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Triumphant Obama tells US, 'The best is yet to come'

US President Barack Obama won a second four-year term on Tuesday night, conquering the key states of Ohio and Wisconsin to edge out Republican challenger Mitt Romney. In his victory speech Obama said he had "never been more hopeful about America".


Barack Obama won a second term as the president of the United States on Tuesday night, defeating Republican challenger Mitt Romney in an extraordinarily tight race.

In the end Obama easily secured the 270 electoral votes needed for victory despite suggestions that the weak US economy would derail his re-election bid. With Florida’s results still not declared by midday on Wednesday and its 29 electoral votes still unclaimed, Obama stood at 303 votes compared to Romney’s 206.

The result delighted Democratic supporters, thousands of whom packed into a convention centre in Chicago to hear Obama's victory speech.

As he walked out on stage along with his wife Michelle and his two daughters, Sasha and Malia, the crowd hailed him with chants of "Four more years".

"The best is yet to come"

He told his enthusiastic supporters that the future was bright for America.

“In this election the American people reminded us that while our road has been hard and our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up and fought our way back,” Obama said.

“We know in our hearts that for the United States the best is yet to come.”

Obama said he was returning to the White House “more determined and more inspired than ever”.
“I have never been more hopeful about the future and never been more hopeful about America,” he added.
The president also paid tribute to his defeated rival after their “fierce battle”, saying he looked forward to working with Governor Romney “to move this country forward”.
Ohio once more proved to be America's bellwether state in a tight contest that saw the two rivals separated by a few percentage points when the race was finally called.

Obama's advantage in that state appeared to seal his victory after wins in the swing states of Winsonsin and Iowa.

Shortly after victory was confirmed Obama took to Twitter with the simple message "Four more years" and published a photo of himself embracing First Lady Michelle Obama. Within minutes it became the most re-tweeted message in the short history of the micro-blogging site.
The incumbent also thanked his supporters: “We're all in this together. That's how we campaigned, and that's who we are.”
Obama may have won a comfortable victory in the state-by-state electoral vote system that decides the race for the White House but the popular vote count remained extremely close.

World leaders lined up on Wednesday to congratulate US President Barack Obama on winning his second term in office.

French President François Hollande said Obama's victory was "a clear choice for an open, united America that is totally engaged on the international scene".

Hollande said the US leader's second term would be marked "by the same spirit of dialogue, esteem and respect".

Among the first to congratulate Obama was British Prime Minister David Cameron, who tweeted "warm congratulations to my friend Barack Obama. Looking forward to continuing to work together."

Germany's Angela Merkel said: "I look forward to continuing all cooperation so both our countries can continue to stand side by side to contend with the important foreign policy and economic challenges that we face as friends and allies."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also applauded Obama’s victory, saying the stategic alliance between the two countries was "stronger than ever”.

“I will continue to work with President Obama to ensure the interests that are vital for the security of Israel’s citizens,” Netanyahu said.

France’s Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici also saluted Obama’s triumph “with great pleasure”.

Obama took about 50 percent to 49 percent for Romney after a campaign in which the candidates and their party allies spent a combined $2 billion.

Romney concedes
Obama's Republican rival for the White House conceded defeat around an hour after the outcome seemed certain in a phone call to the president congratulating him on his victory.
In a gracious speech Romney said it was time to put partisan politics aside "for the good of the American people".
"This is a time of great challenges for America and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation," Romney told supporters.
Obama became the second Democrat to win two consecutive terms as president since the end of World War Two. Former president Bill Clinton, who campaigned heavily on Obama’s behalf, won his own re-election bid in 1996.
But the president’s second term is likely to be marked by more gridlock over legislation after the Republicans kept control of the House of Representatives.
The Democrats, however, did manage to keep control of the Senate with initial results suggesting they may have even increased their majority after snatching several key seats out of Republican hands.
Obama powers back in swing states
The first vote projections by TV networks showed the state of Kentucky and its 8 electoral votes sided with Romney, while the small northeastern state of Vermont (3 votes) went to Obama. Romney enjoyed an early lead as the first poll results trickled in, but tallies for key battleground states reversed that trend.
Pennsylvania -- despite Republican claims that they would take the state -- was comfortably won by Obama. New Hampshire, another key state in past elections, was also taken by the president.

Wins for Obama also in the swing states of Wisconsin, Colorado and Iowa -- resulting in a near sweep of the battleground states -- revved up Democratic supporters gathered at the president’s campaign headquarters in Chicago before the announcement of victory in Ohio sparked wild cheering.

With Wisconsin, Iowa and Ohio in the bag, the suspense surrounding the outcome in Florida eased. Even if Romney had gone on to win Florida, with its 29 electoral votes, and Virginia, his presidential bid was doomed.

There were few surprises elsewhere. Both Obama and Romney took the states that analysts predicted they would safely capture. Obama won the West Coast state of California while Romney took Texas.

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