President Obama is heading back to the White House after a hard fought race

Written by admin   // November 7, 2012   // 0 Comments

President Obama and family arrive on stage in Chicago after winning the 2012 U.S. presidential election.(Photo: Saul Loeb, AFP/Getty Images)

William M. Welch and Gary Strauss, USA TODAY

2:03AM EST November 7. 2012 – President Obama won re-election to the White House Tuesday, defeating Republican challenger Mitt Romney in the nation’s costliest, and perhaps most bitterly contested campaign – one that ultimately came down to winning a handful of key battleground states.

Obama and Romney were in a virtual tie in most polls in the closing days of the election, with several swing states up for grabs. But Obama won virtually every critical battleground state, including Ohio, which pushed him over a majority of electoral votes and prompting widespread celebration among supporters of the president.

In Chicago, Obama greeted a throng of wellwishers at 1:35 ET with his wife, Michelle, and daughters Malia Sasha at his side. “Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of protecting our Union moves forward. It moves forward because of you,” Obama said. “Tonight, in this election, you, the American people reminded us that while our road has been hard..we have picked ourselves up, and for the United States of America, the best is yet to come.”

Acknowledging the deep divisiveness that has polarized much of the nation, Obama vowed to work with GOP leaders on major looming issues, including the deficit, tax code and reinvigorating the economy.

Obama won at least 25 states, capturing 303 electoral votes, but held just a slim lead in the popular vote. Romney, who won 24, said in his concession speech that it was time to end bipartisan bickering.

“This is a time of great challenge for America, and I pray the President will be successful in guiding our nation,” Romney said.

“The nation is at a critical point. At a time like this, we can’t risk partisan

bickering,” said Romney, who urged Democrats and Republicans to work together on key issues, such as reviving the economy and growing jobs.

Democrats held their narrow majority in the Senate Tuesday, grabbing Republican seats in Massachusetts and Indiana and turning aside GOP challenges in Missouri, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Republicans were well on the way to retaining control of the House of Representatives, ensuring that Congress will be divided at the start of Obama’s second term.

One of the smallest of the battleground states, New Hampshire, went for Obama. So did Nevada, a state that went for Obama in 2008. Obama made 10 trips to the state, beset with the nation’s highest unemployment rate and one of the nation’s highest home foreclosure rates. Another toss-up state, Colorado, also went for Obama. The president won Pennsylvania, a state Romney looked to late in the campaign for a potential upset.

Exit polls of voters leaving their voting places suggested a razor-close outcome in a deeply divided nation, with the incumbent holding a small advantage, 51%-47%. That finding was from a survey of more than 25,565 voters nationally.

All told, Obama won at least 26 states, while Romney won at least 22 states, including much of the South, Plains and mountain West. On the West Coast, Obama won California and Washington.

Obama won two of Romney’s home states — Massachusetts, where the Republican won one election as governor, and Michigan, where Romney was born. Romney also has a home in New Hampshire, where he lost.

Obama’s strength was in the northeast and parts of the Mid-Atlantic region, including New York. He won his home state of Illinois as well as Vice President Biden’s Delaware.

Exit polls of voters in key states showed the economy was the top issue on voters’ minds, and on that and other key issues the nation remains sharply divided. It was clear that Obama would not do as well as he did in 2008, when he won with a 7.3% margin of the popular vote.

The exit polls suggested Romney won among men by double digits. Obama won among women, who were a focus of much of the campaign, but by a smaller margin than four years ago.

The polling also suggested Romney had a narrow advantage among suburban voters, who were critical for Obama’s 2008 election. The president retained a strong lead in cities.

The president appeared to have gained an edge among late-deciding voters, exit polls suggested. Among those who decided who to vote for in the last few days, 49% voted for Obama, 46% for Romney. Among those who said Obama’s response to Hurricane Sandy was important to their vote, Obama was favored by almost two-to-one.

Romney made final Election Day campaign dashes to Ohio and Pennsylvania. Biden matched the late GOP campaigning with his own Ohio appearance, while Obama made calls from a campaign office in Chicago and relaxed with a game of basketball.

Across battleground states where the outcome was in doubt, and where both candidates focused most of their energies and money, more than a million political commercials aired on TV during the long campaign. But after 17 months and more than $2 billion spent by each presidential candidate, it was up to the people who flooded churches, schools and auditoriums to cast ballots.

The struggling economy was on voters minds.

“Business is rough. Everybody wants someone to blame,” said Frank Robles, 45, who employs 15 at his North Las Vegas shoe store. Yet Robles is supporting Obama, saying he’s not responsible for the worst of the economic crisis: “People need to give him a chance.”

But A.J. Jotipra, 69, a retired IBM worker says Obama has had his chance. Jotipra lost his Henderson, Nev., house to foreclosure last year. “The last four years, Obama has done nothing,” Jotipra says.

In Ohio, the atmosphere at some polling places was informal and happy, despite the barrage of negative TV ads.

Retired nurse Nancy Manion, 74, of Dublin, Ohio, was excited to vote for Romney “to put God back in schools.” But she also was thankful that campaign ads would end.

“Too many ads, too much slander,” Manion says.

In Northern Virginia, Robert Adams, who has doctorates in business and psychology, said he voted for Romney and had four words to describe the campaign: “Too long. Too noisy.” He said that “after awhile I just had the mute button on the television all the time.”

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Alexander Andresian, center, weeps as President Barack Obama is declared the winner Tuesday, Nov. 6. 2012, during the Nevada State Democratic Party gathering at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.   John Gurzinsk,i AP
  • Alexander Andresian, center, weeps as President Barack Obama is declared the winner Tuesday, Nov. 6. 2012, during the Nevada State Democratic Party gathering at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
  •  Dhurata Azemi, 18,  from Chicago cheers as it's announced President Barack Obama wins the election  while watching election results on giant screen TV outside of Chicago CIty Hall.
  •  People cheer as it is announced President Barack Obama wins the 2012 election while watching election results on giant screen TV outside of Chicago CIty Hall.
  • Opponents of the gay marriage amendment on the Minnesota ballot celebrate after President Barack Obama was named projected winner of the race for president during an election night party.
  • Supporters of President Barack Obama Shauna Harry, left, and Alana Hearn celebrate by leaping in the air at New York State Democratic Headquarters following Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. (
  • Jessica Clark celebrates with others in Times Square on November 6, 2012 in New York City.  Clark said she voted for the first time in Tuesday's election.
  • Spectators react to President Obama's projected re-election displayed on large televisions during Mitt Romney's campaign election night event at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center on November 6, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. Voters went to polls in the heavily contested presidential race between incumbent U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 155883849 ORIG FILE ID: 155687275
  • People watch election results in Times Square after television networks called the election in favor of President Barack Obama on November 6, 2012 in New York City.
  • Supporters wave flags during President Barack Obama's election night party Tuesday in Chicago.
  • People cheer as it a television network announces President Barack Obama wins re-election Tuesday evening.
  • Obama supporters embrace as his victory is projected at an election night rally in Chicago.
  • Mitt Romney supporters watch election results Tuesday evening in Boston.
  • Bill Purcell votes at the Centerville Fire Station in Centerville, Idaho. The economy was his big concern as he cast his vote. "I think it needs to be overhauled. I think a new president would help," he says.
  • Sheresa Walker uses a flashlight as poll worker Lloyd Edwards assists before voting in a makeshift tent set up as a polling place at Scholars' Academy, PS 180, in the Rockaway neighborhood in the Queens borough of New York City.
  • Raena Lamont, 3, wears a Captain America outfit at a polling center doubling as a donation site in the Staten Island borough of New York City.
  • New York City firefighter Terence O'Donnell stands on sand among voting machines as he prepares to vote in a makeshift tent set up as a polling place at Scholars' Academy, PS 180, in the Rockaway neighborhood in the Queens borough of New York City.
  • Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., speaks to volunteers at a GOP field office in Henrico County, Virginia.
  • Three Obama supporters walk around the South Side of Chicago wearing Obama and Romney masks holding placards asking people to vote.
  • Leslie Fabian concentrates as she votes electronically inside at the 24-hour Su Nueva Laundromat in Chicago's 13th Ward.
  • Hundreds of people wait in line to vote at Green Run High School in Virginia Beach.  Some people had to wait longer than four hours to cast their vote at the school.
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., left, laughs as she joins her husband John Bessler, not shown, and daughter Abigail Klobuchar Bessler to cast her vote at the Marcy School in Minneapolis.
  • Dora A. Winter looks up after a sticker was placed on her forehead on Nov. 6 at Karcher Church of the Nazarene in Nampa, Idaho.
  • Josephine Dluzynsky explains the voting process to her son, Alex, while casting her ballot at Wyandot Elementary School in Dublin, Ohio.
  • Poll worker Marion Ames, right, checks in voters at the town shop in Koshkonong, Wis.
  • Voters cast their ballots at the Oxford Mall in Oxford, Miss.
  • Robert Bott, left, checks a voter's identification at a polling site at Jefferson Elementary School in Honolulu.
  • Mike Wigart, left, votes after catching some waves at the Venice Beach lifeguard headquarters in Venice Beach, Calif.
  • Voters cast their ballots at Jenkins Town Hall in Jenkins, Minn.
  • A woman votes at a polling station at Our Lady of The Holy Church in Los Angeles.
  • Knothsa Sypher leaves a polling station after casting her vote in Phoenix.
  • A jogger passes two mailboxes with patriotic messages in the Cheeseman Park neighborhood in Denver.
  • People wait to vote at a lifeguard station on Nov. 6 at Hermosa Beach, Calif.
  • People vote at Alhambra Fire Station 71 in Alhambra, Calif.
  • Polling station worker Horst Leuschner waits for voters at a rural fire station in Jamul, Calif.
  • Liza McCorkell fills out her paper ballot as her daughter, Nyla, watches at the Pacific Eagles Club in Pacific, Mo.
  • A voter casts her ballot at Delia's Beauty Salon and Barber Shop in Chicago.
  • A home is converted into a polling station in Stockton, Calif.
  • Voters wait to cast their ballot at College Park Elementary School in Virginia Beach.
  • Edward Horan votes inside a fire station in Scranton, Pa.
  • Children from Kingdom Kinds Child Development Center march past a polling station at Dunbar High School in Washington.
  • William Wright, left, and India Johnson, freshmen at Old Dominion University, wait to vote at Larchmont Elementary School in Norfolk, Va.
  • A sign in a store on Michigan Avenue urges people to vote in Chicago.
  • A Dalmatian dog watches as California Gov. Jerry Brown, left, votes at a fire station in Oakland.
  • A voting official hands out stickers at Battlefield High School in Gainesville, Va.
  • Voters cast their ballots at St. Leo's Catholic Church in Baltimore.
  • Tim Indahl votes at the Krishna Temple polling station in Salt Lake City.
  • Voters cast their ballots at Kirkwood Community Center in Kirkwood, Mo.
  • Election worker Susan Keller sets up signs at the Clark County Fire Training Center in Las Vegas.
  • Kristi Voegele casts her ballot at a polling place in Billings, Mont.
  • Voters leave the Old Blanco Courthouse after casting their ballots in Blanco, Texas.
  • Assistant election officer Belinda Strickland, left, assists a voter who had a problem with a change of address at precinct 613 Westgate at Washington Mill Elementary School In Fairfax County, Va.
  • Voters cast their ballots at a car dealership in Columbus, Ohio.
  • Election workers Ann Marut, left, and Phyllis Gubitosi wrap themselves in blankets to keep warm while working at a polling station at Silver Bay Elementary School in Toms River, N.J.
  • Election Inspector Jim Nodorft, left, and Smelser Township Clerk Kim Kieler set up a voting machine at the town hall in Georgetown, Wis.
  • Robert Ceska, left, and Meagan Lewis look over a sample ballot at the County Polling House in Crawfordville, Fla.
  • Chyniah Woods watches her mother, Kesia, vote at the Concord 15th precinct at Rosedale Highrise in Elkhart, Ind.
  • Mark Jensen votes at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City. And he dressed for the occasion.
  • A voter fills out his ballot in Janesville, Wis.
  • Derrick Banks wears a sticker on his forehead after casting his ballot at a polling station in Chicago.
  • A poll worker temporarily stops lines of voters as they wait to cast their ballots on Nov. 6 at the tiny County Polling House in Crawfordville, Fla.
  • People vote at the Bailey Mountain Fish and Game Club in North Greenbush, N.Y.
  • Voters sit on the floor as they fill out paper ballots at Tremont Elementary School in Cleveland.
  • Voters check in at the polling station at Metropolitan AME Church in Washington, D.C.
  • A voter prepares to cast her ballot on Nov. 6 at a polling station in Chicago.
  • A voter passes a makeshift shelter for victims of Hurricane Sandy in the gymnasium at Toms River East High School in Toms River, N.J.
  • Election judge Victoria Collwell places a sign in front of the Argusville Firehall Community Center in Argusville, N.D.
  • People vote at Carleton Middle School in Sterling Heights, Mich.
  • People wait for their turn to vote inside Washington Mill Elementary School in Alexandria, Va.
  • A voter casts his ballot in the Town Hall in Calais, Vt.
  • Voters wait to cast their ballot on a rainy day in St. Petersburg, Fla.
  • Tom Hoisington, right, and his grandson Tonykus Hebert raise their hands at the Bishop Leo O'Neil Youth Center in Manchester, N.H.
  • A girl waits in a voting booth as her mother casts her ballot at the Bishop Leo O'Neil Youth Center.
  • Leslie Fabian reacts after successfully casting her ballot at the Su Nueva Laundromat on Nov. 6 in Chicago.
  • Voters wait at West Elementary School in Washington, D.C.
  • Voters wait to cast their ballots at Wheaton High School in Silver Spring, Md.
  • People vote at a general store in Elizaville, Ky.
  • Election officers Charles Hunt, left, and John James help a voter in Elizaville.
  • A man casts his ballot using an electronic voting machine on Nov. 6 at an elementary school in Bowling Green, Ohio.
  • Lindsay Reiter holds her daughter, Savannah, as she votes at a school in Bowling Green.
  • Voters stand in line at dawn at a polling precinct at the Wake County Firearms Education and Training Center in Apex, N.C.
  • Evelyn Dennis prepares to hang an American flag as election workers set up voting booths at Memorial Elementary School on Nov. 6 in Little Ferry, N.J. The school is hosting all voting districts in the area because most of the town is still without power after Hurricane Sandy.
  • Frank Puzzo sets up a voting booth at Memorial Elementary School.
  • Bertha Osterman reads instructions as she sets up a voting booth at Memorial Elementary School.
  • Voters wait in line outside a tent serving as a polling site in Midland Beach, N.Y. The original polling site, a school, was damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
  • Poll worker Lisa Amico, right, uses a flashlight as she helps voters in a tent serving as a polling site in Midland Beach.
  • People vote at the Kindred Transitional Care and Rehabilition Center on Nov. 6 in South Bend, Ind.
  • Voters wait to cast their ballot in front of the Mt. Pleasant Library in Cleveland.
  • Signs direct voters near the Mt. Pleasant Library.
  • People enter the Port Royal Fire House to cast their vote in Port Royal, Va.
  • William Carpenter posts election rules at the entrance of the Port Royal Fire House polling station.
  • People wait in line to cast their vote at the Port Royal Fire House.
  • A clerk tabulates ballots at a polling station just after midnight on Nov. 6 in Dixville Notch, N.H., which bills itself as "First in the Nation" on Election Day. Each candidate received five votes, the first tie in Dixville Notch history.
  • A man casts his ballot at a polling station in Dixville Notch.
  • People prepare to cast their ballots.
  • People prepare to cast their ballots inside polling booths after midnight in Dixville Notch.

In Dixville Notch, N.H., one of two tiny New Hampshire villages that get to cast the first votes of the presidential election, Obama and Romney tied with five votes each — something that has never happened before.

“I’m bewildered, that’s the best way to describe my reaction,” said voter Peter Johnson, adding he didn’t think that Obama would get that many votes.

Besides long lines at polling places there are disputes over voter identification. Tuesday’s vote is already being challenged in some locations.

New York and New Jersey were still scrambling to resolve voting problems created by Sandy. New Jersey said it would expand online voting for those whose polling places have been disrupted, a move New York election officials rejected. New York has also had to relocate polling places, which could create voting challenges.

Voters were taking special election shuttles from storm-hit areas and voting by affidavit from any polling place they could reach after officials put emergency measures in place.

“It’s important because it’s our day,” said Agim Coma, a 25-year-old construction worker who lost his apartment and car to the storm but was first in line to vote in one New Jersey town. “No matter what happens — hurricanes, tornadoes — it’s our day to vote.”

Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida — all critical swing states for the presidential election — have faced pitched battles throughout the summer over voter-identification laws. As late as last week, Ohio election officials were issuing new rules for what ID is required and how the voter’s identification should be certified.

In New London, Pa., a long line snaked out the door as hundreds came to vote.

Poll workers asked voters for identification but didn’t require it. State legislators passed a voter-ID law earlier this year, but a state court blocked its implementation out of concerns it would disenfranchise legitimate voters who couldn’t get identification.

If voters did not have identification, they were given a flier explaining the law “for coming elections.”

In Jefferson, Wis., a steady stream of voters filed into City Hall. Mark McQuin, 39, a project manager, voted for Obama but said what many people were thinking: “I’m ready for it to be over.”

Contributing: Carolyn Pesce in McLean, Va., Julie Schmit, Nevada; Judy Keen in Wisconsin; Chuck Raasch, Alexandria, Va.; Dennis Cauchon in Ohio; Yamiche Alcindor, Denver; Donna Leinwand Leger, Orlando; Gregory Korte, Washington, D.C.; Melanie Eversley, New York; Mike Chalmers in Pennsylvania; Gary Stoller, Connecticut; Florida Today; Louisville Courier Journal; Detroit Free Press; Greenville (S.C.) News; and The Associated Press.

 

 


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