Obama wins re-election, makes history

2012-11-07 07:25
President Barack Obama greets supporters at a rally at the Jiffy Lube Live arena, in Bristow, Virginia. (J Scott Applewhite, AP)

President Barack Obama greets supporters at a rally at the Jiffy Lube Live arena, in Bristow, Virginia. (J Scott Applewhite, AP)

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"The best is yet to come" - Obama

2012-11-07 09:41

Re-elected US President Barack Obama accepted a second-term with a rousing speech. Watch a snippet.WATCH

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Washington - US President Barack Obama has swept to re-election, creating history again by defying the undertow of a slow economic recovery and high unemployment to beat Republican foe Mitt Romney.

Obama became only the second Democrat to win a second four-year White House term since World War II, when television networks projected he would win the bellwether state of Ohio where he had staged a pitched battle with Romney.

"This happened because of you. Thank you," Obama tweeted to his 22 million followers on Twitter as a flurry of states, including Iowa, which nurtured his unlikely White House dreams suddenly tipped into his column.

With a clutch of swing states, including Florida and Virginia still to be declared, Obama already had 275 electoral votes, more than the 270 needed for the White House and looked set for a comfortable victory.

Victory party


There was a sudden explosion of jubilation at Obama's Chicago victory party as the first African American president, who was elected on a wave of hope and euphoria four years ago, booked another four years in the White House.

Romney's aides had predicted that a late Romney wave would sweep Obama from office after a single term haunted by a sluggish recovery from the worst economic crisis since the 1930s Great Depression and high unemployment.

But a huge cheer rang out at Obama headquarters when television networks projected Obama would retain Pennsylvania and its 20 electoral votes, and the party grew wilder as they called Wisconsin and Michigan.

The mood at Romney headquarters in Boston however had grown subdued throughout the evening as partisans stared at their smart phones.

Disappointed Republicans were seen leaving what had been billed as a celebration of Romney's expected triumph in central Washington.

Defeats in New Hampshire, where Romney has a summer home and Wisconsin, the home of Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan were especially sickening for Republicans.

Polarised

Early signs were that the election, while a building triumph for Obama would do little to ease the deep polarisation afflicting US politics, as Republicans racked up huge margins in safe states, though struggled in battlegrounds.

Exit polls appeared to vindicate the vision of the race offered by Obama's campaign, when top aides predicted that Obama's armies of African American, Latinos and young voters would come out in droves.

Polls also showed that though only 39% of people believed that the economy was improving, around half of Americans blamed former president George W Bush for the tenuous situation, and not Obama.

The president, who made history by becoming America's first black president after a euphoric victory, carved a new precedent on Tuesday by defying the portents of a hurting economy to win a second term.

He awaited his fate in his hometown of Chicago, while Romney, a multi-millionaire former investment manager and Massachusetts governor was laying low in a hotel in Boston awaiting results.

As expected, television networks projected that Republicans would win the House of Representatives.

Democrats clung onto the Senate, and retained a seat in Missouri, where Senator Claire McCaskill fended off a challenge by Representative Todd Akin, whose remarks about rape and abortion sparked national outrage.



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Read more on:    barack obama  |  mitt romney  |  us  |  us elections 2012
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