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.

 

Comments

dyankee

All true @ Opinionscount. The failure of any Govt. begins with the deterioration of the principles on which it was founded. America is now there. The tipping point has been reached last night and is unlikely to return. They're more uniformed, degenerate, entitlement draining citizens than they're are of us. This is what happens to any nation that lets the Barbarians run wild. You cannot have liberal policies for decades as something we get along with, you cannot have millions of illegals pour over the boarder for the last 35+ years with no assimilation plan or structure, you cannot allow academia to indoctrinate young people for the past 50 years to hate successful people, the rich and our Founding Fathers. You cannot allow unions & enviromentalist to choke off industry through acute regulations or unistainable compensation packages, you cannot allow political leaders to balloon our national debt to 20+ trillion or set immoral examples to its citizens (ie) B. Clinton amoung many others. You cannot allow the ACLU and the Lawyers Guild to wheel absolute power, and you must have voter ID rules and regulations to ensure the integrity and accurracy of any local, State, or Federal elections. What we are witnessing of our country is "death by a thousand slashes" unless their is a revolt of the people to reverse this course. IMO, without it, America will collapse under it's own weigh without the aid of any foreign evaders. 49% of America's population is still a hell of an army. The question is,,,whom is going to lead?

noncuratlex

Principles evolve. That is a good thing.

LessThanAmused

Maybe you can give Michelle Bachman a call and see what she's up to?

RenegadeX

Yeah, you laugh now....

Wingmaster

Now which party is the party with the war on women? I forget now!!!

Lanivan

I haven't forgotten. While the Republicans filibustered and vetoed every jobs bill and anything else that would have benefited the country during a time of great economic distress (they couldn't let Obama look "successful" and the he!! with you and me), they veered off into crazy town and started attacking women's rights that have been established for decades. Bad move. Along with a campaign built on the glorification of dishonesty, this strategy moved them into the "failure" column. And it has probably done more to attract attention to their ignorant, diabolical hijinks than anything else, so for that, let's give credit where credit is due.

biped

I find it rather amusing how quickly the "constitutional experts" come out of the woodwork as soon as their candidate blows an election. As for the so-called "Liberal agenda" in public school history classrooms, I think Opinionscount needs to stop listening to sound bites from Fake Fox News and Glen Beck. All of you who wish to bitch and moan because your candidate didn't win should get your butts out of that armchair from which you pontificate and run for office yourselves.

Wingmaster

Seems we are far more effective irritating you. Don't worry, we will to continue to be here for your daily dose of constitutional education.

RenegadeX

I have run for public office twice, and won. Been appointed a half dozen times to non-elected office. Now that I have passed your test for being able to opine on this, I will say that many students are educated by teachers who are members of unions who nearly always support Democratic Party positions and candidates, ergo they influence students in a way that's advantageous to said political party.

ghlori

In response to opionscount -
#1 Economy - Romney promised to cut $500 billion PER YEAR by 2016 & balance it by 2020 but vital specifics were lacking. Where oh where will he cut this amount of money?? Certainly by not taxing the wealthy. Oh, that's right - there's still us 47% he can stick it to. Good luck with that. #2 Church rights - since day one there have been battles separating church from State. Which is the way it should be. Do not force your religious beliefs down my throat. #3 Abortion - Romney opposes access to abortion though he PREVIOUSLY SUPPORTED it. He would also end federal aid to Planned Parenthood. Education prevents unwanted pregnancy which Planned Parenthood supports. This issue as long as it is legal, is a womans decision. It is not up to you to tell me what to do - stay out of my ovaries. #4 Right to firearms - Obama has not pushed for stricter gun laws as President, he signed laws letting people carry concealed weapons in national parks & in checked bags on Amtrak trains; voices support for ban on assault type weapons. Romney opposes stricter gun laws, suggested he favors tough enforcement of existing gun laws. In 2004 Romney signed a Massachusetts ban on assualt weapons. I don't see anything that indicates Obama wants to "disarm" the gun owners in the US. Just plain silly.

As far as the rest of your issues, I could go toe to toe with you. I don't know if you're p*ssed at the world or if you're one of the wealthy that is going to feel the pinch. As far as the American Dream, I think it's still alive & well. At least "my children" will learn compassion, diversity & know that what you dream can really be achieved.

Wingmaster

Your children are also going to learn the pain of a costly debt, lower standard of living, and what happens to the most a perfect model of government when voters turn a blind eye to power grabs by one party. Put aside the Republican Party for a moment, and serious really think about what one party rule in this country would mean. It may feel all warm and fuzzy to you today, but look back through history to see what happens to a country that allows control by one party. Read a little bit about what happened not only to the Jews in Germany but the German people soon after the war. Many families lost everything after that war and many actual came here, to rebuild their lives in a country without government overreach into their lives. My how sad it is that the beginning seeds of the type of tyranny they left are upon us. People really need to look beyond the ten second sound bytes to see what the parties are representing and how they view the constitution. Enjoy your victory day but really start watching and understanding what your party is representing.

opinionscount

There's a huge difference between showing compassion towards those in "need" and those who "need" to get off the couch and work. As for diversity. Not a big deal there, either. Cultural background has absolutely nothing to do with the bottom line of what is wrong with American.....
"Those who are not willing to work are riding on the backs of those who are." The gravy train will run out ghlori. You can count on it. We've already tipped the scale and those who want the hand-outs now way out number those who still have self-dignity to make their own way and pay taxes so that those not willing to lift a finger can gather the gumption to walk to the mailbox for the check at the end of the month. Also, your PP comments are quite the joke. They hide behind all the "education and preventative healthcare" so they can run "legalized" abortion clinics. As for a woman's decision, her decision is that she can choose not to get pregnant in the first place (unless it is a rape situation). As for Church rights, we have never had the government to force mandates on the Church that are against their right of conscience. Your bark is loud, but there's no bite to you. Get your popcorn ready and watch the next 4 year show. "THE END OF THE AMERICAN DREAM" by Barrack Hussein Obama.

sirhansalot

To opionsdoescount You can opt out at any time if you think there is a better place than the USA to live in ,planes leave each and every day please choose one and live your life as you wish....

opinionscount

Sirhansalot, you know, the thought has already crossed my mind since the election. lol
An even better thought, however, is that we could divide the nation straight down the middle.
The Conservatives can take the West side, and the Liberals can take the East. You see, that will not work, however, because once the Libs figured out that their gravy-train would be conceding to the West, they would start their kicking and screaming. If the Libs had to follow the Obama Administration current government policies (and those they wish to push through) on their own without the tax monies being forked into the pool by the Conservatives, they'd destroy themselves within a year...probably less, not to mention the fact that all the "give-me-a-free-check-ers" would be out of luck because there'd be too small of a tax monies pot to pull from. Oh no!!! They'd actually have to WORK for their keep! Yes, thanks again for boosting over the idea of leaving the country...but I've already beat you to that one. lol

dyankee

@ghlori, first of all....need more coffee? I see you're standing behind poor @opinonscount yapping about standing toe to toe or somethingorather, but nothing is coming out of your mouth because we can't hear you over the game. So, lets take it slooow and one thing at a time. #1 you reference Romney cutting $500 billion per year and balance "it" by 2020. I assuming you're referencing "it" as Romney's budget, correct? K, Obama has not created one in fOUR YEARRRRS! Ok-Ok, sorry for yelling, now it's your turn.....

ghlori

dyankee - As the old saying goes "Opinions are like bellybuttons, everyone has one". I am expressing my thoughts and basically exchanging opinions. I do not believe that any one candidate can magically remedy the negatives that are thrust upon them in four years. Every single President of our country has had to deal with problems and as the years go on, the bigger the problems become. I wish that this country could spend more time working together than working against each other. In a perfect world.
By the way - I'm not a coffee drinker. Never have been. So I'll let you get back to your "game" & have a great next four years. Peace out.

dyankee

Kinda' like Rham Emanuel's "you never want to let a serious crisis go to waste." Yeah-yeah, I get it ghstories. "I do not believe that any one candidate can magically remedy the negatives that are thrust upon them in four years" Really? How quickly we forget about what President Bush put up with. He got ripped by your party for sitting in his chair two minutes too long after hearing about 9-11 happening, when visiting that Florida classroom. "I wish that this country could spend more time working together than working against each other" Oooh, you mean like the time Mr. Obama rammed that health care bill down the throats of all Americans without "1" Republican vote? (178-0) You mean that reaching across the aisle bi-partisian master piece? Speaking of ramming down our throats, what was your #2 again? Peace out?....spoken like a true coexisting volkswagon liberal.

Wingmaster

Save it, she probably doesn't even know who Rham Emanuel is!

43°North

yup, wouldn't expect anything other than disparaging remarks from you or any other rightwingers here. Attack people for their obvious-to-you ignorance because they don't agree with your twisted views. Showing off your immaculate superiority here. It was an UGLY battle, spurred on by social media. Time for our lawmakers to come together to fix problems, not obstruct. We have a financial cliff looming that needs to be taken care of. When I have mentioned working together on facebook, I have been referred to as 'vicious' by the right.

Wingmaster

Funny how you bring up disparaging remarks 43, then launch into your own. You are right about one thing, it is an ugly battle and I'm here to fight you and others tooth, fang, and claw to protect this country, and the liberties and freedom while we still have them. In the process, I may just open your eyes. You keep bringing up superiority, and I take that as a compliment to my positions. Using such statements shows us how the left has gotten to your way of thinking. Superior should be viewed as a good thing, yet you want to twisted into being something bad. Just like being rich somehow is bad, just like being successful is somehow taking from someone else. I no longer will stand by and let the left dominate the conversation on any subject without my views, and opinion heard.

opinionscount

Yes, time for our lawmakers to come together to fix the liberal problems. Let's all work together to legalize abortion at any stage, under any circumstances, and make sure we utilize tax payer dollars to pay for it; let's work together to make sure that the homosexuals obtain their agenda to force their lifestyle on the Church, forcing the Church to conduct their marriage ceremonies even though it's against their religious beliefs; Continue to increase taxes on the "wealthy" so that the tax monies, in turn, can be handed out to those who refuse to work because it's easier to receive money from the government; and continue to shove the ObamaCare down the throats of the small businesses who will be forced to shut their doors because they can't afford to carry the insurance requirements by the federal mandates. (The sick liberal agenda goes on and on...) You liberal lefties break the very backs of the ones who carry you. The tide has turned, and the 'do-nothings" are out-weighing the do-ers. As the saying goes, this past Tuesday, the liberals sealed their own coffin. Thanks!

newsblogger

The vicious nature is not just one sided my friend.. One thing that this administration is good at is dividing our country.

ghlori

Rahm Emaneul - Mayor of Chicago?? Previous Chief of Staff?? Yup, know who he is. And as for "my party" I am an independant voter who picks who I feel is the better person for the job. Sorry to disappoint. Again, peace to you & yours.

43°North

From the GH Tribune, (for all those struck with grief for their loss on Tuesday)...

Brett Van Tol, a clinical psychologist at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services, will conduct a workshop on grief at Covenant Life Church, 101 Columbus Ave. in downtown Grand Haven, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8. He will explain how to recognize grief and provide directions on how to deal with it.

For information, call the church office 616-847-2540.

opinionscount

We're beyond the election grief and on to the normal Obama Administration day to day destruction.
We have new grief today, 43North...the Fiscal Shut Down. Yesterday, it was the Stock Market plunge. You know what I'm talking about...all this stuff that is Bushes fault. lol!
But, hey, thanks anyway for the grief psychologist tip. Problem is, however, it's all of you sheep out there who are going to need it far more than those who supported Romney. At least we can carry a clear conscience in knowing we cast a vote for a true leader who stood a good chance at turning our nation in the right direction. All of the Obama praisers will get to carry the guilt of knowing you sent us over the edge when the economy finally ditches...and it looks like it's going to be pretty soon.
Thanks!

newsblogger

agreed.

Lanivan

I'm sure you are a nice person, but forgive me if I say you remind of the little guy in the Charlie Brown cartoon who always had a cloud hanging over him. Where were you when the stock market tanked during the Bush Recession to the 6,000's? At well over 13,000 under Obama, a drop of a few percentage points is hardly a "plunge". Take a deep breath and go out and enjoy God's creation - all will be right with the world.

BEARTHECARNAGE

Wow for more years of all time high unemployment, skyrocketing national debt, rising cost of health care and immigrants pouring into our country by the thousands! When will this end?

horst

Oh boy, the On the Job Training continues. We needed a business man in Washington not another attorney or career politician...Damn I wish Herman Cain could have learned to keep it in his pants. Why didn't Reagan blame Jimmy Carter (the worst President in recent history) for his economy...Oh, because he had it majorly turning around by the end of his first term.

Lanivan

Reagan tripled the deficit and raised tax rates 11 times in 8 years. He'd be toast at today's Tea Party. Don't kid yourself - Herman Cain, although charming and disarming, was not presidential material, even after factoring in his experience running pizza shops.

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