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Yes he CAN! Obama beats Romney, gets second term

Last updated on: November 7, 2012 14:44 IST

Image: Supporters of US President Barack Obama cheer the news of the President's re-election
Photographs: Jeff Haynes/Reuters

Barack Obama on Tuesday won a historic election to get a second term as United States President, overcoming a stiff challenge from Republican Mitt Romney and defying concerns over his handling of economy and anxiety over the future.

A votary of strong ties with India, 51-year-old Obama, the first black American to occupy the White House, scored what turned out to be a comfortable victory over Romney after a bitter and costly campaign running over months, during which his rivals attacked him on issues of unemployment and recession.

Disproving predictions of a narrow victory in a very tight race, the incumbent won the election in crucial battleground states after a neck-and-neck race in the initial stages, getting 303 electoral votes against 206 of Romney in a college of 535 votes.

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Obama beats Romney, gets second term

Image: Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney talks to reporters on his campaign plane
Photographs: Brian Snyder/Reuters

Notwithstanding doubts over his ability to revive the economy from the effects of the crisis, the worst after the Great Depression of 1930s, voters appeared to have chosen status quo, leaving Democrats with control of the Senate and Republicans the House of Representatives.

What tilted the race in Obama's favour was the massive swing he got from the victory in California, which has the largest number of 55 electoral votes, and Ohio with 18. Till California was called, Romney had led over Obama.

Obama also walked away with wins in the swing states of Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Michigan.

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Obama beats Romney, gets second term

Image: Watch journalist Shaili Chopra reporting from Ground Zero

Pollsters had even apprehended a tie after the Presidential debates and surveys, but in the ultimate analysis Obama got over 300 votes, but not anywhere near his 2008 score of 349.

After the networks declared Obama the winner, 65-year-old Romney called him and congratulated him.

"This is a time of great challenge for our nation. I pray the President will be successful in guiding our nation," he told his supporters.

The President reciprocated his sentiments and congratulated him on a hard-fought campaign.

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Tags: Romney , Obama

Obama beats Romney, gets second term

Image: A donkey named Demo is pictured during a symbolic election organised by US President Barack Obama's followers
Photographs: Joaquin Sarmiento/Reuters

In his speech to his cheering supporters in his campaign headquarters in Chicago, Obama promised to work with leaders of both parties to face the challenges ahead in creating new jobs, reducing deficit and reforming taxes.

Earlier, Obama tweeted to his supporters after his victory: "This happened because of you. Thank you."

Obama is only the second Democrat after Bill Clinton to secure two White House terms since World War-II.

The President paved the way to victory by defending Democratic bastions in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan.

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Obama beats Romney, gets second term

Image: America's national flag is projected on the facade of the US embassy in London to mark the US polls
Photographs: Neil Hall/Reuters

Obama, who romped to power four years ago as an agent of hope and change, secured his second term on the back of a fiercely negative campaign.

He branded former Massachusetts Governor Romney as elite and indifferent to the middle class after the businessman-turned politician surprisingly outperformed him in the first of the three high-stake presidential debates.

The President's campaign offered a "fair shot" to the middle class and also pledged to end the war in Iraq.

Now, Obama will have to keep his promise about historic reforms in health care and the way Wall Street operates. He is also likely to address the issue of thwarting Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Obama may have also been helped at the last minute when superstorm Sandy devastated the US East Coast, bringing out his skills in tackling the aftermath.

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