By Stephen Witt
President Barack Obama this week was reelected to a second term as President of the United States over Republican challenger Mitt Romney in a close but decisive victory, continuing his historic role as the first black president.
Most television stations called the election a little after 11 pm Eastern Standard Time, relatively early for an election that political pundits called too close to call for weeks on end. Romney conceded the election about an hour later.
According to unofficial results, Obama had 59,810,241 votes, or 50 percent of the nationwide popular vote to 57,147,964, or 48 percent for Romney.
The presidential race, though, is not decided by popular vote, but rather by Electoral College votes where each state is accorded a number of votes and whichever candidate wins the plurality of that state is accorded all these votes. A majority, or 270 electoral votes, are needed to win the presidency.
Obama won the Electoral College vote in a landslide garnering 303 votes to Romney’s 206 votes with several states still undecided at press time.
The race, as predicted by almost all political pundits, came down to several battleground states that were all very close, but in which Obama swept the table. These states include Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, New Hampshire, Virginia, Wisconsin and Florida.
Of these states the most watched was Ohio, in which Obama carried 2,672,302 votes, slightly over 50 percent to Romney’s 2,571,539 votes.
Obama also bested Romney in several of these battleground states that most pollsters had him narrowly behind going into the presidential contest.
This includes Virginia where Obama won 1,852,123 votes, or 51 percent, to Romney’s 1,745,397 votes, or 48 percent; Colorado, where Obama garnered 51 percent, or 1,210,464 votes, to Romney’s 47 percent, or 1,105,491 votes; and Florida, where each candidate garnered about 50 percent of the vote, but with Obama narrowly beating Romney 4,129,502 votes to 4,083,441 votes.
In his concession speech, Romney showed himself to being a gracious loser, saying that he called Obama to congratulate him and wish him and his family all well.
“This is a time of great challenges for America, and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation,” he told his sorrowful supporters in Boston.
In his victory speech in Chicago, Obama thanked his supporters whom he credited with his victory and pledged to work with both parties on such issues as global warming, reducing the deficit, reforming the tax code and fixing the nation’s immigration system.
“We believe in a generous America, in a compassionate America, in a tolerant America, open to the dreams of an immigrant’s daughter who studies in our schools and pledges to our flag. To the young boy on the South Side of Chicago who sees a life beyond the nearest street corner. To the furniture worker’s child in North Carolina who wants to become a doctor or a scientist, an engineer or an entrepreneur, a diplomat or even a president—that’s the future we hope for,” said Obama. “That’s the vision we share. That’s where we need to go—forward. That’s where we need to go.”