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.

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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.

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

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'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


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  • rate this

    Comment number 210.

    Thank god that pantomime is over.

    Corporate sham drowned in cash with the purpose of preventing 3rd candidates being heard.

    In a country of 300+ million people, but you are considered wacky if you don't support one of the 2 main candidates.

    On the big issues like Iran and the middle East they have the same agendas. Wild extremes being there to divert attention from these issues.

  • rate this

    Comment number 209.

    Only lonely FOX out there alone trying to be impartial and at least giving both sides.

    Funniest thing I have read this Year!

    If the Republicans hadn't adopted a extremist and nihilistic block everything approach for the last 4 Years supported by their TV Mouthpiece more would have been achieved.

    The American People won't forgive them if they do it again for the next 4 Years.

  • rate this

    Comment number 208.

    the percentage of votes won by obama and romney is almost 50/50. this only shows obama needs to work harder to keep him in the good books of world history

  • rate this

    Comment number 207.

    Re #187

    Rarely have I read such rubbish on HYS.

    Obama a Marxist - He'd be mildly right wing in Europe.
    Obamacare leading to jobs going overseas - what planet are you on?
    Military intervention increasing? Obama has pulled out of Iraq, is pulling out of Afghanistan and did not go into Arab Spring.

    Utter rubbish.

  • rate this

    Comment number 206.

    We are saved! WE ARE SAVED!

  • rate this

    Comment number 205.


  • rate this

    Comment number 204.

    Obama will lead the US into a fiscal depression worse than the 30s. His economic policies are amateur and repeat the mistakes of history.

    Militarily he's a disaster, spreading the "terrorists" into allied Pakistan & god knows where else.

    Constitutionally he's a joke. Extra-judicial killing of citizens, bank bailouts & Obamacare are no where empowered in the Constitution.

    He's a Hamiltonian.

  • Comment number 203.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 202.

    The desperate right are playing the race card. Pathetic. Obama won, the next US President will probably be Hillary Clinton. Get used to it.

    @ 171. Mark
    Hey Mitt - turns out our Olympics worked out fine - how did your election campaign go?
    Post of the day!

  • rate this

    Comment number 201.

  • rate this

    Comment number 200.

    He is least likely to press the "red" nuke button, as far as the world knows.
    And that's a relief.

  • rate this

    Comment number 199.

    While a great thing for sure, I feel there is too much emphasis on the color. Obama's policies are far better. Progressive. Environmentally and globally conscious. The other guy scared me. A huge relief of a day! The world is in safer hands. .

  • rate this

    Comment number 198.

    The only surprise for me is that it was so close. Romney fought the election on the basis of pointing out Obama's failings. No one needs to know what they other guy DID, they need to know what YOU will DO. Next time, stick to kissing babies and lying, and quit the muck slinging.

  • rate this

    Comment number 197.

    Answer this question honestly, would he have been elected for a second term if he were white?

    No, and that confirms the racist nature of this contest and the outcome!
    Do you base all your opinions on assumption? And is it because there are no actual facts to base them on? These are rhetorical questions by the way.

  • rate this

    Comment number 196.

    I predict a strike on Iran by March. Obama is really just another pawn of the military machine and big business and I'm sure there will be plenty of money to be made in another Middle Eastern conflict for those with the right connections.

  • rate this

    Comment number 195.

    If the House of Representatives do not oppose every single thing the President will try to do, things could be very different this second term. If the USA makes progress there will be a positive economic global effect.

    There is an indication by the Republican dominated House of Representatives to work together on growth issues, and that is real progress alone..

  • rate this

    Comment number 194.

    The electronic media was for the final 48 hours was absolutely saturated with OBAMA campaign ads. BBC, CNN, ABC, SKY. Only lonely FOX out there alone trying to be impartial and at least giving both sides. How can it be right that TV ads come to 2 billion $$ for an election? Makes me wonder if the BEEB received any of that with the levels of sleeze and corruption that seem to be a daily occurance.

  • rate this

    Comment number 193.

    With so much at stake in a presidential election, it is odd that the electoral college is still there, with its ability to manipulate the outcome of a dead heat. People are prepared to stand in line at inadequately staffed or resourced polling places. Some ran out of ballot papers. And states on the east coast call results before the west coast has finishing voting. All very odd.

  • rate this

    Comment number 192.

    Thank you America, this can only be good news. No matter what you think of Obama, he isn't Romney - and that's a very good thing for most of us.

  • rate this

    Comment number 191.

    Common sense has prevailed in America,

    Well done the American people.

    The thought of a Republican in power again was a frightening and depressing prospect.

    At least we have a steady hand on the tiller for the next four years. Unfortunately


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