President Barack Obama won re-election Tuesday night despite a fierce challenge from Mitt Romney as well as a weak economy and high unemployment that crimped the middle class dreams of millions.
"This happened because of you. Thank you" he tweeted to supporters" as he secured four more years in the White House.
Romney was in Massachusetts after a long and grueling bid for the presidency. He led in the national popular vote with 41 million votes, or 50 percent. Obama had 40 million, or 49 percent, with 59 percent of the precincts tallied.
But Obama led in the competition for electoral votes, where it mattered most.
His triumph in Ohio as well as in Iowa and New Hampshire, two other battlegrounds, gave him 265 electoral votes of the 270 needed for victory, Romney had 200.
The election emerged as a choice between two very different visions of government â?? whether it occupies a major, front-row place in American lives or is in the background as a less-obtrusive facilitator for private enterprise and entrepreneurship.