Obama defeats Romney, wins second term as president

Nov 8, 2012 | News

Barack Obama won his second term as president Tuesday night, eking out GOP hopeful Mitt Romney. COURTESY WIKICOMMONS

Compiled by Sarah MacDonald
With files from Jessy Bains

Barack Obama is back in the White House, but the the final count on how he did it has yet to be nailed down.

What do we know?

Obama won 50 per cent of the popular vote Tuesday night, while Romney ended up with 48 per cent, vindicating  predictions of how close the election would be.

Obama won his second term with almost 100 more electoral votes than Romney. GRAPHIC BY SARAH MACDONALD

In order to secure his place as a two-term president, Obama needed to win 270 electoral college votes.

He ended up with 303 and 50 per cent of the popular vote, while Romney took 206 electoral votes and about 48 per cent of the popular vote.

The fate of Obama’s re-election was in the hands of nine battleground states: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Caroline, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.

But it was wins in Ohio, Iowa and Virginia, that paved the way for victory.

Romney won traditionally red states, such as Texas and Georgia, but winning only North Carolina among the battleground states — and with Florida still in the balance —  the fate of the  GOP nominee was sealed.

Both sides spent the better part of $1 billion combined on competing ads in Iowa, Ohio, New Hampshire and Virginia, according to CBC. ca.

As of the time of reporting, the Florida count was separated by a margin of only 47 028 votes in favour of the president-elect , The Huffington Post reported.

Obama won the majority of swing states, such as Ohio, Virginia and Colorado, but Florida has yet to be called. GRAPHIC BY SARAH MACDONALD

Why Obama won

Observers said Obama’s hold over the voters in the non-white-male camp helped him avoid being remembered as a one-term president.

It was a fatal underestimation of the changing demographic  that  critics said the GOP would have to fix in order to remain relevant in future elections.

“The Republican Party has some thinking to do about its messaging,” Chris Irwin, a political science professor at Humber, told  @Humber reporter Jessy Bains.

“The Latino (and) black vote in the United States is not breaking toward the Republican Party and that seems to be causing serious problems in these national presidential elections.”

Commentators said an improving economic climate helped Obama secure his second term, despite republican criticism of Obama’s first-round handling of the economy.

The United States is currently sitting at a 7.9 per cent unemployment rate, dropping from 8 per cent in October.

The popular vote was tight as Obama scored 50 per cent, working out to 60 786 891 votes, and Romney gained 48 per cent, which comes out to 57 895 120 votes. GRAPHIC BY SARAH MACDONALD

Women on The Hill

One of the biggest election surprises was the increase in the number of women elected to Congress.

There are now 20 women in the Senate, up from 18, and 77 in the House of Representatives, up from 73.

One of those women, Democrat Claire McCaskill from Missouri, defeated controversial Republican incumbent Todd Akin

Akin garnered attention in August when he commented on “legitimate rape” when he said “the female body has ways to try and shut that whole thing down.”

McCaskill won 54.7 per cent of the vote and Akin 39.2 per cent.

What’s next for Obama

Back in the driver’s seat, the first hurdle Obama faces is a gridlock with Republicans in the House on taxes, deficits, and the so-called “fiscal cliff.”

A plan must be ratified before the 2013 deadline for a deficit reduction plan or across the board spending cuts will kick in.

Obama’s victory speech:


Romney’s concession speech:


For the full interview with Chris Irwin, listen here: