It was billed as the ‘closest-ever’ election, but in the end Barack Obama was able to win even before counting was completed in some key states.
Obama was declared the victor by television networks less than six hours after the first polls closed.
Among swing states that went Obama’s way were Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Virginia.
Florida, which saw controversy in 2000’s Bush-Gore election battle, was too close to call by the time this time’s challenger, Mitt Romney, conceded.
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Addressing disappointed supporters at his Boston headquarters, the former Massachussetts governor was gracious in defeat.
Saying he would pray for the president, Romney also wished Barack, Michelle and their daughters, Sasha and Malia, well.
Romney also thanked his wife Ann and running partner, Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan.
Before he spoke to his supporters in Chicago, Obama took to the stage with his wife and daughters.
The crowds chanted “four more years” as the president began speaking.
Making a joke about the long queues many voters endured, Obama remained optimist and said in his speech: “For the United States of America, the best is yet to come.”
“We are not as divided as our politics suggest. We remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are the greatest country on Earth, United States of America. God bless you.”
Obama will be sworn in for his second term on January 21, which is also Martin Luther King Day. 2013 marks 50 years since the civil rights activist’s March on Washington.
The status quo has been maintained in the two houses of the US Congress: Democrats held onto control of the Senate, whilst the Republicans kept their majority in the House of Representatives.