President Barack Obama rolled to re-election and a second
term in the White House today with a clear victory over
Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
Romney called Obama to concede after the president's
victories in the crucial state of Ohio and heavily contested
swing states of Virginia, Nevada, Iowa and Colorado carried
the Democrat past the 270 electoral votes needed for victory.
"This is a time of great challenge for our nation," Romney
disappointed supporters gathered at a Boston convention
"I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our
He warned against partisan bickering and urged politicians on
both sides to "put the people before the politics."
Obama, America's first black president, won by convincing
voters to stick with him as he tries to reignite strong
economic growth and recover from the worst recession since
the Great Depression of the 1930s.
An uneven recovery has been showing some signs of strength
but the country's 7.9 percent jobless rate remains stubbornly
Obama's victory in the hotly contested swing state of Ohio -
as projected by TV networks - was a major step in the fight
for the 270 electoral votes needed to clinch the White House
and ended Romney's hopes of pulling off a string of
Obama scored narrow wins in Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa,
Pennsylvania and New Hampshire - all states that Romney had
contested - while the only swing state captured by Romney was
North Carolina, according to television network projections.
The nationwide popular vote remained extremely close.
Romney delayed his concession as some Republicans questioned
whether Obama had in fact won Ohio despite the decisions by
election experts at all the major TV networks to declare it
for the president.
The later addition of Colorado and Virginia to Obama's tally
- according to network projections - meant that even if the
final result from Ohio were to be reversed, Romney still
could not reach the needed number of electoral votes in
America's state-by-state system of choosing a president.
While Obama supporters in Chicago were ecstatic, Romney's
Boston event was grim as the news was announced on television
A steady stream of people left the ballroom at the Boston
At least 120 million American voters had been expected to
cast votes in the race between the Democratic incumbent and
Romney a campaign that was focused on how to repair the
ailing U.S. economy.
The same problems that dogged Obama in his first term are
still there to confront him again.
He faces a difficult task of tackling $US1 trillion annual
deficits, reducing a $US16 trillion national debt,
overhauling expensive social programs and dealing with a
gridlocked U.S. Congress that kept the same partisan makeup.
Obama's Democrats held their Senate majority, while Romney's
Republicans retained House of Representatives control.
Democrat Claire McCaskill retained her U.S. Senate seat
from Missouri, beating Republican congressman Todd Akin, who
stirred controversy with his comment in August that women's
bodies could ward off pregnancy in cases of "legitimate
Democrats gained a Senate seat in Indiana that had been in
Republican hands for decades after Republican candidate
Richard Mourdock called pregnancy from rape something that
God intended. Democratic congressman Joe Donnelly won the
In another high-profile Senate race, Democrat Elizabeth
Warren, a law professor who headed the watchdog panel that
oversaw the government's financial sector bailout, defeated
incumbent Massachusetts Republican Senator Scott Brown.
Former Maine Governor Angus King won a three-way contest for
the Senate seat of retiring Republican Olympia Snowe.
King ran as an independent, but he is expected to caucus with
Democrats in what would amount to a Democratic pick-up.
Florida Democratic Senator Bill Nelson easily beat back a
challenge from Republican congressman Connie Mack to win a
third term, while Democratic congressman Chris Murphy beat
Republican Linda McMahon, a businesswoman who had served as
chief executive of a professional wrestling company.