President Obama won a second term shortly before 8:30 p.m. after keeping nearly all the states he won in his 2008 election.
Once the president was projected to win Ohio, a battleground state with 18 electoral votes, and Iowa, with six electoral college votes, the president had secured more than the 270 votes required to win another four-year term.
“The task of perfecting our union moves forward,” Obama said in a victory speech in Chicago. “We are an American family and we rise or fall together as one nation.”
Romney thanked his family and his running mate, Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan, his campaign staff and supporters for both his presidential campaign and his failed run in 2008.
“This is a time of great challenges for America and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation,” Romney said during his concession speech in Boston. “Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work. We look to Democrats and Republicans in government at all levels to put the people before the politics.”
Earlier in the day during a visit to a local campaign office in his hometown of Chicago, the president congratulated Romney on “a spirited campaign.” Obama said he was “confident we’ve got the votes to win, that it’s going to depend ultimately on whether those votes turnout.”
Romney campaigned with running mate Ryan in Ohio, the archetypal swing state that played a central role again this year.
“You know intellectually I’ve felt we’re going to win this and have felt that for some time,” Romney told reporters prior to flying back to his Boston campaign headquarters. “We left nothing in the locker room. We fought to the very end.”
Obama struck an optimistic tone after running a tough campaign.
“We know in our hearts, that, for the United States of America, the best is yet to come,” Obama said.
The economy and jobs were the overwhelming concerns of American voters, with nearly 8 percent unemployment on election day a slightly higher rate than when Obama took office.
The turning point, by all accounts, came Oct. 3, in Denver, when the two men met onstage for the first time. One of the largest TV debate audiences in history magnified the importance of the event, as did subsequent media coverage, virtually all of it highly favorable to Romney.
But Obama closed the gap in the final weeks of the campaign. An October surprise, in the form of one of the fiercest coastal storms to strike the mid-Atlantic in memory, allowed Obama to step away from the campaign grind and back into his role as president.
McClatchy news services reporter Paul West contributed to this story.
2012 Presidential Election
President Barack Obama was re-elected to a second term in office in the 2012 presidential race against Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Here’s a brief look at what citizens were saying on Nov. 6.
Storified by Daily Sundial · Tue, Nov 06 2012 22:59:18
ivoted for romeny,ibelive he is going to help us, and belive me america needs helpLiban Sharif
#TEAM OBAMA #IVOTEDNvs Selena
Got my voting out of the way. Shout out to #EarlyVotingGrada $ Love
Good Morning Matadors! #Didyouknow we have a polling station at the SSU? Should you not be able to make it to your polling station. <bjUSU @ CSUN
NOV. 6 – ELECTION DAY
Doesn’t matter what party you are today, just get out, vote & make your voice heard. #presidentialrace2012Matt Kihl
Spread the word: You can still make the difference in this election. Help get out the vote now: http://OFA.BO/Rqacmo, http://pic.twitter.com/v167bpJZBarack Obama
With your help, we will turn our country around and get America back on the path to prosperity. Please vote today http://mi.tt/UtXKerMitt Romney
#Romney 49%, #Obama 48% in Gallup’s Final #Election Survey… http://www.gallup.com/poll/158519/romney-obama-gallup-final-election-survey.aspx?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=gallupnews&utm_campaign=syndicationgallupnews
There’s still time, make sure you go out and vote!!!!People fought the way so your voice could be heard, so take the opportunity now!! #Election2012Kean Hsa
Just got home from voting. Excited to hear the results later tonight. Foregoing any sleep until I know the outcome #presidentialrace2012Matt Kihl
We’re going to watch #Elections2012 coverage together! http://instagr.am/p/RtNbyxBuN9/Levi Margolin
Election 2012 Cookiescookieartisan
I’m about to be that person and sport red, white & blue to go vote #vote2012 #rockTheVote #America #freedom #luxury #thankfulChristine Gosch
CNN has projected South Carolina for Romney. He holds a 33-3 advantage in the electoral college, but FL, NC, and VA still too close to callDaily Sundial
Romney rally, Columbus Ohio!! #romney2012 http://pic.twitter.com/RFc4QFhpAirielle Miller
Feels great to be apart of American history lol!!! #FirstTimeVoter http://instagr.am/p/RtY2UxrgPU/Rasheed Sulaimon
#newjersey goes to Obama! #closeraceSallyy J.
Romney leads in Florida, but only by 1/5 of a percent. #battlegroundstates #closeraceKenna McKee
Just voted! @ CSUN Student Housing Building 16 http://instagr.am/p/RtdTuMEnhe/Limitless
President @BarackObama wins #Ohio more on @CNN @CNNPolitics @CNNEE #voto2012 A very important key stateJaqueline Hurtado
Red, blue, I don’t care. We are all Americans that have the right to make a difference. #Election2012Joanne Mason
CSUN students had the opportunity to vote at the Student Satellite Union near the dorms.
In the line to make myself heard #letsvote #csun #ssu http://instagr.am/p/RtaKs-gr8J/Chenice
Citizens flaunted their “I Voted” stickers.
Because i can #iVoted #muricanikkburgess
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA ANNOUNCED WINNER OF THE 2012 PRESIDENTIAL RACE