President Barack Obama rode a wave of broad support from minorities, women and moderates to win re-election Tuesday, defeating Republican challenger Mitt Romney in Democratic strongholds and key battleground states.
Returns put Obama at a projected 303 electoral votes to Romney’s 206, giving Obama the 270 electoral votes needed to secure a second term.
Joyful supporters danced and cheered at Obama’s victory party in Chicago while the mood at Romney’s election-night gathering in Boston was somber.
Governor Mitt Romney conceded the race in a telephone call to the president.
He later spoke to supporters, congratulating the president on his victory and wishing him well in dealing the the challenges facing the nation.
Obama withstood a late push by Romney in Pennsylvania and won battleground states of Ohio, Wisconsin and Iowa, according to CNN projections.
He also easily won traditional Democratic strongholds of California, New York and other populous states such as Michigan and Pennsylvania, where Romney mounted a late but unsuccessful push.
Obama received strong support, as expected, from women voters as well as overwhelming support from African-Americans. He also got strong backing from Hispanic voters, similar to the coalition that carried him to victory four years earlier to make him the nation’s first African-American president.
Meanwhile, CNN projected that Democrats will retain their majority in the Senate, ensuring another divided Congress after Republicans earlier were projected to hold their majority in the U.S. House.
Obama and Romney ran dead even in final polls that hinted at a result rivaling some of the closest presidential elections in history, reflecting the deep political chasm in the country.