests - becomes president.

On Tuesday, the president held the White House by assembling solid Democratic states and a number of important swing states such as Colorado, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Minnesota, Virginia and Wisconsin. His narrow victory in Ohio, a critical Mid-Western swing state, sealed the victory.

In other key ballots:

  • Referendums in Maine, Maryland and Washington state approved same-sex marriage, while a measure in Minnesota to block gay unions failed
  • Colorado and Washington state voted to legalise recreational use of marijuana
  • California voters rejected a proposal to abolish the death penalty
  • In a referendum, Puerto Ricans voted in favour of becoming the 51st US state, if Congress approves the move.
Billions spent

Mr Romney won North Carolina and Indiana, both of which Mr Obama won in 2008, as well as the solid Republican states.

Reaction to the result

Analysis: A vote for the status quo

Peston: Does US election matter to us?

What Obama's win means for the world

World reaction to Obama's re-election

In pictures: US elects a president

Clash over 'fiscal cliff' looms

But he was unable to win in Ohio or other states needed to breach the 270 threshold.

Also on Tuesday's ballot were 11 state governorships, a third of the seats in the 100-member US Senate and all 435 seats in the House of Representatives.

Mr Obama's victory came despite lingering high unemployment - 7.9% on election day - and tepid economic growth.

But voters gave him credit for his 2009 rescue of the US car industry among other policy accomplishments, and rewarded him for ordering the commando mission that killed Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan last year.

He and Mr Romney, as well as their respective allies, have spent more than $2bn (£1.25bn) - largely on adverts in swing states.


More on This Story

US Presidential Election 2012


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 150.

    126.Shaunie Babes
    11 Minutes ago
    Ninety Three percent of Black voters voted for Obama.

    He was re-elected due to racism


    Exactly how much is left of the bottom of that barrel you're scraping from?

  • rate this

    Comment number 149.

    This election had 2 very good candidates and I congratulate Mr Obama. But as a long time GOP supporter I think we have to ask the question; Where do the GOP go from here?

    Will they be able to tap into the Hispanic/African American vote in 2016, or is American heading for socialism and decades of Democrat rule?

    America 2 decades from now could be vastly different from what it is today.

  • rate this

    Comment number 148.

    @133. ukblah

    Wow. You're insinuating that Romney represents a policy of hate. That is alarming. I don't like Romney, or Obama, but I don't think Obama is much better than Romney.

    As for Obama's equality. Well, he has stated he is against gay marriage, but hey, as you said: "Obama = Equality AKA a fair chance for all to have the right to be equal".

    U wrote unequal but I think you mean equal?

  • rate this

    Comment number 147.

    It was either the idiot or the other one.

    They got the other one!

  • rate this

    Comment number 146.

    The last thing Obama didn't deserve to win was a Nobel Peace prize

  • rate this

    Comment number 145.

    Congratulations Obama, and congratulations America for keeping a president who actually cares for his people.

  • rate this

    Comment number 144.

    I think as many do, that today is a good day for the world. Well done President Obama.

  • rate this

    Comment number 143.

    Rejoice, celebrate, sing, dance, jump up and down, open Champagne, smoke a BIG cigar, have a party!

    Wonderful result, the world has been saved from another "Bushy"

  • rate this

    Comment number 142.

    What a relief!

    The conservatives have done everything they can to obstruct Obama's agenda for moving America forward. Big business and the banks have failed to put America first. They should listen to the wisest thing that Romney said in his conceding speech, that big business should do the right thing and invest in America. They haven't earned the tax breaks or deregulation they are waiting for.

  • rate this

    Comment number 141.

    So, he's been given a second chance. Good for America. You cannot expect someone to take office and solve all the wrongs in one fell swoop - a second chance is best.

    Congratulations to Obama and the Plucky loser, Mitt.

  • rate this

    Comment number 140.

    Says it all!?!?!?!?

    Medicare for all, killing the worlds most wanted man (something the 'War president' couldn't manage), unemployment rates at a 44 month low, exit strategies from several wars (started by reps).

    Now that does say it all..............

  • rate this

    Comment number 139.

    I actually like Obama, and hes had a very trying time, and the current figures show that growth is starting to occur with the jobless numbers dropping month on month, which means companies are starting to hire. hes also pushing through the social healthcare bill, which most of the western world has, maybe America is finally starting to grow up.

  • rate this

    Comment number 138.

    It is amasing to me that a country can reflect such contrasting tendencies. They re-elect Obama, the right man for the job for a second term and earn the admiration of the world for their sound decision making.....and yet they still voted in GWB TWICE!!!!!!! Go figure.

  • rate this

    Comment number 137.

    Cameron's comments are idiotic!

    "Together we can kick start the world economy" - exactly who are YOU kidding Mr Cameron!!
    - You can't even kick start THIS ONE.
    Does Cameron think Obama is going to take anything he says seriously?!
    Nice try Dave, but you'll be GONE long before Barack me thinks! (and hopes!).

  • rate this

    Comment number 136.

    Problem with USA elections is candidates can never be honest - the public don't want to hear the truth that the economy is crippled by massive debt run up by the previous generation and it needs paying down.
    The whole country has it's head in the sand on this.

  • rate this

    Comment number 135.

    Four more years to eradicate the world of nukes. Good luck!

  • rate this

    Comment number 134.

    Congratulations and a VICTORY for world peace.
    So what next now for the 50 shades of Mr Romney? The Republican Party has to re-energise itself, re-focus on things that matter to the electorate and get rid of the 'angry men with outdated views' that dominate the party. The demographics of the US has changed in the last 15 yrs hence the party has to reflect the population of the country.

  • rate this

    Comment number 133.

    Obama = Equality AKA a fair chance for all to have the right to be unequal
    Romney= Accept the reality of Capitalism

    Trying to create a level playing field in a system that REQUIRES inequality to operate properly is a waste of time.

    Having said that... you have to start somewhere and Obama represents a more general hope which is at least better than hate.

  • rate this

    Comment number 132.

    Expect a strong easterly wind as 70m Iranians have breathed a sigh of relief.

    While I have my reservations about Obama (and some of his remarks regarding the UK), he is clearly the best choice.

  • rate this

    Comment number 131.

    It's different in the states. I'm a Liberal (conservative) voter in Australia, but the Republican party in the US have moved way to the right and are frankly a bunch of gun toting evangelistic nutjobs.

    The world has breathed a sigh of relief.


Page 38 of 45


More US & Canada stories



  • Kim Jong-ilKorean kidnap

    The film stars abducted by North Korea and forced to make movies

  • scarlett Johansson7 days quiz

    Did someone try to impersonate Scarlett on the red carpet?

  • Woman reading on subwayCover shots Watch

    The disappearing books of the New York city subway

  • llamasLlama drama

    Two unlikely fugitives go on the run in Arizona

  • Girl with Pinocchio nose Busting fake CVs

    The digital technology combating job application fraud

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.