President Barack Obama secured his re-election bid on Tuesday night.
Walking onstage with first lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha, President Obama proclaimed victory after a heated election race.
“The task of perfecting our union moves forward,” Obama said to a cheering crowd of thousands in Chicago. “It moves forward because of you.”
He continued, “We are an American family and we rise and fall together as one nation and as one people.”
The journey of the American people “has been long; we have picked ourselves up,” Obama said, “we have fought our way back, and we know in our hearts that for America the best is yet to come.”
Obama narrowly won the key battleground state of Ohio, early exit polls show, as well as other key states including New Hampshire, Wisconsin, and Iowa.
He also took Virginia, one of the crucial states Republican challenger Mitt Romney needed to take the presidency, and Obama’s re-election bid was buoyed by Pennsylvania, which has 20 Electoral College votes.
Romney, at around 1 a.m. Wednesday, conceded defeat after it was apparent that Obama had taken the election. Just before he made the speech, Romney reportedly called the president.
We are an American family and we rise and fall together as one nation and as one people.
—President Barack Obama
“This is a time of great challenges for America,” Romney said, adding that “I wish all of them well; particularly the president, the first lady, and their daughters,” referring to Obama’s family.
The former Massachusetts governor also thanked his wife, running mate Paul Ryan, his supporters, and campaign workers.
“Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work,” Romney said of the next four years.
Romney said that he “ran for office because I’m concerned about America,” and said that he and Ryan “gave everything to this campaign.”
The president took California, which has a whopping 55 votes, as well as Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii. He also took much of the Midwest and all of the northeast United States, including New York.
Romney, however, had a strong showing in much of the southeastern United States as well as well as Utah, Wyoming, Arizona, Texas, Missouri, and others. He took the battleground state of North Carolina.
Florida was the most hotly contested state and if Obama’s victory was not so decisive, the outcome of the state risked repeating similar events in 2000 when there was a mass recount of votes for Al Gore and George W. Bush.
The popular vote was extremely close, but as of press time, polls were showing that Obama had just barely nudged out Romney.
There were some 17,000 screaming and jovial supporters that congregated around Obama in Chicago, where the president was staying while awaiting the tallying of the vote, while Ray Charles was played.
Obama garnered support among Latinos, African-Americans, and women, which was expected, according to exit polls.
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