BY Mike O’Sullivan – LOS ANGELES — President Barack Obama has won election to a second term in the White House after a hard-fought campaign against Republican challenger Mitt Romney. Obama, a Democrat, won support in the key battleground states of Colorado, Michigan and Virginia, among others.
In his victory speech in Chicago, he promised action, not politics as usual.
“In the coming weeks and months, I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties to meet the challenges we can only solve together: reducing our deficit, reforming our tax code, fixing our immigration system, freeing ourselves from foreign oil. We’ve got more work to do,” Obama said.
But the count in electoral votes was decisive, despite wins by Romney in the battleground state of North Carolina and a swath of states from the South through the Midwest and West, including Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Texas and Arizona. The United States awards the presidency according to state results, not popular vote.
Romney, conceding the race in Boston, said he had called to congratulate the president, his campaign staff and supporters.
“I wish all of them well, but particularly the president, the first lady and their daughters,” said Romney. “This is a time of great challenges for America and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation.”
For the Romney campaign, the key issue in this election was the poor economy and continuing high rate of unemployment. The national jobless rate stands at nearly eight percent, but President Obama argued that the economy is improving and that his administration has helped to create jobs.
In Chicago, the president said the nation’s promise remains intact. “I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggest,” Obama added. “We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum or our individual ambitions and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states referring to map designations of Democrats and Republican. We are and forever will be the United States of America.”
Voters around the country also decided more than 170 ballot measures, approving gay marriage in Maine and Maryland and endorsing the recreational use marijuana in Colorado and Washington, putting those states at odds with federal drug law. In close races around the country, the counting of ballots continues.