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Barack Obama was elected to a second term as President Tuesday night, following a long campaign battle with Republican challenger Mitt Romney. Obama easily won the electoral votes needed to win and also won the popular vote thanks to key victories in battleground states.
CNN notes that Obama reached the necessary 270 electoral votes with a win in Ohio, a state that had been hammered by political advertisements and countless visits by both campaigns. Obama’s win in Virginia sealed the deal, making it impossible for Romney to win. The president ended the night with 303 electoral votes to the former Massachusetts governor’s 206.
According to The New York Times, Obama captured nearly all battleground states, also winning New Hampshire, Colorado and Iowa. He currently holds a lead in Florida, but that state remains too close for many media outlets to call.
Celebrations in Chicago erupted around 11:20pm, as the media began calling Obama the winner.
“Tonight in this election, you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back,” Obama said during his speech to supporters. “We know in our hearts that for the United States of America, the best is yet to come.”
Obama said that he hopes that the country can come together during his second term, but noted his victory "won't end all the gridlock."
“At a time like this we can't risk partisan bickering and political posturing,” Romney said in his concession speech in Boston.
Romney added, “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. And so Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for him and for this great nation.”
Obama won mostly thanks to widespread support among minorities. The Huffington Post notes that early exit polls showed that Obama had won the support of 70 percent of Latinos.
For his second term, Obama will still have to deal with a divided Congress, as the Republicans held on to the House of Representatives, while the Democrats retained control of the Senate.