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 550.

    I do hope the Obama supporters have stocked up with gold for when the only option left to pay off US debt is a massive devaluation of the dollar.

  • rate this

    Comment number 549.

    Obama has rid himself of the Israeli problem, stuck to his own people and he does actually care.
    He's created growth (car industry), saved healthcare for his poorest citizens, taxed the rich. He is 100% a better leader than the tory/republican right wing dogs who put old our to freeze to death.
    This coalition should all go to Australia for a few weeks, and hopefully get lost there.

  • rate this

    Comment number 548.

    What an election! Obama's reelection will mean continuity. Romney will have to eat humble pie! America has reelected a charismatic leader. Euphoria at Obama's headquarters as the hard-fought race showed tell-tale signs on the two leaders as they criss-crossed the country appealing for votes. Mitt Romney had to gulp hard and accept defeat which is hard to swallow after such intense campaigning.

  • rate this

    Comment number 547.

    502. Shaunie Babes

    To the Leftie Obama supporters :

    "Why do you think ninety three percent of Black voters voted for Obama ?"

    I give up. why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 546.

    I find it almost beyond credibility that 65% of White Americans would even contemplate a vote for Bishop Mitt and only 35% for Obama.

    If the rest of the worlds democracies had a vote in this particular election I would expect the absolute reverse.

    There is something very perturbing about the mentality of Romney supporters.

    You see similar trends in our own far right parties

  • rate this

    Comment number 545.

    OBAMA FTW!!!

    Thank you America!

  • rate this

    Comment number 544.

    not sure this election is that important in the mid-term. within a generation China is going to be the superpower that matters with a resurgent Russia close on its heels. Our eyes probably need to be looking east instead of west.

  • rate this

    Comment number 543.

    @526. Avalon
    By letting them fail it would have hurt, for a short period of time, & be restricted to those parties directly involved with the bad business. There was a depression in 1921, the Govt did nothing. In just 1 year it was over!

    By bailing them out, Obama immorally socialised the pain onto innocent, unconnected taxpayers.

    I agree, the GOP would do it too. They're both corporatists.

  • rate this

    Comment number 542.

    I am pro-NHS but under Labour, it became Health tourist hotspot, ...That 8% could easy have been a more acceptable 5% or less."


    £10m a year is less than .01% of the NHS budget. How does that become a 3% fall if we stopped all health tourism? Do you have costings for plastic and sexop surgery that would make up teh difference?

  • rate this

    Comment number 541.

    It's not as if the American People had a lot of choice is it: red or blue? Red or blue? Red or blue? Lol! It is interesting to note though that Obama won those states that are more Cosmopolitan and more in tune with the rest of the World.

  • rate this

    Comment number 540.


  • rate this

    Comment number 539.

    Better the one you know than the one you don't.

    Romney was too gun ho (sic) in my estimations, so a more moderate person (Obama) retains the helm.
    I am under no illusion, however, for I recall the way he swatted the troublesome fly...... DEAD.

    The American National Debt is the same that exists in Europe and elsewhere: debt created by the banks in the misnomer of wealth.

    Good luck Mr President.

  • rate this

    Comment number 538.

    I supported the President. But do not project too much wishful thinking on the results. Reelection was all but assured. Governor Romney was the guaranteed minimum opposition candidate necessary to maintain the two-party system but only a Republican place holder for the achievable 2016 election. … The racial explanations that abound this morning are quite offensive.

  • rate this

    Comment number 537.

    Obama is familiar, but that familiarty suggests he will have a tough time dealing with a Republican Congress, especially with the fiscal cliff staring him in the face.
    Obama was the better choice - for continuity, but the US remains in deep, deep financial trouble, and that means so does the world.

  • rate this

    Comment number 536.

    This is wonderful news fnot just for america, but also for the rest of the world.

    President Obama has provided inspiration to billions of people around the world and made it a much safer place.

    In time President Obama will be seen as ones of the greatest leaders ever.

  • rate this

    Comment number 535.

    @492.Trout Mask Replica
    Fred Bloggs
    Are you suggesting the monolithic NHS is efficient?"
    "It costs about 8% of GDP"

    eh, is that a trick question? the 8% figure is what demonstrates it is efficient in comparison to other models.

  • rate this

    Comment number 534.

    Perhaps they are drowning there woes with a nice cup of English Tea and biscuits!

  • rate this

    Comment number 533.

    hmmm....probably just means the (American sactioned) Israeli A-bombing of Iran is delayed by a few months possibly a year. The lead in to WW3 is well underway now. Kiss your botties goodbye.

  • rate this

    Comment number 532.

    No matter who won, our leaders will continue to lick the arses of all US presidents as they always have done.

  • rate this

    Comment number 531.

    Considering the insane level of dishonesty, ignorance, intolerance and sheer stupidity that Romney has demonstrated multiple times I still think it's incredible that he was considered an option at all, let alone threaten to win the presidency.

    Even with our topsy-turvy party politics in the UK, if a man like Romney ran leadership for Lib, Lab or Tory he'd get that party wiped out by a landslide.


Page 18 of 45


More US & Canada stories



  • FridgeCool customer

    The village that has just got its first fridge

  • Lincoln Perkins (in the middle of the image) carried Churchill's coffin with seven other menNear miss

    How pallbearers almost dropped Churchill's coffin

  • Josef Mengele in SS uniformThe twins of Auschwitz

    How a Nazi doctor experimented on identical siblings

  • Alok'Red market'

    The desperate patients in India turning to illegal blood donors

  • Bank House, 27 King Street, LeedsIn pictures

    Some of the office buildings new to the National Heritage List

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.