Obama re-elected

President Barack Obama rolled to re-election Tuesday night, vanquishing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and winning four more years in office despite a weak economy that plagued his first term and put a crimp in the middle class dreams of millions. "This happened because of you. Thank you" Obama tweeted to supporters as he celebrated four more years in the White House.
Tribune Staff
Nov 7, 2012


Romney telephoned the president, then spoke to disappointed supporters in Boston. In a graceful concession, he summoned all Americans to pray for the president and urged the night's winners to put partisan bickering aside and "reach across the aisle" to tackle the nation's problems.

After the costliest — and arguably the nastiest — campaign in history, divided government seemed alive and well.

Democrats retained control of the Senate with surprising ease. Republicans were on course for the same in the House, making it likely that Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, Obama's partner in unsuccessful deficit talks, would reclaim his seat at the bargaining table.

At Obama headquarters in Chicago, a huge crowd gathered waving small American flags and cheering. Supporters hugged each other, danced and pumped their fists in the air. Excited crowds also gathered in New York's Times Square, at Faneuil Hall in Boston and near the White House in Washington, drivers joyfully honking as they passed by.

With votes counted in 75 percent of the nation's precincts, Obama held a narrow advantage in the popular vote, leading by about 25,000 out of more than 99 million cast.

But the president's laserlike focus on the battleground states allowed him to run up a 303-203 margin in the competition for electoral votes, where the White House is won or lost. It took 270 to win.

Obama captured Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, New Hampshire, Colorado and Nevada, seven of the nine states where the rivals and their allies poured nearly $1 billion into dueling television commercials.

Romney was in Massachusetts, his long and grueling bid for the presidency at an unsuccessful end.

He won North Carolina among the battleground states.

Florida remained too close to call, a state where there were long lines of voters kept the polls open in some areas well past the appointed poll close time..

The election emerged as a choice between two very different visions of government — whether it occupies a major, front-row place in American lives or is in the background as a less-obtrusive facilitator for private enterprise and entrepreneurship.

The economy was rated the top issue by about 60 percent of voters surveyed as they left their polling places. But more said former President George W. Bush bore responsibility for current circumstances than Obama did after nearly four years in office.

That bode well for the president, who had worked to turn the election into a choice between his proposals and Romney's, rather than the simple referendum on the economy during his time in the White House.

Unemployment stood at 7.9 percent on election day, higher than when he took office. And despite signs of progress, the economy is still struggling after the worst recession in history.

There was no doubt about what drove voters to one candidate or the other.

About 4 in 10 said the economy is on the mend, but more than that said it was stagnant or getting worse more than four years after the near-collapse of 2008. The survey was conducted for The Associated Press and a group of television networks.

In the battle for the Senate, Democrats won seats currently held by Republicans in Indiana and Massachusetts.

In Maine, independent former Gov. Angus King was elected to succeed retiring GOP Sen. Olympia Snowe. He has not yet said which party he will side with, but Republicans attacked him in television advertising during the race, and Democrats rushed to his cause.

Polls were still open in much of the country as the two rivals began claiming the spoils of a brawl of an election in a year in which the struggling economy put a crimp in the middle class dreams of millions.

The president was in Chicago as he awaited the voters' verdict on his four years in office. He told reporters he had a concession speech as well as victory remarks prepared. He congratulated Romney on a spirited campaign. "I know his supporters are just as engaged, just as enthusiastic and working just as hard today" as Obama's own, he added.

Romney reciprocated, congratulating the man who he had campaigned against for more than a year.

Earlier, he raced to Ohio and Pennsylvania for Election Day campaigning and projected confidence as he flew home to Massachusetts. "We fought to the very end, and I think that's why we'll be successful," he said, adding that he had finished writing a speech anticipating victory but nothing if the election went to his rival.

But the mood soured among the Republican high command as the votes came in and Obama ground out a lead in critical states.

Like Obama, Vice President Joe Biden was in Chicago as he waited to find out if he was in line for a second term. Republican running mate Paul Ryan was with Romney in Boston, although he kept one eye on his re-election campaign for a House seat in Wisconsin, just in case.

The long campaign's cost soared into the billions, much of it spent on negative ads, some harshly so.

In the presidential race, an estimated one million commercials aired in nine battleground states where the rival camps agreed the election was most likely to be settled — Ohio, New Hampshire, Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada.

In a months-long general election ad war that cost nearly $1 billion, Romney and Republican groups spent more than $550 million and Obama and his allies $381 million, according to organizations that track advertising.

In Virginia, the polls had been closed for several minutes when Obama's campaign texted a call for volunteers "to make sure everyone who's still in line gets to vote."

In Florida, there were long lines at the hour set for polls to close. Under state law, everyone waiting was entitled to cast a ballot.

According to the exit poll, 53 percent of voters said Obama is more in touch with people like them, compared to 43 percent for Romney.

About 60 percent said taxes should be increased, taking sides on an issue that divided the president and Romney. Obama wants to let taxes rise on upper incomes, while Romney does not.

Other than the battlegrounds, big states were virtually ignored in the final months of the campaign. Romney wrote off New York, Illinois and California, while Obama made no attempt to carry Texas, much of the South or the Rocky Mountain region other than Colorado.

There were 33 Senate seats on the ballot, 23 of them defended by Democrats and the rest by Republicans.

Democratic Rep. Chris Murphy, a Democrat, won a Connecticut seat long held by Sen. Joe Lieberman, retiring after a career that included a vice presidential spot on Al Gore's ticket in 2000. It was Republican Linda McMahon's second defeat in two tries, at a personal cost of $92 million.

The GOP needed a gain of three for a majority if Romney won, and four if Obama was re-elected. Neither Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada nor GOP leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky was on the ballot, but each had high stakes in the outcome.

All 435 House seats were on the ballot, including five where one lawmaker ran against another as a result of once-a-decade redistricting to take population shifts into account. Democrats needed to pick up 25 seats to gain the majority they lost two years ago.

Depending on the outcome of a few races, it was possible that white men would wind up in a minority in the Democratic caucus for the first time.

Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, raised millions to finance get-out-the-vote operations in states without a robust presidential campaign, New York, Illinois and California among them. His goal was to minimize any losses, or possibly even gain ground, no matter Romney's fate. House Democratic leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California campaigned aggressively, as well, and faced an uncertain political future if her party failed to win control.

In gubernatorial races, Republicans picked up North Carolina, where Pat McCrory won easily. The incumbent, Democratic Gov. Bev Purdue, did not seek re-election.

In a campaign that traversed contested Republican primaries last winter and spring, a pair of political conventions this summer and three presidential debates, Obama, Romney, Biden and Ryan spoke at hundreds of rallies, were serenaded by Bruce Springstein and Meat Loaf and washed down hamburgers, pizza, barbecue and burrito bowls.

Obama was elected the first black president in 2008, and four years later, Romney became the first Mormon to appear on a general election ballot. Yet one man's race and the other's religion were never major factors in this year's campaign for the White House, a race dominated from the outset by the economy.

Over and over, Obama said that during his term the nation has begun to recover from the worst recession since the Great Depression. While he conceded progress has been slow, he accused Romney of offering recycled Republican policies that have helped the wealthy and harmed the middle class in the past and would do so again.

Romney countered that a second Obama term could mean a repeat recession in a country where economic growth has been weak and unemployment is worse now than when the president was inaugurated. A wealthy former businessman, he claimed the knowledge and the skills to put in place policies that would make the economy healthy again.

In a race where the two men disagreed often, one of the principal fault lines was over taxes. Obama campaigned for the renewal of income tax cuts set to expire on Dec. 31 at all income levels except above $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples.

Romney said no one's taxes should go up in uncertain economic times. In addition, he proposed a 20 percent cut across the board in income tax rates but said he would end or curtail a variety of tax breaks to make sure federal deficits didn't rise.

The differences over taxes, the economy, Medicare, abortion and more were expressed in intensely negative advertising.

Obama launched first, shortly after Romney dispatched his Republican foes in his quest for the party nomination.

One memorable commercial showed Romney singing an off-key rendition of "America The Beautiful." Pictures and signs scrolled by saying that his companies had shipped jobs to Mexico and China, that Massachusetts state jobs had gone to India while he was governor and that he has personal investments in Switzerland, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.

Romney spent less on advertising than Obama. A collection of outside groups made up the difference, some of them operating under rules that allowed donors to remain anonymous. Most of the ads were of the attack variety. But the Republican National Committee relied on one that had a far softer touch, and seemed aimed at voters who had been drawn to the excitement caused by Obama's first campaign. It referred to a growing national debt and unemployment, then said, "He tried. You tried. It's OK to make a change."

More than 30 million voters cast early ballots in nearly three dozen states, a reflection of the growing appeal of getting a jump on the traditional Election Day.



Tri-cities realist

Congrats Lanivan, feel free to gloat for one day only


Wow, even when you're on the "losing side" you still think you have the right to make the rules.

Tri-cities realist

It was a light hearted attempt at a joke. I'm sorry for that.


It seems the left is bent on believing the right is miserable.. Here is a fact. President Obama won, the people did not.


LOL, Now that's funny and makes me want to cry all at the same time.


Happy Happy, Joy Joy. What a great morning! Did I hear a great howl of lament last night in Ottawa County? Grief counseling tomorrow downtown.


Since polling was so accurate???, why is exit polling saying country is on wrong track?? Why does that conflict with election result??


Congratulations to Mr. Obama on his election victory....we are sorry for the mess you have to inherit.




I wonder if he will spend the next 4 yrs blaming that Obama guy? (thats a joke, no need to to bunch your panties over it)


Obama and his comrades can no longer blame the Bush Administration.
Just another 4 more years of national travel, date nights, elaborate vacationing, and late-night talk shows. He's done absolutely nothing and been re-elected on a smear campaign against a decent man simply because he has no agenda. The liberal agenda and minority % in this country has now tipped the % in their favor, and the hard working American citizens are now the lower %.
Predictions for the next four years:
1) Economy? Tanked
2) Church Rights? History
3) Abortion? No big deal...just a standard office visit
4) Right to Bare Arms? Removed
5) National Unemployment? Historical Margins
6) Welfare Recipients? Historical Margins
7) National Debt? Higher Historical Margins
America as it once was is over. The American Dream is a thing of the past. At least many of us had the chance to see America at her best. Our children will only learn about it from history books. NO, wait. They don't even teach real American history anymore, either. The liberal agenda has infiltrated our schools, as well. Toast. Absolute Toast.


No one will question your right to 'bare' arms. You can keep wearing those tank tops.


If you really think things are as bad as your histronics here would indicate I'd suggest packing a bag and heading somewhere outside the U.S. borders before you end up in one of these places... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d... I hear Iceland is nice this time of year.


I'm sure you noticed that the stock market plunged today. Hmmm.


I don't pay much attention to the stock market anymore. It's been going up and down like a rollercoaster for at least the last 4 years and what it does on any one day seems to have little effect in the grand scheme of things, but if you think it matters I'm happy for you.


That's too bad. The Great Depression was kicked off with the crash of the Stock Market.
You can put your head in the sand all you like, but the healthy state of our Stock Market is imperative in order for our nation to climb out of the massive hole that the government has created. No, it's not the only factor, but it does play an important part...and not one to take lightly.


Hey Less, you should really think about that. The left wants you to think that way so when your not paying attention the government can come in and assume control at some point. That's why we have all this 1% class warfare diversion going on. That's why its some how its bad to be rich or sucessful in business. I'm serious with my questions here. The gyrations of the stock market are a sign of instability. I know there is not a straight line up or down, but this thing is getting stuck! Everybody keeps repositioning their holdings because of uncertainty.


Wing and Opinion - which is why Obama bailed out the financial sector. To not do so would have been catastrophic globally. January 2009 - stock market=6,000's. Today=13,000's. While you guys were whining about government takeover, Wall Street rose to unprecedented levels.


Lan, I'm not a stock market "tracker", but I agree with WingMaster, the continuation of the up and down, on and off numbers with Wall Street are reflective of our unstable economy. As for Obama "Bailing" the financial sector, that was an irreversible and devastating decision made on the backs of present and future taxpayers. Obama's hand was in the pockets of his Wall Street pals that walked away with $$$ bonuses $$$ beyond amounts that most of us could only begin to imagine. And the housing market bail out...a disaster, as well. There is a lesson to be learned in economics, no matter how young, how old, or how high up in government you reside...
You CANNOT pay for something that you CANNOT afford. And when you attempt to do so, and fail, then you "should" pay the consequences. Just because Joe Pride down the street takes on a mortgage that he and his wife can't afford doesn't mean that we should have to come along and clean up his mess. This country and this administration is an absolute disaster. The overall problem with a majority of Obama supporters is that they have a sick mindset that he's some kind of savior. NO.
He's not. He's en elected official who is supposed to be making wise decisions that take the nation down a path of stability. Instead, he's breaking the backs of the working class in order to provide hand-outs to those who choose not to work.


you say liberal like it's a dirty word. 'Comrads', who smears whom? Better get out your copy of Mien Kampf, Herr Opinionscount.


Tri-Cities Realist - I have no desire to gloat, although I am very happy to know that the super rich can not buy an election, and that the people still have the power. I do understand the disappointment you and others must be feeling, as this is how I felt in 2004. You presented your views with a passion that I admire, although I do feel your passions are too extreme and misplaced. The point it that while the country is basically centrist, the far right has gone too extremist. Don't worry - the House still is under Republican control, so you're not completely defeated. It's now time to start to respect President Obama, pray for his success - which is what Romney encouraged in his gracious concession speech - and the people have spoken - congress needs to get it's act together and come together for the common good. I truly believe America is on the right track, moving forward, and Obama is the right leader for our times. In my opinion, the biggest problem you, Vlad, Wing, and others have is your inability to give credit where credit is due, and the incessant negativity in your remarks (although you not as much as some of the others). I hope and pray for peace of mind and understanding.


Congratulations Lanivan, your side won. I will refrain from my incessant negativity to permit you your day in the sunshine.


Thanks Vlad, for "permitting" me my day in the sun.....even tho I still feel those bitter vibes! I will reiterate - "my side" didn't win so much as the American people won (at least this time) against the lying and buying of our country by the super rich. I hope you feel a little warmth from that sunshine.....


I should have expected that you would take my heartfelt congratulations with good grace. My teeth are being ground down to nubs, but I still will refrain from replying in kind.


It appears that the Impaler is spending the day sharpening his verbal instrument for an impaling rebuttal. Tomorrow will be an interesting day of comment. His resisting, of razor sharp rebuttal today is a responsible retort.


That's just how us "Pollyanna's with a mean streak" roll......clink!


Enjoy your day, my resolve stands firm. "I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death." --Thomas Paine, The Crisis, No. 1, 1776


Love your quote, Wing - although I know it wasn't your intention, it's inspiring to me as well. Here's another one: "I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country; corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in High Places will follow and the Money Power of the Country will endeavor to prolong it's reign by working upon the prejudices of the People, until the wealth is aggregated in the in a few hands, and the Republic is destroyed". Abraham Lincoln

Tri-cities realist

Hug accepted and returned in kind. I just hope we don't have to hear anymore about inheriting the greatest economic crisis since the great depression. Obama now owns it, we'll see if he will "man up" and take ownership.



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