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 570.

    Looks like the next world war has been postponed

  • Comment number 569.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 568.

    Voter turnout is down 10% on 2008, reportedly. That makes it less than 50%. Obama seems to have got just over 50% of the vote, which means that the leader of the free world has been endorsed by (probably less than) 25% of US citizens.

  • rate this

    Comment number 567.

    Can't find any word as to why Florida is still counting - whats going on down there?? Come on BBC get off your bums and get to Florida - there must be a story there.

  • rate this

    Comment number 566.

    This result shows how the collapse of marriage affects voting patterns. With a social security system that
    (a) Supports millions of single mothers
    (b) Supports some 70% of female divorcees and
    (C) Supports pensioners who wouldn't need it if they were still married

    - then there's tremendous bias in the voting system. Same problem here in Scotland and GB as a whole.

  • rate this

    Comment number 565.

    @556. Trout
    Who mentioned slavery or Nazis? What are u on about?

    Weird point aside,
    Can o tell me how socialising the private losses onto unconnected innocent taxpayers of the entire population, struggling as it is, is a good idea?

    It creates a moral hazard for business to be reckless: We can privatise our gains, & socialise our losses onto Mr & Mrs Jon Q Public Taxpayer. Yeah, very moral.

  • rate this

    Comment number 564.

    529.Clear Incite
    502. Shaunie Babe502. Shaunie Babes
    To the Leftie Obama supporters :
    "Why do you think ninety three percent of Black voters voted for Obama ?"
    Because the other Guy was Rich White and has no interest in them he actually said that.
    Perhaps the Black community should produce some rich Black guys to vote for instead of voting for the welfare party?

  • Comment number 563.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 562.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 561.

    For some time now I have had the feeling that if Obama is re-elected, he will come out more adamant and more forceful in pushing for helping America and all its peole. The problem will be he will have even greater opposition to everything he wants to do, by Republicans. I wish him well.
    Peter D

  • rate this

    Comment number 560.

    The question is: with the election officially at an end, will the bsathon end too or is it only just beginning? I wonder if Obama will mark the occasion by publicly signing more futile presidential orders that will be ignored. Honestly! The chief mouse of the White House probably has more authority! Who cares about the Law? The US Administration doesn't. Still, Obama has a nice smile.

  • rate this

    Comment number 559.

    President Obama deserve another four years and he got it. He was clearing Bush's bush in the last four years. He is the one who hunted Bin Laden and killed not like Bush only threatened. I wish him the best to do more for Americans in the next four years. I hope he will be in the list of the successful presidents in American history in the coming future.

  • rate this

    Comment number 558.

    I lived in the US(CA) for 3+ years, for me President Obama on paper had
    a challenge in the beginning, however the Mitt Romney campaign seemed
    to have a life of it's own, and the divisive attacks on women's rights, the auto industry gaff and underestimating the influence of non-white voters
    was the undoing of the Republicans.
    They will need to take a deep hard look at how they move forward.

  • rate this

    Comment number 557.

    America desperately needs another political party. The Republicans are a cartoon party - too religious and old fashioned, and obsessed with things like abortion and gay marriage - and they all have guns! Scary. The race and immigration thing doesn't come into it as much as our media thinks. America has been a nation of mass immigration ever since the red indians were massacred.

  • rate this

    Comment number 556.

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

    Someone whose sole arguments against slavery are economic and who would have let the Nazis conquer Europe for economic reasons has no right to tell anyone what is moral and immoral.

  • rate this

    Comment number 555.

    When is the Republican Party going to learn that frightening the half the planet with candidates for President and VP that make George Bush look like a moderate is not going to work?

  • Comment number 554.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 553.

    Sad day. I immigrated to the USA 43 years ago and have never seen it so dysfunctional. Obama won by resorting to a version of the old rallying cry "Free beer for all the workers". Sorry - but very soon we will be out of beer, and workers, and hope.

  • rate this

    Comment number 552.

    Congratulations to Mr Obama.

    Props to Mitt Romney for at least being gracious in defeat.

    Iran must be breathing a [temporary?] sigh of relief...

  • rate this

    Comment number 551.

    The popular vote count was very close and indicated a growing divide in American society generally speaking along ethnic lines that should not be ignored. To the Republicans, I would say: (1) in 2016, nominate a black/hispanic/mixed race as your candidate (if a man) or a woman (if white), as your opponent could well be Hilary Clinton, and (2) devote most of your attention to the swing States.


Page 17 of 45


More US & Canada stories



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.