Obama Moves 'Forward' Into Second Presidential Term
Romney Concedes Race
Published: Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney early Wednesday morning and secured himself a second term as president of the United States. Obama surpassed the former governor of Massachusetts in a tight contest, winning 97 more Electoral College votes but only 2.3 percent more of the popular vote. The race, which ends almost two years of campaigning, was hard fought by both the Democrats and Republicans.
After a long and bitter campaign for reelection, Obama won the popular vote with 59,873,314 total votes, or 50.4 percent of the popular vote, to Romney’s 57,185,256 votes, or 48.1 percent of the popular vote, as of 11 a.m. Wednesday morning. Although it had been debated throughout the night if he would win both the popular vote and the Electoral College vote, Obama definitively won the election with a majority in the Electoral College, winning 303 electoral votes. This was well above the required 270 votes, while Governor Romney trailed with 206 electoral votes. As more states across the country were projected to go blue as the night went on, Obama was projected to win re-election as early as 11:30 p.m. EST on Tuesday night.
A key factor in Obama’s electoral victory was the winning of swing states such as Florida, Ohio, and Virginia, with 27, 18, and 13 electoral votes, respectively. It was not clear which candidate would win these states, which were especially important with so many electoral votes. Obama only defeated Romney by a small margin in all three of these states. The closest race of all the states was found in Florida, where Obama gained 49.8 percent of the vote, while Romney gained 49.3 percent, leaving a margin of only 0.5 percent of voters.
Although Obama was able to win most of the same states in the 2012 election that he won in the 2008 election, Governor Romney won North Carolina, which supported Obama in 2008, by a margin of 50.6 percent to 48.4 percent. The other state that switched from blue to red in the 2012 election was Indiana, which Romney also won by a sizable margin of 10.5 percent. With 11 electoral votes, it did not make a significant impact on the outcome of the race. The Romney/Ryan ticket did not win either of the states that the candidates currently reside in, Massachusetts and Wisconsin, respectively.
Romney was not hasty in conceding the race to Obama, and didn’t deliver his concession speech until Wednesday morning at approximately 1 a.m., though most had projected Obama as the winner since about 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday evening. Under a large “Believe in America” banner at the Boston Convention Center, Romney offered a short response in which he thanked his supporters, campaign team, running mate Paul Ryan, and wife, Ann Romney. He called for bipartisanship in the United States, saying, “The nation, as you know, is at a critical point. At a time like this, we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle and do the people’s work.” This sentiment was met by large cheers from his crowd of supporters.
He solemnly expressed his disappointment in not winning the election, saying, “I so wish—I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction, but the nation chose another leader.”
Obama offered his victory speech about an hour later to a spirited crowd at his election headquarters in Chicago, Ill. He thanked all those who campaigned for him, voters on both sides for getting involved in the election, Vice President Joe Biden, and his wife, Michelle Obama. Like Romney, Obama advocated for bipartisanship in his speech, saying, “I look forward to sitting down with Gov. Romney to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward.” Bipartisan messages were met with large cheers from supporters on both sides after a particularly harsh election.
He spoke about a unified country that works together for a common goal, and not a separation of red and blue states. He also was hopeful for the future of the United States, saying, “We are an American family and we rise or fall together as one nation. We know in our hearts that for the United States of America, the best is yet to come.”
Early figures show that fewer Americans voted in the 2012 presidential election than did in the 2008 presidential election. This could be attributed to the recent Hurricane Sandy, the aftermath of which kept many voters in New York and New Jersey from making it to the polls. Every effort was made to ensure that voters in affected areas were able to vote, including early voting.
Although the Democratic Party retained control of the presidency, the GOP kept their majority in the House of Representatives. The Senate remained Democratic with many notable Democratic senators elected, including Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.