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Obama re-elected to second term by wide electoral-vote margin

  • President Barack Obama waves to the crowd at his election night party Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Chicago. President Obama defeated Republican challenger former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama rolled to re-election Tuesday night, vanquishing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney despite a weak economy that plagued his first term and put a crimp in the middle class dreams of millions. In victory, he confidently promised better days ahead.

Obama spoke to thousands of cheering supporters in his hometown of Chicago, praising Romney and declaring his optimism for the next four years. "While our road has been hard, though our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America, the best is yet to come," he said.

Romney made a brief, graceful concession speech before a disappointed crowd in Boston. He summoned all Americans to pray for Obama and urged the night's political winners to put partisan bickering aside and "reach across the aisle" to tackle the nation's problems.

Still, after the costliest — and one of the nastiest — campaigns in history, divided government was alive and well.

Democrats retained control of the Senate with surprising ease. With three races too close to call, they had the possibility of gaining a seat.


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