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.

Barack Obama
Mitt Romney
  • California 55
  • Colorado 9
  • Connecticut 7
  • District of Colombria 3
  • Delaware 3
  • Florida 29
  • Hawaii 4
  • Iowa 6
  • Illinois 20
  • Massachusetts 11
  • Maryland 10
  • Maine 4
  • Michigan 16
  • Minnesota 10
  • Nebraska 0
  • New Hampshire 4
  • New Jersey 14
  • New Mexico 5
  • Nevada 6
  • New York 29
  • Ohio 18
  • Oregon 7
  • Pennsylvania 20
  • Rhode Island 4
  • Virginia 13
  • Vermont 3
  • Washington 12
  • Wisconsin 10
  • Alaska 3
  • Alabama 9
  • Arkansas 6
  • Arizona 11
  • Georgia 16
  • Idaho 4
  • Indiana 11
  • Kansas 6
  • Kentucky 8
  • Louisiana 8
  • Maine 0
  • Missouri 10
  • Mississippi 6
  • Montana 3
  • North Carolina 15
  • North Dakota 3
  • Nebraska 5
  • Oklahoma 7
  • South Carolina 9
  • South Dakota 3
  • Tennessee 11
  • Texas 38
  • Utah 6
  • West Virginia 5
  • Wyoming 3

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


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  • rate this

    Comment number 630.

    Voting was on ethnic lines, not common sense.

  • rate this

    Comment number 629.

    " Bastiat
    There's a 2nd amendment for a reason."

    Yes to provide an armed militia against foreign invasion. Similarly why the Swiss have weapons as part of their national service obligations to defend the country, not to constrain its government. Neither actually stands much chance against Apache helicopters, tanks and smart bombs from a modern armed force if used against them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 628.

    does it matter who wins? america is and will be the worlds policeman,who ever is in power, they basically run the whole show who ever is in power.

  • rate this

    Comment number 627.

    @623. Trout
    I mentioned Singapore has "other draconian laws". But, they give freedom in the market place (at least more than us). This economic freedom allows them prosperity.

    I agree their other laws restrict many rights, but as far as freedom with your money (private property) goes, they make us look like Stalin's towel boy.

  • rate this

    Comment number 626.


    "Mr Bush will most likely be continued to be used as an excuse for any failings in the next 4 yrs. It worked for Obama's 1st term."
    I think many believe a President starts with a clean slate and there is no "carry forward" from his predecessor viz Bush-Obama.

    But a second term is a totally different matter. Obama can be seriously judged in 2016. Pray he does well.

  • rate this

    Comment number 625.

    606Fred Bloggs
    Without capitalism there would be NO taxes, NO benefit state, NO pension, NO human rights, the world you know would not exist, you would have very likely died of a childhood disease.
    I'm pretty sure there were taxes prior to capitalism. The benefit state, pensions & human rights are mainly the result of socialist ideals.

    As is the NHS, initially opposed by the right.

  • rate this

    Comment number 624.

    @598 Trout
    Switzerland allows every citizen to keep an assault rifle under their bed. Now that's a Govt wary of its citizens, & rightly so. There's a 2nd amendment for a reason.
    The Swiss have assault rifles because they are all conscripted as army reservists (or a well-regulated millitia). The 2nd amendment even points this reasoning out. US gun nuts have poor comprehension skills.

  • rate this

    Comment number 623.

    " Bastiat
    Freedom is a Zero sum game. U either have it or u don't. Singapore has much more economic freedom than us"

    There you go again, looking at things simply in economic terms. On your argument Singapore does not have freedom (you can't buy chewing gum and the press is controlled). Switzerland demands national service from its citizens. By your own argument you agree these are not free.

  • rate this

    Comment number 622.

    #575 "Obama's speech is making me cry... What a president! What a man!"

    Oh, knock it off. Check out the carnage his endless droning of Pakistan has caused before you orgasm yourself to death. The totalitarian powers given to the police and secret services have also increased dramatically under Obama. He's no saint.

  • rate this

    Comment number 621.

    @When Knew.
    What on earth are you trying to say? That post makes no sense what-so-ever.

  • rate this

    Comment number 620.

    @603 Scary fact on bbc news today. 3 billion spent on election turns out to be small fry when apparently Americans spent 6.5 billion on halloween costumes and candy last year. Puts several things in perspetive! Geez!

  • rate this

    Comment number 619.

    What an appalling waste of public money (USD 2 billion) for vote-catching! Imagine the furore here!

  • rate this

    Comment number 618.

    The BIG question remains.
    Have the yanks elected what they call an "allien" (foreigner ) as President again.
    Only Mr Obama can quash that rumour once and for all.
    It's only a BIG question to a VERY SMALL minority of conspiracy theorists and other desperate Obama opponents. The MASSIVE rest of the world couldn't care less.

  • rate this

    Comment number 617.

    I like Obama,Now it's China' turn. Hope everything is OK,

  • rate this

    Comment number 616.

    In his first term Barack Obama introduced the United States to the concept of commerce by gun to your head and enslaved everyone to the health care sector. What will he enslave everyone to in his second term?

  • Comment number 615.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 614.

    The intelligent americans still seem to outnumber the stupid americans

    Phew... :)

  • rate this

    Comment number 613.

    @598 Trout

    Freedom is a Zero sum game. U either have it or u don't. Singapore has much more economic freedom than us. They do have some other draconian laws that we don't, but they would view our privacy laws in a similar light. Switzerland allows every citizen to keep an assault rifle under their bed. Now that's a Govt wary of its citizens, & rightly so. There's a 2nd amendment for a reason.

  • rate this

    Comment number 612.

    @585 'Shaunie Babes'
    Who, or what would your idea of an ideal Americian President be today - apart from saying not the elected one?

  • rate this

    Comment number 611.

    590.Niall Firinne
    Two mediocre candidates where it is difficult to tell whether the best man won. Considering Obama's track record, it looks clear that George W Bush has just won a fourth term in the White House."
    Mr Bush will most likely be continued to be used as an excuse for any failings in the next 4 yrs. It worked for Obama's 1st term.


Page 14 of 45


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