President Barack Obama has won four more years in the White House, winning most swing states following a heated 2012 campaign.
As of press time, Obama is set to receive at least 290 electoral votes with 48 votes in play, compared to 200 projected for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, according to the Associated Press. To win, a candidate must collect 270 votes.
Obama, who was elected in 2008 as the first black president of the United States, became the first president since Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940 to win re-election with an unemployment rate over 7.1 percent. Currently, the national unemployment rate sits at 7.9 percent.
According to CNN exit polls, 60 percent of voters nationwide considered the economy their number one issue this election season.
Obama thanked supporters via Twitter.
“We’re all in this together,” Obama said. “That’s how we campaigned, and that’s who we are. Thank you.”
The key to Obama’s win was perhaps a similar electorate to the 2008 electorate that delivered him his first term.
According to Politico, combined turnout from African-Americans and Latinos jumped from 2008, up to 26 percent of the electorate from 24 percent four years ago. Likewise, 18-29 year olds, a key liberal-leaning demographic, comprised 19 percent of the electorate, up from 18 percent in 2008.
This election found yet another deep gender gap among the national electorate. According to exit polls conducted by Politico, Obama won the women vote by 12 points, but lost by 7 points among men.
For weeks, pundits have touted an Obama “swing state firewall,” as polls in coveted swing states such as Ohio and Iowa have found the president ahead by small but consistent margins for most of the year.
Yesterday, that was the reality as the president swept through most swing states, winning by small margins in most swing states, withstanding late pushes from the Romney campaign in states like Pennsylvania and Ohio.
The president also won Michigan again, despite an unemployment rate well above the national average. A Detroit Free Press exit poll projected Obama to win 53 percent of the statewide vote, compared to 46 percent for Romney. In 2008, Obama won Michigan with over 57 percent of the vote.
It appears part of Obama’s success in Michigan, as well as Ohio, was due to the $82-billion federal bailouts of General Motors and Chrysler in 2009. Obama made the rebounds of the American auto industry, as well as Romney’s opposition to the bailouts, central to his campaign in both states.
While the bailouts are divisive and controversial in most states, they have enjoyed popularity in state polls, including exit polls following the election.
Obama heads into his second term facing a still-sluggish economy, high deficits and a deeply divided Congress susceptible to gridlock.
The House of Representatives was projected to remain under Republican control, and the Senate was projected to remain under Democratic control, both with margins similar to the current Congress.
His win, however, likely secures the implementation of several key pieces of legislation Obama signed in his first term, including reforms in health care and the financial sector that Romney had promised to repeal if elected.
Earlier in the day, Romney said he was confident he would be elected.
“I not only think we’re going to win intellectually, I feel it as well,” Romney said.
Obama and Romney were engaged in a heated battle for the presidency for months following the Republican primaries.
The Obama campaign sought to define Romney as an out-of-touch plutocrat who favors the rich over middle-class Americans. In a virtually unprecedented move, the Obama campaign spent millions of dollars in swing states in the summer blasting Romney for his time as CEO of Bain Capital.
Early polls found Obama ahead of Romney in most swing states all year, and the former Massachusetts governor was never able to truly recover. Save for a brief surge in the polls following a strong debate performance early last month, Romney found himself struggling to find a path to 270 electoral votes.